Tech Forum May 2016 Update
A Note from the Board

Tech Forum is led by a diverse group of corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and technology leaders who volunteer their time and talents. We are pleased to welcome four new directors and are grateful for their commitment to our growth and success.

At the same time, we extend sincere thanks to outgoing Board members Dennis DeBevec, Rebecca Faber and Ralph Cetrulo, for their many contributions to the organization. We thank Dennis especially for his role as Treasurer, updating our website, and improving the operational use and data management of our event registration system.

Rick Sommer
President, Technology Forum of Delaware
Tech Forum Welcomes New Board Members

Bob Watson
Vice President
Digital Eye

Hendrik-Jan Francke
Lead Inbound Strategist
Bright Orange Thread

A self-professed tech junkie, Bob Watson has always looked to emerging equipment and trends to seek an edge for his customers throughout a career spanning more than two decades in service to marketing and operations professionals. He has successfully delivered custom solutions leveraging e-commerce, document automation, Internet of Things (IoT), systems integration and mobile applications among others, and today serves as Vice President at Digital Eye, the first website development firm incorporated in the state of Delaware (founded in 1995).

Bob has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations and a minor in Spanish from Elizabethtown College. He resides in Hockessin, Delaware with his wife and two daughters and is actively involved as a Board Member in his neighborhood’s Home Owners’ Association and as a volunteer with Delaware Greenways.
Hendrik-Jan is focused on helping B2B companies and non-profit organization transform their brand message into content that converts website visitors into delighted customers.

As the lead inbound-strategist of Bright Orange Thread, he and his team help clients develop shareable content, create websites, and implement strategies that help them be found by search engines and users alike.

Bright Orange Thread started as a website design firm while Hendrik-Jan was teaching design at the University of Delaware. Since the early days, Bright Orange Thread was always focused on one thing: helping the user find what they need. This user-centric philosophy guides Bright Orange Thread’s work as an inbound marketing agency more than ever. Whether the team is creating a blog post, a SEO strategy, or a new website, helping the user find the answer to their question is the number one goal.

Jake Ruddy
  James Doyle
Assurance Office Managing Partner
BDO Wilmington Office

Jake Ruddy is the President of Delaware/Maryland at PCS and has been with the firm since 2007. PCS is a Managed Service Provider that provides outsourced IT support services to clients ranging from 5 employees to 1200. Jake’s role encompasses all facets of the business from Business Development and client satisfaction to working with the team to ensure clients receive outstanding customer service every day.

Jake has more than 20 years experience in the IT world and has been working directly with small and medium sized businesses for the last 18 years.  He is passionate about the power of networking and is active in various organizations throughout Delaware and Maryland. He is also passionate about technology which makes the Technology Forum a great board to be a part of.
Jim Doyle is the Office Managing Partner for BDO Wilmington and has more than 20 years of experience in public accounting. He works with a diverse client base made up of SEC registrants, private-equity-backed, family-owned businesses, and large nonprofit organizations. He also works with several multinational clients reporting under both U.S. GAAP and IFRS accounting and reporting standards.

Jim’s clients operate in a variety of industries, including commercial and residential real estate, equipment leasing, technology, manufacturing and distribution, retail, and construction and homebuilding. Jim’s service industry clients include law firms, as well as architecture and engineering firms. His nonprofit clientele include social services agencies, professional membership organizations and social clubs.

In addition to working with well-established enterprises, Jim has experience serving clients with start-up operations, those going through reorganizations, and others involved in mergers and acquisitions.

Tech Forum’s second annual Technologies to Watch Showcase on June 22nd will spotlight innovations in materials science, digital communications, healthcare, financial services, smarter services, and much more! 

Innovators will demonstrate their technologies in interactive displays in a networking environment designed to spark your imagination.

Join us for this fun and exciting event taking place at the YCST offices on Rodney Square during the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival.

Register Today!

Sponsor Spotlight: Insperity

Insperity helps make business owners' lives easier by taking HR and administrative burdens off their plates. They are dedicated to helping businesses succeed by taking care of the things that could be distracting you from the bigger picture. They do this by helping you control expenses, minimize risk exposure and maximize your opportunities for revenue generation. Learn more about Insperity's full suite of strategic HR services at

Upcoming Events


For the first time, Delaware will host an event for the National Day of Civic Hacking. You can help foster a positive and open culture in the First State. Join community members, business leaders, creatives, and programmers at DataWorks. Don’t code? No problem. Successful groups will still need you. Together, we’ll build prototypes of open source software. The goal is to make open data accessible and useful to businesses, residents, and local government. Experience the technologies and teamwork that are helping people to do more, and get inspired about what you can do with open data. Register here!

When: Saturday, June 4, 2016                                                           
8:30 AM to 6:00 PM
Where: 1313 Innovation - 1313 North Market Street, Wilmington, DE 19801

Tech+Jazz 2016: Technologies to Watch Showcase

Tech Forum is presenting our second annual showcase of interesting Technologies to Watch - with the added bonus this year of great jazz on Rodney Square! We will spotlight and celebrate new technologies and their innovators at the offices YCST during the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival. Register today!

When: Wednesday, June 22, 2016                                                              
5:30 - 7:30 PM
Where: Young, Conaway, Stargatt & Taylor, Rodney Square, 1000 N King St, Wilmington, DE 19801

Fifth Annual Summer BBQ

Join the Tech Forum on July 20th for our annual summer networking mixer at Timothy's Riverfront Grill. We're providing the barbecue, so all you have to do is show up for the party. Register today!

When: Wednesday, July 20, 2016                                                              
5:30 - 7:30 PM
Where: Timothy's Riverfront Grill, 930 Justison St, Wilmington, DE 19801

SAVE THE DATE - Fall Back Into Networking - September 21, 2016

Our annual Fall Back Into Networking mixer will held at The Mill - Wilmington's newest co-working and meeting space. From the Dogfish Head Bar to original art by William Spiker and patent models from Hagley, the environment at The Mill is unique. Plan to join us to make new connections and strengthen existing relationships.

About Technology Forum of Delaware
The Technology Forum of Delaware serves the technology markets throughout the Delaware Valley. Tech Forum is dedicated to helping the region’s technology business leaders acquire the knowledge, connections and resources needed to compete and succeed in a global economy.

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