The Cape Cod Technology Council held its annual meeting on May 12, acknowledging the impact of COVID-19 and announcing four new board members and the creation of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.
Board President Jennifer Reid, director of Bridgewater State University Cape Cod in South Yarmouth, opened the virtual meeting by recognizing how the pandemic that began last year impacted the Cape Cod community.
“There have been over 450 lost lives here in Barnstable County and nearly 14,000 cases of COVID-19. Businesses have closed, our key industries have been impacted and some of our own colleagues have lost their jobs,” she said.
With health and safety mandates requiring a shift from in-person to online shopping, learning, working, meeting and entertaining, the use of digital technologies skyrocketed among ordinary people, while the digital divide further increased between citizens with access versus those without access to those technologies. Reid said the digital divide created an opportunity for the Cape Cod Technology Council to look at technology‐related behavior, infrastructure and access in the region and among its members. The council made a comittment to addressing digital inclusion through a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee that is actively seeking learning opportunities, creating an organizational values statement and developing a set of actionable goals for our organization.
“Digital inclusion refers to the activities necessary to ensure that all individuals and communities, including the most disadvantaged, have access to and use of information and communication technologies,” she explained. “This includes robust broadband internet service, internet-enabled devices that meet the needs of the user, access to digital literacy training, and quality technical support.”
Reid, George Vaughn of Vaughn + Associates and Kate McMahon of Cape Cod Community Media Center were reelected to their roles as president, treasurer and clerk, respectively. Robbin Orbison of CapeSpace was elected incoming vice president.
Four new members were named to the council’s board of directors: Matt Burke, co-president, Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank; Dale Shadbegian, CEO, Cape & Plymouth Business Magazine; Maggie Downey, administrator, Cape Light Compact and Dr. Jane Ward, ophthalmologist and retired US Air Force colonel.
Keynote speaker Dorothy Saverese, president and CEO of Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank, shared the bank’s experience in using technology to respond to the challenges presented by the pandemic. Technology allowed the bank to enable employees to pivot into working from home; customers were served online and through mobile banking; webinars and portals allowed the bank to reach customers and help businesses apply for PPP funding.
“We ramped up our resources to support our customers,” she said.
Applauding the council’s commitment to increasing digital inclusion, she noted that “Studies have also shown that mobile banking does increase economic inclusion.”
For more information about The Cape Cod Technology Council, visit www.cctechcouncil.org