Author: Rebekah Panepinto, Pilgrim Consulting, Inc.
On February 9th, 2016, I arrived in Washington, D.C. to begin participating in the annual 2-day CompTIA Advocacy Fly-In with other technology industry leaders of the Nashville Technology Council. As I stepped off the plane, I did not know what to expect of Tennessee’s members of Congress. Would they be educated on technology policy issues? With so many ongoing legislative discussions and activities would the opinions of the technology leaders who had made the trip from Nashville be overlooked?
During the stay in D.C., our team was given the opportunity to spend valuable time with U.S. Representatives Jim Cooper and Marsha Blackburn. The conversations with both of these influential leaders were very candid and authentic. I was delighted to learn that our congressional representatives were educated on important issues such as Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), broadband communication as well as workforce development in Tennessee. Not only were they knowledgeable on these topics, but they were also interested in discussing each item with us and working to ensure that they had a grasp on how these policies affected technology and business in Nashville. They also expressed that they want to continually be a resource to the Nashville technology community because they are encouraged by the growth of our industry.
During our conversations in Washington we found that many, but not all, of our Tennessee leaders in Congress intended to vote in our favor on the tech policies we traveled to advocate for. While the support was encouraging, that we had to work to explain our points of view presents an excellent example of the importance of tech policy advocacy! Solution providers, vendors, and IT professionals alike can benefit from researching and advocating for important issue within our local and state governments. It is important to communicate with our representatives in Washington, D.C. and ensure they are aware of how their decisions will affect how business is conducted in Tennessee.
About Rebekah Panepinto:
With a background in technology project management, marketing and sales, Rebekah is highly equipped to help companies grow their business. Her areas of expertise lie in building strategic relationships and encouraging entrepreneurs to bring their ideas to fruition!
Rebekah is also an active member within the WiTT organization.