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  • 05/03/2021 2:22 PM | Deleted user

    Jim Bradley, VP IT, Tecomet & Technology First Board, Past Chair

    So, what has it been like being a technology leader during these unprecedented times over the past year?  And how has the technology culture changed in the new normal virtual world?

    Technology Leadership

    Being a technology leader during the past year has been truly challenging.   For many of us, traveling has gone from regular to non-existent, whether that be local, regional, national, or global.  This has freed up a significant amount of time which was subsequently and rapidly filled with on-going remote video meetings, typically supported by more presentations.  Also, most of us are working longer hours without our usual commutes, both earlier in the morning and longer into the evenings and weekends.

    Many of us depended on personal face-to-face interactions with our customers, our team and our partners and suppliers.  We never thought it could or would work without that, but it has.  It is less personal for sure, without the ability to see full body language, having some of the interpersonal chats before or after the meetings, or the always valuable informal hallway chats or those during travel, meals, and drinks.  We’ve had to compensate and communicate in other ways.

    Our first thoughts were around the bandwidth for work from home, having enough computers, peripherals and accessories, cybersecurity, and personal home wi-fi and internet.  Many of these concerns were easier to overcome than initially anticipated.  One of the items we had to address quickly were electronic signatures, which also became easier than originally thought.

    What about Vision and Innovation?  Technology has received more respect over the past year; everyone began to see their own dependencies for sufficient and better technology.  On top of that, there was now more interest in how technology could help organizations more, adding to what was the technology vision and innovative solutions for many Executive Teams and Boards.  What else could we do for mobility, agility, productivity, and efficiency now that it was in the spotlight?  It was good for us to have more of a say at the table and to bring forth what else could be done.

    Technology Culture 

    As for the technology culture, changes in the new normal virtual world have been dramatic.  Technology influences our everyday lives and has a strong influence on culture.  It impacts the ways in which we do most anything; personal computers, mobile smartphones, tablets, e-mail, the internet, social media - how did we ever survive without these things before we had them?  They have changed the way we communicate, learn, think, and how we interact on daily basis.  We are more interactive and collaborative than ever before.  But do these items also lead to addiction, psychological, or physical health issues?

    Promoting technological understanding at a user level occurred as many, both in the professional and personal world, have become much more computer savvy, leading us to the point that we are all likely much more efficient…or are we?  While we think we are, what overall psychological or physical health detriments have we ignored?  How are we working harder and longer than ever before while remaining isolated from each other, unable to socially interact as we used to?  And how are we physically? Are we still getting as much exercise and/or are we eating better in a more sedentary world?  I would argue both worse and better depending on the individual.  Have you rebalanced your eating, drinking, and exercise habits to remain healthy while working longer, and more stationary, hours? I’ve seen many more people standing at their desks all day to compensate.       

    Information Exchange occurs predominantly via remote video meetings, as well as over the phone.  Is that as productive as a face-to-face meeting?  I say not, but I also see it working for some individuals.  But are we making tasks easier and solving problems this way?  I believe we are, there is more automation, less downtime, and we are still getting our jobs done. 

    What do you think?  My goal was to get you to consider all the pros and cons we’ve experienced in these past few months and truly think about it.  What would you like to change now, and what would you like to keep?   While we’ve still got a long way to go, keep your chin up and do what you can! Good luck!

  • 05/03/2021 2:19 PM | Deleted user

    Mardi Humphreys, Change Agent, Integration Edge

    The World Health Organization recognizes burnout as an official medical diagnosis caused by an unrelenting workload and/or no work-life balance. It’s number two on this list of what employees said were their biggest challenges during the pandemic.

    They feel

    ·         pressured to be available 24/7/365

    ·         lack of flexibility at work

    ·         worried about losing their jobs

    ·         overwhelmed dealing with shuttered daycare and online school

    ·         not at liberty to talk about outside-of-work issues affecting job performance

    To begin battling burnout, define, set, and enforce your personal boundaries with your manager.


    Your boundaries are based on your values and priorities. When defining them, think about what you need to feel empowered. The last time you felt undervalued, disrespected, or out of balance, what was the trigger? Did you have to work last weekend? Do you buy the office birthday cards and cupcakes for coworkers and it’s not in your job description? That’s where your boundary is. If you could live that situation over again, what action would you take to change it?


    ·         Does your manager randomly call you throughout the week? Schedule a recurring 1:1 catch up meeting with an agenda.

    ·         Feeling overwhelmed? Make a list of your priorities and ask your manager to do the same. In your next 1:1, compare lists. Are they different? Decide together what your top three responsibilities are and how much freedom you have to accomplish them.

    ·         If your manager’s expectations cross a boundary, how important is the boundary to you? Is a compromise possible? Is saying no a battle you want to fight?

    ·         Give updates on your projects’ statuses and request they prioritize them. Ask them to tell you more about why they need this assignment done in this timeframe, and why the task requires your unique skillset.

    ·         Personal goals count. If your manager wants you to stay late, but your trainer is meeting you at the gym at 6:00PM, offer to get started early tomorrow morning. Compromise so you aren’t saying no all the time.

    ·         Best practice is setting boundaries at the beginning of a project. For example: Make a rule to only answer texts after 7PM if it’s an emergency, and define what constitutes an emergency.

    ·         Use technology to help you communicate boundaries: change your status to busy in the business communication platform your company uses, calendar an hour a day and label it as busy. You don’t have to say what you’re using the time for. Get the kids started on their homework if that’s what it takes to enable you to finish your work.

    Burnout doesn’t just affect you; it affects the work too. You need to be flexible and accommodate the occasional emergency requiring overtime. But, regular work hours and exceeding the expectations of the project are good boundaries to help you both do the work every day and juggle the other aspects of your life. Do not apologize for protecting the time it takes to do the work you are already assigned.


    Practice for boundary crossers. Rehearsal takes the emotion out of holding your boundary. Visualize your manager asking you to work on a Sunday morning; what do you do? Instead of silently fuming over the infraction for hours, immediately reinforce your boundary by clearly and respectfully stating what it is and why it exists. Be consistent in holding healthy boundaries. You aren’t communicating clearly if you keep moving them. For example, if you said you won’t respond to emails after 7:00PM, don’t open your inbox.

    Your boundaries will be challenged. That will reveal where they are and help you to refine and iterate them. Those who set and hold boundaries gain respect. A friend just gave up a committee chair position because she assessed her commitments and realized she needed to off-load some. Will I miss her leadership? Yes. Do I respect her for making choices that help her achieve her goals? Absolutely.

  • 04/29/2021 2:37 PM | Deleted user

    Paul Webendorfer, Director of IT, ChangeUp Inc.

    Did you always want to work in IT?

    As far as career paths go, I am still weighing my options. I sincerely hope to make a decision before retirement, but the clock is ticking. Despite the fact that I have been working in IT for nearly 25 years, I had no aspirations of working in IT. I was actually planning for a career in financial law. Somewhere along the way, I took a job with a small local company, started helping with the fledgling IT department and the rest is history. Maybe I didn’t know what I really wanted to do or maybe it was just fate. Either way, I am blessed to have accidentally found a career that has provided me with so many challenges, so many rewards and so many opportunities to work with amazing people.

    What’s the best career advice you ever received?

    Throughout my career, my managers have primarily been on the business side of the organization, rather than the IT side of the organization. I think this factor helped form my “business first” IT philosophy. As a young man, just learning about business technology, enamored by technical bells and whistles, my boss gave me some excellent advice. He told me, “technology doesn’t mean a thing to us, if it doesn’t help the business.” This simple, practical advice set me on the right path of focusing on business solutions and not on the technology itself. To this day, I consider myself a business person working in IT, not an IT person working in business… and that has made a big difference for me.

  • 04/29/2021 2:32 PM | Deleted user

    Staff Writer

    Technology First had an opportunity to sit down, virtually of course, with Vincent Lewis, President of The Hub Powered by PNC, which is an exciting new joint venture here in Dayton. Given the April theme is building an innovation culture within our companies or individual teams, we thought getting a better understanding of this new organization’s mission and leader would be interesting to our 175 member companies.

    With over 95,000 square feet of unique space, The Hub sits in the heart of downtown Dayton and is breathing new life into the city as well as a historic landmark building that was built in 1906 and previously called Dayton Arcade. If you have not seen it yet, there is a great YouTube video called “The Dayton Arcade: Waking the Giant” we would personally recommend watching to get a little better understanding of the space The Hub and its development partners are helping to reclaim.

    The joint venture itself, which is between The Entrepreneurs Center and The University of Dayton, is designed to help drive forward new venture creation and social innovation and will also serve as the centralized location for the region’s entrepreneurs and innovators. An important part of that venture will be the team of organizations behind it which includes not only the University of Dayton, but the L. William Crotty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership program, which will be housed at The Hub, The Greater West Dayton Incubator, numerous Dayton-based startups, and the Entrepreneur Center. This team and the venture are designed to build out a critical and needed focal point of the activity that physically and programmatically will merge two of the region’s primary entrepreneur-oriented organizations. This space will allow the free flow of ideas and help facilitate what they call “serendipitous collisions” among innovative thinkers while offering practical, flexible, and cost-effective space solutions for entrepreneurs.

    At the heart of this effort are Vincent Lewis and a strong team of individuals who will be focused on driving both a cultural as well as a business impact. The Cultural Impact is focused on partnering with the City of Dayton to ensure the resources, talent, and capital available within The Hub can also positively impact the broader Dayton community. The Greater West Dayton Incubator is a good example of one of the partners tasked to ensure pathways are opened to the opportunities in our startup ecosystem for minority and women entrepreneurs in underserved areas.

    No less important will be the business impact The Hub has been tasked to accelerate. Primarily this impact will be focused on the opportunities for innovators and entrepreneurs to launch their ideas, grow their businesses, and drive prosperity within the startup ecosystem. The Entrepreneur Center itself has served as a tremendous advocate and supporter of entrepreneurs in the Miami Valley for years including small businesses, high-tech, and research commercialization-focused startups. Specifically, one of the Entrepreneur Center’s tasks will be continuing to provide support through its mentorship, funding, and marketing programs at The Hub.

    Based on Dayton’s heritage of innovation, strong work ethic, and existing business community, it presents a real possibility to create hundreds of new jobs and ripple across all segments of the business community.

    For more information about ways to engage with The Hub Powered by PNC Bank, visit



    In our time with Vincent, we had the opportunity to get to know him and asked him to share some personal things about himself and at the end of the conversation ways the Technology First Membership could collaborate with his team.

    What needs do you believe the Hub addresses in the region?

    The Hub meets many needs, but simply it will serve as a “Melting Pot” of opportunity and hands-on activities for a wide segment of our city, from the students and business owners who will occupy the 95,000 square feet of space to the citizens and investors looking for creative inventors, business owners, and other resources in our region.  This is also a great resource to give students the opportunity to remain in the region after graduation.

    What’s a lesson you can share that's shaped your work?

    Humility and learning you do not have all the answers and are not required to have all the answers to be successful were important lessons.

    What’s a trend in technology or innovation that you think maybe doesn’t get enough attention?

    I believe innovation is an overused word and there is not a straight line between technology and innovation. The Arcade serves as a great example of that. The origin story of the Arcade involves food wagons needing to get out of the rain so they started pulling into the building to better sell their products. It took many years and pivots to come to the current innovation and believe real innovation can take time.

    Do you have a personal favorite place in the region you like to visit? 

    With a smile, “The Arcade”. Vincent has always enjoyed the 360 miles of regional bike trails in the Dayton region and two of his favorite locations are Charleston Falls in Tipp City and Sugarcreek Metropark south of Bellbrook.

    Anything in closing you like to share with the Technology First Membership and overall technology community?  

    I believe the Technology Community is an important piece of critical infrastructure to any region and it’s extremely important that we continue to grow it here in Dayton. Having technology-focused companies such as DataYard support our launch is only one example of how we can continue to collaborate.

    Professional background

    A Western Kentucky graduate, Vincent went on to get his Master’s degree at Antioch University. After graduation, he went on to become the CEO of Hyde Park Electronics, a family-owned business at the time that would go on to become the #1 provider in the world (in front of companies such as Siemens) as a high-tech provider of ultra-sonic sensors technology. Over his 11 year career, he would lead the company on to eventually be sold to Schneider Electric. He would continue until leaving the company in 2007. He then went on to own Logos@Work,  with his wife for fourteen years, where he continues as chairman today. Finally, in 2014 he followed his love of teaching to his current role at The University of Dayton.

  • 04/29/2021 2:21 PM | Deleted user

    Jon Rike, CIO, City of Dayton

    What was your first Job?  

    My first job after graduating from college was providing IT support for executive leadership at the University of Dayton.  Looking back, I now realize how privileged I was to have access and exposure to phenomenal leaders like Brother Ray Fitz, Father Gene Contadino, Dr. Katy Marre, and Jaci Jackson.   As I've grown in my career, I've more fully realized that my leadership style and approach to management was fundamentally shaped by these interactions and the lessons I learned from great leaders.  Throughout my career I've done my best to "pay it forward" by modeling their approach and continually looking for opportunities to provide servant leadership.  

    What has been your greatest career achievement?

    Significant achievements in IT are typically associated with initiatives or projects that produce a fundamental impact at the enterprise level.  In my career I've been blessed to have led or contributed to many technology projects that have raised the bar and provided compelling benefits for the organization.  However, when I think of my greatest achievement I always come back to the team and the people.  As leaders we have an amazing opportunity to fundamentally change the trajectory of careers and lives.  My greatest achievement will always be associated with the investments I've made in my staff and the exponential growth that has followed!

    What's the best career advice you've ever received?

    One of the best pieces of career advice that I've ever received was provided in a quote by Harry Truman.  He famously said that "not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers".  This advice has really served me well in the area of information technology.  I truly believe that to successfully lead in this industry, you have to have an endless appetite for reading, learning, and growing.  Additionally, the pace of change within IT has accelerated to such a degree that any lapse in learning will quickly become a competitive disadvantage for the individual, the team, and the organization.  Thanks for the great advice President Truman!

    What advice would you give aspiring IT leaders?

    Enjoy the process of becoming! I think in life we often try to speed the process of reaching a given objective without fully embracing or appreciating the journey.  As Kobe Bryant said, "Those times when you get up early... those times when you stay up late... when you're too tired... you don't want to push yourself, but you do it anyway.   That is actually the dream."  Enjoy the ride, be a voracious reader, learn from your mistakes, and always put relationships first!

  • 04/20/2021 4:18 PM | Deleted user

    High School Tech Internship Pilot Program - Ohio Businesses.pdf

    The High School Tech Internship pilot program is an opportunity for Ohio employers to hire high school interns and receive reimbursement for their wages.

    The High School Tech Internship Pilot Program will connect 100 Ohio high school students with technology careers and businesses in Ohio. Businesses can hire summer interns by contacting one of 12 pilot sites across the state. Visit to learn how to participate in the program. Interns should be placed in technology roles that focus on software, data, cloud and IT infrastructure, and cybersecurity. Students will be expected to perform job duties similar to what would be expected in an entry-level position.

    Wage Reimbursement: 

    To qualify for wage reimbursement, employers must submit documentation proving that the individual was employed for a minimum of 150 hours and was paid at least $12 per hour. Employers will receive a higher wage reimbursement for younger students to help more students experience technology careers at an earlier age.

    Questions? Please contact the High School Tech Internship team via email:

  • 04/13/2021 9:12 AM | Deleted user

    Advanced Technology Consulting (ATC) has rolled out a refreshed logo, branding, and website to reflect ATC’s position more accurately in the digital transformation marketplace. In addition, ATC recently signed a lease for ~7,000 square feet of Class A office space on the fourth floor of Liberty Center, a mixed-use community in Liberty Township, just north of Cincinnati.

    ATC is an independent IT consulting firm specializing in digital transformation in four core areas: voice, network, cloud and cybersecurity.

    ATC will officially move into the new space this August. The need for new space has been fueled by ATC’s growth—eight consecutive record years—and demand for additional talent. ATC recently added three IT consultants and has tripled its Cincinnati workforce in a little over two years. Aggressive plans to onboard additional IT talent are part of ATC’s growth strategy.

    “With our growing team, we need a space that will fully engage our employees, clients, and partners on multiple fronts,” says David Goodwin, ATC Managing Partner & Co-Founder. “Liberty Center and our new office space will do just that. We’re eager to embrace this new brand and move to Liberty Center. Our new location on the I-75 corridor will allow us to further develop our regional presence.”

    ATC’s new logo and brand colors are refreshed but not altogether new. What remains as part of the new brand identity is the triangle, the blue and gray colors, and “ATC” spelled out in all caps. What is new is the aqua color and the 3D-like, technology-forward favicon. Phase one of ATC’s new website is up and running, with phase two slated for release in May.

    ATC’s new brand will be reflected within the new space, and ATC is currently working through an experiential design process that will exhibit ATC’s technology-forward brand characteristics. As conceived, the office will be a hub for collaboration where talent, technology, and expertise unite. Naturally, the space will utilize and showcase the technologies ATC evangelizes every day with clients.

    “It’s an exciting time for us,” says Louie Hollmeyer, ATC director of marketing and consultant. “Our work with clients has been wrapped around digital transformation for some time now, and it was essential for us to create a refreshed brand identity to better align with today and tomorrow.”

    By joining the Liberty Center community, Cincinnati’s hottest suburban hub, ATC will have access to unmatched amenities and finishes. The center offers immersive experience of endless dining and retail options, multifamily housing, onsite parking and community events. ATC’s new office also has excellent drive-by visibility and convenient access to both the Cincinnati and Dayton metropolitan areas, including Northern Kentucky.

    To learn more, visit ATC here and here.

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