Annual Board of Directors Election
The SVTC’s Board of Directors is divided into two groups, called classes, for governance purposes. Each year, the term of one of the classes expires. To prepare, the council (the members) holds elections in the spring of each year so that a new class of directors is elected and can be appointed by the board of directors before the end of the term on June 30th.
The spring 2021 Board of Directors election concerns class I of directors. The SVTC manages the nomination and election process via its Governance and Organization Committee, and all members who are in good standing will be invited to vote in June 2021. The term for the to-be-elected class II of directors will begin on July 1 and is 2 years long.
A summary of the process:
The SVTC Organization & Governance Committee received suggestions for a new class I of directors by April 30, 2021 and evaluated, and later approved, them together with the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors.
- The list of class I candidates and their biographies is posted below.
- On June 8, 2021 eligible SVTC members were invited to vote -using a special link- which was sent by email. Each member, whether individual or corporate, receives one vote per membership.
- The process concludes at the Annual Meeting of members (June 16, 4:05 pm, at the beginning of Tech Nite 21, virtually, in the Remo platform. Members who’d like to attend the Annual Meeting only, can make a free reservation using the Tech Nite reservation form and checking the corresponding box.) The SVTC BoD meets before June 30, 2021 to review the election and appoint directors to the 2-year term (which starts July 1, 2021).
2021 Slate of Candidates:
Chris Ashley | Collegiate Customs
Chris Ashley graduated magna cum laude from James Madison University in 2017 with a B.B.A in Economics. After graduation, Chris chose to stay in Harrisonburg to launch his custom apparel company, Collegiate Customs. While scaling Collegiate Customs to multiple universities throughout the East Coast, Chris also co-founded Vulcan Machine Co, where his team has designed and is manufacturing their own compact, cast-iron precision CNC milling machine. Vulcan is currently in testing with 10 beta users, and plans to launch retail sales in Q3 2020. Most recently, Chris participated in the nationwide response to the COVID-19 Pandemic by launching Valley Guard Supply- a Made in USA surgical mask manufacturing facility in Harrisonburg. While continuing to focus on growing all his ventures, Chris is also focused on contributing to the local startup community, and helping other aspiring entrepreneurs get started.
Joanna Bergdoll | Generate Impact
Joanna Bergdoll is a people and relationship-centered person who brings over 15 years of diverse and extensive experience to her role as Director of Operations at Generate Impact. Joanna began her career in technology as a technical writer, writing instructions for many different types of software and hardware large companies, and government agencies. In order to do this successfully, she taught herself to use the systems and test every step for the guides she wrote. Joanna moved into administration and operations in web design and marketing.
Thomas Ewing (*) | Sentara Healthcare
Thomas Ewing Jr. is a veteran of the US Navy and has 38 years of Information Technology and Business Management experience. He has a strong technical background in electronics and information technology and has applied those skills -and education in business management- as Director of IT at Sentara Healthcare. Mr. Ewing lives in Stuarts Draft, Va. with his wife of 35 years. He enjoys spending time kayaking and fishing in the many lakes in Virginia.
Jay Guruswamy | Cadence, Inc.
Jay Guruswamy currently serves as the Director of Information Technology at Cadence, Inc., a contract manufacturing partner providing advanced products, technologies, and services to medical devices, life science, and industrial companies. Cadence employs approximately 500 people with its corporate headquarters in Staunton, Virginia, and additional manufacturing locations in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin. Jay’s responsibility is to oversee the IT infrastructure and IT support at all the Cadence manufacturing facilities. Prior to joining Cadence in 2015, Jay served in various information technology roles in several different organizations – Virginia Panel Corporation, Genworth Financial, GE Financial Assurance, and GE Industrial Systems. His background also includes several different roles at Radford University – Academic computing administrator and Assistant professor of Computer Science. Additionally, Jay served briefly as the lead software developer for a multimedia software development company in the late 1990s. While at GE, Jay also worked in a “Six Sigma Blackbelt” role where the responsibility was to apply DMAIC methodologies to improve processes by reducing variation. Jay’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Madras in India, a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering degree, and a Master of Science in Computer Science degree, from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. Jay has a PMP certification from the Project Management Institute.
Rachael Harnish (*) | Shogun
Rachael is Director of Operations at Shogun, a venture-backed eCommerce startup. in this position, Rachael oversees the finance, accounting, legal, compliance, operations, and people functions of the business. Prior to working at Shogun, Rachael was Director of Operations at Quantic School of Business and Technology, an education technology startup. She also served as executive assistant to the CEO and Board of Sentara RMH, and a Business Operations Manager at Rosetta Stone. She received her Masters of Business Administration at James Madison University and a dual bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Liberal Arts with a Chemistry concentration from Eastern Mennonite University. She is a former board member and board chair at Harrisonburg Community Health Center. Rachael works remotely from and lives on a 25-acre farmette with her husband, two children, and many farm animals in Singers Glen.
Doug Pascarella | Dynamic Aviation
Doug Pascarella currently serves as Vice President, Information Technology for Dynamic Aviation Group located in Bridgewater, Virginia a provider of modified aircraft and services to commercial and government clients. In this role, Doug oversees the IT infrastructure, communication, system development, and integration, and general IT support activities for over 700 employees. In addition to his IT responsibilities, Doug is a member of the senior leadership team working with his colleagues in advancing the mission of Dynamic Aviation. Prior to his current position, Doug has spent time as an independent consultant and in various IT leadership roles for JD Power, National Automobile Dealers Association, and other organizations. Doug received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Clarion University of PA and his Master of Science in Management Information Systems from The George Washington University. In his spare time, Doug conducts online technology courses for the University of Phoenix. He resides in Port Republic with his wife Kate, 14-year-old daughter Madison, and 11-year-old son Jonathan.
Ed Pease | Blue Ridge Community College
Edward (Ed) Pease is the Chief Information Officer for Blue Ridge Community College. He has 39 years of experience in the Information Technology field. He earned his B.S. degree in Psychology and Sociology from Bridgewater College and an MBA from James Madison University. In 2009, he earned his Project Management Professional certification qualifications from Villanova University and is a current PMP and member of the Washington D.C. chapter. In addition, he is an active member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
Greg St. Ours | Wharton Aldhizer & Weaver
Greg St. Ours joined Wharton Aldhizer & Weaver, a full-service commercial, intellectual property, employment, and litigation law firm, in December 1985 when Greg and his wife, Deb, left Fairfax County and his antitrust law practice with a large D.C. law firm to raise their 4, and ultimately 8, kids in the Valley.
Nick Swayne | JMU X-Labs; 4-Virginia
Nick Swayne, PhD., is the Executive Director of 4-Virginia, the 4-VA Campus Coordinator for JMU, and faculty in Learning Technology and Leadership Education at James Madison University. In his capacity as Executive Director, he leads the collaboration of Virginia’s eight partner institutions in meeting the mission to promote collaborations that leverage the strengths of each partner university and improve the efficiency and economic impact of higher education across the Commonwealth. He is a retired Army officer with 26 years of service, the founder of JMU X-Labs, faculty advisor for the Stanford University Innovation Fellows, founding mentor in the Stanford Faculty Innovation Fellows program, the Executive Director of Virginia-DC FIRST LEGO League, co-chair of the Veteran Scholar’s Task Force, co-founder of the Harrisonburg Regional Veterans Collaborative. Nick is an alumnus of the School of Strategic Leadership, completing his doctorate in postsecondary innovation systems. He is serving as Vice-Chair in his fourth four-year term on the Harrisonburg City School Board.
Jackie Zetwick is the Director for Information Technology for the County of Augusta. She provides leadership for the continued development of an innovative, robust, and secure information technology environment. Jackie’s primary responsibilities encompass overseeing a wide variety of strategic technology issues, including cybersecurity, governance and policy, resource allocation, and determining long-term information technology direction. Under her supervision, the IT department supports 24×7 emergency county operations, such as Fire Rescue, Sheriff, and 911, as well as critical county business operations, including HR, Finance, Commonwealth Attorney, and Elections. The County of Augusta Information Technology Service Department also acts as a managed service provider to several regional and county agencies, providing access to resources like Endpoint Detection and Response software, firewalls, and high-speed internet. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science from St. Bonaventure University and recently completed the NACO Cybersecurity Leadership Academy. She is also a graduate of the Senior Executive Institute from UVA. She is a member of the VA Local Government Information Technology Executives.
(*) The candidate is new to the board