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Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council names new CEO

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The Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council (RBTC) and Roanoke Blacksburg Innovation Network have chosen Robert McAden as their next president and CEO, effective March 20.

McAden has been a member of the council since its inception and has served on the board’s executive team for more than three years, becoming board chair in 2015. He previously led the Blacksburg operations of cloud-computing company Rackspace.

McAden has lived in  Roanoke for 20 years. He has been active in the region’s startup community, co-chairing Startup Weekend Roanoke, judging  many startup competitions and serving on advisory boards for NuSpark and RAMP,  a technology business accelerator in the region.

“With the opening of RAMP this summer, the creation of an innovation district in Roanoke, and the growth of our technology sector, we are in the midst of a critical time for our technology and innovation ecosystem. I am eager to work with others across our region to ensure the future vitality of our valleys." McAden said in a statement.

The technology council conducted a nationwide search after Jonathan Whitt resigned in October.

“Robert is no stranger to the region or to our RBTC board,” said Susan Short of the executive committee of the RBTC Board of Directors. “He knows our community, he understands the innovation ecosystem of the two valleys, and he clearly comprehends the aspirations of our region.  He has been a key player in identifying and aligning the region's technology assets as well as connecting the technology community to regional resources.  In his former role with Rackspace as well as his extensive contributions to the RBTC board, this familiar face will work closely with leaders throughout the region to advance the mission of an emerging innovation ecosystem.”

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