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The Shenandoah Valley Connection top 
January 18,  2019
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10% Off JMU Professional Development Courses for SVTC Members
Member News: Lumos Networks and Spirit Communications Rebrand as SEGRA
Build Season is Open: FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) / Rocktown Robotics
College for Kids for Grades 1st - 8th (1/12 - 2/16)
Greater Good Awards | Top of VA Regional Chamber - Winchester (1/25)
Maker City Boot Camps: 3D Printing Level II, Laser Cutting Level I & Level II (1/26, 2/2, 2/16)
Saturday Morning Physics for High School Students (1/26 - 2/23)
Madison Network Event | Harrisonburg (1/31)
EngineerGirl Writing Contest for Grades 3rd-12th (deadline 2/1)
Cybersecurity Basics for Managers (2/4-2/14)
Spring 2019 ICAP Lean Startup Course (deadline 2/25)
ProjectCSGIRLS Competition for Middle School Girls (register by 3/1)
Future Engineers: Weather Balloon Challenge for Grades K-8 (entries due 3/6)
Shenandoah Valley Open Tech Jobs
Rocktown Tech Slack Channel Link
10% Off JMU Professional Development
Courses for SVTC Members


 
10% off for SVTC members ANYTIME!

Quick reminder - as a partner with JMU's Professional Development program the SVTC is delighted to connect SVTC with these classes for 10% off! Classes that will start soon! If interested (now or after Jan. 31) send us a note and we'll verify your SVTC membership status, and then pass you on for registration with JMU Prof. Development. Send a note to info@svtc-va.org   
 
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Member News: Lumos Networks and Spirit Communications Rebrand as SEGRA

 

New name marks launch of combined company dedicated to customers and employees

Jan. 14, 2019 (Waynesboro, Va., and Columbia, S.C.)

Lumos Networks Corp. ("Lumos") and Spirit Communications ("Spirit") announced today that the two companies have been rebranded as SEGRA SM.

In announcing Segra, CEO Timothy G. Biltz said, "This new brand marks the official launch of a single company with a mission and a culture that are dedicated to providing winning solutions for our customers. We are looking forward to the opportunities this gives us to better serve our customers, our communities and our employees."

In April 2018, EQT Partners completed the purchase of a majority stake in Spirit Communications and announced it would combine the Spirit assets with Lumos. Since that time, the two companies have integrated operations, have expanded their fiber-optic network and product sets and have made further investments in existing and new markets across nine states in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast. Notable new markets include Raleigh, Greensboro, and Fayetteville, North Carolina.

The company's Rural Local Exchange Carrier (RLEC) segment will retain the Lumos Networks name and will be supported by a dedicated team of employees led by Diego Anderson, Senior Vice President and General Manger, Residential and Small Business. This segment will continue to focus on delivering product solutions to residential and small business customers within those regulated service areas.

"The management team and employees of the combined company have completed several integration projects to meet the strong demand we're seeing for our products and services," said Doug Gilstrap, Chairman of the Board for Segra. "As Segra, we look forward to meeting the needs of our customers and strengthening our company's leadership position in service, reliability and product innovation."

The Segra logo represents design elements that signal the modern, trustworthy and bold approach the company stands for in the market. Customer focus groups, market research and employee involvement were all part of the process of choosing the new name and brand. Act 1 Partners of Portland, Ore. worked with the management team to assist in the process of selecting a new name and creating its brand design.

"As part of the branding process, we conducted independent market research which revealed that both Lumos and Spirit had excellent customer service and reliability ratings that led the industry in the markets we serve," said Grey Humphrey, chief revenue officer of Segra. "Another finding that emerged from our work: Employees and management believed a new name would be the best way launch the combined company to the marketplace. During the search for a new name, the word Segra was suggested by an employee and soon became a popular choice among the team. It fit with all the qualities we were seeking in a name - short, easy to pronounce and distinct. It is derived from an ancient verb meaning to win, as in to prevail or overcome. This aligns with our focus on providing innovative, industry-leading solutions and service for our customers."

Jan Vesely, a Segra board member as well as Partner at EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to EQT Infrastructure, said, "The new brand represents many attributes that EQT seeks in its infrastructure investments and we look forward to supporting Segra as it expands its world-class fiber-optic network and its portfolio of products and services."

Customers will begin to see the Segra logo on company vehicles, buildings, and other materials over the next few months. Customer service, rates and network coverage will not change as a result of this re-branding process. "While our name and look will change, our guiding principles of doing business - most importantly putting the customer first - will remain the same," said Biltz.

About Segra 
Segra is one of the largest independent fiber bandwidth companies in the U.S. Representing a successful merger of Lumos Networks and Spirit Communications, the company now has the most advanced fiber infrastructure network of more than 21,000 miles that connects more than 9,000 on-net locations and 44 data centers throughout nine Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern states. Segra provides Ethernet, MPLS, dark fiber, advanced data center services, IP and managed services, voice and cloud solutions, all backed by its industry-leading service and reliability. Customers include carriers, enterprises, governments, healthcare organizations, defense, education and small businesses. For more information about Segra's technology and commitment to customer care, visit segra.com.

About EQT 
EQT is a leading investment firm with approximately EUR 50 billion in raised capital across 28 funds. EQT funds have portfolio companies in Europe, Asia and the US with total sales of more than EUR 19 billion and approximately 110,000 employees. EQT works with portfolio companies to achieve sustainable growth, operational excellence and market leadership. More info: www.eqtpartners.com  
 
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Rocktown Robotics is a community-based FIRST Robotics Competition team, in partnership with JMU X-Labs and open to all students in the area in grades 9-12.  

Working within a set of regulations, budgetary constraints, and with limited resources, groups of high school students work together in teams to design, construct, and program industrial-sized robots to play a challenging game against competitors on a field about the size of a basketball court.  It is a real-world engineering challenge in which the students learn teamwork, leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills.  Roles incorporate every aspect of a real engineering project, including project and budget management, marketing, communication, and business planning, in addition to learning sophisticated software, programming, electrical, and technical skills. No prior technical skills are needed though to participate!!

The 2019 competition season has just begun and runs through April.  The team is currently recruiting new members. ALSO WANTED: mentors. Email rocktownrobotics@gmail.com for more details.   

Learn more about FIRST Robotics Competition:  https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/frc
 
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for
Grades 1st - 8th (1/12 - 2/16)
 
January 12 - February 16, 2019
Saturdays, 9 am - 12 pm | JMU  Memorial Hall
$140 per Student

College for Kids is an enrichment program for children in grades 1-8. Children will work with James Madison University faculty and graduate students, as well as experts from the community and surrounding area, to try new things, explore and discover talents they never knew they had! College for Kids is being held on 6 Saturdays from 9-12pm on campus in Memorial Hall. Students will participate in one course selection for the duration of the 6 consecutive weeks. Technology-related courses are available, as well as many other courses. You can check them out on the event page

Technology-related courses include:
  • Lego Engineering (1st - 5th grades) (In partnership with Explore More Childrens Museum)
  • Out of this world- Science, Technology and Engineering (2nd - 4th grades)  
  • Scratch Programming (4th - 6th grades) 
  • Python Programming (6th - 8th grades) 
  • Tinker with Arduino (6th - 8th grades)
  • App Inventor (6th - 8th grades) 
  • KidWind Challenge Team Prep (5th - 8th grades) 
  • Engineering a Brighter Future (5th-8th grades)
For more information, please contact Melissa Heatwole at  heatwoml@jmu.edu or call 540-568-4226.

 
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Greater Good Awards
Top of VA Regional Chamber - Winchester (1/25)
 
January 25, 2019 |  5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Clarion Inn & Conference Center, Winchester
  
Prices through 1/18/19 (prices will go up after this date):
Chamber Members: $65
Non-members: $75
Table Reservations: $650 / $750
  
Join Top of Virginia Regional Chamber members at the annual Greater Good Awards event presented by  Valley Health to kick off the new year for the local business community.  They plan to recognize the award nominees in high style as they announce the winners of the Hollie Awards named for the first Chamber president, Hollie B. McCormac.  Highlights of the evening will include a networking cocktail hour, dinner, silent auction, Chamber membership update, and presentation of the Greater Good Awards.
Along with the traditional award of Large and Small Business of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year and Citizen of the Year, they have added two new awards this year, Emerging Leader Award, and Chamber Volunteer of the Year.  You can find the nomination form on the Chamber website at  www.regionalchamber.biz

The theme this year is reminiscent of 1920's Hollywood!  Aligning with that theme they suggest black and white attire!  Rather than a served meal they will offer a variety of food stations with a selection of delicious choices to delight any palate!

Pre-registration for this event is required. Same day reservations cannot be accepted.

 
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Maker City Boot Camps: 3D Printing Level II, Laser Cutting Level I & Level II (1/26, 2/2, 2/16)  
 
 
Jan. 26, 2019 |  10 am - 12 pm
Explore More Discovery Museum, Harrisonburg
Members: free; Non-members: $7

Boot camps are a great way to get started and to build your Maker City skills. You'll learn more about Maker City's specialized work zones and the Master Maker Badge Program. Sign up for one or all of the following: 

3D Printing Level II - Saturday, January 26th | 10 AM - 12 PM
Learn how the Museum's 3-D printers work! Students will troubleshoot Tinkercad designs and transfer them to the 3D printer so the computer renderings can be transformed into a physical object. Prerequisite: Completion of 3D Printing Level I (previously called 3D Modeling) Ages 8+

Laser Cutting Level I (previously 2D Design) - Saturday, February 2nd | 10 AM - 12 PM
Before you can produce a finished product, you must first learn Inkscape, a 2D Design program! After you've learned the design basics, take the Laser Cutting Level II Boot Camp and transform your designs into beautiful objects. Ages 8+

Laser Cutting II - Saturday, February 16th | 10 AM - 12 PM
Learn how the Museum's Laser Cutter works! Students will troubleshoot Inkscape designs and transfer them to the Laser Cutter so the computer renderings can be transformed into a physical object. Prerequisite: Completion of Laser Cutting Level I (previously called 2D Design) Ages 8+

Advance registration required. Free with your membership or paid admission.

 
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January 26 - February 23, 2019
Saturdays, 9 am - 12 pm | JMU  Physics/Chem Building
$50 per Student

Come and explore the amazing properties of waves as scientists use them in music, nanotechnology, astronomy, and nuclear physics. JMU Physics and Astronomy presents an educational event series designed especially for high school students and teachers but one parents will enjoy, too: Saturday Morning Physics. For the eighth year running, the Physics and Astronomy Department in collaboration with the Office of Outreach and Engagement at James Madison University cordially invite high-school students and science teachers to take part in an engaging enrichment program developed in a sequence of 5 easy-to-follow scientific exploration events.

Juniors and Seniors have the option of receiving 1 Physics College Credit from JMU. This is an additional fee of $123.00. 4/5 of the program sessions must be attended to receive credit. 

For more information, please contact Melissa Heatwole at  heatwoml@jmu.edu or call 540-568-4226.

 
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January 31, 2019 |  7:30 am - 9:00 pm
JMU Leeolou Alumni Center, Harrisonburg
 
Looking to amplify your involvement in the local community? Then you won't want to miss this event! Join us for a networking breakfast followed by a panel of guest speakers from JMU and the local community, as they share how they have been able to create a wave of positive impact through meaningful and collaborative partnerships. This event is free to attend.

 
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Submit online by February 1, 2019 at 11:59 pm

Every year, the EngineerGirl website sponsors a contest dealing with engineering and its impact on our world. The EngineerGirl writing contest is, for the first time, asking students to submit works of creative fiction.  Intended to inspire children, especially girls, in the world of engineering, participants will create and submit an original piece of writing that celebrates engineering design and problem solving.   This year, they are asking for stories about women and girls saving the day with their wits, skill, and whatever resources they can find to solve the problem. Maybe they are working alone, maybe they are part of an elite team. Maybe they just find themselves in an unusual situation that requires some innovative thinking. They want stories that inspire EngineerGirl readers to think, "I want to be able to do that" or "I can do that." To enter this year's contest, write an original, fictional story in which the main character is a female who uses engineering skills to solve a problem. 

 
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February 4 - 14, 2019 
February 4:   9:00am-4:30pm,  Downtown Harrisonburg
February 7:  9:00-11:00am, Online
February 11:  9:00am-4:30pm,  Downtown Roanoke
February 14:  9:00-11:00am, Online

10% off for SVTC members!  If interested send us a note (admin@svtc-va.org) and we will verify your SVTC membership status and pass you on for registration with JMU Prof. Development.  

Are you being asked to shape how your organization protects its customer data or email systems?  Are your customers relying on you to protect their payment information?  Do you need a place to start learning about fundamental cybersecurity concepts?

This two-week crash course is designed for leaders, professionals, and entrepreneurs who have a limited technical background related to cybersecurity, data security, and information technology.  The JMU Cybersecurity Basics for Managers noncredit certificate program is discussion-oriented and formatted for the working professional.

Participants will gain knowledge that can inform their strategies to mitigate cybersecurity risks, secure data and information, build secure infrastructure, and hire qualified personnel and vendors.

About the Instructor:
David Cafaro, CISSP/CCSP has been working in Information Technology for over two decades with a heavy focus on information security. Currently he is an Information Security Officer at Capital One where he leads a team providing security and risk management expertise on application, cloud, and on-prem technologies. Though currently working in the financial sector, his career has brought him through a variety of industries including environmental lab testing, government, telecommunications, and cancer research.  David holds a Masters in Computer Science from Georgetown University where he focused on security and privacy in the information age.  In addition to his careers focus on cyber security, David has also been active in sharing his knowledge through open source and community projects including working with the BSidesDC Security Conference to help organize the KidsCon section for the last 4 years.

 
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Applications due February 25, 2019 @ midnight

Based on the National Science Foundation's I-Corps™ program for Lean Startups, ICAP helps inventors and entrepreneurs take the right first steps in bringing new technologies and innovations to market.

ICAP includes FREE introductory training programs and counseling services offered through ICAP instructors and local SBDC counselors. ICAP helps startups identify potential customers and develop successful business models based on that knowledge. It is an ideal program for early-stage companies trying to prepare for eventual venture investment.

Important Dates
  • February 25, 2019 - Applications are due by midnight.
  • March 1, 2019 - Acceptance notifications and communication with next steps and instructions, including how to prepare for the first session.
  • TBD (Early March)- 6:00pm - 8:00pm - Introductory Conference Call
  • March 15, 2019- 9:00am - 5:00pm - Initial Team Presentations
  • March 22, 2019 - Each team participates in a pre-scheduled telephone review of the team's Customer Discovery Progress over the first week
  • April 5, 2019- 9:00am - 2:00pm - Final Team Presentations
During this introductory 2-week program, there is extensive work done outside the classroom. In addition to the class meetings and webinar, participants should expect to spend another 10-15 hours per week on customer discovery and course assignments. At the conclusion of the program, you will remain connected with your ICAP trainers and SBDC Business Advisors to continue your progress on the Five Steps to Startup Success over the following 12 months.

The introductory program is designed to generate a maximum impact over a relatively short duration and should be considered a required first step for anyone interested in commercializing a technology or product, whether through a startup or licensing arrangement. Some graduates of this cohort may be eligible to apply to NSF's full National Seven-week I-Corps Program, which includes non-dilutive grants for customer discovery and prototype development. Additionally, this program can help teams develop better submissions for SBIR and CRCF grants from Virginia's Center for Innovative Technologies.

Your ICAP Instructor
Bob Smith is currently the Director of the Innovation Commercialization Assistance Program (ICAP), a program funded by the Commonwealth of Virginia and administered by George Mason University and the  Virginia Small Business Development Center Network (VSBDC). Here he helps researchers, inventors, and technology startups develop their technology commercialization and technology business startup efforts. He's also an instructor with the  NSF's DC I-Corp Node, and co-director of the Fed Tech program, which uses Lean Startup methods to assist inventors from government labs to explore the commercial viability of their inventions.

Bob has 30+ years' experience in innovation and entrepreneurship. He is the Chairman of  CollegeFactual.com, a leading college rankings website. He's held senior management positions at Congressional Quarterly and America Online in sales, marketing, and new product development and was the founder and CEO of the first nation-wide online city guide, Digital City. As an executive, angel investor, and advisor he has helped companies in e-commerce, e-government, identity management, content publishing, geospatial analytics, data science, and local media go from launch through to favorable exits.
Bob received a BA from USC and his MBA from GWU. He is a veteran of the US Navy.

For more information email:  icap@virginiasbdc.org


                      

 
 
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Register by March 1, 2019
Submit Project online by April 15th
 
The challenge is simple. Build something using computer science and technology that can help solve an imminent social problem under one of four themes - global health, a safer world, intelligent technology, and bridging inequalities. You can think of it as a virtual hackathon for middle school girls.

Participants will embark on an exciting journey over the next few months while they're building their project. After they pick a theme and finalize a project idea, they'll be ready to get started with building. Building can mean anything from physically putting together machine parts for a robot to writing code for a mobile app to prototyping a new prosthetic device. The possibilities are endless. After an initial build, they will want to test it to make sure everything works the way they want it to. And after multiple retests and rebuilds, they'll finally end up with a product that they're not only proud of, but which can make a difference. More information on how to participate:  https://www.projectcsgirls.com/how-to-participate/.

About ProjectCSGIRLS
ProjectCSGIRLS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to cultivate a love for technology and computer science in girls and encourage them to pursue their interests and careers in these fields. They believe that nurturing an interest in science, math, and technology during the critical middle school period will help girls to better see themselves as the future leaders of tomorrow. They aim to do this through a unique idea - the nation's largest computer science competition for middle school girls. ProjectCSGIRLS is run by high school and college students from around the country who are incredibly passionate about computer science and technology. 
 
 
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Entries due online March 6, 2019 by 11:59 pm
 
The Challenge:  If you are a K-8 student in the United States, your challenge is to design a weather balloon payload for Future Engineers to launch in Los Angeles, CA. 

First: Using historical data, create 2-3 data visualizations that explain Los Angeles weather and/or climate, including average annual temperatures in Los Angeles for the past 20 years. 

Second: Using recycled materials and "paper and penny" mockup components, design a payload that can hang from a helium weather balloon and survive an 8 foot drop test. Your entry must include images (up to 6), a title, and a text description. Be sure to review the CONTEST RULES and DESIGN GUIDELINES for all challenge details and specifications. 

If you win, your design will be launched and you will also get a weather balloon supply kit!
 
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join_our_team_sign.jpg
  • SV Electric Cooperative, Harrisonburg (PC Technician, Application Specialist)

  • Jenzabar, Harrisonburg (Software Developer, Senior Software Developer, UX Designer, etc) 

  • Budget Referee, Harrisonburg (Full Stack Developer with front end web development focus)
  • IT Decisions, Harrisonburg (Level 2 Technician / Systems Engineer)
  • Immerge, Harrisonburg (Digital Marketing Specialist & Content Writer)
  • Harrisonburg IT Department (Technology Support Specialist)
  • Chiedo, Harrisonburg (Web Development Intern) -- No experience required!
GOT ADDITIONAL JOBS THAT SHOULD BE PUBLICIZED ? SEND US A NOTE AND WE'LL PUBLICIZE THEM.
 
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Participate in the local tech conversation: Rocktown Tech (Slack)

Currently there are 18 channels and over 250 members. Please join in! 
Sign-up link:  https://rocktowntech.herokuapp.com/

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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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