Call for Speakers: IT Happens for Business

April 12, 2015 in Classes, Events, General by Tracy Schmidt

Meet the Geeks is excited to offer a new series of classes for local businesses that may not have the budget for an IT shop but still need to understand IT solutions and options.

Classes will run May through October and be held on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at Lenoir-Rhyne Center for Graduate Studies from 4:45 – 6:00 pm. We are seeking speakers on the following topics.

  • Security-What should businesses consider when it comes to technology, strategy, and policy around information security?
  • Vendor Support Models-What options are out there for small businesses: managed services provider vs. technical staffing services vs. break/fix?
  • Cloud-What cloud “as a service” offerings exist when it comes to storage, email, backup, applications, etc?
  • Internet Presence-What should businesses consider when it comes to website development and hosting, Google places and comparable, etc?
  • Search Engine Optimization-How can businesses best use online marketing and ads, social media, etc to their advantage?

Please see our Speaker Guidelines for more information on class expectations and write to if you’re interested in being a presenter.

Upcoming Local Events and User Group Meetings

March 30, 2015 in Events, General by Tracy Schmidt

As announced at our last networking events. Here’s how to connect and get involved around town.

  • Wide Open Welcome Party on 3/31 from 6 to 8 at Mojo Coworking  Beer, snacks and door prizes provided by Wide Open Tech, internet technology experts
  • Asheville Drupal User Group meetup on 4/2 at 5:30 at Aspiring Web Vagrant showcase sharing how you set up vagrant
  • WNC Linux User Group meeting on 4/4 at Firestorm Café & Books
  • Asheville Coders League (Google group) Host weekly low-pressure social events at Asheville Brewing Company on Coxe Ave starting at 7:00 p.m. every Wednesday; Also have monthly technical meetings
  • Asheville Area WordPress Group on 4/15 from 6 to 8 at Mojo Coworking Web Hosting Panel Discussion
  • WNC .NET Developers Guild meeting on 4/16 from 6 to 8 at Mojo Coworking Double header by Joe Walling
    Amp Up Your Career and Starting Your Own Business
  • Western Carolinas SharePoint User Group meeting on 5/14 at databridge in Arden 
  • Project Managers Agile Boot Camp on 5/16 from 8:30 to noon A condensed introduction to transitioning to Agile project management (SCRUM); Delivered by Ken Whitaker; For PMI members, registration is $199
  • Codestock on 7/10 and 7/11 in Knoxville, TN  Technology conference for developers, IT professionals and entrepreneurs.

Meet the Geeks Celebrates 10 Years

March 16, 2015 in Events, General, News by Tracy Schmidt

On Wednesday, March 25, 2015, Meet the Geeks will host its 10-year anniversary celebration at Scully’s, 13 W. Walnut Street, downtown Asheville from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. Admission is free. Refreshments will be provided and each attendee will get one free drink sponsored by Trevor Lohrbeer.

Over the past 10 years Meet the Geeks has provided networking and educational opportunities for IT professionals scattered across Western North Carolina, and has served as a key resource for economic development of the IT sector.

Highlights include:

  • Hosting bi-monthly networking meetings to foster knowledge exchange, employment opportunities and local partnerships. Meetings are held the last Wednesday of the odd-numbered months from 5:30–8:00p at Scully’s in downtown Asheville.
  • Providing technical training through Geek.class events. Classes have included Making Sense of Website Development, Primer on Mobile Development, Intro to Rails for Developers and The Fundamentals of Organic Search Marketing.
  • Promoting WNC as a destination for tech businesses via the TechNow video, a collaboration with Advantage West. Watch it at
  • Centralizing information about the local IT community including news, job opportunities, user group listings and a directory of IT professionals via its web site at

Open to all IT professionals, from programmers, network administrators and web designers to the tech-savvy business people in sales and marketing, the event aims to facilitate the partnerships and knowledge sharing needed to enhance the success of individuals and companies within our local IT industry.

Hundreds of IT companies operate within Western North Carolina, and many more professionals work within IT departments at local companies. Yet most of these people were isolated in individual practices or small groups, not knowing each other or the broad spectrum of capacity for collaborative projects.

On March 25th, Meet The Geeks will celebrate 10 years of bringing together these diverse elements in the continuing effort to build our local IT industry—and look forward to the next 10 years!

As part of the celebration, Trevor Lohrbeer, one of the co-founders of Meet the Geeks, will buy every attendee a free drink to celebrate the sale of his company Lab Escape to a Boston-based acquirer.

Trevor co-founded Lab Escape in 2003 and has served as its CEO for the past 12 years. Lab Escape sold data visualization and data discovery software for embedding into enterprise applications. Its customers included Walmart, Dell, Schlumberger and the U.S. Army. Details about the acquisition will be announced at the meeting.

IT professionals interested in learning more about Meet the Geeks can visit the web site at or sign up for the mailing list to receive event reminders and newsletters at . Meet the Geeks (MTG) is dedicated to fostering collaboration and education for IT professionals and the business community in Western North Carolina.

Asheville Chamber of Commerce Job Fair

January 1, 2015 in Events, Opportunities by Tracy Schmidt

Wednesday, 1/7, 11am-4pm
Davis Event Center at WNC Ag Center
1301 Fanning Bridge Road, Fletcher, NC

Boost your career at the region’s largest annual job fair on Jan. 7. The Asheville Chamber’s Annual Job Fair offers a variety of job opportunities with top companies in  industries such as advanced manufacturing, health care, hospitality, and technology. Drop by the Venture Asheville booth to check out openings at local high-growth companies, including BuildFax, RISC Networks and Hot Wax. Get more details and register for free as a job seeker.

Call for Mentors! Engage with your community and make a difference!

October 14, 2014 in General, News by Ian Joyner

The NC Student Academy of Sciences is seeking volunteers to mentor teams of high school student researchers in the WNC area. More information is provided below from NCSAS:

Western North Carolina’s middle and high school students are eager to get engaged in meaningful research experiences. However, their access to opportunities are limited. Teachers in our region identify adequate mentorship and financial support as the greatest factors affecting success of student research projects.

As directors of NCSAS District 8, we are recruiting mentors from the community who can help students develop and complete meaningful research projects. The students will present their projects at the 2015 North Carolina Student Academy of Sciences District 8 competition on February 27 on the UNC Asheville campus. There is also a need for volunteers to be on the judging panel at this competition.

The North Carolina Student Academy of Science (NCSAS) is an organization for students in grades 6-12 in alliance with the North Carolina Academy of Science (NCAS). The objectives of NCSAS are

1) promoting the study of science, technology, and mathematics,

2) assisting students to pursue careers in science and technology, and

3) encouraging students to use their talents for the improvement of themselves, their schools, and their communities.

Each year, NCSAS holds District and State meetings at which students have the opportunity to share their research in competition. District 8 includes Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Yancey counties. Students/teams that place at the District level continue to the State competition in late March.

If you are interested in serving as a mentor, please contact Rebecca Hale at and describe your expertise. We will share mentor information with area teachers.

NCSAS District 8 Co-Directors:

Rebecca Hale, UNC Asheville Biology Department

Caroline Kennedy, UNC Asheville Biology Department

Jennifer Williams, Brevard High School