MCNC helps ‘Create The Future’ in North Carolina

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Internet nonprofit recognizes community leaders and showcases power of broadband technologies for the state

Community Day 2015 logo

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (Nov. 13, 2015) – MCNC, the non-profit operator of the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN), today is helping Create the Future for North Carolina and recognized several technology leaders for their contributions to broadband connectivity throughout the state this year during the organization’s annual NCREN Community Day celebration on Thursday and Friday in the Benson University Center at Wake Forest University.

MCNC’s mission is to advance education, research, health care, public safety, and the overall levels of high-speed connectivity available in North Carolina by providing a world-class network necessary for innovation, collaboration, and economic development. NCREN Community Day provides a valuable opportunity to engage with influential North Carolina community leaders and network with constituents and peers from around the country.

More than 200 top education and technology executives participated in a variety of networking discussions on the impacts of broadband towards innovation and entrepreneurship, leadership, health care, STEM education, MOOCs and distance learning, public safety, privacy, security, and information governance.

"MCNC serves the public good today by creating unprecedented levels of opportunity for North Carolinians on a world-class network,” said MCNC President and CEO Jean Davis. “It is this network and our skilled team running it every single day that is helping Create The Future of a connected and competitive North Carolina of tomorrow."

MCNC also announced winners of this year’s NCREN Community Awards during the two-day event.

The Robyn Render Endeavor Award was presented to Tracy Futhey, Vice President for IT and Chief Information Officer at Duke University, and Lane Ridenhour, Program Coordinator and Video Manager of the TeleLearning and Teleconference Center at UNC Greensboro. This recognition honors a devoted North Carolina leader who understood how technology could grow educational opportunity for all citizens and is annually presented to one or more persons who continually champion leadership, engagement, and support of MCNC's overarching mission and goals for North Carolina.

The Empower Award was presented to Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute CIO Lamar Owen. When NCREN experienced considerable growth in 2008, the organization introduced the Empower Award to recognize individuals who were not long-time members of the NCREN Community but made an immediate impact upon engagement.

Finally, Dr. Susan Peck, Distance Education Coordinator at the College of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City, was selected by her peers for the Community Choice Award. This award engages the NCREN membership from beginning to end, with input on nominees and recipients determined by the online voting.

The 2015 event sponsors included: Zettabye Sponsor: Cisco Systems; Gigabyte Sponsor: AT&T; Megabyte Sponsors: Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Mediasite by Sonic Foundry, and Time Warner Cable Business Class; Door Prize Sponsors: BalsamWest, Conterra Broadband Services, ECC Technologies, K&L Gates, Marsh & McLennan Agency, NWN Corporation, Presidio, and Smith Anderson. Additional support provided by Financial Directions, and host location: Wake Forest University.