Judges & Hosts


Ashley Mengwasser (Co-Host)

Ashley Mengwasser is an Emmy-winning producer and host for Georgia Public Broadcasting in Atlanta, GA. She is best know for co-hosting GPB's local travel series, "Georgia Traveler," now in its ninth season of production.  A Buford, GA, native, Ashley acquired her passion for people and communicating their stories during undergraduate study in Atlanta. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude from Agnes Scott College in 2009 and holds a bachelor's degree in English Literature.  Apart from ongoing travel coverage, Ashley can be seen during GPB's live television fundraising campaigns, a highlight being her assignment as co-host for the 2012 national PBS special “We Walk the Line: A Celebration of the Music of Johnny Cash.” Also a long-time cheerleader, Ashley contributes her knowledge of the sport to the GHSA's coverage of the State Cheerleading Championships in Columbus, Georgia.

Faith Salie (Host)

Faith Salie is an Emmy-winning contributor to CBS News Sunday Morning and a panelist on NPR’s Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!  She also hosts the new PBS show, Science Goes To The Movies.   Her first book, Approval Junkie, offering comedic essays about her epic/embarrassing quest for approbation, comes out from Crown on April 19th. As a commentator on politics and current events, she’s been interviewed by the likes of Anderson Cooper, Bill O’Reilly, and Oprah Winfrey.  As a television and public radio host, she’s interviewed newsmakers from Lorne Michaels to President Carter to Robert Redford, who invited her to call him “Bob.”  Faith attended Oxford University on a Rhodes scholarship, where her fellow scholars went on to become governors and Pulitzer Prize winners, while she landed on a Star Trek collectible trading card worth hundreds of cents.  She grew up in Atlanta and will never stop saying “y’all."


David Frakes

David H. Frakes received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering, two M.S. degrees (electrical engineering and mechanical engineering), and his Ph.D. degree in bioengineering, all from the Georgia Institute of Technology.  In 2008 he joined the faculty at Arizona State University (ASU) where he is the Fulton Entrepreneurial Professor and a jointly appointed associate professor in the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering and the School of Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering. He received the 2009 ASU Centennial Professor of the Year Award, the 2012 National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the 2014 Innovator of the Year Award in the state of Arizona, and the 2014 World Technology Network Award in Health and Medicine. His general research interests include computer vision, medical devices, and fluid dynamics.  Dr. Frakes’ work is currently funded by Google, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, and Mayo Clinic, among others.  Dr. Frakes is also currently serving as a Program Leader in the Advanced Technologies and Projects group at Google.

Wendi Sturgis

Wendi Sturgis has spent the last twenty years working in technology, media and the digital realm. She is currently the Chief Customer Officer of Yext, a late stage NYC based start up. Prior to her role there, she was the NA Head of Account Management and Search Sales, where she managed a team of more than 800 associates in the U.S. and India. Prior to Yahoo!, Wendi was on the executive team of Right Media which was sold to Yahoo! for $950M. Wendi has also served as an RVP of Oracle Consulting, COO of Gartner Consulting and VP East Coast Operations for Scient. Wendi graduated from Georgia Tech with an industrial management degree and currently serves on the Georgia Tech Advisory Board. She also serves on the board of Student Transportation of America, various advisory boards, and chairs the governance committee of Step Up Women’s Network.

Partha Unnava

Partha Unnava was born and raised in Columbus, OH. After graduating from Dublin Coffman High School, he attended Georgia Tech to study biomedical engineering.  During college, he broke his ankle and spent six weeks on crutches, leading him to found Better Walk to create a crutch that didn't hurt a user's armpits and other revolutionary medical devices.  Since founding the company in May 2013, Partha has been invited to the White House to present to President Obama, been named on the 2015 Forbes 30 Under 30, been featured on CNN, and received numerous entrepreneurship awards.  He is also well known as a public speaker, having spoken at dozens of conferences and events, where he shares his story, while educating audiences on fundraising, product development, and business strategy and mindsets.  With a passion for fashion and culture, Partha has also been featured in several fashion magazines, including Elle Magazine and Jezebel, as well as in several runway shows.  He spends his free time listening to hip hop music and playing basketball and club-level ultimate frisbee.