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The Shenandoah Valley Connectiontop 
August 8, 2014  
Quick Links to each article
SVTC seeks 3 Valley FIRST Lego League (FLL) teams to sponsor
Cadence Announces Expansion & Acquisition
PBMares Wealth Management named to Top 100 list
Comcast Business I4E (Innovation 4 Entrepreneurs) Tech Week
GARCC Speed Networking
Bits and Grits Networking Breakfast on Aug. 19
Highlighting Member: Rockingham Group
 SVTC seeking 3 Valley FIRST Lego League (FLL) teams to sponsor 
Funds available to offset cost of starting an FLL team

The Shenandoah Valley Technology Council is a supporter of FIRST Lego League's mission to engage kids in science and technology. The SVTC is once again this year offering sponsorship to help offset the costs of new FLL teams forming in the Shenandoah Valley. We believe that the next generation of skilled technology workers is here in the Valley!  

What's FIRST?
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 What is FLL?

"The best way to summarize FIRST LEGO League is to say that it is a robotics program for 9 to 16 year olds, which is designed to get children excited about science and technology -- and teach them valuable employment and life skills. FLL can be used in a classroom setting but is not solely designed for this purpose. Teams, composed of up to ten children with at least one adult coach, can also be associated with a pre-existing club or organization, homeschooled, or just be a group of friends who wish to do something awesome. Contrary to popular belief, our coaches DO NOT need any technical experience. In FLL, the children do the work! And the work is programming an autonomous robot (using the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® robot set) to score points on a thematic playing surface, creating an innovative solution to a problem as part of their project."  Try the  FIRST youtube channel  for more inspiration. 


FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology)was founded in 1989 to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology. FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) brings these visions to life through an exciting alliance between two world-class organizationsFor Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST®) and The LEGO Group. FIRST is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit public charity with over 20,000+ teams in over 70 countries.  VA-DC FLL is the largest FLL group in the world with over 600 teams and more than 20 regional qualifying tournaments and events in Virginia and Washington D.C. The SVTC also supports FLL by providing program support and volunteer hours at the regional and state competitions held each year on the JMU Campus.  


"What FLL teams accomplish is nothing short of amazing. It's fun. It's exciting. And the skills they learn will last a lifetime." With opportunities to compete nationally and internationally through high school, many colleges and universities, professional associations, and corporations offer college scholarships to high school students on FIRST teams. For 2014, there are over 180 confirmed scholarship providers that are making available over 900 individual scholarship opportunities with a total value of more than $20,000,000.


 The FLL website is a great resource for parents and prospective coaches to learn how FLL works and how to start a team. The VA-DCFLL website is also a great resource and includes a link to apply for the SVTC Sponsorship as does     

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Member News:  Cadence Announces Expansion Via Acquisition 
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Staunton based Cadence announced on August 1st that it has acquired three operating business units of Plainfield Precision Holdings. The operating units are Plainfield Precision - Sturgeon Bay, WI; Plainfield Precision - Plymouth, MA; and Plainfield Precision - Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.  Plainfield Precision Holdings is a highly specialized solutions provider of assembled products that integrate stamped metal and molded plastic components. This acquisition firmly positions Cadence within the top global providers of technologies and services used in Advanced Surgical products.


"Our success is a direct result of the hard work, innovation, adaptability, and integrity of our people. I am excited to welcome our new team members from the Plainfield family and look forward to their contributions to our on-going success," said Alan Connor, CEO. 


Link to Press Release
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Member News:  PBMares Wealth Management makes Top 100 CNBC list


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PBMares Wealth Management, LLP, a registered investment advisory firm, has been named to CNBC's inaugural list of the Top 100 Fee-Only Wealth Management Firms. PBMares Wealth Management was ranked 32nd out of 100 firms listed.  PBMares, LLP, an accounting and business consulting firm, is the parent company of PBMares Wealth Management. In business for 14 years, PBMares Wealth Management is recognized as a top wealth management firm nationally, having received a variety of awards including Accounting Today's Top AUM Firms and the BAM Advisor Services Achievement Award.
"We could not be more proud to be recognized on CNBC's prestigious list of top wealth management firms," said David Bush, CPA, CFP®, PFS, and Managing Director of PBMares Wealth Management.
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Member News:  Comcast Business announces themes for I4E Tech Week
I4E (Innovations 4 Entrepreneurs) Tech Week is August 11-15
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Comcast Business announced August 4th the themes for I4E Tech Week (Aug. 11-15), a series of online programs and events dedicated to helping entrepreneurs learn how to use technology to achieve their business goals.  Participants will include national business experts, leading technology partners, and entrepreneurs from across the country, as well as winners from Comcast's Innovations 4 Entrepreneurs (I4E) program. The I4E Tech Week's goal is to assist entrepreneurs and enable the growth of startup companies and small businesses. This program builds upon the Innovations 4 Entrepreneurs program, a national competition that awarded more than $600,000 in cash and services to aspiring entrepreneurs who are leveraging technology to grow their business.

Each day of I4E Tech Week will focus on a specific theme, with all events and content supporting that day's theme:
  • Monday: Technology and Business Strategies to Drive Growth 
  • Tuesday: Using Technology to Improve the Employee Experience
  • Wednesday: Technology and Business Strategies to Drive Innovation
  • Thursday: Using Technology to Improve the Customer Experience 
  • Friday: Future Friday - It's the end of the week, but the future is just beginning. How technology will influence business in the future 

In addition, the recently-launched Comcast Business Community site will deliver custom content, including blog posts, videos and white papers, about the daily I4E Tech Week themes.  The Comcast Business Community site is an online business forum that provides best practices, tips, and industry insights designed to help entrepreneurs, startups, SMBs, and enterprises achieve business success. The community features a wide range of content written by Comcast Business leaders as well as business, industry, and technology experts.   


Comcast Business will host two one-hour webinars, on August 12 and 14, focusing on the themes of using technology to improve the employee experience and using technology to improve the customer experience, featuring some of the winners from the I4E contest in those categories. In addition, they will host three one-hour Twitter chats on the themes of innovation, growth and leadership. 

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Member News: Greater Augusta Chamber to host Speed Networking Event
August 14 from 3-5 pm at Staunton Holiday Inn & Conference Center

Meet 50+ business people in 2 hours.  Speed networking will proceed the GARCC Business After Hours event.  Pre-registration and payment is required for networking.  Come prepared with plenty of business cards and your one minute "elevator pitch".


 Information and registration 

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Bits & Grits --Monthly Networking Breakfast in Staunton,
August 19th, 8am

On the third Tuesday of each month at 8am, Mrs. Rowes Restaurant, Staunton. There's no registration, no speaker, no topic. There's good techie discussion, sometimes questions and opinions, sometimes a good rant or two.  Discussion depends on who's there and what someone wants or needs to talk about or get input on.

Hosted by SVTC board member Kurt Plowman.   


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Highlighting Renewing Level 3 Member:  Rockingham Group 
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The Rockingham Group is a property & casualty insurance company that provides coverage for homes, farms, rental dwellings, autos, and businesses in Virginia and Pennsylvania. Since 1869, the Rockingham Group's continuing focus on personalized customer service and reliability has helped attract generations of customers that have looked to them for insurance to provide security and peace of mind. They are rated A (excellent) by the insurance industry rating organization A. M. Best Company.
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Shenandoah Valley Technology Council | 800 S. Main Street | MSC 4901 | Harrisonburg | VA | 22807