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Pittsburgh Technology Champion Finalists



Richard Piacentini

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Since 1994 Richard V. Piacentini has led the green transformation of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Richard is interested in the important connection between people and plants, particularly as it relates to human and environmental wellness. He serves as Chair of the International Living Future Institute™ (ILFI) board, and on the board of the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh. He received ILFI and U.S. Green Building Council leadership awards, and is a past president of the American Public Gardens Association. Richard has a BS in Pharmacy from the University of Rhode Island, an MBA from Virginia Commonwealth University and a MS in Botany from the University of Connecticut.



Bud Adams


Bud Adams is the Creative Director for Enwhorl, Inc., a creative technology studio in Greentree, Pittsburgh. With 15 years experience in design and media creation, Bud’s passion for innovation and creativity are a perfect fit for the budding technology and user-experience driven industry Enwhorl represents.

Bud has a Communications, TV/Film degree from California State University, Fullerton and returned to Pittsburgh in 2001 where he established a successful filmmaking and design agency. Expanding on his portfolio, he worked as a consultant for various businesses, start-ups and other creative firms working on anything and everything creative.

For the past year, Bud’s role as Creative Director at Enwhorl has opened the door to a much larger client base with much more demanding opportunities for ui/ux design and technology innovation. Enwhorl is a global creative technology company headquartered in Pittsburgh focusing on innovation in the areas of technology, mobility, strategy and design. The Enwhorl creative team, lead by Bud, leverages the power of technology, creating customized strategies to meet the goals of any sized business or non-profit. From building brands to creating websites and launching mobile apps, Enwhorl puts organizations at the forefront of technology and design.

In his spare time, Bud works on personal mobile app projects including the internationally successful health and wellness app, ""My Shake Day.” He is also an avid PSL kickballer, movie buff, and Camaro fan. Bud currently resides in the North Hills with his wife Melissa.



Jim Jen

Alpha Lab

is the Executive Director and co-founder of the AlphaLab accelerator programs for Innovation Works. Founded in 2008, AlphaLab was one of the nation’s first accelerators, providing funding, mentorship, education and networks to speed the growth of promising startups. AlphaLab is consistently ranked among the top accelerators in the US (#16 in 2014). Jim also helped launch the AlphaLab Gear accelerator for hardware and robotics companies in 2013, also one of the first accelerators of its kind. Jim was elected to serve on the Advisory Board of the Global Accelerator Network, the world’s leading association of accelerators for high growth startups.

Jim has been an active part of the Pittsburgh tech community since 2002 and has led the initial investments in over 100 companies. Working closely with the founding teams of such companies as NoWait, The Resumator, Shoefitr, and Showclix, Jim has mentored and guided the development of some of Pittsburgh’s fastest growing tech companies.

Prior to moving to Pittsburgh, Jim built and launched software businesses at venture-backed companies in California and also advised executive management of Fortune 500 companies as a management consultant. Jim holds a BA and MA in Economics and an MBA from Stanford University.



James Betler, DO

Allegheny Health Network Cancer Institute

is a board-certified attending radiation oncologist and internal medicine physician at the Allegheny Health Network Cancer Institute. He also services as system director of Oncology Care Coordination in our southern region. This past fall he coordinated a free health screening and cancer education program at Jefferson Hospital’s new cancer center to include cervical, breast, colo-rectal, prostate, lung, head and neck, skin, HIV and Hepatitis C. The screenings were in depth, complete physical and diagnostic examinations that were free to the public.  Most health fairs offer free blood pressure and cholesterol screenings. The first community cancer screening at Jefferson was very well attended and successful. Dr. Betler then worked with physicians and administration at the Allegheny Health Network (AHN) Cancer Institute to arrange for similar community screenings at all of our facilites throughout the region.

The idea for an AHN Cancer Institute Cancer Screening and Education Program came from Dr. Betler’s experiences in healthcare including:
1.  Seeing patients with cancer that had not had routine screenings as are recommended and knowing that many of their cancers could have been either prevented or found at an earlier stage (allowing for improved chances of a cure)
2.  Being involved in smaller disease specific cancer screening events within the previous West Penn Allegheny Health System
3.  Wanting to create a one-stop-shop for all of the cancer screenings
4.  Facilitate access for all individuals within our region for comprehensive free cancer screenings that would be independent of health insurance coverage or health insurance provider
4.  Bring a network system approach at AHN to cancer screenings and education in which any individual attending the AHN Cancer Screening and Education Program would be offered the same comprehensive screenings and education - basically the same experience throughout the region
5.  Collect statistics to analyze how a comprehensive cancer screening and education program like the AHN Cancer Institute Cancer Screening and Education Program can help facilitate early detection which can lead to earlier interventionDr. Betler shared this story from a AHN Cancer Institute, Esophageal and Lung Institute multidisciplinary lung tumor board meeting on April 21, 2015.  One of the lung screening patients who attended the AHN Cancer Institute Cancer Screening and Education Program at the Allegheny Health Network Wexford Health + Wellness Pavilion on January 24, 2015 was found to have an abnormal finding from the low dose CT scan performed during the lung cancer screening.  She subsequently underwent surgery and was found to have a lung cancer.  At the time of surgery she was found to also have a small amount of cancer in a lymph node within her mediastinum.  She will be getting adjuvant chemotherapy.  The discussion at the tumor board was that, this asymptomatic female without having had the low dose lung CT screening at the AHN Cancer Institute Cancer Screening and Education Program at the Wexford Health + Wellness Pavilion, her cancer would have been incurable within 6 months.  Her screening and the AHN cancer care surrounding her abnormal low dose lung CT scan is going to give her a chance for cure which would have not been achievable a few months later.  This is only one of many stories from these screening in which people's lives are being greatly impacted by these cancer screenings. Also worth mentioning is the fact that this AHN Cancer Institute Cancer Screening and Education Program is being performed at each site by health professionals volunteering their time and at no charge to any patients.  This greatly reflects the new campaign of ""All For Health"" and ""Health For All"".
1.  After three sites (Jefferson Hospital, Wexford Health + Wellness Pavilion and Allegheny Valley Hospital - at the Pittsburgh Mills), there have been 960 cancer screenings, 194 abnormal screenings (20%), and 766 normal screenings (80%).
2.  The surveys from the patients have shown a high rate of satisfaction and appreciation for this AHN Cancer Institute Cancer Screening and Education Program being offered to members of our western Pennsylvania Communities. Additional free community cancer screenings are scheduled throughout the region at AHN facilities through 2015.