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Our Story

EmpowOR is the result of a unique partnership.  

  • Built with CSST’s over 14 years of experience providing comprehensive client services software to multi-service nonprofit organizations
  • Forged through experiences at community action agencies throughout the country, including with Garrett County Community Action and its journey to provide bundled and 2 Generation approaches to poverty alleviation
  • Molded with the 20 years of organization development, strategic thinking and evaluation expertise of Paige Teegarden of Think Outside
  • Created by Miles Technologies, a leading provider of business technology solutions to all types and sizes of businesses, and its outstanding software development team

Miles Technologies, Garrett County Community Action and Paige Hull Teegarden (organization development expert) have formed CSST Software, LLC, a partnership that owns, supports and continuously develops EmpowOR. This partnership leverages Miles Technologies’ deep technical expertise in software and hardware, GCCAC’s programmatic expertise in many programs commonly shared by CAP agencies and other multi-service and community development organizations, and Paige Teegarden’s strategic planning and evaluation experience.  EmpowOR’s predecessor, CSST, has been in use and supported by Miles Technologies since 2001. 

Miles Technologies

How did these entities come to be partners?

Paige H. Teegarden has been working in and for nonprofit agencies for over 20 years.  Over the past 15 years, she has facilitated the strategic planning process of over 40 agencies and collaborations and headed up many evaluations and evaluation plans.  She first met Garrett County Community Action (GCCAC) as a consultant facilitating their strategic plan.  The single biggest strategic shift resulting from that strategic planning process was a focus on integrating services around individuals and families to help people move toward economic self-sufficiency or independent living. 

Soon after the planning process was completed, Paige came onboard at GCCAC to help implement elements of the strategic plan beginning with a new agency wide data base (CSST was selected) and an electronic document management system. To do these tasks in ways that were consistent with the strategic plan, Paige organized a pilot with 11 families to ‘try out’ a focused approach to supporting families in an integrated way. This also provided time to understand how a data system could best support the strategic goals.

Over the next 3 years, Paige led the roll out of CSST across the entire agency from Head Start to Senior Services.  During this roll out, Paige worked extensively with CSST developers to create imports, funder specific reports and other tools for staff.  Ultimately, Paige’s experience with nonprofits and in depth work with GCCAC, plus GCCAC’s own programmatic expertise and hard-fought experience  in integrating data systems into their processes led Miles Technologies to approach the pair about partnering on the new version of CSST.

Our Partners



Garrett County Community Action (GCCAC) is a large, diverse, rural community action agency located in Oakland, MD and has been in operation since 1965.  GCCAC:  

  • Offers head start, early head start and other childhood and family development programs
  • Is the lead in the Continuum of Care and provides most of the homeless programs in the county
  • Acts as the housing authority, managing Section 8 vouchers and Mod Rehab programs
  • Is the Area Agency on Aging, running Meals on Wheels and Senior programs
  • Runs a first time home buyer program, IDA and other financial education and asset development programs
  • Has built (and owns) over 400 units of award-winning affordable and workforce housing units
  • Is actively engaged in Community Economic Development through the development of infrastructure, community facilities and supporting other nonprofits, and local government
  • Operates the public transportation in the county

GCCAC is implementing a model 2Generation approach to helping families move to economic self-sufficiency in partnership with the Annie E. Casey Foundation.   As a part of this work and other work to holistically serve families, GCCAC has developed innovative programming, called pathway planning, that helps integrate services around the needs and aspirations of their clients.  GCCAC also incorporates a Crisis to Thriving assessment scale with all clients to track progress and to help identify needs in the community. 

Over the past several years, Paige Teegarden has led GCCAC’s work with its data systems.  She has ensured that both staff processes and procedures, and the data system itself allow GCCAC to track all clients and services for every agency program.  Client progress towards goals is recorded in a customizable set of benchmarks, and resulting outcomes are celebrated and recorded as well.  GCCAC has matched client/agency data to their strategic plan with a customized Outcomes report, which compares program data to agency targets.

GCCAC staff, particularly data and contract managers, worked hard to ensure data is collected accurately, efficiently and effectively.  They quickly learned the strengths of using a data system to answer questions for senior management and report to funders.  CSST Software, LLC and EmpowOR takes advantage of this capacity by utilizing these staff as subject matter experts in consulting available to EmpowOR customers.  In other words, you as an EmpowOR customer can have access to this wealth of knowledge and experience in your own implementation of the software. 

Miles Building

Miles Technologies

Founded in 1997 and headquartered in Moorestown, New Jersey, Miles Technologies is a leading provider of business technology solutions to all types and sizes of businesses.  With offices throughout New Jersey, New York, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Northern Virginia, and the greater Philadelphia Metro area, Miles Technologies services the computer consulting needs of more than 1,800 clients nationwide and employs over 100 full-time professionals.  Miles Technologies has grown from an organization focused solely on providing unparalleled IT services support to offering a complete range of highly customized, groundbreaking technology consulting services to companies from nearly every industry, including a particular focus on nonprofits since 2001 with CSST.  Miles Technologies is known for a combined knowledge of both business and technology, and expertise in integrating the two together in order to improve productivity and efficiency for its customers. Miles Technologies utilizes the latest state-of-the-art technologies to produce robust software solutions for the business community.


Customers have described Miles Technologies as a “valuable resource of innovative solutions” delivered by a “professional, creative, and very accommodating” team.  Miles Technologies is fiercely dedicated to delivering an exceptional high-tech service and committed to providing a true return on investment for its customers.  In short, Miles Technologies has the technical capacity to assist any EmpowOR customer and to ensure that EmpowOR operates well for any user.

A partial list of technologies used by Miles Technologies includes:

  • ASP, ASP.net
  • Java, J2EE, J3, JSP
  • MS SQL
  • PHP
  • Visual Basic, VB.net
  • Sybase
  • C#, C++
  • Oracle

Paige Teegarden/Think Outside

The final piece in CSST Software’s unique partnership is Paige Teegarden and her ability to draw these pieces together and manage them.  Paige, General Manager, CSST Software, and President of Think Outside, has over 20 years working with nonprofit agencies on strategic planning, evaluation, data collection and usage and other projects to support outstanding performance. 

She is a systems thinker with an uncanny ability to ask probing, strategic questions, and a gifted facilitator who is focused on organizations’ use and understanding of data. 

As a consultant, Paige has:

  • Restructured organizations
  • Implemented comprehensive data systems
  • Facilitated strategic planning processes for over a hundred organizations,
  • Helped start up volunteer organizations create their structure and solidify their processes,
  • Conducted innovative research studies including the first ever competency study of leaders facilitating community building initiatives and the largest survey on nonprofit sector executive transitions, and
  • Designed and supported the implementation of evaluation systems which have allowed organizations to gather information about their performance and their ultimate impact. 

More recently, Paige’s focus has been on nonprofits and their data capacity. Working extensively with Garrett County Community Action (GCCAC), she has implemented an organization-wide client tracking system and electronic document management system.

She has come to believe that increasing staff ability to collect, use and understand data may be the single most effective way to better and more quickly address ever shifting funding and operating environments. Harnessing the power of the information already collected--whether it is to report to funders and donors or to better tell our story to the public--is no longer just a "big data" capacity; it is an essential part of the adaptive capacity of successful nonprofit organizations and governmental entities. 

Before opening her own practice, Paige worked as a consultant for Managance Consulting and Coaching out of Washington DC for 10 years.   Prior to her consulting work, Paige worked as a research assistant and program manager for the national community development leadership training organization, DTI, and assisted Dr. Lester Salamon in revising the publication Nonprofit Sector: A Primary published by Urban Institute.

Paige is the lead author of the book The Nonprofit Organizational Culture Guide, published by Jossey-Bass.  Paige also has extensive experience designing and conducting research, designing web-based surveys, completing data manipulation and analysis, and synthesizing complex data and organization systems. 

Paige’s published works include: Shortage Decade: Where will the Next Generation of Nonprofit Leadership Come From? Executive Leadership Transition: The Record to Date; Competencies of Community Builders; Making Collaboration Work; and Depending on Ourselves: Zambian Experiences in Domestic Fund Mobilization.   She has a Master’s in Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University and a BA in Political Science from Davidson College, NC.