Washington, D.C.-area alumni discuss region's growing technology industry

The Penn State alumni community gathered earlier this month near Washington, D.C., in Tysons Corner, Va., for an event organized by the Smeal Business Club, D.C. Metro Area Chapter. The event showcased Smeal College of Business alumni who play significant roles at some of the region’s growing technology companies.

The Smeal Business Club, D.C. Metro Area Chapter is an alumni group based in the Washington, D.C. metro area. The event, Alumni Making an Impact at the Region’s Hottest Tech Companies, was organized by the group’s executive committee, led by group president Andrew Moses, Class of 2007, accounting.

Nearly 100 people attended the event, which was moderated by Gene Riechers, Class of 1977, accounting, vice chairman of educational technology company EverFi. Riechers was also a co-founder of Mid-Atlantic venture capital firm Valhalla Partners.

“This event was a terrific opportunity to showcase five of our very successful alumni and the impact that they are making in their industry.”

-- Jennifer Crispell, director of alumni relations, Smeal College of Business

Panelists included Linda Abraham, Class of 1984, quantitative business analysis, co-founder of comScore; Tom Hahn, Class of 1976, accounting, Class of 1979, master of business administration, vice president of finance and administration at Orchestro; Ryan Healy, Class of 2006, accounting, founder and chief operating officer of Brazen Careerist; and Joe Zaczyk, Class of 2001, accounting, controller at CustomInk.

“This event was a terrific opportunity to showcase five of our very successful alumni and the impact that they are making in their industry,” said Jennifer Crispell, director of alumni relations for Smeal. “The panelists were engaging, and the room was buzzing before and after the discussion as Penn Staters made connections with each other throughout the evening.”

Washington, D.C., has a high concentration of Penn State alumni as well as a wide range of high-growth technology companies, said Riechers, and the event’s panel discussion provided attendees with an opportunity to discuss what it’s like to work in such a company and how to work best with entrepreneurs.

“Early stage, high growth technology companies provide for a really stimulating career,” said Riechers. “You have new issues to wrestle with every day, and I think a lot of people really enjoy that.”

In addition to the opportunity for Penn Staters to learn from the experiences of Riechers and the panelists, this event offered a valuable networking opportunity.

“The most powerful force in the world is serendipity,” said Riechers. “Getting more than 100 Penn State alumni together to share ideas and connect can forge relationships leading to new opportunities for everyone.”

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Last Updated May 29, 2014