Broadband for All


The Rural Broadband Summit provided a connective path towards the implementation of advanced, affordable, high capacity internet for all Botetourt County. Read all about it!

Botetourt County is becoming a Pioneer of Rural Broadband. 

This means that every aspect, technology, methodology, & resource as it applies to broadband for the benefit of residents and businesses in the county is up for discussion and consideration. 

With over 3,000 counties nationwide, there will be thousands of eyes and minds trained toward this BoCo Summit. Attending this BoCo Summit is your opportunity to discover, share, and be recognized. 

Botetourt County, founded in 1770, is older than our nation with a rich history. We aim to forge ahead. Come make history with us at the the BoCo Summit.

Location

Botetourt County, Virginia:
Greenfield Education & Training Center, Daleville

Date

September 25th & 26th

KEY FACTS:

Mid-Atlantic Broadband Fiber Network Node labeled "Roanoke" is in Botetourt County. We may be rural, yet we connect to the world Thanks to the Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority!
MBC Node: East Park Hut
Lat: 37.34, Long: -79.88

We here in Botetourt County pronounce it "BOT-a-tot." Yes, that "r" is silent!

What Was Discussed and Discovered:

TUEsday - September 25

4:00 - 7:15 PM

The BoCo Rural Broadband Technology Solutions Summit

Welcome To BoCo Summit! Walter Grigg, III, Executive VP of Transportation & Business Intelligence, Lawrence Companies; Botetourt Broadband Commission Vice-Chair - Click HERE to Watch Walter on YouTube!

The State of Broadband in Botetourt County: Ken McFadyen, Director of Economic Development at Botetourt County; Botetourt Broadband Commission Member - Click HERE to Watch Ken on YouTube!

How Halifax Connected: An Interview by Dr. Betty Adams with Kimley Blanks

Why Fiber Matters - Yes, In Rural Areas! Heather Burnett Gold

Health Care for the Masses - The Promise of Technology: Brandon Evens, BSN

Look to the Future - Real Applications for Well-being: Panel with Amy White, Susan Goad, Nicol Turner-Lee, Brandon Evans, and moderated by Dr Betty Adams

Broadband and Business of Tomorrow: Panel with Michelle Crook, Meredith Hundley, Kimley Blanks, Walter Grigg, Kit Hale, Katie Conner and moderated by Sheri Winesett, Executive Director, Botetourt Chamber of Commerce

Tech Talk - Leading Technologies - Eminent Uses & Solutions: Anthony Smith, Mark Johnson, Bob Bailey, Josh Hoyle, Eddie Miller, Joe Reeser, Manny Fernandez, and moderated by David Smith

Defining Rural Broadband Projects and the Path to Federal Funding: Richard Jenkins

TUEsday - September 25

7:15 - 9:30 PM

BoCo Broadband and Brews at Ballast Point, Daleville!

Dined, discovered broadband opportunities, and built lasting valuable relationships!

wednesday - September 26

7:00-9:00 AM

Table Top Tech Expo at Greenfield Education & Training Center

Continental Breakfast for all participants provided by The Glebe in front of the Lecture hall.

Table Top Tech Expo on Lower Interior Patio Level. Tech talk one on one! This was terrific!

Education in Action: Rural Broadband Concept Solutions Poster Presentations in the Seminar Room, Entry Level.

wednesday - September 26

9:00 AM - Noon

BoCo Rural Broadband Technology Solutions Summit Morning

Sessions Kickoff: Donald "Mac" Scothorn, O.D., Vistar Eye Center; Vice-Chair Botetourt County Board of Supervisors; Chairman, Botetourt Broadband Commission

How Botetourt County Can Assist Providers and What Botetourt County Expects: Gary Larrowe, County Administrator for Botetourt County; Botetourt Broadband Commission Member

SUMMIT KEYNOTE: By James Baller - A.K.A. "Community Broadband Visionary"

Education in Action - Rural Broadband Concept Solution: Presentation by Poster Presentation Winning Team, Virginia Western Community College Students; Sponsored by Bank of Botetourt.

Scholarship Presentation: Michelle Crook, CFO & SVP, Bank of Botetourt; Chair Botetourt County School Board; Botetourt Broadband Commission Member, and Amy White, Director, STEM Program, VWCC

In the Thick of It - Why is Rural Broadband So Hard? Steve Sandy of Franklin County, Matt Rowe with Pittsylvania County, Chris Kyle with Shentel, and moderated by Jean Plymale of CIT.

Funding Broadband - The DHCD is a Resource: Tamarah Holmes, Ph.D. 

Community Collaboration in Support of Economic Development: Frank Smith, CEO, Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority

Challenges From The Carrier Perspective: Panel with Diego Anderson, Bill Gilliam, Anthony Smith, and others moderated by Meredith Hundley

Noon - 5:00 PM

Lunch With a View: Grab & Go Bag Lunch for all registered participants!
Supplied by Angelle's Diner - thanks to our gracious sponsors! 

Rural Broadband: The Importance of Partnerships and Overcoming Barriers: Group Discussion led by Ray LaMura, President of VCTA, with Duront Walton, Executive Director, VTIA, Craig Smith, President, MGW/Lingo Networks, and Courtney Dozier, Chief Deputy of DHCD.

TV White Space 101: Bob Bailey, Executive Director SOVA Innovation Center, CAER

FEATURED SPEAKER - Connectivity from the Sky - Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for Wireless Access in Rural Environments: Walid Saad, Ph.D.

Legalese, Regulations, and the Role of Politics in the Deployment of Rural Broadband: Panel with Jim Baller, Keynote, Joe Lerch, Director VACo, Mike Lockaby, Attorney for Botetourt County, Chris Kyle, Shentel and moderated by Jean Plymale.

Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority (RVBA) - From Inception to Operation: Robert Picchi, Eric Price, Bryan Edwards, Frank Smith, RVBA

Mid-Atlantic Broadband - Fiber Backbone Matters: Dave Keller, Vice President Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation (MBC)

Local Broadband - Take Control of Your Future! Chuck Kirby

The Importance of Broadband to Rural America: Don Williams, Ph.D.

The Process for Broadband Success - Advice from the Experts: Panel with Don Williams, Chuck Kirby, Ray LaMura, Duront Walton, Dave Keller, and moderated by Jim Baller 

From The Botetourt County Broadband Advisory Commission - 
Our Purpose, Passion, and the Path Forward: Mac Scothorn, Walter Grigg, Gary Larrowe, Ken McFadyen, Michelle Crook, Frank Smith, Brandon Evans, Darrell Hix, and Arleen Boyd

Speakers, Panelists, Moderators (Partial listing)

James Baller - Featured Keynote

President, Baller stokes & Lide, PC

Founder & President, us broadband coalition

Co-Founder & President, Local internet choice

Jim Baller is president of the Baller Stokes & Lide, PC, a national law firm based in Washington, DC.  BSL is the only law firm in America to be included in Broadband Communities Magazine’s FTTH “Top 100” in each of the last six years.  Jim represents clients in a broad range of communications matters nationally and in more than 35 states.  He is also the co-founder and president of the 500+ member Coalition for Local Internet Choice, which works to preserve and protect local decision-making in broadband infrastructure matters. 

According to the Fiber to the Home Council (now the Fiber Broadband Association), Jim is "widely recognized as the nation's most experienced and knowledgeable attorney on public broadband matters." The National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors designated him its Member of the Year in 2001 and its first “Community Broadband Visionary of the Year” in 2007.  In 2009, Ars Technica included Jim on its list of the 25 “Top Names in Tech Policy” and FiberToday honored him as its Person of the Year.  In 2012, he received the FTTH Council Chairman’s Award “for his relentless promotion and pursuit of community broadband and of faster networks for everyone.”  Each year since 2016, Super Lawyers has included Jim in its Washington DC Super Lawyers list and American Registry has included him in its list of America’s Most Honored Professionals.  

Jim is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Cornell Law School.

Walid Saad, Ph.D. - Featured Guest Speaker

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, DEPARTMENT OF ELECTRICAL AND COMPUTER ENGINEERING,
VIRGINIA POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE AND UNIVERSITY

Walid Saad (S'07, M'10, SM’15) received his Ph.D degree from the University of Oslo in 2010. Currently,  he is an Associate Professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech, where he leads the Network Science, Wireless, and Security (NetSciWiS) laboratory, within the Wireless@VT research group. His  research interests include wireless networks, machine learning, game theory, cybersecurity, unmanned aerial vehicles, and cyber-physical systems. Dr. Saad is the recipient of the NSF CAREER award in 2013, the AFOSR summer faculty fellowship in 2014, and the Young Investigator Award from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in 2015. He was the author/co-author of six conference best paper awards at WiOpt in 2009, ICIMP in 2010, IEEE WCNC in 2012,  IEEE PIMRC in 2015, IEEE SmartGridComm in 2015, and EuCNC in 2017. He is the recipient of the 2015 Fred W. Ellersick Prize from the IEEE Communications Society and of the 2017 IEEE ComSoc Best Young Professional in Academia award. From 2015-2017, Dr. Saad was named the Stephen O. Lane Junior Faculty Fellow at Virginia Tech and, in 2017, he was named College of Engineering Faculty Fellow. He currently serves as an editor for the IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, IEEE Transactions on Communications, IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, and IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security.

Dr. Betty H. Adams - Featured Guest Speaker

executive director,
southern vIRGINIA Higher education center

Dr. Betty H. Adams has served as the executive director of the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC) since 2009. In this capacity she oversees the SVHEC’s strategic growth and ensures agency activities are aligned with its mission and values. She is a transformational leader with nearly three decades of experience developing, implementing, managing, and evaluating adult learner programs.

With both private and public sector executive level positions, Dr. Adams’ has overseen comprehensive growth and academic achievement in private, state, and community college settings.She has led the development, implementation, and management of comprehensive planning and effectiveness systems at rural and urban community colleges and for the 58-institution North Carolina Community College System. Her conceptual model of institutional accountability, “The Essential Model,” was used by the North Carolina statewide community college system office to achieve a comprehensive, integrated, outcomes-based, and user-friendly system of planning and effectiveness.

An experienced leader with a proven record, Dr. Adams has led the SVHEC in successfully developing and implementing four workforce training initiatives, achieving financial stability, and bringing clarity and focus to the agency’s mission and brand.

 Dr. Adams holds a Master of Business Administration degree from East Carolina University, and a Doctorate of Education degree from North Carolina State University.

Diego Anderson - Featured Speaker

Senior vice president and general manager,
lumos networks

Diego Anderson is a Senior Vice President and General Manager overseeing the Residential and Small Business segment within Lumos Networks. In this role he is responsible for leading the evolution and delivery of IP Services and voice products which includes sales, marketing, product development, Customer Care, and Operations for the consumer and SMB channels. He previously served as Vice President of Operations for Lumos Networks as well as held prior management roles in Engineering and Operations within NTELOS and Sprint.

Ray LaMura

President,
ViRginia Cable telecommunications association

Broadband Advisory council

Ray LaMura is President of Virginia Cable Telecommunications Association (VCTA) whose members provide high-speed broadband connections to households and businesses of all sizes, educational institutions, hospitals, data centers, nonprofit organizations and many of Virginia’s government and military facilities. The VCTA also serves as a resource, not only for members, but for all Virginians as the cable industry impacts the people, industry and economy of the Commonwealth.

Additionally, Ray extends his expertise and knowledge to the State Association of Executive Leadership and various political action committee management groups, as well as connecting State and Federal government relations. Ray is Chairman of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership, serves as a member on the Virginia Governor’s Broadband Advisory Council, as a Board Member of the Virginia Tele-Health Network. Ray is appointed to the Governor's GO Virginia Broadband Taskforce.


Duront A. Walton, Jr. "D"

executive director
ViRginia telecommunications Industry association

Virginia Governor's Broadband Advisory council

“D.” is Executive Director of the Virginia Telecommunications Industry Assn. (VTIA), and responsible for administration, operations, and as the registered lobbyist in the Virginia General Assembly. He served the Virginia SCC, with Signet Bank, then Risk Operations at Capital One Bank, NA.D.’s telephone experience began with C&P Telephone Company of Virginia. There he managed various operations, including District Labor Relations Manager, and later with Long Lines, and AT&T after divestiture. He now serves on the Governor’s Broadband Advisory Council and as a member of the Rural Virginia Council.


Don C., Williams, Ph.D.

senior broadband development officer. broadband usa, ntia

Don Williams is a Senior Specialist for Broadband Development for the National Telecommunication and Information Administration’s BroadbandUSA initiative. Building on his experience managing infrastructure grants worth $300 million and leading Davis Bacon Act compliance for the $4 billion Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), he is now responsible for providing technical assistance to communities seeking to build out their broadband capabilities.  Before joining NTIA, Dr. Williams was COO and Director of Research for Rice Williams Associates, a telecommunications consulting firm. He was also a professor at the College of William and Mary and the University of Massachusetts.

Chuck Kirby

Vice president, broadband programs.
center for innovative technology (CIT)

Mr. Chuck Kirby has spent his career in public service, having worked in state and local government and teaching public affairs. As Vice President of Broadband Programs at CIT, Mr. Kirby is uniquely positioned to help elected officials, administration, and staff determine realistic forward thinking broadband strategies to keep moving into a bright future. He graduated with an undergraduate degree from Roanoke College in Political Science and earned a master’s degree at Virginia Tech in Public Administration.

David L. Smith

Director of Engineering
lumos Networks

David L. Smith is Director of Engineering at Lumos Networks. He formally served as Manager of IP Networking and Engineering, and prior, as IPTV Engineer. David served as Business Systems Supervisor with Cycle Systems, and as Senior Consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton. David holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Management Systems, and earned his Master Degree in Business Administration from Averette University. Political Science and earned a master’s degree at Virginia Tech in Public Administration.

Dave Keller

VICE PRESIDENT OF SALES AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT,
MID-ATLANTIC BROADBAND COMMUNITIES CORPORATION

Dave is a 27 year telecom industry veteran and started his career with the Sprint local division.  While at Sprint, Dave held roles of increasing responsibility in Operations, Network Planning, Sales, and Product Management.  Dave joined American Electric Power and led the effort to build a 2500 route mile fiber network in 3 years.  Dave joined NTELOS in Waynesboro, VA as the Vice President of Sales and became responsible for Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service for the Wholesale and Retail Competitive service provider covering seven states.  Recently, Dave worked for CenturyLink and ValleyNet in general management roles.

Bob Bailey

executive Director OF SOVA Innovation Center for TVWS Development
Executive director of the Center for Advanced Engineering and Research (CAER)

Bob Bailey is Executive Director of the SOVA Innovation Center for TVWS Development, a wholly owned subsidiary of Adaptrum and is a collaborative R&D initiative between Adaptrum and Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation. The SOVA Innovation Center is committed to Adaptrum’s vision of achieving 100% broadband penetration world-wide and its mission is to develop, deploy and promote TVWS technologies as a solution for providing cost effective broadband access to underserved regions of the country.

Bob’s recent experience is as Executive Director of the Center for Advanced Engineering and Research (CAER), a regional organization formed to develop an industry-focused R&D center in Virginia.  The CAER drives the development of innovative products and processes by providing local access to university and federal research and inventions, with a focus on energy and wireless communications.  Bob’s career includes a wide range of both management and technical positions in such industry sectors as flow control, nuclear power, petrochemical, utilities, HVAC, marine and education. Bob has over 20 years of experience in technology-based workforce and economic development and 15 years of experience in industry. His background involves the blending of strong technical skills with extensive planning and management skills.

He is a graduate of the College of William and Mary with a B.S. in Physics (graduated with High Honors) and was as a teaching assistant/graduate student at Duke University in physics.

Heather Burnett Gold

Consultant and Past President,
Fiber Broadband Association

Heather Burnett Gold served as the President and CEO of the Fiber Broadband Association (formerly the Fiber to the Home Council Americas) for the past seven years. She is now serving as a consultant for them, as the new CEO transitions into her role. The Fiber Broadband Association is a non-profit organization established to help its members plan, market, implement and manage fiber to the home solutions. Association membership includes entities that deliver services over direct fiber optic connections - as well as those involved in planning and building all fiber networks.

A thirty-year plus industry veteran, Gold most recently served as the SVP of External Affairs and Access Management for XO Communications.

Gold holds BA (magna cum laude) and MA degrees in Economics from Tufts University and an MBA in Finance and Marketing from Washington University in St. Louis. Gold also completed the General Management Program of the Harvard Business School.  She was honored by the Washington Business Journal as one of its 2010 Women Who Mean Business and was recognized by Fierce Telecom as one of its Women in Wireline for 2013.

Donald "Mac" Scothorn, O.D.

Vice Chairman, botetourt county board of supervisors, virginia

Chairman, Botetourt broadband commission

Doctor in resident, vistar eye center

Growing up in Montana, Dr. Scothorn planned to become a petroleum engineer. But, after discovering a real passion for biology he gravitated toward medicine and has never regretted that decision. He loves what he does every day and wants all of his patients to feel like family. “The ability to touch people’s lives in a profound way and to feel their gratitude is so uplifting and sustaining.”

Through Dr. Scothorn's community and professional endeavors, his leadership empowers the health, education, well being, and economic development for all residents in Botetourt County and the greater Roanoke - New River Valley Region of Southwest Virginia.

Walter Grigg, III

executive vice president of transportation and business intelligence, 
Lawrence companies

vice chairman, botetourt broadband commission

Walter oversees the Freight, Household Goods, and Information Technology divisions to improve business efficiencies and to identify new opportunities for growth. Since joining Lawrence Companies in 2014, His focus has been on evaluating system methods and processes to help the business run more efficient through integrating real-time communication and data visibility. 

Walter's degree in Biology from Emory and Henry College led him to General Electric for eight years in the Power and Water division. During his tenure at G.E., Walter worked in Field Services, supporting commercial nuclear power; Regional Operations, managing infrastructure start-ups, shut-downs, and outages of the Petroleum, Oil & Gas, and Nuclear divisions; Master Scheduling,overseeing the manufacturing of specialty systems used to produce cooling water for power plants; and Program Development, integrating new products and technology into businesses verticals.

Frank Smith

PRESIDENT AND CEO, ROANOKE VALLEY BROADBAND AUTHORITY

Frank Smith is the President and CEO of the Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority. He has worked in telecommunications for nearly 30 years in both the commercial and government sectors including several years supporting the development of DoD related networks. Frank is a graduate of Washington & Lee University with a degree in Public Policy. He has served on the boards of the Transportation and Science museums. He is an Eagle Scout and serves as an Assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 221 in Cave Spring and also serves as an Elder of Christ the King Presbyterian Church. Frank lives in the City of Roanoke with his wife and two sons who are students at James Madison University and Virginia Tech.

Gary Larrowe (LaRue)

county administrator, botetourt county, virginia

Prior to his service in Botetourt, Gary was the County Administrator in Carroll County, VA for ten+ years where they were celebrated as one of the top 13 counties in the nation with regard to rural economic development as named by the National Association of Counties. 

Gary worked with VA Cooperative Extension, was on faculty at VA Tech for 18 years, was an Agricultural Extension Agent, 12 yrs., and an Extension Specialist in Community Initiatives,  6 yrs., focusing on Entrepreneurship & Entrepreneurial Business Development, plus traditional Economic Development activities.

Gary has lectured at 25+ Universities across the country teaching Entrepreneurial curriculum  as an adjunct faculty member of the Kansas City based Kauffman Foundation.

Ken McFadyen

director of economic development, Botetourt County, virginia

Ken joined Botetourt County, Virginia in July 2016 as director of economic development, following seven years as executive director of the Blue Ridge Crossroads Economic Development Authority in southwestern Virginia.  Located in the Roanoke MSA, Botetourt County’s department of economic development is engaged in all facets of economic development, including industrial recruitment and expansion, small business development, tourism promotion, and workforce development.

Ken’s economic development experience is diverse, ranging from industrial recruitment to downtown revitalization and historic preservation.  Ken serves on the Virginia Economic Developers Association (VEDA) Board of Directors, as president in 2018, and previously chairing the Legislative Day committee.  He has completed the County Administration course and Basic Economic Development Course at the School of Government, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He presents frequently at the Virginia Institute for Economic Development and Virginia Industrial Development Authorities Institute, coordinated by Virginia Tech.

Michelle Crook

chair, school board of botetourt county, virginia

chief financial officer and senior vice president of bank of botetourt

Michelle's leadership extends from finance to education. Born, raised, and residing in the local community, she is the guiding voice for both students and parents as Chair of the Botetourt County School Board. Her strong business acumen is acknowledged as the Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of Bank of Botetourt. Mrs. Crook holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Roanoke College and Master of Business Administration degree from Troy University. She is a graduate of the Virginia Bankers School of Bank Management at the University of Virginia and is also a graduate of the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University. She joined Bank of Botetourt in 1993. Promoted to Chief Financial Officer of the Company and the Bank in 2005, she became a Senior Vice President in 2006. Mrs. Crook has served as a member of the CFO Committee of the Virginia Bankers Association since 2008. She has been an adjunct professor in Roanoke College's Department of Business Administration & Economics since 2006. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Dabney S. Lancaster Community College Educational Foundation.

Mike Lockaby

Guynn & Waddell, P.C

chairman ad hoc, small cell/wireless internet law, local government attornreys

Mike Lockaby has been a local government attorney his entire career. Mike earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia in 2002 and his law degree from the College of William & Mary in 2006. He currently serves as general counsel for the Amherst County Broadband Authority and the Franklin County Broadband Authority, and has consulted with numerous other broadband authorities on discrete projects and issues. He currently serves as County Attorney for Amherst County, Botetourt County, and Bath County. Prior to coming to Guynn & Waddell, he served as in-house county attorney for Louisa County, Virginia.

Mike considers himself a “dirt lawyer,” specializing in land use, taxation, and utility cases and issues. He is actively involved in the Local Government Attorneys, Inc. (LGA), where he is chairman of the ad hoc Committee on Small Cell and Wireless Internet Law. He is also an active member of the Virginia Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (VATOA) and has lobbied and worked with the General Assembly on pole and right of way issues and handled cell tower and Telecommunications Act litigation.

Darrell Hix

federal technical advisor and advocate, vmware

Darrell was born and raised in Botetourt County. He served in the US Navy from 1987 until 1996, travelling extensively.  During his service, Darrell attended college and trained heavily in digital computers, electronics and communications, which he has leveraged in his civilian career.  Honorably discharged in 1996, Darrell's professional career progressed over 22 years working as a systems engineer for IT systems integrators, as data center systems architect for major defense contracting firms, to his current position as Senior Technical Account Manager for VMware, Inc. supporting a federal government customer base. 

Moving back in Botetourt County in 2006, Darrell serves as a technical professional helping to drive the use of technology to enhance the effectiveness of the US government. Darrell understands first hand the necessity for quality, affordable broadband access for everyone.  As a resident of rural Botetourt, he faces the same challenges as other residents yearning for affordable and effective internet access.

Brandon Evans, BSN

director of health services, the glebe

Brandon Evans joined The Glebe in March 2011. Brandon is a Registered Nurse who began his career as a nursing assistant, progressing to a Licensed Practical Nurse and then obtaining his Registered Nurse license. Brandon’s nursing background includes supervisory responsibilities over a large Skilled Nursing program with more than 180 skilled beds, Infection Control, Quality Improvement and Staff Development.

Brandon received his Associate in Science, Registered Nursing Cum Laudefrom Virginia Western Community College, and he is a member of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. He received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the Jefferson College of Health Science.

Katie Conner

development specialist, virginia tourism corporation

Katie is a Tourism Development Specialist in the Partnership Marketing division with the Virginia Tourism Corporation. She is always striving to bring 100% to the work that she does and encourages others to think positively to obtain positive results. Through effective leadership, she guides communities and small businesses to uncover their potential and position themselves as top destinations for visitor travel in Virginia. Katie serves parts of the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia Mountains and Central Virginia tourism regions. Katie holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Radford University in Communication with a concentration in Public Relations. She is a Virginia Destination Professional through the Virginia Association of Destination Marketing Organizations, a Certified Festival and Event Associate through the International Festival and Event Association and an alumna of Leadership Roanoke Valley. With over 10 years of combined experience, her unique background includes hospitality sales and management, financial account management, event planning, as well as marketing and public relations. She is passionate about this industry and loves interacting with visitors about how and why they chose to visit an area. Katie is a lifelong resident of Botetourt County, where she still resides with her husband.

Amy White

dean of stem, virginia western community college

Driven by a lifelong love of the natural sciences, Amy S. White received her undergraduate degree in Biology from James Madison University, and her Masters in Microbiology and Immunology from Virginia Commonwealth University.  She also earned a Certificate in Field Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Following completion of her graduate degree, Amy worked for a private consulting firm in environmental toxicology until beginning her teaching career at Hollins University in 2001.  She taught at James Madison University from 2003 – 2005 and has worked at Virginia Western Community College since 2005.  At Virginia Western, she has held various roles, including Assistant Professor in Biology, Biology Program Head and Assistant Dean.  She now serves as Dean of the School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), while continuing to teach part-time in the Science department.  As a native of the Roanoke Valley, Amy is honored to work in the area and is committed to its success.  In her current role, she strives to provide meaningful educational opportunities for the local students, as well as helping develop and support strong academic programs that contribute to the economic vitality of the region.  Amy resides on her family farm in Buchanan with her husband Corbin.  Her two children, Lindsey and Davis, attend The University of Georgia and North Carolina State University, respectively; both are pursing Agriculture degrees. 

Nicol Turner-Lee, Ph.D.,

fellow, center for technology innovation, Brookings Institutiion

Techtank contributor 

Nicol comes to Brookings from the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC), a national non-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting and preserving equal opportunity and civil rights in the mass media, telecommunications, and broadband industries, where she served as vice president and chief research and policy officer. In this role, she led the design and implementation of their research, policy, and advocacy agendas. Her most recent White Papers at MMTC included, “A Lifeline to High-Speed Internet Access: An Economic Analysis of Administrative Costs and the Impact on Consumers” (March 2016), “Guarding Against Data Discrimination in the Internet of Everything” (September 2015), “Refocusing Broadband Policy: The New Opportunity Agenda for People of Color” (November 2013).


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Troutville, Virginia