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May 4, 2012 - click headlines for quick navigation 


Tech Nite 12: Winners Announced

DNR Article: Honoring Local Innovators -- Annual Tech Nite Dishes Out Seven Awards

Members: Information on Election of SVTC Class II Board of Directors

SVTC Bits & Grits: May 15, 2012

Science Enabled by Photon Sources Workshop: May 16, 2012

NOVA EDU Startup Weekend - Big Data Meets EDU: June 1-3, 2012

2012 State Wind Energy Symposium: June 20-June 22, 2012

Member News: Blue Ridge Community College Announces BioProcessing Program

Virginia Tops Site Selection Magazine 2011 Competitiveness Ranking


Tech Nite 12 Winners Announced


Techies and non-techies from around the Valley packed into JMU's Festival Center last Wednesday to celebrate Tech Nite 12.  What a great event with lots of networking throughout the whole evening.  The food was delicious and we thoroughly enjoyed honoring our 33 nominees and the eight winners.  Thank you to everyone who participated in this event and congratulations to all our nominees and, of course, the winners.   


 Read the full narratives for each nomination (pdf) 


Tech Nite 12 winners are: 


Wharton Aldhizer and Weaver PLC's


 Dynamic Aviation


JMU College of Business &

JMU College of Integrated Science and Technology's


Hiram Tackett & Bill Tolbert, Vision Technology Group




 Joseph S. Paxton, Rockingham County    
Kurt Plowman, City of Staunton


Lumos Networks


Dr. Louise Temple, James Madison University, Integrated Science & Technology




Deborah Cross, Peter Muhlenberg Middle School


Center for Innovative Technology's


NIBCO of Virginia, Copper T Fitting Team


JMU Institute for Infrastructure and Information Assurance's


Jim Hartman, Truck Enterprises, Inc.


Many thanks to our sponsors who made this event possible:  

Blue Ridge Community College

Cadence, Inc.

Center for Innovative Technology

City of Harrisonburg

Daily News-Record

Dynamic Aviation

DIGICO Shoot I Post I Design

Harrisonburg City Public Schools 

Hollister Incorporated

JMU College of Business & JMU College of Integrated Science and Technology

 JMU College of Education

JMU Institute for Infrastructure and Information Assurance

JMU Research and Public Service & SRI International


Lumos Networks

Rockingham County 

Michael Scharf

Serco, Inc.


Wharton Aldhizer & Weaver PLC




DNR Article: Honoring Local Innovators -- Annual Tech Nite Dishes Out Seven Awards


Reprinted with the permission of Doug Manners.  Photos courtesy of Michael Reilly/DN-R 


May 3, 2012


Rockingham County Administrator Joe Paxton (left) receives the Dr. John Noftsinger Leadership Award from Mike Drzal, partner at LeClairRyan, during the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council Awards reception at the JMU Festival Conference and Student Center on Wednesday. LeClairRyan sponsored the award. (Photos by Michael Reilly / DN-R)



HARRISONBURG - Rockingham County shared in an award named after an area leader who helped make the Shenandoah Valley region a technology hub.

Joe Paxton, the county's administrator, received the Dr. John Noftsinger Leadership Award on Wednesday evening along with Kurt Plowman, chief technology officer for the city of Staunton, at the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council's annual awards reception.

The award honors the legacy of the late Noftsinger, who died unexpectedly in November at age 48. Noftsinger was the founder and first president of the technology council.
"John and I go back a long ways," Paxton said. "It's an honor to receive an award that's named after him."

Paxton deflected credit for the award to the county's Board of Supervisors for approving the plans that have encouraged technology growth and expansion.

The award highlighted the county's efforts to encourage SRI to establish a hub f


Keynote speaker Amy Michtich, vice president at MillerCoors Shenandoah Brewery, addresses the attendees during the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council Awards reception at the JMU Festival Conference and Student Center on Wednesday.

or biotechnology research and paving the way for multimillion-dollar advanced manufacturing investments at MillerCoors and Merck & Co.

Amy Michtich, vice president of the MillerCoors Shenandoah Brewery, gave the keynote speech and discussed how the company designed the highly automated brewery near Elkton.

A record 33 nominations were received for seven award categories at this year's Tech Nite 12.

The following is a brief summary of the other six winners honored during Wednesday's ceremony at James Madison University's Festival Conference and Student Center.

Flying High

Dynamic Aviation started as a small family-owned business specializing in aerial spraying and other agricultural tasks. Today, it's a high-tech leader focusing on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance services.

The Bridgewater-based aerial company captured the High Tech Company Award for its explosive growth in recent years. It has expanded from 150 employees to about 750 staff and contract workers, including more than 250 in Rockingham County.

In addition to ISR, the company's other major service markets are data acquisition, fire management and Sterile Insect Technique.

IT With A Vision

A Harrisonburg-based company that delivers IT services to businesses throughout the Valley won the High Tech Entrepreneur Award.

Hiram Tackett and Bill Tolbert founded Vision Technology Group in 2003 with the vision of offering advanced virtualization technologies to the small and medium business market.

Vision Technology Group doubled in size in 2011 and now serves more than 250 clients in five states.
Hooked On Science

Louise Temple wants to tempt more students to become scientists or technologists. So, she's tempting them early with a course for freshman students at JMU called Viral Discovery in which they collect soil samples and identify a virus.

"It's a real eye-opener for these young students," said Temple, a professor of integrated science and technology.

She earned the Innovation in Higher Education Award for her efforts to hook more students into STEM fields. Temple hopes the Viral Discovery model leads to similar opportunities in other science and engineering fields.
Eco-Conscious Approach

Emphasizing environmentally friendly business practices secured the Green Award for Jim Hartman, CEO of Harrisonburg-headquartered Truck Enterprises Inc.

He has implemented several eco-conscious projects, including installing waste oil furnaces to convert oil removed from trucks into heat. Hartman also has reduced energy costs by replacing opaque bay doors in TEI's service departments with translucent doors that allow in more natural light.
Tech In The Classroom

Deborah Cross, a seventh-grade U.S. history teacher at Peter Muhlenberg Middle School in Woodstock, is one of a handful of teachers within Shenandoah County who has integrated Web 2.0 learning into her students' daily classroom experience. 


Cross' use of technology to accelerate learning helped her to win the Innovation in K-12 Education Award, by far the most crowded field with 13 nominees. In her class, each student has a computer that serves as the textbook, workbook, test paper and project platform. 


"I think putting technology in the hands of our students is really the most important thing that we can do," Cross said.

Fit To A 'T'

A new patent-pending process and tool design for the copper "T" fitting earned a Stuarts Draft company the Innovative Technology Application Award.

NIBCO of Virginia focuses on copper fittings for plumbing applications. Employees John Schlabach, David Persinger, Timmy Buzzard and Rick Taylor created a new design that resulted in less material usage in the "T" fitting process.

This led to substantial savings in material costs while also improving water flow and reducing corrosion points.


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Members: Information on Election of SVTC Class II Board of Directors

SVTC members:  We are beginning our annual election process for the Class II of the SVTC Board of Directors and invitations are being sent, electronically, via email, to members within the next week. (Note: each member, whether individual or corporate, receives one vote per membership).

One note: We are using SurveyMonkey to generate individual links to the survey/ballot for each SVTC member - these links have an expiration date and can only be used once.

FYI: There are 11 slots and 11 candidates. The bios of the candidates are available on our website on our SVTC Board Elections page.

The slate is as follows: 

  • Dr. Kim Blosser, BRCC, Mathematics, Physical Sciences & Technology*
  • Ben Cash, BlueKey, Inc.*
  • Sarah Cheverton, JMU, Center for Instructional Technology*
  • Mike Goertzen, Serco, Inc.
  • Allon Lefever, Lefever Associates*
  • Daniel Martin, PBGH, LLP*
  • Kurt Plowman, City of Staunton*
  • Mike Rozmus, Rockingham Memorial Hospital
  • Bob Stolle, Center for Innovative Technology*
  • Robin Sullenberger, Shenandoah Valley Partnership*
  • Dr. Heather Watson, JMU, School of Engineering*

* Returning Board Member

If you'd like to vote in person instead of electronically, please plan on attending the annual membership meeting on May 24, 2012 (11:45 am) at the Wood Grill in Harrisonburg (this will also be a luncheon program).


If you have any questions, please contact Nicky at

Thanks in advance for your active participation!
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Bits & Grits

Tuesday, May 15, 2012, 8:00am

Mrs. Rowe's, Staunton


Our regularly scheduled breakfast event is held on the third Tuesday of every month. See you there! Reservations or membership not required.


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Science Enabled by Photon Sources Workshop

May 16, 2012, 8:30am - 5:00pm

JMU Festival Center

As we continue into the 21st century, our ability to explore natural phenomena is pushing toward limits previously unknown.  A compelling need is emerging in solid state physics, materials science, chemistry, biology, and geology, to investigate ultrafast (femto second frame rates) events, electronic and phonon excitations, relaxation phenomena, and out of equilibrium dynamics in complex and strongly correlated systems.  The practical application of such investigations will have profound benefits in the areas of energy/environmental sustainability, healthcare, and national security.

Join James Madison University as we provide an interactive environment in which to identify and document current and envisioned advanced photon source research.

This one-day program will feature research presentations from multiple disciplines, which will illustrate to the scientific and policy community the powerful capabilities of advanced photon sources, and the Commonwealth's research potential as new technologies and facilities are developed.  Do not miss the opportunity to learn more and share your findings! 
Free and open to faculty, students and the public (please be sure to register).




NOVA EDU Startup Weekend - Big Data Meets EDU

June 1-3, 2012

Microsoft, Reston VA

Sponsored by Apps4VA


Startup Weekends are 54-hour events designed to provide superior experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs. The weekend events are centered on action, innovation, and education. Beginning with Friday night pitches and continuing through testing, business model development, and basic prototype creation, Startup Weekends culminate in Sunday night demos to a panel of potential investors and local entrepreneurs.


Participants are challenged with building functional startups during the event and are able to collaborate with like-minded individuals outside of their daily networks.

For more information and to register visit:



2012 State Wind Energy Symposium
June 20 - June 22, 2012
East Campus of James Madison University


The goal of the symposium is to inform stakeholders and other interested parties about the progress that wind power made in the region over the past few years and opportunities for the future.  The Symposium will address timely issues pertaining to wind power development in Virginia and throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region, through a series of workshops and panel discussions. 

This year the Symposium will be held June 20-22, 2012 on the East Campus of James Madison University.

New this year we will be featuring:

  • Tours of our new Small Wind Training and Testing Facility
  • More exhibitors
  • A full 1.5 days of concurrent tracks and panel discussions
  • More time for Q&A in each panel discussion
  • A wind farm tour on the 22nd (limited availability) (TBD)

Visit for full information and to register


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Member News:  Blue Ridge Community College Announces BioProcessing Program

In response to local industry demand for bioprocessing training for incumbent workers, BRCC has developed a bioprocessing program that was officially unveiled to business and economic leaders, educational partners, as well as local government officials at SRI International this week.

"This program will have an immediate impact on the workforce needs of existing industries like bioscience, food processing and agriculture in the Shenandoah Valley. Over time, it will also be an important tool in the recruitment of new companies to the region, as we can showcase employees with technology based skill sets" explained Robin Sullenberger, CEO of the Shenandoah Valley Partnership.

"Along with a wide range of other local education service providers, we are working to show business and industry leaders that they will not find a more productive or better educated workforce than the one found here in the Shenandoah Valley," commented BRCC President, Dr. John Downey.


BRCC Bioprocessing instructor Devon Genus gave an overview of bioprocessing - including its history, methods, and applicability. He developed the current non-credit bioprocessing program to address an immediate demand for incumbent employee training, but also shared his vision for expanding the curriculum into an associate degree in the near future.

For more information on bioprocessing training and education offered by BRCC, please contact Mr. Devon Genus at (540) 234-9261.

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Virginia Tops Site Selection Magazine 2011 Competitiveness Ranking

~Competitiveness Award goes to the state with the most points earned in a 10-factor index~ 


Mark Arend, Editor in Chief: "The Virginia Economic Development Partnership and Governor Bob McDonnell have demonstrated that a pro-business, get-the-word-out strategy coupled with a predictable, low-tax business climate result in a competitive edge that is quantifiable."

[May 3, 2012] RICHMOND - Governor Bob McDonnell announced today that Site Selection magazine has named Virginia the winner of its 2011 Competitiveness Award, which recognizes excellence on the part of a state-level economic development group. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) was honored at an awards ceremony on April 23 at the Industrial Asset Management Council's spring 2012 Professional Forum in Austin, Texas. The Competitiveness Award goes to the state with the most points earned in a 10-factor index based mainly on Site Selection publisher Conway Data Inc.'s New Plant database of new and expanded facility announcements. For 2011 performance, Virginia scored 420.5 points. Texas (395), Ohio (387.5), Louisiana (382.5) and North Carolina (381.5) rounded out the top five.


continued  .....  Visit for full press release.

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