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The Shenandoah Valley Connectiontop 
August 22, 2014  
Quick Links to each article
Save the Date for Fall Tech Mixer on September 18th
beCamp Unconference Sept. 19 & 20
Verizon App Challenge for Middle & High Schoolers
"Foundations for Everyone" giv2giv roundtable at Staunton Makerspace
"Original Tuesday's" Networking on Aug. 26
SVTC seeks 3 Valley FIRST Lego League (FLL) teams to sponsor
Highlighting Member: JMU Center for Instrcutional Technology
Highlighting Member: SRI International
Highlighting Member: Cottonwood Commercial
Highlighting Member: Michael Hawkins

RSVP is open for SVTC's F
all Tech Mixer 2014
Thursday, September 18 from 5:30pm-7:30pm at Beyond

Join the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council on September 18th for our annual Fall Tech Mixer. Hosted by the SVTC's Board of Directors, this is our fall networking event.  We're happy to be back at Beyond this year.  Not only is it just a few blocks from SVTC's office but they always provide us with delicious food and an ample bar selection. 


Join current and potential members of the SVTC as they mingle and network. It's our treat - appetizers are 'on us' ... the food is fabulous and coconut shrimp will definitely be on the menu again! Drinks are Dutch treat.


Find out what we're 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.  Feel free to invite a co-worker, customer or spouse (please register each). 

RSVP Button


LOCATION: Beyond Restaurant, 50 Water Street, Harrisonburg, VA 22801;  

TIME: 5:30pm-7:30pm.

PARKING: in the Water Street Parking garage across the street

REGISTRATION (required): online at or use the link on the left 


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Member News:  C'ville beCamp Unconference sponsored by LightCastle
September 19-20, 2014

click logo for website

beCamp is Charlottesville's version of the BarCamp unconference movement - a conference organized on the fly by attendees, for attendees.

On Friday evening, anyone in attendance can suggest topics for sessions held the following day. The suggestions that have the most votes are chosen as part of the conference schedule for the following day.  Topics that are not chosen for the main scheduling blocks can still be presented as a five minute "Lightning Talk" where presenters can share their message with the other conference attendees during lunch on Saturday.

Software developers, system administrators, quality assurance, devops, designers, business developers and anyone interested in technology are encouraged to register.  beCamp will be held at CitySpace on the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville and is free to participants.

Use  for more information and registration.   

Sponsored in part by SVTC member Lightcastle Technical Consulting 

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Verizon Announces Innovative App Challenge
For High School and Middle School Students and Classrooms

The Verizon Innovative App Challenge provides the opportunity for middle school and high school students, working with a faculty adviser, to apply their STEM knowledge, ingenuity, and creativity to develop an original mobile app concept that incorporates STEM and addresses a need or problem in their school or community.  No mobile device or coding experience is required to enter.  Community education groups are encouraged to apply.  This could be a great hands on project for media, technology as well as social studies, math and language arts classrooms.

The Verizon Innovative App Challenge is an exciting, creative and collaborative competition that offers $20,000 grants for winning middle schools and high schools and Samsung Galaxy Tabs for students on the winning teams. Designed to ignite students' interest in STEM. The Challenge is a unique opportunity for students around the country to participate in a rich, project-based learning experience that fosters teamwork and encourages them to explore new ideas and consider future careers in STEM. Grants are given at the state, regional and national level as the competition progresses.  Winning teams will learn coding in-person and online from MIT experts to turn their idea into a mobile app.

Working with a faculty adviser in teams of 5 - 7, students develop an original concept for a mobile app that incorporates STEM principles and content and addresses a real need or problem in their school or community. While designing their apps, students consider marketplace need, usefulness, audience and viability and align their app concept with one of the three Verizon Foundation focus areas of Education, Energy Management or Healthcare. 
Teams submit their design concepts online through a App Concept Overview and Summary, a three-to-five minute Video and Essay Responses.

Link to App Challenge Promotional Flyer

Link to App Challenge Information, Rules, and (Pre-)Registration
Registration opens on August 4 with the submission deadline being November 11, 2014.  

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Member Newsgiv2giv hosts nonprofit roundtable 'Foundations for everyone'  

Wednesday August 28 at 6pm at Staunton Makerspace (new location) 


From member Micheal Blinn at People Places, "Trying to reach new donors? is a community of philanthropic investors who want to make change in their communities by creating their own foundations online. We're a new, online fundraising platform that helps organizations like yours establish a perpetual income stream while alleviating the burden of fundraising administration.  giv2giv allows donors to create an investment fund which makes quarterly, unrestricted grants to your organization.  Donors receive the same tax benefits and desired recognition as if donating straight to you, but with less hassle on your end.  Plus giv2giv will continue making grants forever - much longer than the average donor. Area nonprofits are gathering to discuss how to leverage this new funding stream. Join us August 28th at 6pm at the Staunton Makerspace, 222 Wahington St. Staunton to contribute to the discussion. Contact with any questions."

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"Original Tuesday's Networking
August 26, 5pm-8pm, Holiday Inn, 1400 East Market St., Harrisonburg

Connect with great people to promote "word of mouth" for your business, increased sales, or fantastic strategic partnerships!! Everyone is to attend, no charge, and no attendance requirements, no membership dues.  No-nonsense networking. Bring plenty of business cards. Pay it forward and invite your friends.

Come anytime from 5 - 8 PM

Hosted by Johnnie Barr of ActionCOACH and a SVTC Board Member

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SVTC seeking 3 Valley FIRST Lego League (FLL) teams to sponsor 
Funds available to offset cost of starting a FLL team
click for website

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 up to 3 new FLL teams forming in the Shenandoah Valley. Seeing that the U.S. future workforce will need to be strong in STEM fields, all of which can be found in the FLL activities, the SVTC supports FLL teams and tournaments in our region. Twenty local teams participated in the 2014 regional tournament including teams from Luray Middle School, Fluvanna Middle School, Augusta County Schools, Nelson County Schools, Harrisonburg City Schools, North River Elementary and Sacred Heart Academy


"The only difference between this sport and all the others is every kid on our teams can go pro. There's a job out there for every one of these kids." Dean Kamen, entrepreneur, inventor of the Segway and founder of FIRST Lego League.

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.  Try the  FIRST youtube channel  for more inspiration. 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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Highlighting Renewing Level 3 Member: JMU Center for Instructional Technology 
Click logo for website

The mission of the CIT is to lead, support and advocate for the meaningful integration of technology into academic instruction.The Center for Instructional Technology is a service of Libraries and Educational Technologies of James Madison University.  The Director of JMU CIT is SVTC board member Sarah Cheverton.

JMU CIT's goals are to:

  • inform ourselves, the faculty and the administration of emerging technologies and related issues
  • develop the instructional faculty's skills in the mechanics and pedagogically-sound methods of using technology in instruction
  • provide resources, people, equipment, money and space to help faculty create and integrate digital content into their course materials and scholarly work
  • engage in research and development to create new instructional technologies, and
  • manage and support or coordinate the management and support of our instructional technology delivery systems.

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Highlighting Renewing Level 1 Member: SRI International  

 SRI International is one of the world's leading independent research and technology development organizations. Founded as Stanford Research Institute in 1946, SRI has been meeting the strategic needs of clients for more than 60 years. The nonprofit research institute performs client-sponsored research and development for government agencies, commercial businesses, and private foundations in areas such as information technology, engineering, pharmaceuticals, physical sciences, and public policy. In addition to conducting contract R&D, SRI licenses its technologies, forms strategic partnerships, and creates spin-off companies. SRI's Shenandoah Valley facility in Harrisonburg, Virginia features SRI's Center for Advanced Drug Research, which will advance the state-of-the-art in drug research to improve the productivity of the pharmaceutical industry, help our nation respond to biothreats, and develop life-saving treatments for neglected and orphan diseases.  


SRI's state-of-the-art 40,000-square-foot research facility is located in Harrisonburg, Virginia on a 25-acre campus in the Innovation Village at Rockingham. The facility provides a convenient base for collaboration with academia, entrepreneurs, government, industry, and investors in Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C. area. SRI moved into its Shenandoah Valley laboratory facility in 2009 and further expanded in 2011 and 2013 to accommodate growth in its R&D programs.


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Highlighting Renewing Level 1 Member: Cottonwood Commercial

Cottonwood Commercial is one of western Virginia's most comprehensive commercial real estate resources. From its founding in Harrisonburg, Virginia in 1970, Cottonwood Commercial has been guided by the belief that it is not successful unless its clients are successful. Our goal is to build value for our customers by approaching our work with integrity, knowledge, and lots of good ideas. Over the years, our focus has broadened from being the predominant commercial real estate brokerage in the Harrisonburg-Rockingham County area to the broader Shenandoah Valley and beyond. Cottonwood Commercial's agents bring a diverse set of backgrounds and skills to their work. We are able to provide services across the board in commercial real estate. Our areas of assistance include: Shopping center leasing; Property Management; Site finding and brokering, Leasing of and brokering of office properties; Site selection for national retailers; Landlord and tenant representation; Investment real estate, including Triple net leases and 1031 exchanges; Multi-family brokering; Sale and purchases of farm acreage; Sale and purchase of convenience stores and gas stations; Leasing and sale of warehouse and industrial facilities. We at Cottonwood Commercial Realty welcome your interest and your inquiries as you consider buying, selling, or leasing commercial property along Virginia's growing I-81 corridor or into Central Virginia.
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Highlighting Renewing Individual Member: Michael Hawkins
Michael has over 30 years of combined experience in retail store management, custom printing, order processing, purchasing and corporate support roles with organizations that include the Kobacker Company, and WVPT - Public Television. His career path started at Picway Shoes in Harrisonburg as a Store Manager handling complete store operations, then shifted to the Folder Factory in Edinburg involving inside sales, order processing and purchasing. Michael's current profession, that being a Corporate Support Rep with WVPT - Public Television for the Shenandoah Valley and parts of Central Virginia and Northern Virginia, keeps him busy handling promotional underwriting, event sponsorships and media trades that target the unique PBS audience of business owners, educators, community leaders and high income / high asset professionals. Michael earned his B.S. in Business Management from Virginia Tech and is active in 3 of the area chamber of commerce's activities as well as the Valley Business Builders BNI chapter.
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800 S. Main Street MSC 4901
Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807



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Shenandoah Valley Technology Council | 800 S. Main Street | MSC 4901 | Harrisonburg | VA | 22807