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  • 05/23/2022 2:13 PM | Marla Halley (Administrator)

    Technology First announces the election of two new members to its Board of Directors. The newly elected Board members are Karen Kauffman and Kevin Johnson.

    Technology First’s Executive Director, Melissa Cutcher, said, “We are so pleased to welcome these two talented individuals. Their unique backgrounds, skills and experiences will make them great additions to our board and the organization”.


    Karen Kauffman, Director of information Technology for Precision Strip Inc., which leads the industry in metal processing and technical capabilities. Precision Strip has grown to 15 locations throughout Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Alabama, Tennessee, and Michigan. Karen is passionate about innovation and supports Precision Strip as they continue their business through building locations and acquisitions.  

    Kevin Johnson, Vice President of Information Technology

    Wright-Patt Credit Union (WPCU) which is a not-for-profit cooperative, where members are owners of the credit union, and therefore share in a portion of the credit union's profits. Kevin supports WPCU by providing strategic and managerial responsibility for WPCU’s information technology division, including financial systems, data warehousing, technical services, IT Security, and Project Management Services.

    Technology First Board Members


    Board Chair - Scott McCollum - Sinclair College

    Vice Chair - Treg Gilstorf - Smart Data

    Treasurer - Bryan J. Hogan - Afidence


    Jim Bradley -Tecomet (Retired)

    Diana Bolden - (Retired)

    Paul Stoddard - Gartner

    Matt Coatney -Thompson Hine LLP

    Gary Ginter - Premier Health

    Lisa Heckler - CareSource

    John Huelsman - Hobart Service

    Don Hopkins - Wright State University

    Don Kennedy - Smart Data

    J.D. Whitlock - Dayton Children’s

    Paul Moorman - ND Paper (Retired)

    Thomas Skill, Ph.D. - University of Dayton

    Kevin Johnson - Wright-Patt Credit Union

    Robin Poffenberger - Washington Centerville Library

    Karen Kauffman - Precision-Strip

  • 05/23/2022 1:35 PM | Marla Halley (Administrator)

    By: Bill Baez, PhD, Vice President-Strategy, Ascend Innovations

    Data scientists begin analysis by working to understand the people and data involved before turning any numbers into actionable, data-driven insights. Data science frameworks often begin with an initial step of “Business Understanding”, as seen in the Cross-Industry Standard Process for Data Mining and Microsoft’s Team Data Science Process. However, like many analytical fields, data science is often defined using a cold, precise tone, like this one from a recent CIO article:

    The goal of data science is to construct the means for extracting business-focused insights from data. This requires an understanding of how value and information flows in a business, and the ability to use that understanding to identify business opportunities.[1]

    And while true, definitions like these often gloss over a fundamental aspect of these data-driven insights – the people using them.

    While data science frameworks often focus on the need to understand the business, they lack an emphasis on the individuals faced with problems that require the data scientist’s expertise to solve. To provide great and effective solutions, data scientists must be willing to understand what their users feel about their problems. Data scientists need to first empathize with their clients.

    A growing trend within data science is incorporating elements of design thinking into data science frameworks. Design thinking has long been used in product development and considers empathy to be the first step where researchers can get a better understanding of the problem users are trying to solve.

    Data science is fundamentally a collaborative effort between you and those using your solution. Data scientists that foster a deep interest in understanding the people for whom their products are built, create more effective data-driven products and services than those that deliver a sound technical package. Data scientists must place the same weight on understanding their user’s needs as they do in feature engineering or picking the right machine learning model. Not seeing the problem through the user’s eyes can lead to weeks, if not months, of wasted effort creating a model or dashboard that is ultimately not used.

    Historically, data scientists have focused on the technical aspects of a project to improve performance. Improved accuracy is only part of the equation when examining a product’s effectiveness. Increasing a model’s accuracy from 80% to 83% isn’t always the right metric to measure its impact on the problem you set out to solve. You want to find out how often that model or dashboard is being used and in what context. You also want to understand how much the decisions made by the models are acceptable to users, how to build trust in the results, and how your users identify value from your product. The answers to these questions will help data scientists develop solutions that are not only technically right but also effectively right for the people using them.  


    Bill Baez, PhD, Vice President-Strategy, Ascend Innovations

    Bill is currently the VP of Strategy at Ascend Innovations in Dayton, OH. In his role, he works closely with multiple departments to provide socially impactful, data-driven products and services to organizations trying to solve complex community problems.


  • 02/28/2022 4:25 PM | Marla Halley (Administrator)

    By Shawn Waldman – CEO – Secure Cyber Defense, Miamisburg, OH

    I've been in technology for over 25 years, and one of the first things I did in 2009 when Cybersecurity was becoming a thing was to have an external firm evaluate my program. Considering that I didn't have a program back then, the results were very enlightening. I hired a firm that could look at me through a completely different set of eyes. They didn't know my company or me and came at the task differently. 

    Let's look at some of the many reasons you would want to have this done. 


    First and foremost, we're seeing that many insurance carriers are explicitly asking you to have a 3rd party assessment to renew or obtain coverage. Unfortunately, this leaves the door open for interpretation of how the evaluation is carried out. We recommend using many mainstream compliance frameworks like the CIS Top 18 Controls, NIST 800-171, or the National Cybersecurity Framework. Depending on the maturity of your organization, you might also want to investigate the ISO 27000 set of standards.

    Risk Management

    When I'm talking to potential clients, one of the first things I usually talk about is that no business owner will decide about a significant move in just about anything without having good intelligence and information to support the action. Quite frankly, many company executives and managers are completely unaware of the Cybersecurity risk that might be present. A considerable benefit of the assessment process is that a seasoned and experienced assessor can pivot from the interview and look more profound for risk. What's the most common way risk makes its way into an organization? Change.

    Getting a Fresh Look

    Sometimes, it's just nice to get a second set of eyes on things to see if anything is missed or a different way of doing things. A natural reaction is to resist the need for an assessment because it can be seen as a threat or a sign of distrust. Quite the contrary, actually, in the over ten years I've been doing 3rd party assessments, I can only count on one hand the number of times that someone took it that way. Most companies and IT staff welcome a second set of eyes, especially with Cybersecurity, since most IT staff don't want to take on that expertise.

    Compliance Requirements

    Maybe your organization is required to maintain a certification or requirement for you to perform a contract or business with a customer. In this example, CMMC/DFARS/NIST is a perfect model. Since before the requirements were ratified, Secure Cyber Defense has performed pre-assessment work in this area as the customer's advocate. Although the CMMC rules are in flux (recently reduced from 5 levels down to 3), it's important to monitor new contracts for CMMC notification levels. Until then, make sure you work with a trusted provider who can start working with you through the Plan of Action and Milestones (POAM) and help prepare the System Security Plans (SSP). We recommend all defense contractors continue to work on the DFARS/NIST compliance pieces as regardless of what CMMC does, those components will be required for the foreseeable future. 

    Vendors/Customers Request It

    Next on the list, you would want a 3rd Party Cyber assessment because vendors and customers may require it. It's not out of the question, and many of you have already been requested to have an external evaluation to keep those relationships. These requests generally surround the increased push for organizations to keep their 3rd party vendors in check (i.e., CIS Control 15 covering service provider management). It's always good to keep a current external assessment on file; we recommend every year or every other year.

    Light Threat Hunting

    Something that we've been doing since the beginning has been doing what we call "light threat hunting." In the course of our assessment, we provide some threat hunts of known and documented threats (like log4j indicators) and communication with countries currently listed on the Office of Foreign Access Control (OFAC) list. Often, this can be a good indicator of a potential threat or evidence of one in history. As you are searching for 3rd party assessment vendors, I would ask about.

    Blow the Dust Off Your Policies

    The policy is still one of the not-so-glamorous parts of managing an IT Department and a Cybersecurity program. Things like an Incident Response Plan, Disaster Recovery, and Business Continuity were all things that were not on the priority list year ago. That being said, we've come across many organizations that have policies but haven't been updated for many years. Assessors can look at the guidelines that you do have and provide some feedback on any changes that might need to be made to make them current.

    C-Suite and Boards Take Note

    Executives in the C-Suite and Boards need to note that not having an external look at your organization can often put you in a blind spot. Like I've said previously, it's not a trust issue, and it's the fact that you can get tunnel vision looking at the same things for many years. Like I've said earlier, this happened to me when I was managing IT. Only when I hired an external firm to look at my organization did I learn that there were processes and information I didn't have about new hardware/software solutions available.

    Perform Regular Re-Assessments

    As indicated in this article, we recommend getting regular assessments and rotating through providers at least every other year, much like you would with penetration testing. The idea behind this is that you will get a completely different perspective and process each time you switch vendors.

    In Summary

    This article has spent a lot of time discussing why you would need to hire a firm to perform a 3rd party Cybersecurity assessment, and I've outlined many of the reasons we do them and some of the components that make up our service. Please spend some time interviewing the firm as one of the most valuable assets of an assessor is their background and experience and their ability to inject their years of expertise into your company.

    About Secure Cyber Defense  

    Secure Cyber Defense offers 24/7/365 threat monitoring services, Fortinet hardware, secure email, cybersecurity and compliance consulting, incident response services, and cybersecurity training for businesses and government agencies to protect company data from cyber threats. Offering both installed and "cybersecurity as a service" offerings, we scale custom solutions for any size organization. Secure Cyber Defense is a Premier Fortinet Partner.

  • 01/31/2022 1:57 PM | Marla Halley (Administrator)

    Mardi Humphreys, Change Agent, Integration Edge

    Tenacity is when we try something, but if it doesn’t work we try different ways to achieve the same goal. Here’s why and how we should develop tenacity on the job.


    Tenacity is a hard ability to train, so tenacious employees earn the respect of both their managers and peers. Workers willing to do what is necessary for the business to endure downturns are the ones who get to keep their jobs. Successful people are tenacious. Doing hard things and seeing them through to completion gives us confidence. We develop mental toughness and keep going when others quit. Most people expect Plan A to work every time, but how often does that really happen? There are 26 letters in the alphabet. Let’s be unafraid to go back to a failed Plan A and revise it to make a Plan B, Plan C, or however many letters it takes to overcome the setback. Let’s learn how to not make the same mistake twice. Making new mistakes is much more fun.


    • Perceive failures as experiments: When we think we’ve spent all our energy and ideas on overcoming our obstacle, let’s give it one more try and change the input to achieve a better outcome. Often, the answer lies just beyond what we think we’re capable of.
    • Set S.M.A.R.T. goals: We’ll filter our responsibilities through them. E.g., if we want to be the team’s SME for JavaScript, how do the tasks on our daily to-do lists get us closer to that goal?
    • Identify a coworker as a friendly rival. We’ll find someone who is competing for the same promotion or the same client, etc., and use her as the bar against which we measure our work. Does she know Excel better than us? We can take an online class (many are free with a library card) to increase our knowledge. I call competing with someone who is on my team “coopetition.” (Think Group Round during Hollywood Week on American Idol). We strive to outperform this person because we admire her success. We can use this as motivational fuel to course correct when we’re struggling. This study says we succeed when our rival succeeds. We can learn from her mistakes as well as build on her successes.
    • Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Let’s hang out with tenacious people: professional groups, friends, family, and people with our job title from other companies. We can also read biographies of tenacious people and study what they did.
    • Tenacious people are comfortable with being uncomfortable. If our fear of failure is holding us back, let’s do something about it. Let’s sift through the symptoms to get to the root. (Journaling may help us see it easier.) Then take baby steps every day to overcome it.

    Tenacity comes through practice. The bad news is, this means facing adversity over and over again. The good (?!) news is, life gives us plenty of adversity to practice with.

  • 01/31/2022 11:56 AM | Marla Halley (Administrator)

    Robin Poffenberger Support Services Manager, Washington-Centerville Public Library

    Research indicates that people are more likely to use public libraries during childhood, early parenthood, and retirement. Hopefully, some of you have fond memories of attending story time as a child or parent! But what can libraries offer you during the career stage of your life?  

    • Keep up to date with technology and business news using newspapers and magazines, available in both physical and digital editions. Many digital editions are always available, ready to read whenever and wherever you are.  

    • Sharpen and grow your skills to advance your current career or start a new one. Use your library card to access thousands of free video-based trainings via LinkedIn Learning or Udemy on topics ranging from project management to Microsoft 365 Administration. These resources are also a great way for small businesses to develop their employees. 

    • Need statistical information to provide justification for a new project? Statista has over 80,000 topics from over 18,000 sources combined in a single platform.  

    • Our Reference Librarians can assist you in finding free resources including business-oriented databases to create customer lists, develop and gather competitive intelligence, and investigate industries. 

    • Working at an international company? Improve communication with your colleagues by learning a new language using online language systems or mobile apps. 

    • Catch up on new and best-selling business books. Pick up a physical copy using curbside pickup or download an audio copy to your phone and listen while you commute or exercise. 

    Lifelong learning isn’t just about professional development. Studies show that we have fewer new experiences as we age, making time feel like it passes more quickly. Taking time for learning activities during your personal time also provides benefits such as helping your brain stay healthy and expanding your thinking. Libraries can help! 

    • Enlist your friends and family and test your sleuthing skills with digital escape rooms from the comfort of your own home.  

    • Learn new recipes or cooking skills using cookbooks and cooking magazines. Try traditional recipes from around the world using the AtoZ World Food online database or try regional recipes from the U.S. with AtoZ Food America. 

    • Go back in time to research your family tree using genealogy resources such as Ancestry, Fold 3 and HeritageQuest.  

    • Ready to buy a new car or try repairing your own? Check out Consumer Reports for reviews on new vehicles or tackle vehicle maintenance repairs with help from Chilton Library online. 

    • Tackle those intimidating home improvement projects with Home Improvement Reference Center. 

    • Plan your next trip with the help of the library! Get passports and passport photos, foreign language tutorials, travel books and more.  

    • Learn to knit, crochet, scrapbook, decorate cakes and more using CreativeBug, an online video tutorial resource. CreativeBug has thousands of award-winning art and craft video classes taught by recognized designers and artists. 

    If it’s been a while since you visited your local public library, stop in or visit us online to see how we can help you achieve your learning goals. 

  • 01/04/2022 11:28 AM | Deleted user

    Scott McCollum, CIO, Sinclair Community College and Chair, Technology First Board of Directors

    Every IT organization has their “table stakes” products for providing security over their infrastructure. These are the products such as anti-virus, firewalls, and mail scanning gateways that have become ubiquitous and a part of every IT department’s budget. Beyond these common products there are other, more capable products that are implemented in order to address other risks that the organization feels are in need of mitigation. In addition to this inventory of products that have been implemented, I don’t think I’d be going out on a limb to say that every organization, regardless of size or the number of products that are used, has a list of products that they feel would improve their security posture. If this truly is the case, then how do organizations ensure that the products on their “wish list” address their most important vulnerabilities, and how do they get approval for increasing their spend for yet another product to eliminate their remaining vulnerabilities?

    Sorry if you thought I had the answer to this most important question. Unfortunately, the number of vulnerabilities in an organization’s infrastructure are numerous and caused by many different factors. Some are due to bugs in the particular software that the organization uses, some are caused by flawed operational procedures of departmental users, and some are due to misconfiguration of systems. My point is that these issues will always exist and we can’t expect our budgets to continually grow to add more security products. In addition to the vastness of areas where vulnerabilities exist, we are faced with ever-tightening budgets that were already hard to justify increases in prior to the world-wide pandemic that has increased technology support costs while decreasing revenues.

    While we can’t eliminate all vulnerabilities, we must identify those vulnerabilities that pose the greatest risk for the organization and focus on these areas for process improvements and technology acquisition. In some cases this means repurposing of our resources, due to the lack of being able to justify additional funding. This repurposing can manifest itself in many ways. One way to repurpose resources is to eliminate products that don’t attack the greatest threats or to acquire a new product that provides these capabilities in addition to other unmet needs. Another strategy is to implement unused functionality in products that are already owned, but under-utilized. In addition to repurposing tools, there are also opportunities in many cases to repurpose personnel to focus on security functions and to work on improving processes and managing security products.

    The first step to being able to repurpose your security assets is to take an inventory of your environment for all resources that relate to security. This can be hard to do because there are some products that provide security, which are not exclusively security products, such as Microsoft 365. Once you have a total picture of the security inventory you can understand the security spend for your organization and where you might have an opportunity to repurpose resources. Identifying the risk that each of your products addresses allows you to map your “wish list” of additional security capabilities and determine how you might be able to perform any necessary repurposing before you make that much more difficult attempt to justify new funding.

  • 01/03/2022 1:18 PM | Deleted user

    Upskill your workforce with TechCred.

    No matter what industry you work in, technology is having an impact on the future of your business and the nature of your work. TechCred helps Ohioans learn new skills and helps employers build a stronger workforce with the skills needed in a tech-infused economy. Many of these trainings can be completed online!

    The TechCred application opens on January 3, 2022 and will close on January 31, 2022 at 3:00 p.m.

    Businesses applying for TechCred are required to list their Supplier ID Number on the TechCred application. To register as a new supplier or update an existing account with the State of Ohio, visit and follow the prompts until completed. Once this information has been approved, you will receive a ten-digit State of Ohio Supplier ID number.

    Beginning with Round 12 (January 2022), the following changes have been incorporated into the TechCred program:

    • Training for approved credentials must start on or after the Effective Date of the Grant Agreement and must be completed by the End Date of the Grant Agreement. The Effective Date of the Grant Agreement will be the first day of the month immediately following the last application period. Costs incurred by the Applicant prior to an award of eligibility and an executed Grant Agreement is done at the Applicant's risk.
    • TechCed Grant Agreements will be incorporated as part of the TechCred application. Upon receiving an award announcement, awardees will be directed to log into their application to provide an electronic signature certifying and acknowledging the Grant Agreement, Terms and Conditions, and the Program Guidelines.

  • 01/01/2022 2:19 PM | Deleted user

    Mardi Humphreys, Change Agent, Integration Edge

    7. Not having to remember my passwords – Every year about this time I have to either remember (uh, no) or find (ditto) the username and password I created last year for my annual updates (e.g., insurance renewals) and trainings (i.e., don’t ask). Has this prompted me to keep them in a safe place where I can find them once a year? (Again, uh, no.) When I go through the process of changing them, they are so long and involved (e.g., minimum 14 characters, at least one capital letter, at least 16 numbers, at least 11 special characters, etc.) it’s no wonder I fail to remember them or write them down. Luckily in 2022, Passwordless Authentication will become more common.

    6. Virtually trying before buying – Warby Parker already does this to a degree with their virtual try-on app. In 2022, Augmented Reality will allow sellers to create realistic 3D models of their products. Since stores’ fitting rooms are still closed (thanks, COVID), I’m looking forward to finally being able to discern if the back pockets on a pair of trousers are deep enough to hold my phones before purchasing them.

    5. Smaller mobile phone – 2022 will see 5G normalized. This means I can get a smaller (and cheaper) mobile because phone processors and graphics chips will become obsolete. My Spotify playlist will be streamed to my phone as if it’s a video feed. It also means I don’t have to be so quick to buy those trousers I mentioned in #6.

    4. No more colonoscopies – Kohler, Toto, and Google are all working on technology around Smart Toilets. So far, they can monitor health indicators like sugar levels, body temperature, and blood pressure, to name a few. Fingers crossed colonoscopies will soon be extinct.

    3. Becoming a permanent couch potato – by changing his company’s name to Meta and transitioning Facebook to one of its offerings, Mark Zuckerberg is declaring the advent of the metaverse. Defined by Zuckerberg as an embodied internet where you are in the content, not just viewing it, 2022 seems to be the beginning of a totally immersive environment. (Yes, like The Matrix. But hopefully, without all the dystopianism.) I look forward to visiting my friends’ Instagram accounts and eating the photos of the food they constantly post.

    2. My own personal robot servant – While I’m integrating into the metaverse, someone (or something) will have to keep an eye on things back here in reality. Sure, a robot can clean my floors, but in 2022, I expect to be able to purchase a robot that will also keep an eye out for burglars, make out my grocery list, and give me the answer to Final Jeopardy.

    1. Printing my own tiny house – In the interest of making my robot servant’s life easier, I’m willing to downsize to a tiny house. (Okay, maybe it doesn’t care, but I do. That’s what makes me so nice.) Given the current housing stock, I may have to 3D print one. The IEEE Computer Society thinks that 2022 will bring a revolution in fabrication for 3D printing. This will allow for the production of designs that, until now, would have been too expensive. Of course, it may take all of 2022 to 3D print my tiny house.

  • 01/01/2022 2:18 PM | Deleted user

    Kathy Vogler, Communications Manager, Expedient Technology Solutions

    I’m a member of a fantastic Dayton area technology leads group. We are homegrown and somewhat modeled after the very successful BNI group methodology. We cover technology from A to Z with one person representing each type of technology touch.  We are all “in technology” these days and we cover a large swath of technology with much of it residing in Gray Areas. 

    So exactly what is a Gray Area?

    A gray area is an often-used analogy to the area of color that exists between black and white, complete opposites.  To an artist, gray areas result from ambiguity and rich variations that naturally occur in our environments.  It’s been said that the ability to see and think in gray areas is a basic element of intelligence. A price can be expensive or cheap, but the gray area will determine if it’s a reasonable price or a good value.  It’s hard to categorize gray areas because often they are unique.  I saw this and it is a perfect example: A boat is like a canoe and a kayak without technically conforming to either of those categories.  Complex systems, like technology, are literally too complex to model easily.

    Are you a Boat or a Canoe?

    Who says they are in technology?  Everyone.  Not picking on any particular industry, because most people I know are really awesome people, but unfortunately, there are people who believe they can sell anything to anyone.  Do they say “I am a seller of a specific business product or service”? Nope, these days it may sound something like “I work in business technology and help people manage and reduce costs.”  And, while this is probably true, it falls into the gray area of technology.  Competition is fierce in nearly every business.  COVID took a toll on our traditional methods of working.  Remote and hybrid working changed things immediately and for the future. Supply chain issues are mounting and making us rethink our strategies.  It’s wise for all companies to look deeper into technologies to add to their repertoire. Often, non-technical companies in the traditional sense will acquire a technology team that compliments their existing services and salespeople are compensated for promoting and selling these newly added technologies.  The logic is that it’s all technology since everything plugs into the network.  I believe it’s critical that we always reflect our actual services and resources to our clients to avoid potential failures on their networks.  Businesses completely depend on their technology.  There are experts in all areas of business technology, from one extreme to the other and including all of those gray areas. 

    What exactly is business technology? 

    Simply put, business technology is any form of technology that is integrated directly into the operation of a business.  Twenty years ago, when I took a job at a technology company, it was fairly straightforward with infrastructure/hardware at one side of the building and programming/software at the other.  Gray area at that time was if your company did both.  As our reliance on the internet grew, so did the complexities of technology.  Ironically, the dot-com bubble burst at about that same time, but progressive-thinking companies survived and flourished.  Voice over IP originated around 1995 and grew to become a business standard.  Video communications, fax sharing, integration of copiers and door alarms all made our work experience more efficient by using the internet.

    And of course, the introduction of the indispensable grand champion of smartphones (thank you Steve Jobs) changed it all. Social media arrived, the cloud became a go-to resource, we no longer stored our data on portable files that someone took home, and disaster recovery become a must-have business plan. Additionally, we have artificial intelligence, commercial drones, driverless vehicles, virtual reality, the Industrial Internet of Things, cloud and collaborative robots, and digital everything. We must never forget that cybercriminals evolve along with these changes.

    To quote Pink Floyd “It could be made into a monster if we all pull together as a team.”

    I mentioned I was part of a technology networking group, and this is how we work together, as a team.  Yes, we have a ton of overlap, and I don’t want to use the term “cooperative competition,” but in our group we each fill predetermined roles and truly help each other.  By doing this, we are collectively helping our clients and the Greater Dayton region with skilled resources in every aspect of technology.

    Here are our group’s categories:

    • ·         Data integration
    • ·         Office hardware/software
    • ·         Managed IT services (this is my spot)
    • ·         IT coaching
    • ·         IT staffing
    • ·         IT promotional video
    • ·         Structured cabling
    • ·         Website and digital marketing
    • ·         Fiber optics telecommunications
    • ·         Copier and managed print services
    • ·         Telecom/phone systems
    • ·         Trade association education (this is Technology First’s spot)
    • ·         Training and coding
    • ·         Cybersecurity
    • ·         Hardware OEM
    • ·         Robotics
    • ·         Software testing
    • ·         Virtual reality

    It’s an interesting mix and we have a ton of overlap with lots of gray areas to cover. But the plan with this thought process is that by working together we provide transparency and the right resources for our collective clients.  I took a quick look at “cybersecurity” and that one category all by itself has nearly as much gray area as the rest of technology.  It seems we live and work in the Gray Zone.  

    If you ask me what my company does, I will tell you “We’re a cybersecurity-focused managed IT services company.”  Sure, we do a lot of other things too, but I think this is a very black and white statement and hopefully easy to understand.  Technology First is the embodiment of this strategy with a mission to connect, strengthen and champion our IT community. Area businesses, and all their employees, will succeed and continue to grow if they are using the right technology resources for their needs. Let’s all be a part of that success as it ripples through our community.

  • 12/01/2021 10:47 AM | Deleted user

    Melissa Cutcher, Executive Director, Technology First

    As this year ends, I have been reflecting on our mission to connect, strengthen and be a champion for our IT community. So much has happened this year!

    • Technology First hosted almost fifty special interest group meetings to engage regional leadership, to learn and find inspiration in their field of interest. With over 1,000 IT professionals in attendance!
    • We hosted our first ever virtual digital mixer in partnership with Jobs Ohio and SOCHE. We had over twenty-five employers and over two hundred students and adults register for the event. It was a tremendous success, and we look forward to hosting the next Digital Mixer on Wednesday, February 16th, at WSU Student Union.
    • In April we launched a new website! The new website is fantastic and allows for peer-to-peer communication through the forums. If you have not checked it out yet…
    • We hosted a Girl Scout Cyber Challenge in partnership with Girl Scouts of Western Ohio to explore the world of Cybersecurity for a day filled with activities. Activities were led by over twenty cyber security professionals/volunteers. Volunteers tasked just under fifty plus girl scouts with stopping a cybersecurity breach and went through various stations to break through technological based challenges.
    • Technology First awarded $5500 in Scholarships to IT students at University of Dayton, The Ohio State University, Wright State University, and Sinclair Community College. To date we have awarded over $95,000 to students across the region! And this year the golf outing raised over $3800 for the Technology First Scholarship Fund!
    • We participated in Career Adventure Camp in partnership with Dayton Metro Library and hosted four stations with almost 20 IT professionals who volunteered their time and talents towards to share IT career pathways with over 950 7th & 8th grade students. Our volunteers shared their professional journeys and experiences with the students and inspired them to consider careers in IT.
    • Taste of IT 2021 was in-person! Wow, what a momentous event and it was amazing to see everyone in 3-D. We had two keynotes, twenty-five breakout sessions, over thirty exhibitors and over 300 IT professionals in attendance. It was a major event full of learning, networking, and fun! We look forward to seeing you next year for the 16th Annual Taste of IT on Wednesday, November 16, 2022!

    AND, oh so much more! We would not be able to accomplish all these remarkable things, and more, if it were not for the amazing leadership and volunteers that make up Technology First. Thank you so much for your support. Volunteers change the world, and we are forever grateful! Thank you for joining us and we look forward to seeing you in 2022!


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