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September 6, 2 019
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SVTC Luncheon | Building Useful Conversational Software (9/12)
2019 Start-Up Grants Now Available for FLL Teams
BRCC Seeking Employer Partnerships to Offer Tech Internships
Virginia Clean Energy Summit | Richmond (9/17)
SVTC's Fall Tech Mixer | Registration OPEN (9/24)
Valley TechCon.19 | Harrisonburg (9/25)
SVTC Luncheon: WTF is Strategy and Why Should You Care? (10/24)
Disruption: Challenging Leadership at Every Turn | VMI Leadership & Ethics Conference (10/28-10/29)
Valley Women in Tech Lunch (10/29)
Innovate | Shenandoah: Strategic Doing Day (10/30)
Cyber Security Conference & Expo | Theme: Women Leaders in Cyber | Washington, DC (11/14)
Welcome Back Level I Member: grep Innovation
Welcome Back Level I Member: People Places, Inc.
Welcome Back Level I Member: City of Staunton - IT Department
September 12, 2019 | 11:45 am - 1:00 pm
Wood Grill Buffet, Harrisonburg

It's easy to build a bot; it's hard to build a useful bot. Chatbots have been circulating the buzzword bins for the last two years, and a day doesn't go by where you don't hear about some new chatbot being launched to support customers or processes. Now, look at your phone. How many chatbots are you using? Go ahead. I'll wait. With chatbots, you can easily build a novelty, but without a clear plan and intuitive design, you might build something that works, but that nobody wants to use. For this luncheon, we'll discuss what it takes to build a useful and compelling chatbot, as well as how to design and prototype bots before you build them. We will then go over a "useful" chatbot application, and how it was built from end-to-end

About the Speaker
Michael Szul has spent two decades in software engineering in industries as diverse as insurance, energy, travel, and higher education, including consulting with companies such as AIG and Conde Naste. He has worked in both application and product development, as well as framework creation, code generation, API building, and machine learning. Szul is a speaker, blogger, podcaster, Microsoft MVP in AI and Developer Technologies, and author of Building Chatbots in TypeScript with the Microsoft Bot Framework. Currently, he is the manager of undergraduate medical education applications for the  University of Virginia's Health System.


Thank you luncheon sponsors:
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Looking for a grant to help start up your FLL team? Each year, the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council sponsors three new FIRST Lego League (FLL) teams from the Shenandoah Valley. Approximately half of the start-up cost of a new team is reimbursed, up to $350.

To be eligible, teams must be located in the footprint of the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council's area of operation. Applicants must also intend participate in the FLL competition within one year of receiving the grant. This grant can be used towards any equipment required for competition in FIRST LEGO League, including one or more LEGO robotics kits, a competition practice table, and an FLL field setup kit.

If you are interested in applying for the FLL Start-Up Grant, please complete the following form, and follow the steps as indicated on the form:  FLL Reimbursement Grant Application (pdf)

About FLL
FIRST LEGO League (FLL) was created through a partnership between FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) and the LEGO company and inspires future scientists and engineers. it is an international competition that challenges young participants to think like scientists and engineers. Every year FLL introduces kids to a real-world scientific topic, and teams are challenged to find a solution. They also build a robot and compete in a friendly, FIRST-style robotics event specially designed for their age group.

For more information, visit our  FLL information page or the  VA/DC FIRST LEGO League website.

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BRCC Seeks Employer Partnerships to
Offer Tech Internships




Blue Ridge Community College is currently seeking employer partnerships to offer technology internships to students in the A.A.S. Information Systems Technology Degree programs. Below, Lorie Hartt, Assistant Professor of Information Systems Technology, describes these programs and the sort of internships BRCC is seeking: 

"The Blue Ridge Community College A.A.S. Information Systems Technology Degree programs require students to complete an internship course.  This course is designed to give students on-site work experience with local employers.  BRCC offers the internship course during all semesters-spring, summer, and fall.  However, the course is typically completed during the student's last semester of their program.  This program design allows the student to bring as much of their education to the workplace as possible.  In addition to this on-site experience, we continue to prepare the student for the workforce through a variety of career readiness assignments and on campus experiences. 

We at BRCC, feel that this on-site experience is essential in assisting the student in combining their classroom experience with the real world workforce demands.  Over the years, we have partnered with many great organizations and companies throughout the Shenandoah Valley to offer these opportunities and we value these partnerships! Thus, in an effort to better serve our students in the Harrisonburg/Rockingham County area we are currently seeking employer partnerships to offer internships. 

If you have partnered with us in the past and would like to reconnect, or if you would like to learn more about our IST internship course, I would welcome to the opportunity to meet with you in person or over the phone.  I can be reached via email at  HarttL@brcc.edu or phone at 540.453.2244.

Warm regards,

Lorie Hartt
Assistant Professor
Information Systems Technology
IST & CS Department Coordinator"

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Virginia Clean Energy Summit | Richmond (9/17)
 
 
September 17, 2019 | 7:30 am - 5:00 pm
Richmond Convention Center
 
The inaugural Virginia Clean Energy Summit will present the clean energy technologies, policies, and business practices that are transforming Virginia's energy landscape - today.

The goal of the Summit is to highlight opportunities and encourage collaboration that speeds our use of more energy efficiency, solar, wind, storage, EVs, and other clean energy solutions. Conference attendees will include representatives from businesses, state and local governments, academia, and NGOs.  An agenda is available for this event.
  

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September 24, 2019 | 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Beyond Restaurant, Harrisonburg

Join the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council on September 24th for our annual Fall Tech Mixer. Hosted by the SVTC's Board of Directors, this is our fall networking event.

Come and find out what the SVTC is doing as an organization, and what our members are doing individually. This is our second biggest event of the year (only Tech Nite is bigger). This is where the growing technology community goes in the fall to catch up. SVTC members are corporate leaders, entrepreneurs, educators, coders, programmers and more. Membership is not required to participate in the Fall Tech Mixer nor many SVTC events. Feel free to invite a co-worker, customer, friend or spouse (please register each).

Come out and join current and potential members as they mingle and network. Appetizers are 'on us'! Drinks are Dutch treat.

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Valley TechCon.19 | Harrisonburg (9/25)
 
  
September 25, 2019 | 7:30 am - 4:00 pm
Hotel Madison & Shenandoah Valley Conference Center

Regular Admission: $125 (+ $9.24 fee) |  Student Rate: $50 (+4.67 fee)

Now in its second year, Valley TechCon brings together technology enthusiasts, practitioners, researchers, and business leaders to facilitate idea sharing, collaboration, and innovation. This year there will be three tracks to choose from for the breakout sessions: Technical Topics for Practitioners, The Business Impact of Technology, and Growing Your Technology Business. Within each track,  sessions will cover a broad spectrum of topics. The goal is to inspire new ideas, improve business efficiency with emerging technologies, springboard new ventures, and expand networking opportunities.

Check out all that Valley TechCon.19 has to offer this year!
Ticket Includes
  • Breakfast, morning snack, lunch.
  • 14 breakout sessions.
  • 3 featured speaker sessions.
  • Post-event networking event at Pale Fire Brewing Company (shuttle and first drink included)*.

FAQs
Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?
Individuals of all ages are encouraged to attend, from high school age upwards, through college years, those in a professional career, and those looking to keep up to date in retirement.

What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?
Hotel Madison & Shenandoah Valley Conference Center is conveniently located close to exit 245 on Interstate 81 at 710 S. Main St., Harrisonburg VA, 22801.  Directions. Once you arrive, you will find a multi-storey parking deck towards the rear of the hotel. The entrance is located on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. (Historical Cantrell Ave.). Valet parking is also available.

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?
Contact via email  econ_dev@harrisonburgva.gov.

What's the refund policy?
Refunds can be requested up until 7 days before the event.

*After conference networking session occurs 3:30-5:30 PM at Pale Fire Brewery in downtown Harrisonburg; one beer ticket per non-student conference attendee


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October 24, 2019 | 11:45 am - 1:00 pm
Wood Grill Buffet, Harrisonburg 

This presentation will focus on understanding the 3 different types of strategic disciplines.  What are their differences and how businesses often gravitate to one not realizing the others are blind spots?  How to build a strategy that leverages all 3 and how to do that to build a better organization.  An ideal topic for business leaders looking to take their business to the next level or understand how to pivot from stagnate/declining revenue.

About the Speaker
David Deaton, founder of Deaton Group, LLC, has over two decades of experience transforming organizations through strategic planning, market research, and effective execution.  David has partnered with organizations worldwide ranging from startups and nonprofits to global businesses to improve growth, manage change and transformation, and develop strong strategic foundations to build and sustain their success.  As the former Director of Strategy and Market Research for the CFA Institute Asia Pacific region, David has extensive experience in both qualitative and quantitative market analysis. He then went on to become Global Strategic Planning Director where he developed organizational strategy and departmental alignment, guided new teams and projects through effective launches, helped teams plan for implementation, and provided group facilitation for departmental strategic planning.  We know that organizations can overcome their toughest obstacles and reach new levels of success through sound strategy. We're here to make that happen.

Register for October 24, 2019 SVTC Luncheon

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October 28 - 29, 2019
Marshall Hall, VMI, Lexington 

Rapidly changing ideological differences, technological innovations, and social norms are disrupting the nation, established institutions, businesses, and cultures around the globe. Our conference will focus on critical thinking, creative problem solving and leading in a disruptive environment. We will offer a balance of top-notch speakers on key areas of disruption (cultural, individual, technological, and business) with hands-on, active learning sessions.

About the Annual VMI Leadership and Ethics Conference
Begun in 2010, the VMI Leadership and Ethics Conference is a hallmark of the Center for Leadership and Ethic's programming. It is a top-tier conference that addresses a significant issue of ethical leadership development, including living an honorable lifestyle in contemporary America.

The conference is open to all interested adults and attracts the attention of faculty and students of a diverse array of military and civilian colleges, members of the public and private sectors, military leaders, and non-profit audiences. Through the participation of these attendees and our speakers, VMI leads national conversations on diverse themes of leadership and ethics in modern society.

Students and faculty of other colleges, the general public, VMI cadets, staff, faculty are encouraged to attend.

Of interest for tech community might be this speaker:

Dr. Crum is the Caroline Dawn Wortham '12 Leadership Speaker
for this year's Leadership and Ethics Conference
 

Poppy Crum works to bridge the gap between technology and insightful, effective human interaction. As a multi-dimensional advocate of empathetic technology, she builds technologies that best leverage human physiology to enhance our experiences and how we interact with the world.

Poppy serves as the chief scientist at Dolby Laboratories and as an adjunct professor at Stanford University in the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics and Program in Symbolic Systems.

Poppy is dedicated to the development of immersive technologies that leverage human physiology and perceptual realities to enhance our experiences and interactions in the world. She has advanced a mission to democratize the way people of all abilities benefit from sensory technologies - and how effectively technology communicates back to each of us. She believes the power of intelligent technologies is only realized with dynamic optimization and learning of as much of our personal and contextual data as possible.

At Dolby, Poppy directs the growth of internal science. She is responsible for integrating neuroscience and sensory data science into algorithm design, technological development, and technology strategy. At Stanford, her work focuses on the impact and feedback potential of new technologies including gaming and immersive environments such as augmented and virtual reality on neuroplasticity and learning.

Poppy is a U.S. representative and vice-chair to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and a member of the Stanford Research Institute Technical Council. Prior to joining Dolby Laboratories, Poppy was a research faculty member in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine where her neurophysiological research focused on understanding the neural correlates of how we hear in a complex acoustic environment and the functional circuitry of the auditory cortex.

Poppy is a Fellow of the Audio Engineering Society. She is a 2018 recipient of the Advanced Imaging Society's Distinguished Leadership Award, a 2017 recipient of the Consumer Technology Association's Technology and Standards Achievement Award for work towards the introduction of over-the-counter hearing-aid devices, and has been named to Billboard Magazine's 100 most influential female executives in the music industry. Prior to academic study as a neuroscientist and work in industry, Poppy was a performing violinist.

She is a frequent speaker on topics related to the intersection of human experience, artificial intelligence, sensory data-science, and immersive technologies

Register for October 28 - 29, 2019 Leadership & Ethics Conference

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October 29, 2019 | 11:45 am - 1:00 pm
Wood Grill Buffet, Harrisonburg

Gathering women "in tech" on October 29 for an informal gathering from around the Valley to connect, network, and share ideas. This is a first meeting to get acquainted  - let's see what, if anything, we want to do. From students to professionals, we welcome all those who identify as women or girls interested in or associated with technology.

Take a look at an organization in Charlottesville, Charlottesville Women in Tech ( https://www.cvillewomen.tech/), we are keeping them in mind as we start a conversation among women who are in tech, in the Valley. As always, that's anywhere on the range from tech user to tech creator. Elaine Cheng, Chief Information Officer, Shentel and Nicky Swayne, CEO, Shen. Valley Technology Council will facilitate the meeting.

Please pre-register to attend so that we can bring pre-printed nametags for attendees.


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Teams meet October 30, 2019 | 9am - 5pm
  
Innovate | Shenandoah in an initiative sponsored by SCCF and the VA Department of Housing and Community Development. They are hosting a Strategic Doing Day. What is Strategic Doing? Strategic Doing is a framework developed by Purdue University that helps loosely connected groups, collaborate quickly and effectively. Communities within the Shenandoah Valley are invited to build teams that will work through the Strategic Doing Process to develop projects that highlight entrepreneurship and economic vibrancy in your community. 

More information about Strategic Doing:

Want to be a part of a team from your area? Complete the form in the link below and you will get you connected to the appropriate organizer within your region. Please note, some teams may already be full.

Register for the October 30, 2019 Strategic Doing Day
and you will be connected within your region

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November 14, 2019 | 7:30 am - 3:00 pm
Ronald Reagan Building, Washington, DC
  
Digital Government Institute is privileged to work with some of the best and brightest government leaders.  We are especially excited about the upcoming 12th annual Cyber Security Conference - scheduled for November 14 - an event to highlight women in Cybersecurity.  These Cyber Leaders will share their capabilities, experiences, lessons learned and accomplishments, to include how they are advancing both their agencys' missions and their own careers.   DGI is finalizing the agenda and plans to have top-level cybersecurity leaders from organizations such as USPS, FBI, HHS, DHS, Montgomery County, WMATA and ZeroFox on the program. 

The complete conference schedule will be announced soon.  Plan to attend and get inspired!  Learn more


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Welcome Back Level I Member!
grep Innovation

grep Innovation LLC provides a variety of technology services including web application and software development, information security and forensics, UNIX wrangling, data telecommunications consulting and photography. A valley native, James Madison University alumnus and confessed serial entrepreneur, principal Ron Perry has a broad background in the research, development and implementation of technology, in the realms of engineering, media production, robotics, education, telecommunications, and entrepreneurship. He serves as a volunteer and adviser for a variety of organizations including Blue Ridge Community College, the Wildlife Center of Virginia and Wilson Workforce & Rehabilitation Center and is a founding board member of SVTC.


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Welcome Back Level I Member!
People Places, Inc.

People Places is a non-profit agency that is dedicated to providing therapeutic services within the community and nurturing safe and lasting relationships for children and families. Our services support foster care, adoption, special education, and families in and around Staunton, Charlottesville and Harrisonburg.


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Welcome Back Level I Member!
City of Staunton - IT Department

The City of Staunton Information Technology Department is responsible for meeting the information technology needs for departments throughout the City. The department maintains a metro area network supporting more than 30 locations throughout the City, connecting PCs, servers and telecommunication systems. IT establishes and maintains connectivity standards for the user community, monitors compliance with existing use policies, and advises the City Manager and City Council on issues related to technology.

The department supports the City's web site, computing and telecommunications infrastructure, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), facilitates and conducts training for employees, and provides technical assistance in the purchase of hardware and software for individual users and departments.

Internships are encouraged through area educational institutions.


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join_our_team_sign.jpg
  • Western State Hospital, Staunton (Programmer)
  • Sproutly, New Market (UX Designer)
  • Blue Ridge Community College, Weyers Cave (Computer Programming Boot
    Camp Instructor)
  • Ryzing Technologies, Staunton (Engineering Technician)
  • Vision Technology Group, Harrisonburg (Tier III Network Engineer)
  • Budget Referee, Harrisonburg (Full Stack Developer with front end web development focus)
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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SVTC MEMBERS INVITATION: DISPLAY YOUR MEMBERSHIP STATUS
Membership Badge Available 
 
Use our new graphic on your own website (and remember to link back to our website www. svtc-va.org !) 

Choose the graphic file of your choice:

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


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

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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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