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March 22,  2019
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TechNite19 | Reservations OPEN | Nominees Announced (4/29)
After the Luncheon: How to Speak Web Developer
Member News: Rockingham Insurance Celebrates 150th Anniversary
Capital Region Celebration of Women in Computing (CAPWIC) (3/22-3/23)
Cybersecurity Awareness Education | Staunton (4/23)
Tom Tom Summit & Festival | Charlottesville (4/8 - 4/14)
Warrington Science Symposium | Winchester (4/17)
JMU X-Labs Innovation Summit (4/26)
Save the Date | ValleyTechCon.19 (9/25)
Shenandoah Valley Open Tech Jobs
Rocktown Tech Slack Channel Link
TechNite19 | Reservations OPEN | Nominees Announced
April 29, 2019

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

Awarded to one nominee from the other categories. All nominees are candidates - and the company, organization, or individual with the most votes through social media before and during the event will win.
Voting (and rules) will be announced soon!
Look for our announcement on our Facebook page next week.


After the Luncheon: How to Speak Web Developer

On Thursday, March 21st, the SVTC held a luncheon with Chiedo from Chiedo Labs to discuss "How to Speak Web Developer." This presentation was intended to help individuals learn the right "web developer lingo,"  so that when their web developer presents them with choices, they have a higher-level understanding of what they are discussing and/or agreeing to. 

Chiedo was kind enough to share with us a concise description of the presentation's content.  For those who were unable to attend, or for attendees who would like to reference back to the information, they can find it at 

This link is also shared on our website ( , so anyone can reference back anytime! While you're there, feel free to browse other past presentations.

Member News:
Rockingham Insurance Celebrates 150th Anniversary 

Bethan Moorcraft ( Insurance Business AmericaMarch 11, 2019 

Property & casualty insurer Rockingham Insurance is celebrating 150 years in the business. The Harrisonburg, Virginia-based firm traces its roots back to 1869, when a group of property owners in the Shenandoah Valley met at a small church in Port Republic, VA, to discuss how they could piece their lives back together after years of Civil War. They set up a mutual insurance company, which incorporated fire policies to cover whatever structures they owned, such as mills, silos, barns, and homes ... and Rockingham Insurance was born.

Fast-forward 150 years and Rockingham Insurance has grown considerably. The firm now consists of Rockingham Insurance Company, Rockingham Casualty Company and Rockingham Mutual Service Agency. They write admitted insurance in Virginia and Pennsylvania and are eligible to  write excess & surplus business in all 50 states. In 2019, Rockingham Insurance is in celebration mode. The insurer is honoring its significant milestone with a number of philanthropic and charitable programs.

Throughout 2019, Rockingham Insurance will invest $150,000 into its local community through charitable donations. Furthermore, each employee will be given $150 to donate to a charity of their choice, and the insurer is also running a contest in which one lucky customer has the chance to win $150 per month. At the end of the year, one of the monthly winners will be selected at random as the grand prize winner and will be given a $3,500 travel voucher to go anywhere in the world they want.
In conjunction with that, Rockingham Insurance is also donating $150 every month to Make-A-Wish Greater Virginia, and then at the end of the year, it's going to grant a child's wish. Furthermore, the company has partnered up with the United Way of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, and will fully fund a collaboration software tool for local non-profit organizations.

"We've always been a very community-oriented company," said William Bayer, vice president - marketing, Rockingham Insurance. "Over the years, we've supported almost every charity in our community. In our 150th anniversary year, we're going a step further with our philanthropic efforts. Last year, we re-branded our entire company as we approached our 150th year. Our tagline is: 'Wherever you are, we're here.' Working in the community is one of our four core branding values. We always try to be physically there in support of our customers, our agents, and the wider community."

Keeping community at the core has certainly paid off for Rockingham Insurance. The firm does virtually all of its business through agents - some exclusive and some independent - all of whom have a close relationship with the insurer and strong ties to the communities where Rockingham does business.
"When it comes to contributing to the community, it's about more than just the money," Bayer told Insurance Business. "We have teams of employees and agents that Bowl For Kids' Sake, and others who run in marathons - we've got people volunteering their time for all sorts of good causes. In general, I think the generous community spirit is alive and well in America's insurance industry. Companies headquartered in specific communities continue to be very strong local contributors."

Having a brand identity that's very community-oriented can have a positive impact on business operations. Rockingham Insurance has a customer retention rate of almost 94%, which the firm partly attributes to its welcomed presence within its local communities. It's also down to the hard work of its agents, Bayer pointed out.
"The key to our high customer retention rate is our agents and the relationships we build with our agents. That's what makes our agents want to keep their business with us," he commented. "We're very active in product and pricing strategy to make sure we're delivering what the end-consumer wants. When you marry that with the fact that each agent has a personal relationship with various people inside our company, it's a real formula for success on the retention front."

Moving forward, Rockingham Insurance will continue to actively engage with  emerging industry trends. Today, the firm's involved in artificial intelligence, robotics and machine learning in order to keep abreast with industry developments. Bayer added: "One important thing about Rockingham Insurance is that we're willing to adapt and change. We don't have a status quo philosophy, so as our customer base changes, we'll do everything we can to adapt with them, while maintaining our community-oriented spirit."
Capital Region Celebration
of Women in Computing (CAPWIC) 
March 22 - 23, 2019 | $25 to attend
James Madison University, Harrisonburg
The Capital Region Celebration of Women in Computing Conference  gives high school students the opportunity to network with women at undergraduate, graduate, and professional networks to promote the recruitment, retention and progression of women in computing related fields that lack diversity in the national work force.

Top Reasons to Attend
  1. Practice public speaking by presenting a poster or flash talk.
  2. Share your work and ideas with your peers and experts during the poster session, flash talk, or technical short.
  3. Get valuable feedback about your work and ideas via your poster presentation or technical short
  4. Win a prize by competing in the Poster Competition.
  5. Be inspired. Meet technical women like you and celebrate your accomplishments together.
  6. Hear success stories of technical women who made it this far!
  7. Broaden your skills by attending a workshop.
  8. Meet recruiters from business, industry, and academia for internships, jobs, or graduate programs.
  9. Find a new job or internship. Bring your resume to our career fair to apply for job and internship opportunities.
  10. Did we mention that it is FUN!
There will be 3 types of participation in the area of computing research as well as efforts to increase diversity in computing, e.g. outreach programs or programs to engage students outside the classroom.
  • Flash Talks: Five-minute presentations of 20 slides, where slides automatically advance every 15 seconds. Talks will have a 15-minute window to provide time for feedback and mentoring. Reports on preliminary results, work-in progress, or anything fun and creative related to the conference are welcome in this category. Open to high-school, undergraduate, or graduate students as well as professionals.
  • Posters: Presenters create a 24" x 32" poster of research, a class project, or other type of work-in-progress including efforts to diversify computing before the conference and are present at the poster during the session to discuss content. Open to high school, undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Research Shorts: An opportunity to give a 15-minute presentation with an additional 5 minutes for questions, similar to a talk at a research conference. Work should be technical in nature, investigating new ideas in any area of computer science. The intention is to give presenters a friendly environment in which to practice a future talk or work out details in an ongoing project with an audience capable of constructive feedback. No paper is required, only an abstract, so future publication of the work is not limited. Open to undergraduates, graduates, and professionals.
Cybersecurity Awareness Education | Staunton
April 4, 2019 | 12:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Stonewall Jackson Hotel, Staunton
Join us to find out why CyberSecurity is the CFOs new priority. Learn from, and network with, key players in cybersecurity during this exclusive conference created for CFOs. 

Learn how to keep your business safe

Event Schedule
  • Noon-1:00 Lunch
  • 1:00-1:30 "Securing Open Ends", John Whitehead, Ricoh
  • 1:30-2:00 "Local CyberSecurity Activity" Sargent J. Grave, Augusta County Sherriff's Department
  • 2:00-2:30 First Bank and Trust
  • 2:30-3:00 OPEN Speaker Slot
  • -Break-
  • 3:15-4:00 Dan O'Brien, former US Department of Justice, Cyber Security - Current GO Virginia Cyber Security Program Manager and Instructor
  • 4:00-4:15 "Sophisticated Phishing" Thomas Kinsinger, IT Solutions Architect, E-N Computers
  • 4:15-4:30 "Top 20 Controls for managing Digital Risk" Ian MacRae, CEO, E-N Computers
-Networking and Refreshments-

Sponsorships and vendor tables are available ( see details).

Register for April 4, 2019 cybersecurity conference at

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
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.

9.25.2019 ValleyTechCon19.
MARK THE DATE in your calendar. It's gonna be great.
Soon we'll put out a call for speakers and keynote, update the website, and offer sponsorships. Registration will open in the summer.

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

So for now, pencil it in!

  • 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)

Currently there are 18 channels and over 250 members. Please join in! 
Sign-up link:

Membership Badge Available 
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Let us know when you incorporate this graphic and we'll mention your site in return!

See how our Level I Members  grep Innovation, LLC displayed our membership badge on their  website!

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
Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807



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