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The Shenandoah Valley Connection top 
April 5,  2019
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TechNite19 | Reservations OPEN | People's Choice Award Voting Has Started! (4/29)
SVTC Luncheon | Digital Ethics (4/18)
Harrisonburg-Rockingham Post-Session Legislative Breakfast (4/8)
Shenandoah Valley Innovation Roadmap: An Interactive Workshop (4/11)
Tom Tom Summit & Festival | Charlottesville (4/8 - 4/14)
Warrington Science Symposium | Winchester (4/17)
Maker City Boot Camps | Harrisonburg (4/20 & 4/27)
JMU X-Labs Innovation Summit | Harrisonburg (4/26)
Cyber FastTrack | For College Students (Available 4/5 - 5/10)
ValleyTechCon.19 | Save the Date | Call for Speakers (9/25)
Welcome Back Level I Member: BotkinRose PLC
Shenandoah Valley Open Tech Jobs
Rocktown Tech Slack Channel Link
TechNite19 | Reservations OPEN
People's Choice Award Voting Has Started! (4/29)

During Tech Nite, approx. 275 attendees honor and recognize the technology innovators of the area. This recognition helps organizations and individuals immensely - the winning organization is able to expand its network, attract employees, and obtain publicity inside and often outside of the local region. Tech Nite allows attendees to witness the successes and innovative progression of the Shenandoah Valley. We encourage everyone to attend, network with others, and celebrate the innovative companies, organizations, educators, and leaders in our area. On Monday, April 29, we will gather for TechNite19.

Each year we receive a diverse set of nominees. Nominees come from a variety of disciplines - from agriculture to education and everything in-between. We gathered nominations for the 8 award categories between  Feb. 13 - March 13 - and we are delighted to announce our 31 nominees (see below).

And the nominees are...

JMU College of Integrated Science and Engineering (CISE)'s
Innovation in Community Impact Award


JMU College of Business (COB)'s
Innovation in Emerging Business Award
JMU College of Education (CoE)'s & JMU College of Science and Mathematics (CSM)'s
Innovation in Education K-12 Award

I nnovation in Higher Education Award

Center for Innovative Technology (CIT)'s
Innovation in Development Award

Dynamic Aviation's
Innovation in Utilization Award


Dr. Noftsinger Leadership Award
People's Choice Award

Who's your favorite for the Serco People's Choice Award? Pick one of these  31 nominees in these 7 categories and then vote for them using #SVTCPC19 on Twitter or a special FB Messenger bot named "Walter" (details below). All nominees have already been evaluated - and the winners have been determined - in each of the 7 other categories. HOWEVER, now YOU can vote for your favorite to receive the People's Choice Award, the 8th category. ALL nominees are candidates, and  anyone (only humans; no bots) can vote for a favorite.

Where to vote:
Public social media posts that use hashtag #SVTCPC19 AND the name of the nominee (or company/organization name) will be counted. You can use either of the two following options:
  • Twitter (set to public)
  • A private Facebook Messenger note to "Walter" (more information below)
We'll accumulate the votes all through April, and on April 29th, we will display a social wall with all the votes on a big screen. The winner will be announced at the end of the event.

When to vote:
Voting has begun! Anyone who is not a bot can vote. Of course, business associates can vote, but family and other fans are also welcome! Voting will continue throughout the month of April and through to the end of the gala on April 29th. Attendees will vote during the event and we will announce the tally/winner at the end.

Voting with the Walter Messanger bot:
Send a direct vote via FB Messenger/ aka the bot "Walter." Anyone who doesn't have a PUBLIC Twitter or Facebook account, or doesn't want to change their account to public, can use "Walter", the Facebook Messenger bot. It's easy. Open your Facebook Messenger, and compose a new message to: Talk to Walter (in the TO line). Once that populates, type out your enthusiasm for your nominee and remember the hashtag (e.g. I want [nominee name] to win. She is the best. #SVTCPC19). If you see the suggestion "post to wall," click it.

FYI, "Walter" accepts pictures as well - send the picture first, then follow it up with a message and the hashtag. "Walter" is now active and ready for your votes!

You can find sample voting verbiage on our website at:


Note: This luncheon will begin slightly earlier than usual and will last from 11:30 am - 12:30 pm.

While the Internet offers great access to valuable resources, it also provides opportunities for inappropriate content and interactions. On April 18th, Joe Showker will join us to discuss the subject of digital ethics.
Showker has given many lectures regarding this subject. A summary of a prior lecture given to students, as well as more information, can be found at

About the Speaker
Joe Showker led a career in Rockingham County Public Schools for nearly four decades as a Physical Education and Computer Literacy teacher as well as a coach, then as a Instructional Technology teacher. He has become known statewide and nationally for his work developing and promoting standards for digital ethics and internet safety. He is the owner of Showker Enterprises, member of the JMU Alumni Board of Directors and the VHSL Foundation Advisory Board.

Joe recently retired from a career as an educator and digital ethics expert. He is a mentor on social media ethics, digital interactions, privacy,  and internet safety. He helped craft Virginia's Public School Guide for Internet Safety, worked with the Attorney General of Virginia and has presented on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. and MacWorld New York City. He consults others to reach their potential, build business networks and mentorship for best practices.

Thank you to our luncheon sponsors: 


Post-Session Legislative Breakfast 
April 8, 2019 | 
7:30 am - 9:00 am
Spotswood Country Club, Harrisonburg

Please RSVP by 4/4/2019 (Thursday)
$15.00 for Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber Members
$20.00 for Non-Chamber Members
The annual Post-Session Legislative Breakfast is  your opportunity to hear from our Senators and Delegates on the full impact of the 2019 General Assembly. 
  • Interested about I-81 and where do we go from here?
  • Taxes, tax conformity and extra money were on the agenda... Who Won?  Who Didn't??
  • Educators at all levels were keeping an eye on the General Assembly this year.  How does that impact us?
  • Were there any wins for Business, Industry and Agriculture???

April 11, 2019 | 
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Staunton Innovation Hub, Staunton

The next great idea is out there waiting for someone to discover it. Have you found it and are not sure how to make it happen? Join us to learn more about the evolution of the Shenandoah Valley Innovation Roadmap and available resources to bring a product or service to the market.

Lunch will be provided!

April 8 -14, 2019 |
Charlottesville, Virginia
The Tom Tom Summit is a series of six conferences that gather civic leaders, entrepreneurs, engaged citizens, and legendary innovators to explore what makes hometowns thrive in the 21st century. These boutique conferences offer unparalleled access to today and tomorrow's leaders in a beautiful downtown setting of galleries, theaters, restaurants, and public spaces.

The 6 conferences that take place during the summit will be: 

Students and educators from across Virginia assemble for a day-long celebration of student creativity, innovation, and passion. The Youth Innovation Conference inspires high school students to take charge of their education by pursuing their interests and ideas.

The Civic Innovation Conference is a day-long forum connecting changemakers across sectors. Session themes such as equity and inclusion, creative placemaking, affordable housing, local journalism, community wellness, and data-driven policy make for a unique event that offers real-world playbooks from across America and fosters alliances for lasting impact on today's most important challenges.

The Renewable Energy Conference is a boutique, single-day gathering of executives, technologists, and policymakers for an in-depth discussion of 2019 trends to watch. Unpack the arrival of grid parity and the explosive growth of green finance. Get the inside story on game-changing innovations in storage, automation, microgrids, energy blockchain, and IoT. Learn how corporate and municipal emissions reduction targets affect your work and community, and engage with policymakers to explore climate action plans in your region. 

Thursday, April 11: Creative Ecosystems
The Creative Ecosystem Conference is a daylong meeting of the minds for arts administrators, curators, artists, and supporters from the Mid Atlantic and beyond. Focused on fostering productive alliances, this event will demystify how small organizations with limited resources can achieve outsized impact for the artists and communities that they serve.

Thursday April 11: Applied Machine Learning
The Applied Machine Learning Conference has sold out for two years running and continues to generate excitement with its focus on applied science and practitioner-driven content. This premier, day-long event features a who's who of researchers, entrepreneurs, and writers, as well as numerous opportunities for networking and recruitment at mixers, power lunches, and afterparties, all on Charlottesville's picturesque Downtown Mall.
Friday, April 12: Entrepreneurial Ecosystems
Over the past decade, hundreds of accelerators, incubators, innovation districts, angel networks, coworking labs, and other ecosystem support organizations have sprouted in America's small cities, all with the goal of propelling our hometowns to the forefront of innovation and economic growth. The Entrepreneurial Ecosystems Conference is a unique, daylong summit for leaders to take stock and set the stage for even greater impact through data-driven presentations and lasting alliances.

There will also be a tech mixer on April 12th from 5pm - 8pm! 

For more information (and to see other events), please visit

The Warrington Science Symposium  is from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Halpin-Harrison Hall, Stimpson Auditorium. Dr. Talitha Washington from Howard University will speak on her research to a general audience followed by a student poster session. The student poster session will include research posters from the sciences and mathematics. This is a free event and open to the public. 

Dr. Talitha Washington's Research: 
How Modeling Can Explain Our World
In our ever changing, complex, information-rich world, we increasingly rely on mathematical and statistical modeling to advance our frontiers of knowledge. Even though the Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapsed on July 1, 1940, we did not completely understand the reasons for its collapse until Dr. Joseph McKenna presented a nonlinear model in 1999. The relatively recent outbreak of the mosquito-borne Zika virus urgently requires understanding of how it spreads in a society so we can prevent further infections. The burden on law enforcement to keep our society safe can be eased through predictive policing which can create strategies to reduce crime and improve public safety. With models of our world, we can have better bridges, eliminate epidemic diseases, and live in safer communities.

About the Speaker
Dr. Talitha Washington is a tenured Associate Professor of Mathematics at Howard University. She is currently a Program Officer at the National Science Foundation in the Division of Undergraduate Education. She is interested in the applications of differential equations to problems in biology and engineering, as well as the development of nonstandard finite difference schemes to numerically solve dynamical systems. She is the recipient of the 2019 BEYA STEM Innovator Award, MAA's 2018 Leitzel Lecturer, and an ASI Fellow.  

More information about April 17, 2019 Science Symposium
Boot camps are a great way to get started and to build your Maker City skills. You'll learn more about our specialized work zones and  we'll share information about our Master Maker Badge Program, too. Advance registration required. Free with your membership or admission fee! Children must be 8 years or older to participate.

Sign up for one or all of the following: 

3D Printing Level I (Previously Called 3D Modeling) - Saturday, April 20th | 10 AM - 12 PM
Before you can produce a finished product you must first learn Tinkercad, a 3D modeling program that will allow your ideas to take shape and become something that could eventually be made into a physical object. You must be 8 Years of age or older to take this workshop.

3D Printing Level II - Saturday, April 27th | 10 AM - 12 PM
Learn how the museum's 3-D printers work!  Students will trouble shoot Tinkercad designs and transfer them to the 3-D printer so the computer renderings can be transformed into a physical object. Prerequisite:  Completion of 3-D Printing Level I (previously called 3-D Modeling)

April 26, 2019 | 3 pm - 6 pm
JMU Lakeview Hall, Harrisonburg
JMU X-Labs Innovation Summit - open to college students from the Shenandoah Valley.
Students from all eight courses will display and present their final projects to administrators, industry client partners, family and friends. You are invited to join us to connect with extraordinary students, watch presentations and explore an open symposium of demonstrations and displays of student solutions.
The 8 Courses
  1.  Augmented/Virtual Reality
  2.  Autonomous Vehicles
  3. Blockchain
  4. Community Innovations
  5. Creativity and Innovation
  6. Hacking for Diplomacy
  7. Internet of Things
  8. Medical Innovations

Non-JMU Participants
Parking for the summit will be available in lots L and P between 2 pm and 8pm on Friday, April 26th. Parking permits will not be necessary during that time.

Please note that regular enforcement will be in effect in all other parking lots and in lots L and P before and after the time frame listed above. Guests may receive parking citations if parked in restricted lots. Guests are prohibited from parking in specialty spaces such as service vehicle spaces, handicap spaces without proper permits, expired timed spaces and fire lanes.

Please refer to the  JMU campus map for parking locations. You'll find lots L and P in blue near the labeled "Lake Area":

JMU Participants
All regulations for JMU students, faculty and staff will remain in effect, and students attending the event are required to park in appropriate student parking lots with a JMU parking permit.

Register/Participate between April 5 - May 10, 2019
What is Cyber FastTrack?
Cyber FastTrack is a free and unique three-stage program that will help you discover if you have what it takes to make a difference in cybersecurity.

This all-inclusive program, which starts in April 2019, will provide you with everything you need to build your knowledge of the foundations of cybersecurity. Once you have proven excellence in those foundations, you can move on to master forensics, intrusion detection, security operations, system and network penetration testing and application penetration testing. Designed by world-leaders in the field of cybersecurity, this program provides an unprecedented opportunity for you to fast track your career in cybersecurity!

Delivered online, the program's flexibility means that it can be completed alongside your college courses. It will help you build a foundation of cybersecurity knowledge, skills, and experience that could lead to an exciting future career - and even a scholarship for top students!

What experience do you need?
No experience is required to sign up and give it a shot. People who have never explored cybersecurity say that the Cyber FastTrack challenges opened their eyes to the possibilities and guided them through an exciting journey of discovery as they mastered the skills needed to excel in this exciting field.

Why cybersecurity?
Roles in the cybersecurity industry are now some of the most critical professions in the world, with our hospitals, homes and military all relying on the safety and security of their digital tools. But data and network breaches are happening so often it's now a question of "when," not "if," an organization will face a security challenge.
At the same time, the United States is facing an acute shortage of cybersecurity experts. Cyber FastTrack is helping to address this gap by offering you the chance to pursue an exciting and lucrative profession while building a more secure future for your country.

Win a scholarship
Students who excel in all aspects of the program will be awarded scholarships to advanced cybersecurity courses and industry-respected certifications from the SANS Institute. Students who score well but do not win full scholarships will be included in a drawing for 200 scholarships of $500 each to use at your college.

Registration and more information for Cyber FastTrack can be found at

September, 25 2019
Mark the date in your calendar!

Who is a good speaker for tech topics? The organizers of ValleyTechCon are looking to get suggestions for the 2nd annual conference. Suggest yourself or someone else in 4 categories: 
  • Growing your technology business
  • Technical topic for practitioners
  • Business impact of technology
  • Other
Valley TechCon brings together technology enthusiasts, practitioners, researchers, and business leaders to facilitate idea sharing, collaboration, and innovation. Responses are due April 29th. 

(Brought to you by local partners in business, government,  education, and non-profit, incl. us) 

Welcome Back Level I Member!
BotkinRose PLC

BotkinRose PLC is a regional law firm based in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley that provides legal representation in a wide range of areas. The attorneys at BotkinRose are experienced professionals dedicated to serving our clients and assisting them with their unique legal needs and goals. Our attorneys take a client-focused approach and provide the honest and ethical legal representation our clients expect and deserve. We strive to represent our clients whether individuals or multi-million dollar businesses' in a personal, responsive, and cost-effective manner. Our clients' interests are always our top priority. At BotkinRose, we provide a rare combination of sound legal counsel and innovative, yet practical, legal representation. Our clients have come to rely on our dedication, work ethic, and guidance when confronted with their most complex and important legal needs. We are here to help you deal with challenges, resolve problems, and plan ahead. BotkinRose has the experience and expertise to be your consistent source of legal services. Our goal is to build a long-term relationship with each and every client based on a foundation of trust, personal service, and exceptional results. At BotkinRose, we strive to be more than your law firm; we strive to be your trusted advisors.
  • Chiedo Labs, Harrisonburg (two full-time Javascript Developer openings, Back-End Developer, React Developer, Web Development Intern)

  • Harrisonburg High School (Computer Science Teacher)
  • Jenzabar, Harrisonburg (Software Developer, Senior Software Developer, etc) 
  • Bridgewater College Art Department (Practitioner in Residence : Visual Designer )
  • Budget Referee, Harrisonburg (Full Stack Developer with front end web development focus)
  • IT Decisions, Harrisonburg (Level 2 Technician / Systems Engineer)
Participate in the local tech conversation: Rocktown Tech (Slack)

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The Shenandoah Valley Technology Council does not endorse the companies, organizations, teams, or events mentioned, or take a stand on any of the articles or notices or events included.

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Shenandoah Valley Technology Council
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