2nd Annual Community Technology Symposium

March 1, 2011
Advanced Micro Devices
7171 Southwest Pkwy
Austin, TX 78735

Keynote Speaker: Kami Griffiths – Executive Director, Community Technology Network

With nearly 10 years experience working in the public sector, Kami brings hands-on expertise to her work at Community Technology Network. Originally from Minnesota, Kami has worked at nonprofits in Minneapolis, San Francisco, Boston, and New York. She is currently the Executive Director of Community Technology Network, a nonprofit that advocates for digital inclusion by providing training, mentorship, networking, and volunteers to underserved communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to her work at CTN, she is the Training and Outreach Manager at TechSoup where she holds local and international trainings, delivers online seminars, and helped develop the TechSoup for Libraries program. Her career also includes professional graphic design for Global Exchange in San Francisco and working for the City of New York Parks & Recreation where she managed 27 public access computing centers, taught computer classes and managed skilled volunteers.

Opening and Welcome:
Laura Morrison, Austin City Council

Laura Morrison was elected to the Austin City Council in June of 2008.

As a Council Member Laura serves as Chair of the City Council’s Emerging Technology and Telecommunications Committee. Additionally, Laura serves on the Council’s Audit and Finance Committee, the Comprehensive Planning and Transportation Committee and the Public Health and Human Services Committee; and represents the City on the Community Action Network Board of Directors and the City of Austin/AISD/County Joint Subcommittee.

Laura’s professional career has included working as an engineer for Lockheed Martin, as a consultant in export compliance, and in the field of pandemic flu preparedness. She holds a Graduate Certificate in Community Preparedness and Disaster Management from the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; a Master’s degree in Mathematics from the University of California, San Diego; and a Bachelor’s in Mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley.

Prior to taking office, Laura was engaged in many civic arenas. She served as President of the Austin Neighborhoods Council (ANC) representing over 80 neighborhood associations across the city. Laura also served with several organizations including the Community Action Network Community Council, HousingWorks Policy Committee and the Pandemic Flu Taskforce, to name a few.

Laura moved to Austin in 1981 with her husband, Phil Morrison, who is a Professor on the physics faculty at the University of Texas.

Closing Plenary Speaker:
Alexander Cavalli, PhD, Owner Cavalli Enterprises LLC.

Currently, Alex Cavalli has his own consulting firm, Cavalli Enterprises, LLC. The firm provides a wide array of services and products including: Biblical productions, software architecture, seminars on leadership with unselfed love, various talks and speeches on the 21st Century convergent economies and technologies, where America will go next, the use of physics to understand how businesses really operate, how nano-, bio-, and cognitive sciences are changing our world and our mental landscape, and high-end audio equipment.

Alex has been doing his Biblical performances of The Gospel According to St. John and Paul, Face to Face for over 15 years (www.biblicalvoices.com). He has traveled around the US and performed before a wide variety of audiences.

Alex is the former Deputy Director of the IC2 Institute at The University of Texas at Austin (www.ic2.org). In this capacity, he was responsible for the day to day operations of the Institute and for setting its strategic direction. During his tenure there he reorganized the Institute to focus it on its mission for the next 25 years and put it on a sound financial footing.

He also created the Digital Media Collaboratory at IC2. The DMC is a transdisciplinary lab dedicated to researching, developing, and deploying technologies, content, and services in the 21st Century world of full Digital Convergence.

Alex has been in the Austin high-tech community since 1984. In the late nineties he founded Face to Face Communications, a consulting firm dedicated to helping professionals and organizations become better communicators. The practice specialized in individual and corporate communications, presentation work, vocal training, and long-term strategic planning.

In the early nineties, while leading architectural design of Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation’s Enterprise Integration Project, he and his staff created the foundation for much of what is now recognized as the modern Internet. Working with leading universities and corporations and supported by US government funding, the EINet project was designed to demonstrate how electronic commerce would work and what network infrastructure was necessary to support it.

This seminal work included the creation of the first Internet search engine, introduced in January 1994. Called EINet Galaxy, it became the model for every search engine (Yahoo, Excite, etc.) that followed. His team also developed the first commercial quality web browsers that introduced many of the features found today in Netscape and Microsoft browsers. In addition, the team developed the first Virtual Private Network, which operated as the Internet’s first Certification Authority, a function now embodied in companies such as VeriSign. In collaboration with CitiCorp, they also devised new electronic payment mechanisms for use by businesses engaged in Electronic Commerce.

Alex has a PhD in Physics from Dartmouth College and a BS from Dickinson College.

Session Speakers & Moderators:

Stacy Bouwman, Director of Operations, Skillpoint Alliance

Stacy Bouwman, Operations Director, has been with Skillpoint Alliance and its predecessor, Capital Area Training Foundation, since September 2010. Initially a part-time basic computer skills instructor in the evenings, she realized she had found her calling teaching for Skillpoint’s Community Technology Training Centers (CTTC) and within 4 months she quit her day job. At the CTTC she empowered low income families to use computers to benefit personally and professionally. The CTTC program, named a National Best Training Model by the Ford Foundation, has served 5,000 individuals, filled more than 20,000 classroom seats and provided 375,000-plus hours of service in the last decade. Under Stacy’s leadership, in 2010 the CTTC program won three Digital Inclusion Awards awarded by the City of Austin: Outstanding Service in Providing Digital Opportunities to Adults, Overall Outstanding Service in Fostering Digital Inclusion and the Community Choice Award.

In September 2009 Stacy realized a personal goal of creating a regional network of community technology providers when she cofounded Austin Connects, a partnership between Skillpoint Alliance, Austin Free-Net and the City of Austin whose mission is to leverage mutual resources that will allow all Central Texans to participate in the ever-changing digital age. She looks forward to seeing Austin Connects become a leading resource for both community technology providers and those in need of services.

Stacy was a 2010 finalist for the Dewey Winburne Community Service Award and she was finalist for Individual Outstanding service in Fostering Digital Inclusion at the City of Austin’s 2010 Digital Inclusions Awards.

Stacy studied mathematics and computer science at Southwest Texas State University She has served on the Travis High School Campus Advisory Council for 5 years and sat on the Policy and Advisory Council for AccessWorks, a program of Knowbility, a nonprofit that ensures availability of accessible information technology for people with disabilities.

Sarah Brody, Assistive Technology Specialist, Goodwill Industries of Central Texas

For over six years, Sarah Brody has assisted persons with disabilities with learning new skills and preparing for employment. Sarah has used her extensive knowledge of technology for the launch and development of Goodwill’s Assistive Technology Lab in 2005. Since then, the AT Lab has expanded from a few pieces of equipment to a state-of-the-art, extensively equipped facility with more than 40 assistive devices/hardware and software programs, serving over 200 people each year.

Sarah collaborates with the University of Texas’ Access Technology loan program to provide tours and demonstrations. She also provides job related services to DARS and DBS consumers for those that need assistive technology to be successfully employed. In 2009-2011, after Goodwill received the Grant for Technology Opportunities (GTOPs) with the City of Austin, Sarah has been teaching vocationally-oriented computer classes to individuals with disabilities to increase participants’ computer skills and access to technology. In 2010 she received a Digital Inclusion award nomination for Individual Outstanding service in Fostering Digital Inclusion.

Sarah, a native Texan, has a BA in Liberal Arts from St. Edward’s University and a Major in Human Services from Lesley College. One of her personal goals is to continue to develop her knowledge of ASL to be able to more effectively serve people who are Deaf and hard of hearing. Sarah is able to offer unique insight into assistive technology “solutions” that result in job success and greater independence for people with disabilities.

Vince Cobalis, City of Austin, Assistant Director of Human Services

Vince Cobalis has been working for the City of Austin since 1983 and started at the Health & Human Services Department in 1989. He was appointed as the Assistant Director for Human Services when it was created as a separate Division in 2002. In this role, Vince has been a highly recognizable figure in providing health and human services to all the local communities in Austin. Vince has been at his best during disasters like Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, when he worked tirelessly with the victims to ensure they had services, shelter and food accessing multiple tracking systems.

The Human Services Division currently contracts with approximately 55 Social Services agencies utilizing an on-line contract management/administration and tracking system. This Division manages an extensive HIV services database, and systems to track federal and state stimulus grant funds. They are also involved with community homeless management information systems (HMIS) and youth services tracking systems.

Lainie Duro, Managing Director of CTTC, Skillpoint Alliance

Lainie Duro has twenty years of experience in training and development, and over ten years of experience working in community technology nonprofit. In her early career as a regional technical trainer for Kinko’s, Ince, Lainie built her public speaking and curriculum development skills by creating, developing, and facilitating training on technical equipment, digital concepts, and computers for the entire Southwest Texas region. After discovering the adult computer training programs being offered by Skillpoint Alliance’s Community Technology Training Centers, Lainie transitioned into the world of non-profit, applying her skills to help the CTTC team grow the program and expand opportunities for unemployed and underemployed adults in the Austin area. Over the last ten years, Lainie has progressed into management of this award-winning program, and enjoys the challenge of providing quality care and exceptional leadership to her clients and staff. When she is not at work, Lainie enjoys creating and consuming art of all kinds. She is a single parent of two young children, a home educator, and an ardent believer in lifelong learning.

Terry Dyke, Senior Research Analyst, City of Austin

Currently working as a telecommunications policy research analyst for the City of Austin, Terry has been involved in communications technology and policy for over thirty years. He has worked in the field variously as an executive at a cable televsion network, a new-media technology columnist for a national television trade magazine, and a media consultant. He serves as a board member and webmaster for Metropolitan Austin Interactive Network, one of the first online community networks.


Sherri E. Fleming, Executive Manager, Travis County Health and Human Services and Veterans Service

Sherri E. Fleming is the Executive Manager for Travis County Health and Human Services and Veterans Service. She has held this position since her appointment by the Travis County Commissioners Court in October 2004.

Sherri has been working in county government since November 1989. She worked 11 years with Harrison County Juvenile Services in various capacities, including six years as the department director.

Sherri moved to Austin in March 2000 to serve as Director of Detention Services at Gardner Betts Juvenile Justice Center. At Gardner Betts, she also served as the Director of Court Services. In September 2001, Sherri joined Travis County Health and Human Services and Veterans Services as Division Director for Family Support Services, a position she held for three years prior to her appointment as Executive Manager.

Sherri holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Louisiana at Monroe and a master’s degree from the University of Texas at Tyler. She has been a licensed chemical dependency counselor since 1992. Her counseling experience has centered on substance abuse treatment and aftercare services for adolescents. She has also conducted numerous trainings in the areas of public relations, juvenile justice, juvenile justice management, supervision of juvenile offenders, substance abuse, personnel issues, strategies for change and working with special populations.

Sherri is a native of New Orleans, La. and she has two sons, Trey, 25 and Travis, 20.

Sheena Harden, Director of Communications, Austin Free-Net

Sheena Colbath Harden has over 15 years of experience in communications and development. She currently serves as the Director of Communications at Austin Free-Net. Her prior position was as the Coordinator for the City of Austin’s Grant for Technology Opportunities Program (GTOPs). She served on the board of the Texas Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisers from 2002-2010. Sheena received the 2009 City of Austin Public Service Recognition Certificate of Appreciation from Austin’s Mayor. Her web design work won 2009 1st Place Winner in Knowbility’s Accessibility Internet Rally. She was nominated for the 2006 South by Southwest Dewey Winburne Community Service Award and the Outstanding Community Affairs Executive of the Year in 2003 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Sheena graduated cum laude from Texas State University with a bachelor’s degree in Geography & Planning where she focused on City Planning and Environmental Studies. In her spare time she is a musician, crafter, gamer and writer. She lives in Austin, Texas with her husband Mark and four cats.

Rondella Hawkins, Manager, City of Austin Telecommunications & Regulatory Affairs

Rondella Hawkins has over 20 years experience working in local government. She is currently the Manager of Telecommunications & Regulatory Affairs for the City of Austin. She has direct responsibility for administering cable tv, electric and gas utility right-of-way franchises as well as license agreements with wireless communications providers. She oversees the administration of the public access television management contract. Her office provides staff support to the Austin Community Technology and Telecommunications Commission, an advisory board to the City Council whose members are Council appointed. She advises the City Council on legislative and policy issues related to broadband communications, maintaining local authority and digital inclusion. She is also responsible for developing the City’s Community Technology Initiative, which consists of City-initiated programs to provide community access to and training for information technologies and media. This initiative includes our contractual partnership with Austin Free-Net and the City’s Grant for Technology Opportunities (GTOPs). Rondella is a former Board member of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) and is immediate Past-President of the Texas Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (TATOA). In 2010, Rondella was selected as NATOA’s “2010 Member of the Year.”

John-Scott Horton, Director of Marketing, Skillpoint Alliance

John-Scott is a recent addition to the non-profit community. He began working for Austin-based non-profit Skillpoint Alliance in December of 2009, serving as a contract employee before taking over full-time as Director of Marketing in August 2010. In addition to his employment at Skillpoint Alliance, John-Scott has worked as a freelance graphic designer, sponsorship coordinator, actor, musician, and event emcee. Events he emceed include the 2004 and 2005 Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards Red Carpet Interviews by the Hollywood Bureau, Skillpoint Alliance’s 2009 and 2010 College & Career Expos at Palmer Events Center, the 2010-11 Central Texas FIRST® LEGO® League Championship, and the 2010 Austin Connects Community Technology Symposium. John-Scott holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from the University of Texas at Austin.

Joe McCann, Creative Technologist, subPrint Interactive

Joe McCann is the Principal Architect at subPrint Interactive, a mixed-media, web, mobile and digital consultancy focused on bringing to life cutting edge technological initiatives.

Over the past ten years Joe has worked on a multitude of digital projects for various clients ranging from small, independent businesses like Zocalo Design to Fortune 100 companies like Hewlett Packard. Joe has spoken at some of the top technical conferences around the world, such as The Ajax Experience in Boston, JSConf EU in Berlin, Android Only in Stockholm and Austin’s own SXSW on topics ranging from Rapid Prototyping with JavaScript to making websites more accessible for visibility and dexterity challenged individuals. Joe serves as an industry leading expert in new and exciting technologies, helping advise companies, like Google Ventures, where startup and investment capital would best be served for their technological objectives.

Currently, Joe’s major focus is on the mobile space and how it and its related technology is altering the human condition. The opportunities in the mobile space from a noble and charitable angle to a business and economic perspective are abundant. With that being said, the proper understanding of the technology currently available and the technology soon to be available will help drive these opportunities.

Joe received his Bachelor of Science in Philosophy with a focus in Logic and a Minor in Computer Science from Portland State University, in Portland, Oregon. After living in New York City for 4 years, he is approaching his third anniversary of being an official Austin-ite.

Courtney Mack, Placement Specialist, Goodwill Industries of Central Texas

In 2009, Courtney Mack began working at Goodwill Industries of Central Texas assisting persons with disabilities prepare for employment in the community. She began work in the Assistive Technology Lab demonstrating and working with over 40 assistive devices/hardware and software programs. After her AmeriCorps term, Courtney was hired as a full-time employee with Goodwill Industries providing Job Development/Job Placement and Supportive Employment Services. She continues to explore her passion for technology, accessibility, and job placement services.

Courtney has a BA from New York University with a double major in Psychology and Cinema Studies. Using her background in film, Courtney has been able to bring a unique approach to the world of rehabilitation. She helped create an accessible DVD explaining Goodwill’s Community Rehabilitation Program. The DVD was then nominated for the Barbara Jordan Media Award in 2010.

David Neff, Author and Consultant

My name is David J. Neff. I help Non Profits and people for a living. I do that with Ridgewood Associates and Lights. Camera. Help. I also do large scale collaborative events like Non Profit Bar Camp and VideoCamp Austin. I would say that I am a Teacher, Speaker, Blogger, Network Weaver, and Social Media Scientist. For over 10 years I have done things that have never been done before at Non Profits. This includes launching the American Cancer Society’s first software program , building the first ever user generated Web Site for those affected by cancer, and starting their Social Media, Online Giving an Film departments.

I’m currently working on getting my own non profit up and running. It’s called Lights. Camera. Help. We help all other non profits focus on good through our film festival, education and the world’s first film focused volunteer program. I’m also very happy to work for Ridgewood : Ingenious Communications where I am the Senior Digital Strategist and consultant to a wide variety of amazing non profit clients.

I was named one of the “Top 20 Social Media People in the state of Texas” by the Austin American Statesman in 2009. The American Marketing Association awarded me the “Non Profit Social Media Marketer of the Year” in 2009. I also was also a past twice recipient of a American Cancer Society Futuring and Innovations grant

I am also responsible for helping start The Frozen Pea Fund to fight Breast Cancer and a co-founder of the successful Austin Tweetups : Social Media for Social Good. I am also a published author with articles in PRSA Tatics and the new 2010 version of the book People to People Fundraising.

I earned my BS in Public Relations from the University of Texas in 2000 with a minor in Business from the McCombs School of Business. I earned my Certified Internet Webmaster certification in 2003. I currently live in Austin, TX and enjoy filmmaking, hosting a TV show, live music, photography, halloween, and spending time with my dogs and my friends.

Weston Norton, Reel Social Media

Weston Norton worked in the film and television industry for seven years in nearly every capacity of production: He’s shot film in Mexicali’s only active morgue and helped build a winter wonderland in 100-degree heat on Paramount Studios’ backlot. After earning his MBA from Acton Business School, he coupled his media production skills with a passion for social media to start helping small businesses better engage their customers through online social networking.


Marcela Ramirez, Disability Navigator, Workforce Solutions – Capital Area

Bio coming soon

Chip Rosenthal, Owner, Unicom Systems Development

Chip Rosenthal has been developing systems and tools based on open source software and open network protocols for over 20 years. He is the owner of Unicom Systems Development, a provider of technology consulting and contract development services.

Chip is a recognized leader of the community technology movement in Texas. He is a founder of the longest-running free Internet training program in Texas. He helped develop the award-winning Austin Bloggers web site. In 2005, he helped create SaveMuniWireless.Org, which defeated legislation to ban community wireless networks in Texas. In 2010, he co-founded Big Gig Austin, a city-wide initiative to attract the Google gigabit broadband network to Austin. He currently serves as vice chair of the Austin Community Technology and Telecommunications Commission, which advises the Austin City Council on technology matters.

Vanessa Sarria, Executive Director, Community Action Network

Vanessa Sarria has served as the Executive Director of the Community Action Network (CAN) in Austin, Texas since March 1, 2007. The Community Action Network is a collaboration of governmental agencies and public/private organizations working to improve the social, health, educational and economic well-being of the community. CAN enhances awareness of issues, strengthens partnerships, connects planning efforts, supports collaborative strategies to maximize resources and impact, and mobilizes action by reporting on progress made to improve the community’s well-being.

Ms. Sarria serves in an advisory capacity to a broad range of organizations and coalitions working to collaboratively enhance equity and opportunity in Austin/Travis County and improve community conditions represented on the CAN Dashboard (http://www.cancommunitydashboard.org/). This wide-range of issues include education, public health, homelessness, affordable housing, behavioral health, health access, unemployment, civic engagement, criminal justice, transportation, air quality, land use, and other quality of life issues affecting the community, especially low-income and other vulnerable populations.

Prior to her work with CAN, Ms. Sarria served as a career center manager for Workforce Solutions – Capital Area, workforce development coordinator for the City of Austin, planner for Austin/Travis County Integral Care, policy analyst for the National Public Health and Hospital Institute, and consultant to the National Association of Public Hospitals in Washington, DC.

Ms. Sarria received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas in 1989 and subsequently a Master of Public Administration with a concentration in health policy from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, New York, in 1992.

Julie Shannan, Deputy Director, Girlstart

Over the past ten years, Julie Shannan has created, launched and managed some of the most innovative and effective informal education programs for girls, parents and teachers. Ms. Shannan is a winner of the prestigious “Austin Under 40” Award for leadership in Youth and Education. She currently serves on the Texas Girls Collaborative Project Leadership Council and is an advisory board member for SciGirls, a PBS show for girls and science.

Ms. Shannan graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelors in Biology and has developed nationally recognized science and technology programs that have been funded by Oprah’s Angel Network, the Texas Education Agency, the National Science Foundation and NASA. Ms. Shannan has presented at the Texas Conference for Women, The Conference for Science Teachers Association, Expanding Your Horizons, Society of Women Engineers, Women in Technology International, and the National Science Teachers Association promoting opportunities for girls in math, science, engineering, and technology.

In addition, she has been featured in Austin Monthly, Family Circus, Mothering Magazine, The Austin American Statesman, Austin Business Journal, San Antonio Business Journal, CosmoGirl, and was named Austin DOVIA Volunteer Manager of the Year in 2003. Ms. Shannan’s passion for science and math drive her to constantly create cutting edge programs that spark girls’ intellect and creativity while engaging the Central Texas community in the process.

Shanon Sims, AISD

Bio coming soon

John Speirs, GTOPs Program Coordinator, City of Austin

John Speirs is the Program Coordinator for the City of Austin Grant for Technology Opportunities Program (GTOPs). He began with the City of Austin last summer working in the Community Engagement division of the Public Information Office. A new resident to Austin, John has worked for city and county governments throughout Arizona and his hometown of Burbank, California. He has coordinated numerous public policy processes for rural development and environmental initiatives – ensuring all citizens are engaged in the public policy process.

John, a native of California, has a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in Environmental Planning from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. He is currently completing his Masters in Public Administration from Texas State University- San Marcos.

Matthew Stawicki, Computer Corps Trainer, American YouthWorks

Matthew Stawicki has been working as the Computer Corps Trainer at American YouthWorks since 2009. Matthew has been working with at-risk high school students, teaching them to refurbish computers, to teach others about computer, develop leadership skills, and to develop computer demonstration projects. The program operates as an AmeriCorps YouthBuild program to increase the job skills of the members and help support them in their goal for graduation. He also started a film class with American YouthWorks that encompasses a video service project for a local non-profit organization that helps to instill the service mentality across multimedia. He works with a holistic approach to help engage students with technology and their creative sides. In his free time he freelances as a website designer and a videographer and editor.

Rabbi Raine Teller, PhD, Reading Companion Program Coordinator, Austin Free-Net

Raine was New Jersey born and raised until junior year of college when she transferred from Montclair State University to California State University at Chico. She had decided early in life (about 5 years old) that she wanted to teach people to read…and that’s what she did. BA from Cal State at Chico in English, Graduate year in Language Arts Education, MA in Reading from Montclair State University, MA in Educational Administration from Caldwell College (Caldwell, NJ), Doctorate (Ed.D.) in Language Arts Education from Rutgers, The State University of NJ. She also acquired Supervision and Administration, Reading Specialist, Writing Specialist, ESL Certification and computer literacy as she married, had three children and worked in Public Education. She has taught every grade from Pre-K to Graduate Students at University. She has taught both publically and privately in NJ, California, Texas, NY, Japan, England, Scotland and Israel. She still presents workshops on educational topics and still lectures all over the world.

She has tried to retire three times since she left her work as a Title 1 Supervisor back in New Jersey in 2004 but it hasn’t worked. She recently returned to her love of teaching literacy by accepting a part time position at AustinFreeNet. She runs the Reading Companion Lab and works on grants.

Dale Thompson, Financial Manager, Austin Free-Net

Dale Thompson is currently the Financial Manager of Austin Free-Net – a nonprofit providing community computer labs and training in primarily low-income neighborhoods, and tech support and training for nonprofits and community-based organizations in Austin, Texas. She also coordinates the Austin 501 Tech Club meetings with help from fabulous volunteers. She is also the staff liaison to local, state-wide and national projects such as Austin Connects, the Texas Connects Coalition and the Community Technology Network Resource Mapping Project.

Dale joined Austin Free-Net in May 1998. She has an accounting degree from the University of Houston. She is employed by the City of Austin and assigned to Austin Free-Net as part of the City’s commitment to public access through their Community Technology Initiative. Previously, she was a vice president in the Private Banking Group atChase Bank of Texas. She received the 2006 Dewey Winburne Community Service Award at the SXSW Interactive Festival for her work organizing computer volunteers to assist Katrina evacuees in Austin.