Sparkrock Blog

Melissa Alvares

Melissa Alvares
Melissa truly believes that technology can change the world for the better, and loves that she gets to see that in action every day at Sparkrock. She’s been involved in building computer labs and teaching technology skills in rural Rwanda and Uganda, and locally is a regular volunteer at the Daily Bread Food Bank and mentoring new immigrants through the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC)
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Recent Posts

Sparkrock Announces Corporate Partnership with Provider's Council

by   Melissa Alvares on 03.09.17

Sparkrock is pleased to announce a Corporate Partnership with The Providers Council, a Massachusetts association of health and human service agencies. 

Human services refers to both state and private agencies and their employees who provide services for people who may need assistance or support, such as: people with developmental disabilities; people with physical disabilities; people with mental illness; children; elders/senior citizens; veterans; people who are homeless; people who are poor; people who are incarcerated or just released; people with certain health needs; and people who are abused. These groups of people are sometimes referred to as vulnerable populations.

The Providers Council represents hundreds of agencies across the field of health and human services that work with vulnerable populations

"The Providers' Council has come to be known as the official voice of the industry, and strives to best represent the needs and concerns of its members." stated Colin Dickinson, President of Sparkrock. "Sparkrock also shares this industry committment by creating software to help Human Services agencies serve more people with less effort, stress and expense. We are excited to work together with The Providers' Council and all their member agencies"

Topics: News Release

Sparkrock Announces Corporate Partnership with Benchmarks

by   Melissa Alvares on 03.02.17

Sparkrock is pleased to announce a Corporate Partnership with Benchmarks, an alliance of nationally accredited agencies committed to providing quality care, leadership, and accountability in services to children, adults, and families in North Carolina. 

"Benchmarks and Sparkrock share a common mission around helping people reach their full potential, contribute to their communities and live healthy lives." stated Colin Dickinson, President of Sparkrock. "Benchmarks achieves this through advocacy and education, and Sparkrock achieves this by creating software to help Human Services agencies serve more people with less effort, stress and expense. We are excited to work together with Benchmarks and all their member agencies"

Topics: News Release

Growth Driven Design: Critical systems need to keep up with the times

by   Melissa Alvares on 02.17.17

There's a lot of things out there to keep up with. Fashion trends change every season, that new Netflix series that "everyone" is talking about, the latest new smart phone, fun new apps - the list never ends.

While it's not that important for you to keep up with the new "mom jeans" trend, what IS important is that your technology keeps up with both internal and external changes.

Your organization is continually evolving, taking on new employees, new programs, new grants and funding sources. Then add on top of that external influences such as regulatory changes, new reporting requirements, and increased demand for your services. Your Finance, HR, Payroll and Case Management systems may be perfectly suited to your organization at the Go-Live date, but within a year, or even a few months things may be out of date.

Topics: Finance , Outcomes-Impact , Sparkrock

Altus Dynamics is now Sparkrock

by   Melissa Alvares on 01.26.17

Today is an exciting day for us, as we announce our new company name and logo.

Our business has grown and evolved over the last 13 years, and we felt it was time for a change. We have refreshed our logo to reflect who we are today and to symbolize our dynamic future. This wasn’t a decision we made lightly as we are proud of our rich history. However, our new brand truly reflects our brand promise to you. 

Topics: Sparkrock

Announcing our Alliance 2017 Featured Keynote: Author Sheri Chaney Jones

by   Melissa Alvares on 10.31.16

For over 15 years, Sheri Chaney Jones has improved government agencies, nonprofits, and small businesses through the use of performance management, evaluation, and organizational behavior best practices.  Her experience and expertise has transformed measurement cultures and as a result, saved public dollars, improved outcomes, demonstrated effectiveness, and increased revenues.  

By developing a measurement culture and using data collection and analysis, Sheri has helped one client turn a $420,000 loss into a $420,000 gain. A successful project with another client resulted in a program savings of approximately $100,000 a year; and yet another client saw an annual savings of $250,000,000 in Medicaid spending. 

Topics: Sparkrock

Announcing our Featured Keynote: Minister Tracy MacCharles

by   Melissa Alvares on 10.13.16

We are excited to announce that the Featured Keynote speaker on Thursday morning of our Alliance 2017 conference will be Minister Tracy MacCharles.

She brings with her over 20 years of experience in human resources, accessibility and social services and will be speaking about her motivation for a career in service, how to inspire teams and how to incorporate people with disabilities into your organization.

Topics: Sparkrock

Using Technology to achieve better health, better care and lower cost.

by   Melissa Alvares on 10.12.16

Last week Sparkrock, along with over 100 attendees, participated in ANCOR's Annual Technology Summit and Showcase in Denver, Colorado. The goal of this conference was to bring together peers, advocates and experts to talk about ways technology can help the Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) community achieve the goal of better health, better care and lower cost.

Topics: Technology

Sparkrock is one of the Best Workplaces in Canada!

by   Melissa Alvares on 04.22.16

We are super excited to announce that Sparkrock is being recognized as one of this year’s Best Workplaces in Canada! This list, and related stories, appeared in a special national report on Friday April 22, 2016 in The Globe and Mail.

“At Sparkrock, we’re pleased, humbled and excited about being recognized as one of the Best Places to Work in Canada.” states Colin Dickinson, President of Sparkrock. “Corporate Culture is not about what’s written on a plaque on your wall. It’s about what’s demonstrated in the hundreds of decisions made by your colleagues every day. There’s an expression that has motivated me for years: 'character is what you do when no one is watching.' Our place among these other worthy recipients is a testament to the hard work, dedication – and yes, character – that our colleagues demonstrate every day for each other and for our customers who do some of the best work on the planet. It’s an honour to work with them, and it’s a ton of fun to come to work with such a great group of people.”

Topics: News Release

Our first #16NTC experience in San Jose was a great one!

by   Melissa Alvares on 04.07.16

Walking into the huge San Jose Convention Center to set up our exhibit for 16NTC was very exciting. What's 16NTC? It's the 2016 Nonprofit Technology Conference organized by NTEN (Nonprofit Technology Network). It brings together over 2,000 of the best and brightest nonprofit professionals from around the world for 3 days to collaborate, innovate and discover new ways to spark change with technology.

Topics: Sparkrock

Great "connecting" with everyone at Alliance 2016

by   Melissa Alvares on 02.09.16

The marketing team here at Sparkrock is in a bit of conference withdrawal.

After months of preparation for our big annual user conference, our excitement to share three great days with all of our customers was overwhelming. We arrived early Wednesday morning to a quiet hotel and within a couple hours the area was a buzz with our pre-conference training attendees. We set up funky sticker signage on the floors, laid out nametags with care, sorted out the 13 different types of buttons and filled massive glass containers with Sparkrock Logo coloured gummies. All ready to welcome our favourite people - our customers!

Topics: Sparkrock

WARNING: Credit Card Refund Scam Targeting Nonprofits

by   Melissa Alvares on 01.11.16

 We were recently warned by by one of our online payment system providers, iATS Payments about a credit card refund scam targeting nonprofits.

Topics: Fundraising