ROC Tech Conference 2019 Recap

Img 5351

Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce teamed up with member Innovative Solutions to present the third annual ROC Tech Conference at the Floreano Convention Center. Nearly 500 people attended the event that showcased presentations on artificial intelligence, cloud technology, machine learning, migrating through a digital transformation, legal compliance in a digital age, augmented and virtual reality, digital marketing, application development, delivering great experiences in technology, and how AI can drive the human experience. Panel discussions focused on finding, hiring, and retaining elite technology talent and a conversation with a new generation of technology thought leaders.

Check out a photo album from the day-long event on the Rochester Chamber Facebook page.

Explore the ROC Tech Conference as it happened by searching the #RTC19 hashtag on Twitter.

Img 5340


Rochester Chamber President and CEO Bob Duffy said, “The Rochester and Finger Lakes region is a technology hub. We have a huge number of technology leaders who have strengthened existing companies or created new, exciting startups that are now helping to drive the economy. Our region is in the midst of an economic transformation and one of the main pillars of the future includes the emerging technology and digital space. Our goal is to publicize it, nurture it, and help it grow. The ROC Tech Conference can serve as a catalyst for this.”

Img 5363




The conference opened with welcoming remarks from Duffy and Innovative Solutions CEO Justin Copie. Amazon Web Services Partner Sales Manager Dave Gervon then took the main stage to present "Harness the Power of the Cloud: Learn How Cloud Technologies Can Modernize Your Business in a Digital Age." Gervon shared insight on the cloud's influence on artificial intelligence and machine learning, how mobile is changing the way we use the Internet, and technology's impact on our daily lives. Click here for video of the presentation.

Img 0472

The panel discussion "Dedication, Passion, and Innovation: The Realities of a Trailblazing Leader in Technology" featured a group of women leaders including Yasmin Mattox (Arkatecht), Heather Fry (Paychex), Judy Miller (Miller & Associates), Sarah Compter (SYNACT, Inc.), and Eva Lana (Wellacopia). David Mammano (Avanti Entrepreneur Network) and Anika Aftib (RIT) moderated the panel that explored current technology obstacles faced by business, the capabilities and limitations of technology, opportunities for innovation in the near and long-term, and more. Click here for video of the presentation.

Img 0475


The breakout panel "Uncover the Secrets of Sourcing, Recruiting, Hiring, and Retaining Top Technology Talent" featured speakers Brian Carroll (Genuent), Jaime Eisenhauer (Innovative Solutions), Raj Suchak (Grit Seed), Jennifer Thistle (Token), and Thomas Carpitella (Fast Tracking Solutions). Melanie DellaPietra (People Minded LLC + DisruptHR ROC) moderated the panel through discussions on human resources in technology, company culture and psychological safety, winning and losing the 'war for talent', and risk-taking in hiring. Click here for video of the panel discussion.

Img 5418



Paychex Senior Director of Infrastructure and Architecture Dave Wilson teamed up with MongoDB Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder Eliot Horowitz to present "Digital Transformation: The Key to Modern Business Success". The pair covered topics including changing the perception of East Coast vs. West Coast technology companies, adapting business databases to the modern world, catalysts for change, the evolution of technologists into business leaders, and other transformational influences. Click here to watch the presentation.

Img 5437


Envative Partner Craig Lamb and Innovation Finance Chief Operating Officer Nate Gibbons delivered the breakout session "Explore How Technology is Disrupting and Breaking Paradigms in Business". The presentation explored technology that significantly changes the way that a business or industry operates, identifying opportunities for disruption, ways for business to cultivate disruptive thinking, and the story of how Innovation Finance works to disrupt the commercial leasing industry. Click here for video of the presentation.

Img 0536



University of Rochester Associate Professor of Computer Science George Ferguson, Ph.D., shared his presentation "Why Doesn't the Computer Understand Me?". This breakout focused on how humans communicate with computers by exploring how human interaction can translate into interaction with computers. Ferguson outlined a history of computer programming from the most basic iterations to today's voice recognition software as well as talking about user-centered design, design thinking, and how things that were impossible a short time ago are now commonplace. Click here to watch this breakout session.

Img 0544



ITX Product Innovation Lead Diana Casale delivered "The Momentum Framework: Learn How the Science of Human Motivation Will Give You a Measurable Pathway to Profit". The presentation explored a formula to develop products that move, touch, and inspire the world, creating an inspiring experience, the customer's journey, building relationships, brand advocacy, teamwork, and measuring success. Click here for video of the presentation.

Img 0557



Brite Computers President and Chief Operating Officer Justin Smith presented "Visibility: The First Building Block in a Sound Cyber Security Strategy". The breakout session focused on the ability to see devices on and off the network and data as it sits at rest, in use, in motion, and moving to and from the cloud. The talk also looked at the perception versus the reality of a business' cyber security, today's security landscape, and key initiatives a business should consider when exploring visibility in cyber security. Click here to watch the breakout session.

Img 0565

Ben Nemtin, star of the MTV show "The Buried Life" and author of the best-selling book based on the show, "What Do You Want To Do Before You Die?" delivered the keynote address. Nemtin shared the story of how he and three friends set out on a journey after high school to complete the 'bucket list' of things they want to do before they die. That journey evolved into the television show that followed the group helping others check off their list along the way. Nemtin also opened up about his battle with depression and advocated for mental health awareness while encouraging those in the crowd to follow their dreams. Click here for video of the keynote.

Img 5329