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Nonprofit View: Celebrating 15 years of technology leadership in Carroll County

For the past two-plus years, I have had the privilege of serving alongside many talented industry leaders on Carroll County’s Long-Term Advisory Council. From a technology standpoint, that is an impossible task, as technology changes at such a rapid pace that is difficult for us to keep up; however, that is the very reason that the Carroll Technology Council was created.

The Carroll Technology Council was conceived in 2001 by the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce to assist businesses and the community with their technology needs, and as the council grew it became an independent nonprofit organization in January of 2004.

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Our Mission is to provide technology leadership, information, and resources to develop members’ businesses, build strong community partnerships, and advance technology in Carroll County. The CTC leads the way for Carroll County to be recognized as a technically advanced community with innovative businesses and a tech-savvy citizenry. We energize and engage business and community leaders to leverage the latest technology to positively impact the County.

Our members and I serve on numerous committees at the state and local levels that focus on technology topics, such as rural broadband, cybersecurity, economic development and workforce development, just to name a few. All of these are relevant topics, especially right here at home.

As a community partner, the Tech Council works diligently to bring technology to those in need through our TechKids and TechWorks programs. Since our inception, we have provided over 3,000 new and refurbished computers to Carroll County students, job-seekers, and area nonprofits at no charge. That’s pretty remarkable being that we, too, are a nonprofit. We’ve been fortunate to be the recipient of grants to assist us in our philanthropic passions, but our primary focus is and always has been providing education, information and resources for our members and the business community.

In addition, the CTC hosts fun and educational networking events and seminars throughout the year, many of which are free for members as well as being open to the community. Over the years we’ve hosted a variety of educations, seminars and conferences. Everything from drones, managing devices, AI, VR, AR, cybersecurity, ag tech, auto tech, and yes, even sex and tech! (If you don’t know what any of those acronyms mean, perhaps you should attend one of our events!)

Along with our messaging, we also like to have fun … lots of fun! Our community events include an annual golf tournament with proceeds benefiting our Adelman Memorial Scholarship and TechKids programs; IGNITE Carroll, where multiple speakers deliver five minute talks supported by a power-point presentation that auto advances every 15 seconds whether they are ready or not, and our Technically Speaking Awards Banquet where we honor “Techies” for their outstanding support of our Mission over the past year.

The CTC couldn’t do this without the vision and dedication of our members — many of the organizations’ founders are still actively involved today. I have said since Day One that I wasn’t a techie — well, maybe now I’m a reluctant one — but it is their energy and enthusiasm toward technology and innovation that drives me to be passionate about it and showcasing why Carroll County is “the place” to live, work and innovate with technology.

This year, the CTC celebrates its 15th anniversary as an independent nonprofit and the impact that our organization has had in the county. I invite and encourage you to participate in our many upcoming events and celebrations!

Kati Townsley is the Executive Director of the Carroll Technology Council Inc. She can be reached at kati@carrolltechcouncil.org. For more information about the Carroll Tech Council, visit www.carrolltechcouncil.org.

Each Monday, the Carroll County Times publishes a column from a local nonprofit, allowing them to share information about their organization and the issues facing it. To be considered, email cctnews@carrollcountytimes.com with the subject line “Nonprofit View.”

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