Hacksburg

Blacksburg's Workshop

Departure

On a more somber note, tonight’s meeting will likely be my last as a member of Hacksburg’s Board of Directors. I am moving to Raleigh, North Carolina to take a new job there, and I will be terminating my membership at the end of the week. My plan is to continue to serve Hacksburg in an advisory and liaison capacity for as long as rest of the Board will have me. I also intend to visit from time to time, and you may see me at events.

When Jenn McGuire asked for help starting a hackerspace in Blacksburg, I wasn’t sure it was possible; at the time, hackerspaces were mostly the province of large cities, and even then they could fail. But I said I was in because I wanted to see if we could make it work.

It’s been a long road from there to here – five years of gathering people, forming an organization, searching for a space, gathering tools, getting the word out, holding events, wading through bureaucracy, and always being on hand when someone had a question or someone needed help. It was – and continues to be – hard work, and for a while I wasn’t sure it would pay off. But we’ve experienced a lot of growth in the last year, and coupled with the new equipment you’ll soon hear about, my fears have been assuaged. For the first time since starting with Hacksburg, I am confident that it will outlast not only my tenure, but the tenure of the others who founded the space with me.

There are many people that made this possible. They cannot all be named here, but I’d like to thank Kiki Schirr, Ben Weinstein-Raun, Brett and Todd Fleming, Kurt Rooks, Brent Michalowski, Will Tilson, Woody and Cameron Woodruff, Melissa Vidmar, and all of the backers of our first crowdfunding campaign.

I’d like to give a special thank-you to three people in particular. First, thanks to Jenn McGuire for having the courage and curiosity to start this ball rolling in the first place. Second, thanks to Joe Meredith of the CRC for meeting with us, for renting us the space, and for bearing with us during our inevitable development problems. Finally, I’d like to give a big thank-you to Nicole Schwartz, whose drive and organizational acumen has delivered Hacksburg from chaos and decay on several occasions. It is not an exaggeration to say that the space would not exist without her help, for which I am infinitely grateful.

I leave for bigger things, but I believe the space is in good hands. The community has shown that it wants Hacksburg around, and as long as that and a commitment to our mission, we will move forward and advance the causes that Hacksburg stands for.

Good luck, take care, and farewell.