Come July, the Mid-Atlantic Gigabit Innovation Collaboratory Inc. (MAGIC) will have a new executive director.
Amy Rupp was selected to lead the technology organization after its first executive director, Jason Stambaugh, stepped down earlier in the year. Prior to coming to MAGIC, Rupp served as the managing director of the western branch of the Maryland Food Bank, and also worked as a program coordinator at the children's and women's homeless shelter run by the Human Services Program of Carroll County Inc., according to a news release from MAGIC.
The Times caught up with Rupp to ask her about making the move to become the head of MAGIC.
Q: What about MAGIC made you interested in the organization? Why apply to be its executive director?
A: MAGIC's entrepreneurial spirit is what drew me to the organization. As a nonprofit, its mission is to fully realize the economic development potential of Westminster's broadband infrastructure. MAGIC will improve the economic well-being and quality of life for residents in our community by transforming our technological and entrepreneurial environment. The more I learned about MAGIC's mission and programs, the more I wanted to be part of it! The long term economic success of our community relies on a workforce that is prepared for the jobs of the future and an ecosystem that encourages new and local small businesses to create those jobs. I am excited to lead an organization that is taking on such a challenge!
Q: What do you hope to bring to MAGIC as its executive director?
A: I hope to position MAGIC as a successful nonprofit in our community. MAGIC has a dedicated board, strong community partnerships, and passionate volunteers. My job will be to focus our attention, position us to scale our programs, and meet our goals of creating new jobs and recruiting new companies and investments in our community.
Q: What is something you want people to know about you? What is a surprising fact about you?
A: While I love technology and cannot function without it, I also love the outdoors! I enjoy hiking, camping, and kayaking. I recently did an overnight kayaking and camping trip in Crisfield, Maryland. I especially appreciate the ways in which technology is making it easier for people to enjoy the outdoors.
A: The City of Westminster is building one of the most advanced fiber networks in the world. This infrastructure provides our community with a unique opportunity to become a hub of technology innovation and entrepreneurship in the Mid-Atlantic region. It is our mission at MAGIC to make this vision a reality. Through MAGIC's innovative projects, tech education programs, and robust collaborations, we are developing a culture of tech innovation and entrepreneurship that will attract and retain innovators, new companies, and investors. Whether it is a competition where hundreds of students learn the basics of cybersecurity and ethical hacking, a program where dozens of students learn to do design, build, and pitch an app in a weekend, or a nationally recognized smart home project, the goal is ultimately to create more economic opportunity for Carroll families and business owners.
Q: Why should people be excited about MAGIC?
A: What isn't there to be excited about with MAGIC? I recently attended one of our events where I learned about temporary tattoos that you can scan to life on your phone and I wore a virtual reality headset that tricked me into thinking I was standing on top of a skyscraper! These are fun applications, but the truth of the matter is, technology and the internet is becoming part of everything we do in life. MAGIC is going to make sure that Westminster and Carroll County are not left behind as this happens. We will be leading the way, as an example for other communities — and that's pretty exciting!