A word from John S. Phillips, President, RBTC


Crazy times necessitate some crazy solutions! We now find that our homes are our offices, remote working is considered the new normal and isolation is an appreciated norm – we definitely live in interesting times!  Yet, we press forward creating the future economy, seeking opportunities, innovating and looking for new ways to stay connected.  Engagement, with employees, employers, customers, vendors, investors, mentors, and peers, has become an even higher priority.

Virtual everything: trivia contests, scavenger hunts, coffee breaks, even virtual stress management classes, telemedicine, slack channels for cooking, gardening and even working!  The innovation of connectivity demonstrates the resiliency of our tech community.  These and many more ideas were shared on last week’s Ask the Expert:  HR zoom panel.  Which, also, is recorded for your reference on the RBTC website.

Yes, the RBTC is seeking engagement too!  Your tech council is here to support you during these difficult periods just as we do during the growth periods.  We continue to pull together additional resources for your use.  Our website now provides materials for COVID-19 business assistance and we are using social media in a more robust fashion to help you stay up to date.

New opportunities have allowed us to expand our regional impact.

Starting on April 7th, Bill Trifiro allowed the team to create the RBTC radio program, Business at Lunch, on FM 102.5 WBZS, covering the Roanoke and NRV markets.  Our program airs during the noon hour, or 12:00 noon to 1:00 PM,  Monday through Friday.  The show provides an excellent forum to showcase the numerous tech council members who are making a difference in our communities.  In the past three weeks, we have heard from SyCom, First Bank & Trust, 5PointsCreative, Constructability3D, Building Specialists, Inc., Leadpoint Digital, Cortex Leadership, AssessmentPros, ALI, and GuidePointe Security.  The radio show is a hopeful beginning as we continue to expand opportunities for our members. In the near future, we will be launching the RBTC podcast to highlight the great talents, entrepreneurs and leaders in our region.

In addition to transitioning our forums, such as WoTech, BizDev, and CyberSecurity, to virtual events, we are developing a regular program ‘Ask the Expert Series’.  This past week, Jeff Smith, Kathy Claytor, Todd Leeson and Jacqueline Lackey all fielded pressing questions.  Their answers gave us insights on how our members are providing innovative approaches for responding to their employees in this challenging HR environment.  We continue the series, on Thursday, April 30th, providing education on using LinkedIn to its full potential as your virtual networking tool.  This series will provide subject matter experts in many areas including HR, marketing, innovation, technology applications, business finance, and even creditor discussion advice.

So many of you have stepped to the plate to provide ideas, resources and guidance to our team as we work through this time.  Thank you to everyone that has provided so much assistance, and we look forward to this ongoing collaboration.

The RBTC is indeed a unique organization in the Commonwealth.  Vibrant participation with a broad regional focus and tremendous access to the tech community, companies and leaders, allows for the successful achievement of our goals to Connect, Grow and Learn.

If you would like to participate in any of our upcoming events, contribute to our radio shows, suggest ideas for forums, share your thoughts in a newsletter opening, or assist in bringing events together, please reach out to me.

Thank you for supporting the RBTC as we continuously seek innovative methods to engage our tech community!


John S. Phillips



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