Cleveland Amplify Panel & Tech Town Hall

Blog Date

Cleveland Amplify Panel & Tech Town Hall

On Wednesday, October 1, 2014, I was invited to attend two events about the positive things going on with the growth of technology in Northeast Ohio, and the new challenges created. In this blog post, I will share my notes and the related tweets. Since I could not capture all that occurred, I recommend reading the tweets, particularly for the Tech Town Hall event. We had some pretty impressive live tweeters for this Cleveland event.

Amplify Speaker Series

Amplify Speaker Series - Technology Luncheon
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First, I want to thank BlueBridge Networks (@BlueBridgeLLC) Managing Director Kevin Goodman (@KevinGoodmanBBN) and Client Services Director Nicole Ponstingle (@NPonstingle) for inviting me again to this Amplify Speaker Series luncheon as their guest. This is the second year that I have attended the luncheon when the topic focused on technology in our community. This annual technology luncheon was sponsored by Contempo Communications (@GoContempoGo) and BlueBridge Networks (@BlueBridgeLLC).

Here is the official panelist listing and information (I added their Twitter names), plus the official description of the luncheon:

  Joy Roller, President, Global Cleveland
As the president of Global Cleveland since January 2013, Roller leads a civic! corporate initiative to increase the population of Greater Cleveland and strengthen the region's economy by connecting newcomers (foreign and domestic) to its opportunities, resources, and services. For the previous six years se served as executive director of the Gordon Square Arts District.
 Kevin Goodman, Managing Director & Partner, BlueBridge Networks, LLC
Goodman leads the business development-sales and marketing role at BlueBridge Networks, an assurance data center company offering secure data center services and cloud computing. He has been involved in the business development and entrepreneurial arena for more than 30 years in both the technology and construction industries.
 Lev Gonick, CEO, OneCommunity
LEV GONICK (@levgonick)
Gonick, the co-founder of OneCommunity, became CEO July 1, 2013. To that point he had served as CIO at Case Western Reserve University since 2001.A frequent international speaker and consultant, he currently serves on the boards of Monarch Teaching Technologies (educational software developers for with autism), DecisionDesk. EGenio. persons Groundworks Dance Theater, and Cleveland Independents (restaurants)
 Ashley BaSile Oeken, Executive Director,  Engage! Cleveland
Under Dekens leadership, Engage! land focuses on developing and leveraging strong relationships with key stakeholders: young professionals, young professional organizations, private businesses, public entities, and nonprofit organizations. She is responsible for the strategic planning and execution of the initiative.
 Dan Young, Founder, DXY
DAN YOUNG ( @danyoungdxy)
FOUNDER, DXY (@dxydoes)
A founder by nature, Young decided to make a career out of his passion for technology and design by founding DXY, a design and technology consultancy. Today DXY is a respected boutique firm with offices in Berlin, Cleveland, and Seattle. Core to DXY's business is the development of medical technology and related devices. Outside of the medical industry, DXY's portfolio includes wireless consumer products, automotive software, and business management and analytics systems.


  The final Amplify Speaker Series luncheon of 2014 will discuss the current state of information technology in Northeast Ohio while analyzing the industry's need to retain and attract talent.
Joy Roller, the president of Global Cleveland, will facilitate a panel of four individuals. Among the topics that will be discussed by the panelists are:
  • What is Global Cleveland doing to attract the talent needed for the tech hub?
  • What can Cleveland businesses and individuals do to help attract that talent?
  • What is the status of federal immigration laws specific to international students who are studying here and could fill available tech jobs?
  • What perspectives do young professionals have of various digital platforms?
  • How can companies better reach the young professional demographic through their digital platforms?
  • How are millennials looking for news?
  • What infrastructure has been put in place and what further developments are slated?
  • What is the current state of law, policy, and security related to technology?

Here is my summary of the panel discussion:

  • Engage! Cleveland (@EngageCleveland) is involved in attracting and retaining Cleveland's young professionals.
  • While Cleveland has a great healthcare industry, improvements could be made in promoting this world-class asset outside of Cleveland.
  • Clevelanders need to think bigger and bolder -- think internationally. Need to set bigger goals.
  • Ability to communicate is an important skill. Understanding of different cultures in Asia, Europe and Africa will yield benefits in a world economy.
  • An example where Cleveland could excel is in providing healthcare to parts of the world where there is a doctor shortage. Remote medicine. High speed fiber optic networks make this possible.
  • Professionals that immigrate to the United States take a risk in doing so by leaving the security/familiarity of their homeland. This willingness to take risks is an asset. Cleveland needs to cultivate business risk-takers to change the status quo.
  • Cleveland must attract a new generation of immigrants.
  • Global Cleveland (@GlobalCleveland) is involved in attracting people to Cleveland.
  • If you get people to Cleveland, they will stay - the challenge is to get them here.
  • We are fortunate to have OneCommunity (@OneCommunity), and now their new, for-profit partner Everstream (@EverstreamNET), which was founded in January 2014. OneCommunity has built one of the largest broadband networks in the United States, and the largest run by a nonprofit.
  • Cleveland's new Health-Tech Corridor (learn more at: - @CleveHealthTech), powered by OneCommunity, provides a new focus on health care.
  • 95% of "things" are not connected yet -- in the future, devices we use every day will be connected via the Internet to provide new functionality. Cleveland business can be in the forefront of making these connections happen.
  • Cleveland has lost the lead in healthcare -- needs to take more risks in this and other fields to get ahead of other cities.
  • Legacy infrastructure is slowing us down in Cleveland.
  • A change in Cleveland culture must occur in how to conduct business.
  • Invest in technology education for girls -- teach girls to code to lead to more women in the Cleveland technology field. Other communities in the United States are doing this.
  • Cleveland is fortunate to have many colleges and universities in the area.
  • Companies ask for more technology skills from students coming out of colleges. In return, companies provided more internships to help prepare the new workforce.
  • Inclusion instead of exclusion.
  • Millennials' differences need to be understood.
  • 75% of Millennials first look for city where they want to live; second, look for job. Cleveland needs to build a city that attracts Millennials.

I would summarize by saying that Cleveland must prepare for today's connected world.

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Technology luncheon sponsored by BlueBridge Networks
Corporate College East, a division of Cuyahoga Community CollegeAmplify Speaker SeriesAmplify Speaker Series Luncheon on the current state of information technology in Northeast Ohio Cleveland Business Connects (CBC) MagazineBlueBridge NetworksOneCommunityBlueBridge Networks sponsor table at Amplify Speaker SeriesAmplify Speaker Series LuncheonBlueBridge Networks Managing Director Kevin GoodmanGlobal Cleveland President Joy RollerGlobal Cleveland is involved in attracting people to ClevelandGlobal Cleveland's new websitePanelists: Dan Young, Ashley BaSile Oeken, Lev Gonick, Kevin GoodmanAmplify Speaker Series panelistsPanelists: Dan Young, Ashley BaSile Oeken, Lev Gonick, Kevin GoodmanTechnology luncheon sponsored by Contempo Communications & BlueBridge NetworksAdditional Amplify Speaker Series Luncheon sponsors

I want to also recommend that you learn more about OneCommunity (@OneCommunity) by reading the summary of Chief Executive Officer Lev Gonick's (@LevGonick) remarks from their 2014 annual meeting in my OneCommunity 2014 Annual Meeting blog post. As I state at the start of the blog post - - "OneCommunity's work is interesting and important!" - - their work is unique in the nation and is taking place right here in Northeast Ohio.

On December 20, 2014, Dan Young (@DanYoungDXY) will be presenting Designing a Community: Rethinking an Educational Website at my meeting. He will present a case study on DXY Solutions, LLC's (@DXYdoes) web project for the Akron Public Schools (@AkronSchools). I hope you join me at this meeting to learn how the project for the school system went beyond just a simple website redesign to encompass the development of an online community.

While preparing to write my Cleveland's One World Festival 2014 blog post, I learned about the Global Cleveland (@GlobalCleveland) promotion to win $50 by telling friends about all the many job openings in Cleveland -- so I thought I would also mention it here. (Click this link to view, and please retweet to share Cleveland jobs with others!)

Many job opening in Cleveland!
Tell A Friend

I have included here (click this link to view) the 2014 Amplify Speaker Series sponsorship fact sheet/registration form. It will provide you with information about the other Amplify Speaker Series topics and sponsorship packets.

Amplify tweets and retweets

Here are my @sos_jr tweets and retweets regarding the Amplify Speaker Series Technology Luncheon. Please read and see links/photos from this event.

Cleveland Business Connects (CBC) Magazine - Sept/Oct 2014 issue

I decided to embed the September/October 2014 issue (click on magazine cover below) of Cleveland Business Connects (CBC) magazine (@CBCmagazine), since it was provided at the Amplify Speaker Series and contains articles that relate to this technology luncheon. The Amplify Speaker Series luncheon is sponsored by Contempo Communications (@GoContempoGo), who publishes the Cleveland Business Connects (CBC) magazine (@CBCmagazine).

Please be sure to read:

Click on the magazine image to open the
Sept/Oct 2014 issue of Cleveland Business Connects (CBC) magazine

You can also view the September/October 2014 issue online at the CBC website here.

Please share these articles with your followers on Twitter by retweeting the following:


FYI, I was honored that in 2012 that CBC Editor Thomas Skernivitz approached me about an article featuring my (follow Twitter hash tag: #WebSigCLE) and its partner organizations. Please see my Featured in CBC Magazine blog post to read the article.

Click on the magazine image to go to Featured in CBC Magazine


Tech Town Hall

Moderator Mike Shafarenko & Panelists: Jerry Duffy, Jeff Mowry, Jennifer Neundorfer, JT Tan
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On the evening of October 1, 2014, I attended the Cleveland Tech Town Hall, which was presented by Civic Commons ideastream (@CivicCommons) and OneCommunity (@OneCommunity). The day before, I received an exciting email saying that this free event was at capacity, which indicated that their was a lot of interest in the topic: The Role of the Technology Industry in Northeast Ohio’s Economy

Tech Town Hall - sold out!!
Read Email

OneCommunity Community Engagement Specialist Will Tarter (@WillTarter) started the meeting by welcoming everyone. Then, Dr. Julian Earls, retired Director of NASA John H. Glenn Research Center (@NASAglenn) and Executive in Residence at Cleveland State University (@CLE_State), provided some very inspirational opening remarks which set the tone for the whole event. I felt very fortunate to be attending and learning about these exciting times for technology in Cleveland.

Dr. Julian Earls, retired Director of NASA's Glenn Research Center
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The Tech Town Hall was moderated by the director of Civic Commons ideastream, Mike Shafarenko (@MShafarenko), and held in the Westfield Studio at the ideacenter at Playhouse Square (@PlayhouseSquare ).

The panelists included:


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Moderator Mike Shafarenko & Panelists: Jerry Duffy, Jeff Mowry, Jennifer Neundorfer, JT Tan
Beautiful Playhouse Square with its GE Chandelier

We are fortunate that a video of the entire event has been provided for your viewing:

Tech Town Hall

I want to thank Will Tarter (@WillTarter) for letting me know that the video was available.

The following are not only my @sos_jr tweets and retweets about Cleveland Tech Town Hall, but also all the tweets from the evening with the #TechTownHall hashtag. You will find that there were some great live tweeters, who provided useful commentary that complements the video from the event.


What Others Are Saying

I always like to include what others write about the events I have attended. If you know of additional articles, please feel free to add them in the comment section below.