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October 14, 2011 - click headlines for quick navigation 


SVTC Bits & Grits: Tuesday, October 18, 2011

FIRST Lego League & Teams Looking for T-Shirt Sponsors

Welcome Back Member: JMU's Office of Technology Transfer

Welcome Back Member: Shenandoah Valley Partnership

Welcome Back Individual Member: Patrick Barker

Free Webinar: What Does Social Media Mean for My Business? - October 19, 2011

Seminar for Non-Profit Leaders: October 20, 2011

SVTC Members on SVTC Membership


Tuesday, October 18, 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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FIRST Lego League (FLL) -  the "season" has started: local team update 

(eg a t-shirt sponsor is needed) 



FIRST Lego League Season is Underway...can you feel the excitement?  We certainly can and it's contagious!


In the the state of Virginia there are now over 500 registered FLL teams (comprised of 9 - 14 year olds with a coach/mentor). This means that we have the largest concentration of FLL teams anywhere (more than any other US state or country). 


Teams have formed and have gotten started: each September, a new challenge is unveiled to FLL teams across the world. Over the ensuing 8 weeks, the teams strategize, design, build, program, test and refine a fully autonomous robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS(TM) technology. The robots are capable of completing various challenge missions in a "Robot Game". The teams also search the Web, talk to scientists, visit the library and develop compelling presentations based on the FLL "Research Assignment", which relates to the problem identified in the Challenge. In addition to the challenge, the teams are evaluated in two other areas; Teamwork and Robot Design.


Our regionally-qualifying tournament will be held here in Harrisonburg (at JMU) on November 5, 2011. The winners from the regional tournaments then compete against each other in the state competition, which will also be held in Harrisonburg (December 3rd & 4th at JMU Memorial Hall / Harrisonburg High School.). BOTH of these competitions, regional and state, are OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Please join us! For more info, incl. parking at JMU, please visit the website for the SV regional FLL competition and the VA/DC FLL state competition.


The SVTC supports FIRST Lego League and again this year we are sponsoring 3 teams (we're reimbursing half of their start-up cost). In addition, we (our board of directors,  our staff, and our members) VOLUNTEER for both tournaments!  STEM education is what this is about of course (STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) so it's right up our alley :) 


Volunteers are always needed, so if you have half a day to give on Nov. 5th or Dec. 3rd or 4th, please send us a note ( Previous experience is NOT needed.  


However, if you are unable to volunteer on the day(s), here is another way to help:

Harrisonburg City Public Schools has 3 newly formed FLL teams this year (Thomas Harrison Middle School, Skyline Middle School and Stone Springs Elementary).  They could use your support in providing a sponsorship for team shirts. Each sponsor will be featured on the back of the shirt. If you are willing to donate to one or more of the schools please contact Amy Sabarre at or 276-340-1335. Please visit to learn more about FLL in Harrisonburg City Public Schools. 


mindstorm marauders fll team regionals November 2009

Mindstorm Marauders FLL Team 2009


What is FLL? The FIRST LEGO League (FLL), considered the "little league" of the FIRST Robotics Competition, is the result of a partnership between FIRST and the LEGO Company. FLL extends the FIRST concept of inspiring and celebrating science and technology to children aged 9 through 14, using real-world context and hands-on experimentation.

With the help of LEGO MINDSTORMS Robotics Invention System technology, young participants can build a robot and compete in a friendly, FIRST-style robotics event specially designed for their age group. Using LEGO bricks and other elements such as sensors, motors, and gears, teams gain hands-on experience in engineering and computer programming principles as they construct and program their unique robot inventions.

Visit the SVTC's FIRST Lego League Page to learn more. 


PS: the national non-profit organization that is instrumental in all of  this (plus 2 other robotics programs) is called FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). Yes, Dean Kamen is involved! 


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Welcome Back Member: JMU's Office of Technology Transfer


Our thanks to JMU's Office of Technology Transfer for their membership renewal.  We appreciate their support of the SVTC.


James Madison University's Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) mission is to promote innovation, enhance research by connecting inventors and industry, and foster economic development through protecting and commercializing intellectual property. Along with James Madison Innovations, Inc., JMU's intellectual property management and licensing organization, the two entities connect researchers, entrepreneurs, and professionals in industry and support services to bolster the entrepreneurial infrastructure and promote innovation in the Valley.

For more information visit or call (540) 568-2865.



Welcome Back Member: Shenandoah Valley Partnership


Our thanks to the Shenandoah Valley Partnership for their recent membership renewal.  A special thank you goes to Robin Sullenberger for his service on our Board of Directors.  Thanks Robin!


The Shenandoah Valley Partnership is a public/private economic development organization providing marketing and business assistance for the Shenandoah Valley.


Through regional cooperation the SVP brings together business, government, and education leaders to promote new investment, strengthen existing business, and guide labor force development to ensure a healthy economic future for the region.


The SVP region encompasses the counties of Augusta, Bath, Highland, Rockbridge, Rockingham, and Shenandoah; and cities of Buena Vista, Harrisonburg, Lexington, Staunton, and Waynesboro.


For more information visit or call (540) 568-3100.



Welcome Back Individual Member: Patrick Barker


Please join us in welcoming Patrick Barker back to our membership. 


Patrick Barker is the Executive Director of the Winchester-Frederick County Economic Development Commission located in Winchester, Virginia. 



Free Webinar: What Does Social Media Mean for My Business?

October 19 2011, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

National College, Harrisonburg, VA

You've heard about blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn,'s a Social Media Revolution! But what does this "revolution" mean for your business?

It means that it's going to take a new way of marketing and operations for businesses to be profitable.

It means pairing the best marketing strategies and with the right Social Media tools.Understanding your business and your market, plus learning just the basics of the new technology is the recipe for success.

In this FREE Webinar and Roundtable discussion, VSBDC Social Media Consultant Ray Sidney-Smith presents an overview of Social Media through the lens of Small Business. We'll follow up with a roundtable discussion. Come with questions and ready to view Social Media from a different perspective!

What we'll cover: 

  • What is the Social Media of today? What will it look like tomorrow so we can prepare?
  • What are the major players in Social Media, and how best to use them?
  • What are Social Media Best-Practices, and where to learn more?

Who should attend?

  • Small business owners and entrepreneurs
  • Office and retail managers and supervisors
  • Executive and administrative assistants

For Information on Viewing Options visit


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Seminar for Non-Profit Leaders

October 20, 2011, 8:30am-12:30pm

National College, Harrisonburg, VA

Seminar on Friend-Building and Fundraising for Non-Profits - Strategies for Harnessing the Power of Social Media results in the ability to reach, communicate with, and engage more people. 


Ms. Leslie Coty, president of Coty Connections, Inc. will be the seminar leader.  Coty Connections is a Social Media strategy and consulting company.  Leslie is an award-winning speaker who uses her passion and knowledge of Social Media to help organizations harness the power of Social Media.


As an example, 93% of adults in the U.S. use Facebook.  Collectively they spend a century of time on Facebook in any given month.  Facebook is but one of many Social Media Communication Channels that serve as powerful tools to reach, communicate with, and engage people.


Ms. Coty earned her BS and MBA degrees from the University of Buffalo and is a Certified Digital Marketing Consultant.  During the seminar she will share tips and best practices on how to correctly set up an organizational presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, as well as other Social Media Communication Channels.


Fee:  $25.00


For more information visit


"As a technology user and training coordinator, I find the SVTC luncheons a great source of information and networking.  I have developed contracts with businesses and trainers as a result of conversations at the meetings.  SVTC helps me to serve the needs of my customers and clients."

- Mary Sullivan, Training 

  Coordinator, Blue Ridge

  Community College, SV 

  Small Business Development



 * * * * * 


"SVTC membership has been an invaluable asset to Cadence over the years.  As a growing company in this area, our ability to leverage the many available networking activities continues to be an integral part of our on-going success.  Cadence has also benefited from recognition by the SVTC as the High Tech Company at the annual Tech Nite awards event." 


 - Chip Harvill, VP Marketing
   Cadence, Inc.


>> Ready to become a member, too?  

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