Digest Newsletter | July 2020
TECNA Board Chair Message
Two years ago (my how time flies), at the summer conference in Des Moines, I was confirmed as the Chair of TECNA’s Board of Directors, very proudly the first Canadian to hold the post. At the end of this month, my term will expire, and we will convene a virtual business meeting, at which time, TECNA members will have the opportunity to vote on the incoming slate of Directors and new Executive. When I spoke at the Des Moines conference, I outlined a few priorities to advance during my term. Specifically, I wanted to introduce an awards program to recognize and celebrate the excellent work of staff across the TECNA network, and I wanted to take actions to advance awareness and understanding of the challenges associated with diversity and inclusion.

Last year, we launched the first ever TECNA Innovation Awards. The response was tremendous, and we got to celebrate all the finalists and winners at the summer conference in Madison. Once again this year, we had a strong response with so many exceptional submissions from across the US and Canada, and we will have a special virtual awards ceremony later this month. 

On the D&I file, we have achieved a new level of gender diversity on our Board – and, for the first time, this year our Executive will include two women, in the positions Vice Chair and Treasurer. In 2019 we welcomed our first black tech council leader to the Board. Also, at the 2019 CEO Retreat, we included a workshop on D&I and, most recently, we have committed to establishing a TECNA Diversity Task Force to “make recommendations on increasing the number people of color and diversity in the tech workforce, on corporate boards, on the staff of our member associations and on the boards of directors of our tech councils”. There remains much to be done on this front and I am confident we have laid the groundwork to bring about further positive change.

Finally, we have seen membership in TECNA grow to record levels, on both sides of the border, and the organization has a sound financial footing to move forward with.

I am very proud of what we have accomplished over the past two years, but it would not have been possible without the dedication and extraordinary leadership of my fellow Board members, our Executive Director, Tim Jemal, and our Project Coordinator, Alina Hardy. A huge thank you to all of you. Serving as Board Chair of this very special North American association has been an honor and a privilege that I will always cherish.  
Doug Robertson
TECNA Board Chair
President & CEO
Venn Innovation, Inc
2020 Innovation Awards
Mark Your Calendars!
The 2nd annual TECNA Innovation Awards will be online and occurring virtually on July 23, 2020, at 12:00pm PT/3:00pm ET. We look forward to taking this time to celebrate the extraordinary work of our TECNA member staff in 2019.
We received many nominations for outstanding work completed in 2019.
Award categories include:
  • Creative Marketing & Communications
  • Talent Pipeline & Workforce
  • Major Impact on Tech Community
  • Public Policy/Advocacy
  • Initial COVID-19 Response (Work completed in 2020)

Register Online to receive the Awards information and link directly in your inbox
TECNA Business Meeting 2020
All TECNA Member Councils/Association Staff Invited to Attend this Zoom Gathering

J oin us Friday, July 24 at 9:30am PT/12:30pm ET for the TECNA Business Meeting.
We'll vote to confirm the Board Slate for 2020-2021, review TECNA business, celebrate our successes of the year and connect with fellow TECNA Members.
(This is usually one of the final sessions at the Summer Conference.)
TECNA Launches 401k Program Offering

We are very pleased to announce TECNA has partnered with the 401(k) Tech Collective to offer the TECNA National 401(k) Program. This is a national retirement program built by the WTIA, one of our member associations. This program has been constructed specifically for technology organizations.
This partnership enables you to offer this exclusive program to your own member companies, providing additional value to their membership and helping them attract and retain talent in this competitive time. It also opens the door to a new revenue opportunity for your association.

Please check out all of the benefits here:  401ktechcollective.org

Questions: Contact Tim Jemal, tjemal@tecna.org.
TECNA Member News
Arizona Technology Council , in partnership with the Arizona Commerce Authority, today launched  AZTechBase , an online platform that provides a comprehensive listing of companies, people and investors in Arizona’s technology industry. The goal of AZTechBase is to further elevate the state’s technology ecosystem by providing accurate, current datasets and making the data easily accessible to the community .

Digital Nova Scotia announced their new CEO, Wayne Sumarah, who "offers a unique combination of public and private sector leadership experience and expertise in the tech sector," - read more.

Tech San Diego offers an AI & Machine Learning Series featuring TuSimple on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 at 10:00am on GoToWebinar - click here to register .

TechPoint honors "Best of Tech" Mira Award Winners in first-ever virtual gala - read more.

Northern Virginia Technology Council named Brad Schwartz Acting President and CEO. The NVTC Board continues to support the Search and Advisory Committee, working with executive search firm Korn Ferry, to identify a permanent President and CEO to lead the organization - read more .

Technology Association of Iowa announced 2020 Prometheus Award Winners virtually over a week and worked with the Governor to declare it Tech Week in conjunction with the Awards.

Venn 's EIR, Alicia Roisman Ismach shares some insight in navigating COVID-19, the opportunities it presents and the disruptions its having in fintech - read more .
TECNA Launches Health Insurance Benefit

TECNA launched a new health insurance benefit for members, as well your members. TECNA is committed to helping member councils provide additional value to you, your staff and your members. Insurance is one area where TECNA may be able to offer immediate savings on items for which you and your members are currently paying. Your council must be a member of TECNA in good standing to qualify for this benefit. Please click here to see an overview of TECNA’s Health Insurance Benefit.

Coming Soon: Member General Liability, Professional Liability (Errors & Omissions) Cyber Liability, Property & Workers Compensation Insurance.

Questions: Contact Tim Jemal, tjemal@tecna.org.
TECNA Public Policy Advocacy
TECNA Signs On to 324 Signatory Business Letter to US President and Secretaries - Nonimmigrant Visa
On May 21, 2020, TECNA, signed on to a coalition letter on high-skilled immigration sent to the Trump Admin. and signed by most of TECNA's U.S. member association. In all there are 324 signatories on the letter. To read the full letter, click here.
TECNA Signs On to Broad Coalition Letter Opposed to Suspending H1B and Other Non-immigrant Visas
On June 30, 2020, TECNA, signed on to a broad coalition letter on high-skilled immigration sent to the Trump Administration. To read the full letter, click here.
Virtual Town Hall
Tuesday, July 14, 2020, 11:00am PT/2:00pm ET

In partnership with  TechNet , we are pleased to announce the start of a virtual town hall series featuring elected officials and business leaders across the U.S. and Canada. 
Please join us on Tuesday, July 14  for an interactive discussion with three Congresswomen with extensive backgrounds in intelligence and military service who understand that placing the national interest over politics will ensure the U.S. remains globally competitive.
This virtual town hall will focus on the imperative of lawmakers to work together to develop a comprehensive innovation strategy to protect our public health, spur economic recovery, and strengthen national security.

The Virtual Town Hall will be held on Tuesday, July 14, 2020 at 11:00am PT/2:00pm ET. All TECNA Members are encouraged invite your member organizations to attend.

A zoom link will be sent 24 hours prior to virtual town hall. You can submit questions for Members of Congress at time of online registration.
Communities of Interest Webinars
TECNA Communities of Interest (COI) are peer-to-peer collaborations and information-sharing groups exclusively for members: membership, events, workforce and communications.

During webinars and Slack discussions, TECNA members share best practices and gain valuable insights on solving common challenges.
Bi-weekly Events Community Online Huddle
Informally discussing challenges and best practices in online events every-other-Friday at 10:00am PT/1:00pm ET.
Next Webinar Date: July 10

Membership Community of Interest Huddle
Wednesday, July 8 at 10:00am PT/1:00pm ET
Join us for a discussion of current challenges and successes.

Requests or ideas for Community of Interest webinar topics, contact the COI Chairs:

Recent past COI call recordings and slide decks are available for download in the members-only portal on the TECNA website. Login at tecna.org/login and click on the Resources tab to view.
TECNA 2020 Summer Conference Cancelled
Due to the impact of COVID-19, 2020 TECNA Summer Conference originally set to be held July 22-24, 2020, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is postponed.
We are also pleased to announce that the 2021 TECNA Summer Conference will be held in Pittsburgh and hosted by TECNA member Pittsburgh Technology Council. We plan to utilize all venues and activities previously scheduled for 2020 when we meet in-person next year. The PTC team has worked hard to orchestrate the logistics, and we appreciate their willingness to be flexible in hosting this signature TECNA event.
TechGirlz Partnership Opportunities for TECNA Members
TECNA and TechGirlz are partnering in 2020 to offer member tech councils the opportunity to host a workshop.

The TechGirlz program works to make learning technology both thrilling and inviting for middle school girls, through their free extra curricular workshops (or TechShopz as their coined them!). From programming to robotics, web/app design, genetics and beyond, there is so much for the TechGirlz to experience. Their vision is to create a world where girls have a lifelong passion and confidence in their use of technology throughout their careers.

TECNA member councils interested in organizing a TechGirlz workshop please contact Alina Hardy, ahardy@tecna.org.
Subscribe to TECNA Event Calendars
Click a link below and follow the prompts to synchronize with the default calendar on your system (if available). To synchronize with a different calendar, copy and paste the desired URL into your calendar software in the location where feeds are accepted, often identified with "Subscribe", "Add Calendar", etc.

Contact Alina for assistance, ahardy@tecna.org.
TECNA on Slack
Join TECNA's community on Slack exclusively for TECNA Member Council staff. Slack Channels include membership, events, talent/workforce and private channel for CEOs. A policy Slack Channel will be launching soon.
TECNA Members Only

You can group chat, private message, share files and search the discussion archive for help and best practices shared by other members.

Contact Alina Hardy with questions about Slack.
Thank You to TECNA's Strategic Sponsors
Keep Us Informed
We are always looking to provide valuable content to TECNA members. If you have any suggestions for content in the TECNA Digest, please email: news@tecna.org.