It Was a Dark and Stormy Night - San Antonio Cyber City USA

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More than 250 of San Antonio’s best and brightest technology and business executives came out on a rainy December evening to share the Technology Connexus Association’s celebration of San Antonio’s Cyber Vision. A powerhouse panel of speakers discussed San Antonio's future as Cyber City USA.

It was a dark and stormy night, but December 1, 2009 marked the start of a new energy in San Antonio technology. More than 250 of San Antonio’s best and brightest technology and business executives came out to share the Technology Connexus Association’s (TCA) celebration of San Antonio’s Cyber Vision.

Matt Pirko of ManTech International emceed a powerhouse panel of Brigadier General John D. Stauffer of the Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency, Richard Perez representing the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and Jeff Reich of the UTSA Institute for Cyber Security. Each speaker provided his unique perspective to the standing room only crowd, offering views of the importance of San Antonio recently becoming the home of the Air Force 24th Cyber Command.

In 2006, a group of Greater Chamber volunteers began gathering information regarding the location requirements for a proposed Air Force Cyber Command, and realized San Antonio possessed many of the elements outlined in the early site selection criteria. San Antonio's ability to house and support the new command included: the local communications infrastructure, the relatively high number of workers in the community who have security clearances and certifications from the Department of Defense and the National Security Agency, the number of military missions that are already here and doing work in cyber defense, and the education pipeline of colleges and universities that offer certifications and degrees in areas relating to cyber security. All of this hard work was rewarded on May 15, 2009, when Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz announced that San Antonio’s Lackland Air Force Base would be the permanent location of 24th Air Force, a new numbered Air Force headquarters focused on the cyber mission. “The arrival of the 24th Air Force in San Antonio is both a capstone on San Antonio’s rapid growth in cyber capabilities, and a building block for future economic development in the cyber security field,” said Matt Reedy, Director of Research & Development for SecureLogix Corporation, and a TCA board member.

John Hill, Managing Director of Technology Connexus Association, and CEO of Tech Sage Solutions said, “We are thrilled at the response of the San Antonio technology community to the first event of our new focus to bring interesting and informative events to the quarterly “tech connection.” He also added that the 2010 lineup of events would be revealed shortly. “Our revitalized Board of Directors and the newly formed Advisory Council has brought new life and energy to TCA and is helping to reshape it from an organization that simply has a party once a quarter, to one that will help to support and grow the technology community.”

Also highlighting the evening was an assemblage of over 15 local businesses exhibiting their unique technologies. Featured were Grande Communications, a long-time supporter of technology in San Antonio and CLEAR Communications, a company new to San Antonio that has brought 4G WiMax to the city to make it one huge “hot spot.”

Geoffrey Ryder, Regional Enterprises Services Manager for Grande Communications said “First and foremost Grande decided to be a sponsor of the Cyber Vision because we strongly believe in their cause here in San Antonio and the Central Texas Region as a whole is. The Cyber Vision event like many of the events they host are top notch and well attended. There is always an attention to detail of the layout of the event, the quality of the speakers, and the relevant topics that coincide with today's business climate. We are proud to be part of this organization, and look forward to sponsoring future events.”

Sam Rosario, Indirect Sales Manager for Clear said “I want to congratulate you guys, you’ve got an amazing turnout. We’re really proud to be partnering with Technology Connexus Association as sponsors of this event, you guys are going a great job with helping to advance the San Antonio Technology community, congratulations on hosting such a great event. “

Gary Cain, Operations Executive Officer, EADS NA Defense Security and Systems Solutions, Inc. (DS3) said “I just wanted to let you know how impressed I was with December's SA Cyber Vision Hi-Tech Mixer. The caliber of people attending was the number one most important ingredient to such a successful event. On top of that the panelists were well qualified to speak on current cyber issues with political to educational to military perspectives at local to national levels. The location, food and drink were equally impressive and makes the event suitable to enjoy with clients, partners or a spouse. Needless to say, events like this drive innovation and spur change in our community and nation. This event reminds me of the ancient Lyceum concept where issues of the day were debated. I plan on being a regular supporter. Again, thank you for this continuing event.”

And not to be forgotten, the crowd enjoyed an outstanding buffet of food and drink including the ever popular chocolate fountain.

Jay Fraser, member of the TCA Board remarked, “One of the most amazing things was that after the food was gone, there were still dozens of people standing around networking with each other."

About Technology Connexus Association
The Technology Connexus Association is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, organization that facilitates collaborative educational activities between South Central Texas area entities and persons involved in the development of new technology. The entities include private enterprise, scientists, universities, and research institutes. The purpose is to educate people about developing technology and to foster the exchange of ideas between people in different disciplines. This sharing of ideas and information will help advance technology even more. Our activities serve both educational and scientific purposes.

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