LivingTree dba: Snowflake Technologies Inc.

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Company: LivingTree dba: Snowflake Technologies Inc., Austin, TX
Company Description: LivingTree is revolutionizing family and community engagement. Created in 2012 and based in Austin, TX, LivingTree builds the world’s only hierarchical social networks allowing communities to privately built trust and engagement. Allowing rich media sharing, two way conversation, and translation to 100+ languages – LivingTree networks connect every member of a community.
Nomination Category: Company/Organization Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Community Involvement Program of the Year

Nomination Title: LivingTree: Creating a Community Near You

Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated organization since the beginning of July last year (up to 525 words):

LivingTree itself is an involvement program for communities around the world. We work closely with educators, families, and community leaders to use technology to drive two-way conversation and partnership. Using LivingTree, our partner communities have shared 500,000 photos, sent 1,500,000 private messages, and shared 400,000 community posts since July 1, 2015. Realizing this level of sharing and conversation, school districts utilize LivingTree to address legislative mandates regarding parent and community engagement. More importantly, LivingTree is utilized to give parents a window and voice into the school.

An example of LivingTree in use comes from Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD, located in South Texas just north of Mexico, serves ~32,000 students. By the numbers, PSJA ISD is 89% economically disadvantaged, 98.9% Latino, 11% ESL, 35% Bilingual, and 6% migrant in population. As a nationally recognized district, PSJA ISD has done incredible work in pushing the bar for high school graduation and college success rates. PSJA wanted to build on this success and develop broader community within their schools and district. PSJA faced language, technology, and cultural barriers when building community and partnership. They sought to reach as many parents as possible and to empower parents by giving them a voice into the education community. To do this, PSJA ISD implemented LivingTree in an effort to include all families via mobile application and two-way translation. PSJA ISD has been using LivingTree since the spring semester of 2014. In the fall 2015 school semester alone (time period beginning August 1, 2015), PSJA opened a virtual window to their classrooms more than 20,000 times. Their community has engaged within the network by commenting 2500+ times and showing appreciation in 42,999 instances:

“LivingTree allows us to take a leap forward in community building by providing us with our own private social network for collaboration and engagement across our district, school, and classroom communities.” – Adrian Garcia, PSJA ISD Chief Technology Officer

Another example of LivingTree’s community involvement program in action is from Casis Elementary in Austin, TX. Each year, Casis utilizes LivingTree to offer 3500+ volunteer opportunities to the parent community. Using LivingTree, they are able to fill 98% of these opportunities building a thriving partnership within the neighborhood. In addition to volunteers, Casis network members share 1000s of photos and conversations each year on LivingTree. In the words of the Casis Principal, Sam Tinnon, “Our school was amazing before, but LivingTree helps us take it to the next level. It’s awesome!”

LivingTree should be the Community Involvement program of the year because of the number of communities impacted, the depth of relationships being built and the true community experienced.

Provide a brief biography of the person or persons who lead the nominated organization (up to 125 words):

Joni Carswell is the President and CEO of LivingTree, a private engagement network for schools and families. As a technology expert, mother of two young sons, and daughter of an educator, Joni lives, learns, and teaches parent and community engagement every day. Joni pairs her technology, strategy, and planning background from major companies such as Dell and Polycom with her lifelong passion and purpose for family and education to continually push the parent and community engagement envelope. In addition to being an avid school volunteer, STEM lover, and outdoor enthusiast, Joni holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from Texas A&M University, an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management. Joni has also acted as an advisory board member for the Kellogg Women’s Business Association.

Choose one (even if both apply): The CEO (or other principal manager) of this company is a woman, and at least 40% of the management team is comprised of women.