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November 18, 2011 - click headlines for quick navigation 


Remembering Dr. John Noftstinger

A Special Tech on The Square: Remembering Dr. John Noftsinger: Thursday, December 1, 2011

CIT Webinar on Market Research Basics: November 22, 2011

Enhance Your Organization's Facebook Page: November 22, 2011

Building an Online Community with your Church's Facebook Page: November 22, 2011

Google+ for Business Workshop: December 5 or December 7, 2011

2012 Pre-Session Legislative Breakfast: Tuesday, December 13, 2011

SVTC Bits & Grits: Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Job Posting: IT Manager for the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy


Remembering Dr. John Noftsinger 


Dr. John Noftsinger was one of founders of the SVTC, its first president, and served on the board of directors for many years


As many of you already know, one of our own, Dr. John Noftsinger, passed away late Thursday evening last week - and we're still quite rattled with the news. He was the Vice Provost for Research and Public Service at James Madison University but of course also wore several other hats, so to speak. Dr. Noftsinger was a well-regarded member of the university, technology, and business communities, here in the Valley as well as across the Commonwealth.  He will be missed on so many levels and in so many parts around the state.


Rather than re-post all his accomplishments here -and they are numerous, far-reaching and have enduring impact- we thought we'd share some vignettes from the folks who were there with him when he council was founded. As you know, we regard him as our founding father. He remained keenly interested in the SVTC, and our members and projects and meetings, even after he departed the board of directors and he continued to attend whenever he could throughout the years.


A succinct article on his impact on technology in the region was written by Jorge Valencia in the Roanoke Times last Saturday: JMU Official made region a technology hub 


Please note that we are planning on gathering techies and non-techies from near and far on Dec. 1, 2011 at the Montpelier Room (East Campus Dining Hall, JMU) 5 pm to honor and remember John. The registration is in a separate box in this newsletter as well as on our website   


Below are some vignettes from three that were there with him when the idea of a technology council in the Valley was born. 


Willy Pirtle, Vice President of Sales and Marketing,

Wireless and Wireline, Shentel:

I remember the very first time I met John. It was the summer of 1996 and I was driving up and down Interstate 81 looking for a place to put wireless cell site antennas to provide coverage in and around JMU.  While I was driving I noticed the new tower in front of the brand new building for the College of Integrated Science and Technology (CISAT) building I made a few phone calls and I was told that I should talk to John Noftsinger. So I made an appointment and I went to see John. In 1996 my request was rather unusual - I told John that I wanted to hide wireless cell site antenna inside the tower to provide wireless voice and data coverage for JMU and the surrounding area. I was sure that he would look at me funny and say - "you're crazy, and get out of my office!", but no, he thought about it a minute and said - "what a perfect use for that tower, particularly since it's part of the College of Integrated Science and Technology - to combine the building's physical infrastructure with wireless technology is a great idea!!"  John got it, just like all the other things that he got, and understood and supported long before anyone else.
The second time I talked to John was only a couple of days later when he called to talk about my idea, and to tell me about a problem he needed help with.  He had been involved in the tech community for a while in Richmond and DC, and they had put together a map of the state of Virginia to depict the technology councils that had been created and what areas they represented.  After the map was finished and distributed John noticed what came to be called "the hole in the donut" - the area on the map that was not represented by a tech council and it happened to be in and around JMU and the Shenandoah Valley region - well John knew just what to do, and he ask me to partner with him to bring a tech council to the Shenandoah Valley, and as they say - the rest is history ...


 * * * * *


Ron Perry, grepInnovation:
In 1997 I was honored to help author the Commonwealth's Blueprint for Technology.  This effort was hosted by Virginia's CIT in Herndon, where each meeting included charts and slides with amoeba-shaped blobs that highlighted technology in northern Virginia, Richmond and Hampton Roads, but almost nothing west of US 29.  We didn't even warrant a blob.

As I badgered CIT about my frustration with being blob-less, they pointed out the Valley needed a voice, maybe a technology council.  Researching what a technology council was and how to start one, I discovered that not only were startup grants available from the Commonwealth and CIT, but JMU had a brilliant entrepreneur, Dr. John Noftsinger, who was already way out in front of starting a council.  'Way Out in Front' is where you could usually find John, which hard enough in one realm, but he was WOiF in many more arenas than just technology.

Today the Valley and Southwest Virginia get blobs on many important charts across the nation thanks to John, a unique blend of friendship, vision, leadership, energy and the mischief of Calvin and Hobbes.  John was, and will continue to be, the Valley's Technology Voice. 


* * * * *


Liz Knight, Director, Community Development & Partnerships, James Madison University:
John told many of us the story of the beginning of the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council.  As John attended meetings throughout the state he met with government and industry leaders and had an opportunity to learn what was happening across the Commonwealth.

He was attending a meeting in Richmond and saw a map of the state that showed locations of technology councils.  He noticed that there was a big hole in the Shenandoah Valley and realized the potential for the Valley to be a major contributor to technology in the state. He immediately began asking Valley leaders to meet and discuss the need for a technology council in the Valley.  Everyone agreed that there was an opportunity and a need for a coordinated effort to bring recognition to the technology in the greater Shenandoah Valley region.  The group, under John's leadership, began to formally develop the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council.  One of the first events was a very successful "technology fair" which was held in Harrisonburg and attracted technology companies from the Valley and beyond.  Another of John's visions was realized as the Tech Council flourished and became a viable tool to promote the technology of the Valley.



A Special Tech on The Square: Remembering Dr. John Noftsinger

Thursday, December 1, 2011, 5:00-7:00pm

Montpelier Room, East Campus Dining Hall

1681 Carrier Drive, James Madison University

Join us for a Tech on The Square with a difference.  This is a specially scheduled gathering to provide the technology community with an opportunity to remember and share stories about Dr. John Noftsinger.

John was a founder of the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council and served as its first president from 1997-2003.  He was a strong supporter of the council and a voice for technology and economic development in the Shenandoah Valley.  He will be missed in many many ways. Come share your stories and help us remember him.


We'll have some munchies, and a cash bar will also be available.


So that we can order the right amount of food, please register to attend the Tech On The Square: Remembering John Nosftsinger - and as a bonus, we'll have a pre-printed nametag ready for you.


A day before the event, we'll send a confirmation email which will include parking lot information.


We look forward to seeing you.


Please register by close of business, Monday, Nov. 28, 2011.



Center for Innovative Technology Webinar on Market Research Basics

Tuesday, November 22, 2011, 1:00-2:30pm

Market Research Basics. Ideal for early stage technology firms! 

Market research can be the most time consuming and important part of any federal R&D grant submissions. Knowing where to look, how to look, what low cost and high cost options are available, and what is adequate are all important pieces to a very important puzzle.
At this WEBINAR, you'll learn:

  • What is Market Research?;
  • The "top down" vs. "bottom up" approach;
  • Best sources of marketi information;
  • Definition of target customer;
  • Market segmentation and sizing;
  • Competitive market analysis;
  • Low cost and high cost methods to consider;
  • How specific do you need to get;
  • How much should you spend? 


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Enhance Your Organization's Facebook Page

Tuesday, November 22, 2011, 1:00-2:30pm

National College, 1515 Country Club Road, Harrisonburg

So your organization wants to learn how to create, maintain, and grow a Facebook page.


Or, your organization is already on Facebook but you would like to learn the tips and tricks to maximize its effectiveness.


Attend this 90 minute workshop on building "commuity" among your donors, supporters, and constituents, attract new donors and supportors, and increase your organization's visibility.


Alternative platforms to Facebook will also be considered.

There is no Registration Fee to attend this workshop.  We do ask for a $15 Materials Fee to cover the cost of printing handouts, etc.


Participants should bring a laptop that has WiFi capability.


To ensure personal attention this workshop has been limited to 10 participants.



Building an Online Community with your Church's Facebook Page

Tuesday, November 22, 2011, 9:00-10:30am

National College, 1515 Country Club Road, Harrisonburg


So Your Church wants to be on Facebook!

Attend this 90 minute workshop to learn how to create, maintain, and grow your Church's Facebook page.  Get tips and tricks to maximize its effectiveness.

Learn how to build "community" among your congregants, attract potential new members, and increase your church's visibility.

Alternative platforms to Facebook will also be considered.

There is no registration fee to attend this workshop.  We do ask for a $15 materials fee to cover the cost of printing handouts, etc.

Participants should bring a laptop that has WiFi capability.

To ensure personal attention this workshop has been limited to 10 participants.




Google+ for Business Workshop

Monday, December 5, 2011, 9:00-10:30am, or

Wednesday, December 7, 2011, 1:00-2:30pm

National College, 1515 Country Club Road, Harrisonburg


Google has just announced the availability of Google+ to businesses.  This is a BIG deal!  Attend this workshop to consider how the features of this powerful new platform can help your business, and how they compare to those recently made available through Facebook.

Google+ may be better suited for a small business than Facebook. Its Circles Concept, Group Interaction, and Broadcast represent intriguing possibilities.

This Workshop will examine the features of Google+ and compare and contrast it with the new features of Facebook just introduced in response to Google's announcement.

Be among the first to consider using Google+ for your business needs.


2012 Pre-Session Legislative Breakfast

December 13, 2011, 7:30-9:00am

Festival Conference & Student Center, JMU

Presented by the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce, JMU's Research and Public Service, and the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council.

Don't miss this opportunity to find out what the 2012 General Assembly will be discussing.  How do our legislators plan to improve our businesses' economic competitiveness, and ensure the quality of life we have come to expect? Get the insights and early prognostications at the premier Pre-Session Legislative Breakfast in the Shenandoah Valley.

The following legislators have been invited to attend:

  • Senator Mark Obenshain
  • Senator Emmett Hanger
  • Delegate Steve Landes
  • Delegate Tony Wilt
  • Delegate Rob Bell
  • Delegate Todd Gilbert

FREE (including breakfast); however registration is required by December 8, 2011.



Bits & Grits

Tuesday, December 20, 2011, 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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Job Posting: IT Manager for the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy
The Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy is seeking qualified candidates for the position of an IT Manager.  The Batten School is the newest school at the University of Virginia in more than half a century and the School has experienced rapid growth since its founding in 2007. The IT Manager will plan and execute the strategic and operational management of the Batten School's information and technology needs, including the implementation and integration of system and technology initiatives necessary to achieve organizational goals.


This position entails both administrative and operational responsibilities. Administrative responsibilities include: effective leadership, developing and documenting plans, policy, standards, procedures and checklists; managing technology assets; assists in the development of the Information Technology (IT) budget; network management and operations; assessing, designing and providing system and technology training; analyzing requirements and developing functional design specifications; and, recommending and implementing system and technology solutions and improvements. Operational responsibilities include: providing system and technical support to users; assisting users to maximize technology; troubleshooting systems and technology; multitasking and automating organizational tasks. 


The successful candidate must have excellent customer service skills, be a high performing team player, and possess strong communication and interpersonal skills. This position will report directly to the Director of Administrative Affairs.


To express interest in this opportunity please apply online at

Contact Lara Jacobsen, Director of Administrative Affairs, at with any questions.


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