Dear Cory Donovan, Executive Director of The NewVa Corridor Technology Council, NCTC, The Technology Council,
I loved Tech Nite 9.0.
(Pictured second from the left is Joe Meredith, President of the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center–home of VT KnowledgeWorks–who won the NCTC NewVa Leadership Award, sponsored by The City of Roanoke. From left to right: Darlene Burcham, Joe Meredith, Cory Donovan, Neil Wilkin, and Aneesh Chopra.)
I use two measures to determine the success of a party: 1) how quickly guests have lively and loud conversations, and 2) how long they stay.
At a networking event, a measure of success is how reluctant people are to give up talking and to go sit down for the speaker.
You succeeded on all measures.
Sometimes when I attend networking events, I get edgy, focused on knowing and being known with shake-hand-and-biz-cards. When I left my house for Tech Nite, I decided to just appreciate the people and the experience.
You made that so easy.
Here’s my Tech Nite 9.0 appreciation list:
NCTC Office Manager Bethanne Trexell greeted me by name.
You and Bethanne put the cool green "Media" ribbon beneath my name tag. It expanded my consciousness since I hadn’t quite thought of myself in that way. Several people saw the ribbon and said, "Ooh, I’ll have to be careful what I say to her!" That was amusing, given I tend toward Pollyanna’s view of the world.
You and Bethanne made big name tags with big letters.
And you, Cory, were out among your guests, introducing them to each other. That meant that you and Bethanne had planned so carefully, and worked so hard and so successfully to set up the event, that you were free to be a host. That was a huge accomplishment.
Dennis R. Campbell, Cox Business, Peter Lazar, Vidrunner, Yong J. Lee, VisionPointSystems, and Scott W. Weimer, Continuing and Professional Education, Virginia Tech, all gave me business cards as part of interesting, important conversations.
Beef instead of chicken! Radical blue mashed potatoes! What a beautifully selected and savory meal! Thank you!
Standing on the edge of the reception area, then sitting in the back of the banquet room, and seeing an awing vista of hundreds of people with energy, vision, determination.
Listening to the confident, animated speaker, Aneesh Chopra, use statistics to give tangible shape to the power of the high-tech economy in Virginia.
Hearing the award winners–who could have justifiably reveled in being a star for the night–movingly express gratitude to their co-workers, co-founders, investors, and families.
Feeling the loose threads of the high-tech community members’ knowledge of each other weave together more tightly.
Feeling a shiver, a thrill about the future.
Wow, Cory, nice party! Thank you!
With respect and appreciation,
P.S. I saw Joe Meredith often at Tech Nite in his characteristic pose, statue-worthy, hand extended in greeting. Here’s an article from Virginia Tech on Joe Meredith’s award.