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The Shenandoah Valley Connectiontop 
May 30, 2014 
Quick Links to each article
Summer time - planning time! Help us plan our Sept 2014 - June 2015 luncheons and events.
Tech Nite 14 Photos
Valley Business Keynote speaker announcement for July 24, 2014
VLDS Insights Conference "Bridging the Data Divide"
Virginia WISP Roundup is June 18
CIT announces Apps4VA JMU Challenge Winners
JMU Computer Science Student builds app for WMRA
Summer time - planning time! Help us plan our Sept 2014 - June 2015 luncheons and events. What Interests You?
We'd like your suggestions for luncheon topics, speakers, and "field trips".

Take a quick minute and tell us about topics, speakers, locations you want to hear about or visit in this coming year. What are the trends? What makes a techie's heart skip a beat? What could we schedule to bring more users and creators in?  Is there something you'd like to see or present to the group (barring shameless self promotion)?  Is there a member group or other local organization or program you'd like to hear from or to visit?  (We are a not for profit so we look for speakers from the Valley w/out travel or other expenses).  What about social events -- would you make room on your calendar?


< BTW, sidebar: We are in the process of finalizing the details for a SVTC Members-Only "peek behind the doors" to Dynamic Aviation's facility in Bridgewater in mid-June. Look for the details in a special email announcement next week. >>


Please lend a hand and contribute your suggestions for our Sept 2014- June 2015 planning:


Link to SVTC interest / planning survey (Goggle doc)   

In case you wonder what topics we've had in the past, here is a pdf:
SVTC luncheons Sept 2007- June 2014   

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Tech Nite 14 Photo Album

Tech Nite 14 Networking (L to R) Local Entrepreneurs: Ben Kilmer, GroMobi & Tony Huffman, Approved Colleges

We're finally able to share the pictures from Tech Nite 2014 -- we hope you had a good time and had a chance to network with our nominees, winners and sponsors.  It's always amazing how the Tech Nite attendees get so much "stuff" discussed - stories are told and connections and plans are made! Aside from the fact that we highlighted and honored the technology successes in the Valley, of course!!


If you missed the evening, here's a peek at some photos so you can see what you may want to participate in another year.
Note:  Any reuse/ reprints of photos should be credited to the JMU Photo Services and the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council.

PS: You can order prints directly from the Google Picasaweb page -- or download the files, we have enabled both.   

Tech Nite 14 pictures 



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Valley Business Keynote:  "Leadership & Your Future World Of Work"  
Mark Fernandes
Thursday, July 24, 2014; JMU Festival Center; 11 am - 1 pm 

Mission of the Valley Business Keynote: to facilitate engaging ideas for local leaders and help fulfill the Valley's vast potential by bringing excellent speakers to our area.


Mark Fernandes' Speaking Montage
Mark Fernandes' Speaking Montage

The second annual Valley Business Keynote is scheduled for July 24, 2014.  The keynote speaker will be Mark Fernandes, Chief Leadership Officer with the Luck Companies in Goochland, VA.  Though he will tailor his speech for our audience, most of his work centers on the idea of Values Based Leadership.  This is a popular new leadership model and Mark does as good of a job as anyone in describing what this means from a practical application. Mark has spoken to business leaders around the world, and was recently named as a "Top 100 Thought Leader in Trustworthy Business" for 2014. Members of the VBK committee have had the privilege of hearing Mark speak in person.  He has a subtle, yet commanding presence and does a great job engaging audiences of all sizes.   



More information, sponsorship and registration: Valley Business Keynote

Sponsored by SVTC members Wharton, Aldhiser & Weaver, Immerge Technologies, Rockingham Group and Dynamic Aviation, among others.  There are a limited number of (free & otherwise) tickets available.  This event is likely to fill quickly, do not wait to reserve your seat. 


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Insights Conference: Bridging the Data Divide
June 24, 2014 at the Hilton Richmond Hotel & Conference Center.
9:00 AM until 4:00 PM with a break for lunch.

CIT Logo
The second annual Insights Conference, "Bridging the Data Divide," will emphasize how the Virginia Longitudinal Data System (VLDS) is bridging the data divide among citizens, researchers, and policymakers by providing a single point of access for educational and workforce information.

Speakers will include Aneesh Chopra, Virginia's former Secretary of Technology, who also was appointed by President Obama as the nation's first Chief Technology Officer, and Karen Jackson, the current Secretary of Technology for the Commonwealth.

The conference will offer an exciting agenda covering a wide variety of interesting topics, including Adult Ed-PluggedIn VA Research Project, Bridging the Data Divide, CCR Project Update, CTE Research Project, Data Needs Assessment Project, Dynamic Data Divisions, Early Childhood Advances, HB 886: Making Student Progression and Outcomes Data Part of the Advising Process, Long-term Outcomes of Graduate Wate Data, Peer Schools Project, The Power of VLDS, Rethink Education: an Entrepreneurial Perspective, Return on Investment in the Workforce, SIG Schools Project, Teacher Preparation in Virginia and Workforce Data Update

Who Should Attend?  Agency Staff  +  Data Providers  +  Education Professionals  +  Entrepreneurs  +  Researchers  +  Workforce Professionals.

More information and to register  or

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Virginia Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISP)  Roundup
Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM Virginia State Capitol

Have you never heard of WISPA (Wireless Internet Service Providers Association)?  Did you know there are over 800 members nationally from the WISP Industry that have developed a grassroots community that advocates to the FCC and Congress for better rules and laws to protect our interests.


This Virginia WISP Roundup is an excellent opportunity for local government leaders (and others) to meet Broadband Service Providers that have the best technology for making the business case for rural areas, learn about fixed wireless technology capabilities and speak to the providers about ways to partner and bring broadband to your constituency. Registration is only $10 (Continental breakfast as well as lunch are included). Day of activities includes keynote address from Virginia Secretary of Technology Karen Jackson, presentation by CIT, and discussion of the Rural Broadband Experiments Program.

Sponsored by SVTC members: Shentel & CIT (Center for Innovative Technology), among others. 


Register here to attend this meeting to discuss fixed wireless broadband options in the Commonwealth.  Low $10 registration fee for all attendees and lunch is provided.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Virginia State Capitol
1000 Bank Street
State Capitol House Room 3
Richmond, Virginia 23219-3673


Seating is limited, don't delay in registering. PDF of Agenda and other information


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Member News:  CIT announces Winners of the Apps4VA JMU challenge

CIT Transparent

The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) announced on May 28, the winners of the 2014 Apps4VA JMU software application (app) development competition. The competition is part of a joint CIT and Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) initiative to engage the public in the development of new tools to analyze and report education data.


More than 85 James Madison University students worked in teams using VLDS information on enrollment, performance on state assessments, graduation and dropout rates, career and technical education programs, and post-secondary enrollment and achievement to develop useful applications over a single semester.


Apps/ tools included those that;

  • identify students who are most at risk of dropping out of high school,
  • allows users to compare SOL scores and Career and Technical Education (CTE) completers by region or school to labor market projections in the area.
  • enable users to compare nearby schools and divisions which are ranked based on test scores, enrollment rates, and graduation rates.


"In our experience, students were motivated to develop successful, high-quality projects because the data was about them and the future of their educational system." said Chris Mayfield, Assistant Professor, and Nancy Harris, Lecturer, in JMU's Computer Science Department.


Apps4VA was launched by CIT and VDOE as a way to raise awareness of VLDS (Virginia Longitudinal Data System), which provides research information on Virginia public school students' progress toward college and career readiness. It also aims to engage the public in using the data to develop new insights and tools for educators, researchers and policymakers, and increase government transparency. Over the course of the program, more than 300 participants have developed more than 100 cutting-edge, education-focused apps.


"Apps4VA is an ongoing process, not a single event, and VDOE is very interested in developing an ongoing dialogue with the public and in sponsoring continued innovation in the use of data to improve public education. After the competition, some of the students said that they plan to continue to refine their apps and that they have been influenced to consider entrepreneurship in their career paths." said Bethann Canada, VDOE Director of Educational Information Management.


Winners of the Apps4VA JMU challenge will be highlighted at the 2014 Insights Conference (see article above).


Link to full CIT press release
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Member News:  JMU Computer Science Freshman (and Valley resident) builds App for Local NPR Station

When WMRA, Harrisonburg's local NPR radio station, decided they wanted an iPhone app built for them, they made a bold decision about who they would hire to write this code. Instead of contracting a software company, WMRA hired talented JMU freshman Computer Science major, Linzy Cumbia, to develop their App.


As an affiliate of JMU, WMRA had considered the idea of seeking out a student to build their app from the beginning. "I was so impressed with his knowledge and him as a person," said Al Bartholet, Executive Director of WMRA.. "He had a maturity about him. He didn't do it for monetary reasons, but to service the community."   

The App that Cumbia developed for WMRA connects to the station's website, downloads the information about what is currently playing, and streams the audio for people to listen to on their device. "It starts playing audio and displays what programs are on and how long it's going to be running," Cumbia explained. "It's pretty straightforward."  Describing how it felt when the App finally went live, Cumbia said "that was pretty cool, because it was the first one I had gotten all the way to the store."   

While WMRA's project is Cumbia's first App to be finalized and sold on the iPhone store, it is actually the third he has developed. "The first [App] that I did was for livestock management, because my family owns a farm in the Shenandoah Valley area and we have cows," he explained. Once completed, this app will help farmers track and manage their animal's location and health.  


Link to full article  

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