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The Shenandoah Valley Connection top 
January 31, 2 020
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Valley Women in Tech Lunch: Navigating the Technology Job Market (2/17)
A Look at the Staunton Creative Community Fund in 2020
Augusta County Public Schools Seeking Partners for Young Innovators Summer Camp
The Ethics of Technology Series | The New Appendage: Cellphones in Cognitive and Behavioral Context (2/6)
ICAP Lean Startup Introductory Course | Harrisonburg (app. due 2/17)
Tech Bytes Tech Talks: Infomatics (2/19)
ProjectCSGirls Competition | For Middle School Girls (registration deadline 3/1)
Save the Date | TechNite20 | Tues. May 5, 2020
Welcome Back Level III Member: PBMares, LLP
Welcome Back Level II Member: JMU Research and Scholarship
Welcome Back Level I Member: Rockingham County Public Schools
Welcome Back Level I Member: Secure Futures Solar
Shenandoah Valley Open Tech Jobs
Valley Women in Tech Lunch:
Navigating the Technology Job Market (2/17)

January 23, 2020 | 11:45 am - 1:00 pm
Wood Grill Buffet, Harrisonburg
Equal pay for equal work, #metoo, gender equality, there's been a lot of media coverage for real workplace issues that continue to occur for women in the workplace. As we celebrate the 100 year anniversary of women's suffrage, so much has changed for how women's lives have changed for the better. With that said the global gender pay gap will take 257 years to close, according to the World Economic Forum report published in December 2019. That's even worse than the prior year, when the organization estimated it would take 202 years to close the gap.

But we don't have 200 plus years to wait for the world to get its act together and treat us fairly. So what can we do today to put our best foots forward to have a better outcome as we navigate the job market and ask the right questions when it comes to our prospective opportunities?
This session is meant to be an open dialogue of tips and tricks gleaned from over 25 years of experience in diversified industries, from the lens of someone who has been a technical professional, an HR professional, an executive who has a seat at the table.

About the Speaker: Heather Banks, Chief Human Resources Officer, Shentel

Ms. Banks has twenty-three years of progressive leadership experience and a strong background in leading and managing strategic HR initiatives, having served in a variety of senior human resources management roles with both publicly-traded and privately-held organizations across a range of industries.  She has experience working closely with all levels of employees, from the front line to executive leadership, and with Boards of Directors.

Ms. Banks most recently served as the Chief Human Resources Officer of American Woodmark, headquartered in Winchester, Virginia.  Prior to joining American Woodmark, she served as Vice President, Human Resources with Carlisle FoodService Products, a division of Carlisle Companies; and as Director of Human Resources with UTC Aerospace Systems and Goodrich Corporation.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Florida State University and a Master of Arts in Industrial Organizational Psychology from the University of New Haven.


A Look at the Staunton Creative Community Fund in 2020


The Staunton Creative Community Fund (SCCF) dedicates itself to helping small businesses. They serve as the local hub for entrepreneurial innovation and bring together the talent, creativity, information, funding, and resources that grow a vibrant local economy. We ask that you please take a moment to review some various ways you can share your talents, time, and resources with aspiring and expanding small business owners in your community.

Ways to Get Involved

Instructors - SCCF is actively seeking instructors for their Tuesday Tips Workshops and Business Bootcamp classes. Example content areas include Business Partnerships, Social Media, Photoshop, Employment Law, Managing Seasonality, and E-mail Marketing. Please contact SCCF at (540) 213-0333 or via e-mail at for more information.

Youth Entrepreneurship Mentors -   Do you want to help train up the next generation of local entrepreneurs? SCCF has partnered with several local school systems to bring the Startup Experience, a multi-day entrepreneurial workshop for local students. They need mentors to help guide students through the program during our week-long youth entrepreneurship camp in July and during the 2-day experience in Fall 2020. If you are a business owner, this is a fantastic and rewarding opportunity to share your knowledge with aspiring innovators! Please contact (540) 213-0333 or via e-mail at for more information.

Share your Story  - Entrepreneurs Unite is a networking opportunity to learn, mingle, and brainstorm your business ideas with fellow entrepreneurs. SCCF looking for business owners who are willing to share the successes and struggles of their own "entrepreneurial journey." Starting and growing a business can feel like a lonely journey. But no one needs to go it alone! Learn more HERE . (See poster linked above.)

Community Engagement Volunteer - Do you absolutely love learning more about small businesses in your community? Do you have an eye for photography and the ability to tell a good story? SCCF is looking for a volunteer to help tell the stories of their clients! Responsibilities include reaching out to clients, conducting interviews, and taking compelling photos for use in SCCF's promotional materials. Contact Rachel at for more information.

Attend our Workshops! - Could you benefit from Business Bootcamp, Deep Dives into Marketing or Finance, or Tuesday Tips Workshops? Sign up! 
Calendar of Events given HERE.

Augusta County Public Schools Seeking Partners for 
Young Innovators Summer Camp

Tonya Coffey (Augusta County Public Schools, is looking to be the site for a summer camp (Young Innovators) and seeks to connect with local business interested in supporting the Valley's STEM pipeline and get some very nice visibility!

The Young Innovators Summer Camp provides youth with a fun, transformative experience that empowers them to build their own solutions to real-world issues, learn a repeatable process of ideation, validation through rapid prototyping, and build invaluable skills that will help them in their future careers. In turn, there are some fantastic benefits as a sponsor, dep, on level: co-branding of the weeklong event, opportunity to attend demo-day presentations, logo on promotional materials, featured as "program partner" and many more. 

Tonya is aiming to host 20 students (grades 4-8) from the local community (Augusta County, Staunton, Waynesboro) in June 2020. Check out the benefits for sponsors and the benefits for the students and setting their minds towards a STEM-field career. 

Campers walk away with hands-on experience in:
  • Inventing solutions
  • Designing exceptional user experiences
  • Building prototypes
  • Conducting user testing
  • Generating business models
  • Creating brand identities
  • Pitching ideas

Tonya Coffey, ITRT ACPS:

The Ethics of Technology Series
The New Appendage: Cellphones in Cognitive
and Behavioral Context
February 6, 2020 | 5:00 pm
Stackhouse Theater, Lexington

ICAP Lean Startup Introductory Course | Harrisonburg 
(application due 2/17)


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 17, 2020 - Applications are due by midnight; see the link below.
February 19, 2020 - Acceptance notifications and communication with next steps and instructions, including how to prepare for the first session.
TBD - 6:00pm - 8:00pm - Introductory Conference Call
March 2, 2020 - 9:00am - 5:00pm - Initial Team Presentations
March 16, 2020 - Each team participates in a pre-scheduled telephone review of the team's Customer Discovery Progress over the first week
March 23, 2020 - 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.

Bob has 30+ years' experience in innovation and entrepreneurship. He is the Chairman of, 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:

This cohort is hosted by the Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center, Shenandoah Valley Technology Council, and the Center for Innovative Technology.

Tech Bytes Tech Talks:  Infomatics (2/19)

February 19, 2020 | 6:00 pm
Lord Fairfax Community College, Middletown

Lord Fairfax Community College is hosting monthly technology discussion with technology professionals from around that nation. The public is invited, but registration is required. Most talks will occur at the Middletown Campus, but they will be distancing the presentation to their Fauquier Campus also. 

Upcoming talk: 
February 19, 2020, 6:00pm - Kay Connelly, Infomatics,  Indiana University, Bloomington

Attendees are asked to register for the talks - and learn about upcoming talks - at

Future sessions: 
  • March 11, 2020, 1:00pm - Richard Danzig, Retired Secretary of the Navy
  • April 8 2020, 6:00pm - Heather Wilson, Analytics, L Brands
Talks are scheduled for one hour and Q&A.

ProjectCSGirls Competition | For Middle School Girls
(registration deadline 3/1)

ProjectCSGirls is a competition designed to challenge middle school girls to actively use computer science and technology to develop a solution to an imminent social problem. Participants will need to register as either an individual or a team prior to the registration deadline (March 1, 2020). Participants will need to first identify a social problem that falls under one of the following four themes:
  • Global Health (disease, hunger, poverty, etc)
  • A Safer World (safety-related technologies, cybersecurity, defense, etc)
  • Intelligent Technology (robotics, brain-computer interfaces, artificial intelligence applications, machine learning, etc)
  • Bridging Inequalities (any inequalities, civic tech, tech-enabled advocacy, etc.)
Participants will then build any kind of technology to address their chosen social issue. Examples include a mobile app, robot, device, web app, website, analytics software, algorithm, virtual reality (VR) program - and anything else they can come up with! 

Save the Date | TechNite20 | Tues. May 5, 2020

Awarding Innovative Valley Businesses, Educators, Leaders, and Entrepreneurs

Once a year, the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council highlights local tech innovation. We celebrate the successes of technology firms, organizations and programs in the region - and the entrepreneurs, innovators, leaders, and educators behind those successes. This is the council's biggest to-do of the year. At this premier dinner, the networking opportunities are unparalleled. Tech Nite is the largest annual technology event in the Valley.

Largest SVTC Event Of The Year: May 5, 2020

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.

Recap of TechNite19:
In 2020:
  • Nominations for the 8 award categories are accepted from Feb. 2020-March 2020 (a form will be active for online submission)
  • Previous award sponsors have "first dibs" to get their previously-sponsored award categories if they communicate by early Jan. 2020. To join the waitlist for an award, drop Nicky a note (
  • All sponsorship opportunities are listed here: Tech Nite 2020 sponsorship details. Get your organization positioned in front of the premier tech crowd of the year. 

Welcome Back Level III Member!
PBMares, LLP

PBMares is a mid-Atlantic top 100 Certified Public Accounting and consulting firm focused on serving the audit, tax, accounting and consulting needs of companies and individuals across Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC including Hampton Roads, Shenandoah Valley, Virginia Peninsula, Tidewater, DC Beltway, Metro DC and Central Virginia. We focus on serving construction/real estate, financial institutions, government contracting, healthcare organizations, not-for-profit and state and local governments. Beyond this, we have specialties in cybersecurity, cloud accounting and transaction advisory services.

Welcome Back Level II Member!
JMU Research and Scholarship

The mission of Research and Scholarship is to develop and advance academic and scholarly endeavors by leveraging resources through research, public service and engagement to foster innovative discovery and advancement for the university, local, regional, state, national and global communities. The Shenandoah Valley Technology Council is one of the many regional economic development activities facilitated by Research and Scholarship.

Welcome Back Level I Member!
Rockingham County Public Schools

Rockingham County Public Schools is committed to educating today's learner, and developing tomorrows' future. Our division has approximately 11, 000 students that are supported by approximately 2,000 full-time employees. Rockingham County students attend 15 elementary, 4 middle, 4 high, a regional governor's school, a technical center, and an alternative education center. Our four high schools offer students a variety of opportunities to earn college credit while in high school, including dual enrollment classes, Advanced Placement (AP) classes, and virtual learning courses in all major content areas. We have outstanding fine arts, technical, and vocational programs.

In the late spring of 2014, the Rockingham County School Board and Rockingham County Board of Supervisors agreed to begin a five year project, "Digital Conversion" which has resulted in digital devises to all students. The focus of this initiative is not the technology itself but the enhancement of learning. We recognize and emphasize that many learning situations do not require technology. At the same time, the impact of technology on our world is only increasing, and it is critical that students can live and learn responsibly in the digital world.

We are blessed to have a supportive local community where our parents, businesses, and leaders all value the importance of educating children and providing them the experiences and resources needed to be successful learners.

Ultimately, the question that matters most, and the one that drives our decisions is "what is best for students as learners, and as responsible, caring members of our community". Dr. Oskar Scheikl, is the Division Superintendent.

Welcome Back Level I Member!
Secure Futures Solar

Headquartered in Staunton, Virginia, Secure Futures combines state-of-the-art solar technology with an innovative business model to make commercial scale solar readily affordable in Virginia, helping customers to realize the economic, environmental and community benefits of solar energy.

Secure Futures designs, develops, finances, owns and operates on-site solar photovoltaic (PV) solutions for schools, hospitals, governments as well as businesses to enhance their sustainability goals and to reduce their electricity costs.

Our solar energy systems protect against future electricity price increases through 20-year solar service agreements. We pass along tax savings to our tax-exempt customers and provide opportunities to purchase on-site solar arrays at fair market value after an initial period. We use Made-in-America solar panels and other equipment while seeking to source labor and professional services locally.

We are also a leader in helping Virginia to implement public policy that encourages solar power.

  • Augusta County Service Authority, Verona (Systems Analyst/Developer)
  • Generate Impact, Harrisonburg (Director of Business Development)
  • Sproutly, New Market (UX Designer)
  • Vision Technology Group, Harrisonburg (Tier III Network Engineer)
  • Budget Referee, Harrisonburg (Full Stack Developer with front end web development focus)
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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
800 S. Main Street MSC 3615
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