Below is a press release from Bridgeway about our 2014 Volunteer Keith Okano (pictured).
Bridgeway’s Keith Okano with the finalists of PEP’s Class 21 Business Plan Competition
HOUSTON, Oct. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Bridgeway Software, the most recommended provider of legal services management solutions, today announced that president Keith Okano was named Houston 2014 Volunteer of the Year by the Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP). Established in 2004, PEP is a Houston-based nonprofit organization that operates as a public-private partnership with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. PEP has pioneered innovative programs that connect the nation’s top executives, entrepreneurs, and MBA students with convicted felons.
“I strongly believe in second chances, particularly with programs that help people who want to help themselves,” said Keith Okano, president of Bridgeway Software. “As positive advocates of change, PEP’s goal is to be on the front line, diving into the source of the problem and reclaiming the human spirit. I am honored to be associated with such an important organization and to helping these men discover their untapped potential.”
A former member of PEP’s Houston Advisory Board, Mr. Okano has volunteered in prison more than 30 days in the past three years alone. He has also served as a business plan advisor for four incarcerated men; one of whom won PEP’s business plan competition thanks in large part to Keith’s support. Outside of prison, he has served as a mentor to a released graduate and taught classes in PEP’s eSchool program—a continuing education program offered to released graduates. Beyond volunteering, Keith has been a faithful donor and outspoken advocate for PEP in the community. He has brought friends and coworkers to visit prisons, and even travelled to North Texas to speak to a group of students from the University of North Texas about his involvement in PEP.
“Keith Okano models servant leadership, humility, and generosity in a way that makes an enormous impact on everyone around him including those who are incarcerated and his fellow volunteers. We are very proud to recognize him as our 2014 Houston Volunteer of the Year,” said Bert Smith, CEO of PEP.
PEP’s entrepreneurship boot camp and re-entry programs are proven solutions for preventing recidivism, maximizing self-sufficiency and transforming broken lives. According to a recent study from Baylor University, PEP out-performs all nine of the state’s other major prison rehabilitation programs while delivering a 340% ROI for every dollar invested by private donors.
One of the major reasons for PEP’s success is it engages nearly one thousand different volunteers each year as either in-prison volunteers, remote business plan advisors, or “free world” volunteers. These amazing servant leaders provide critical support to PEP and ensure that it can continue to deliver best-in-class results while maximizing the impact of the community’s financial support.
“Keith is a wonderful source of encouragement and wise counsel for our men,” said Kristie Wisniewski, Chief of Staff for PEP. “Keith is a man of few words, is very deep and thinks carefully before speaking. He reminds me of Albert Einstein’s quote, ‘Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.’ I think Keith is a man of value to his family, his co-workers and to PEP, and we are honored to name him our volunteer of the year.”
About the Prison Entrepreneurship Program
Established in 2004, the Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP) is a Houston-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The program’s mission is to transform inmates and executives by unlocking human potential through entrepreneurial passion, education, and mentoring. PEP’s groundbreaking results include a return-to-prison rate of less than 5%, employment rate of 100% within 90 days, and the successful launch of more than 100 businesses. To learn more, visit http://www.pep.org.
Bridgeway is dedicated to providing software solutions and professional services to implement best practices for the offices of the general counsel and corporate secretary. Most recommended by clients, Bridgeway enables leading corporations and government agencies to optimize productivity, reduce cost, and mitigate risk with an integrated technology approach for legal services management. Bridgeway implements systems in the areas of matter and case management, electronic invoicing, cost management, corporate governance, contract management, litigation risk assessment, and entity management. Founded in 1989, the company is headquartered in Houston, Texas with representative offices in Philadelphia and Toronto. More information about eCounsel®, LawManager®, Smart Invoice, Corridor™, Bridgeway Legal Hold, and Secretariat® is available at www.bridge-way.com or by calling 888-272-4699.
SOURCE Bridgeway Software