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Tech at the Gap Returns

September 30th, 2021 by WCBC Radio

Tech at the Gap, the largest conference in Western Maryland for web developers, system administrators, network and security specialists, managers and other IT professionals, returns on October 14 to the Rocky Gap Casino Resort. The popular one-day of professional development and networking opportunities features a range of speakers and presenters for its unifying theme of Prepare to Launch, from a retired fighter pilot/astronaut to a self-described tech education jedi. Tech at the Gap begins with registration and a networking breakfast at 7 a.m. and concludes at 4:30 p.m.  


Both general admission and virtual tickets are still available. Conference information and tickets are available at For a limited time, conference organizers are offering a $20 discount on general admission tickets using the promo code “LASTCHANCE21” at checkout. 


Conference sessions and speakers include:  

  • Chaos Theory: A Future-of-Work View, Claire Haider. Haider is the leader of WNDYR, a company whose productivity and human behavior specialists teach employees how to work smarter across their digital tools with a full range of services, from tech stack integrations to user training. She’s passionate about enabling individuals, teams, and organizations to embrace behaviors that enable them to move into this new world of work. 
  • The Hybrid Multi-Cloud: Why It’s More Than a Buzzword, David McGann. McGann is an associate partner with the IBM Services Federal sector and is a technologist specializing in understanding client IT challenges and bringing the right technology solution and approach to overcome those challenges. A federal contractor since 2004, his clients include NARA, FEMA, NGA, Department of Education, and the FDA, among others.  
  • The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification: The Future of Cybersecurity?, Jon O’Keefe. As the technology education “jedi” at Logical Operations, O’Keefe is responsible for the design, development, and delivery of LO’s emerging technology courseware portfolio and certifications. He’s a Master Modern Classroom Certified Trainer and Master Certified Virtual Educator who’s helped over 5,000 trainers and K-12 educators in virtual instruction techniques.   
  • Navigating the Ever-Growing Tech Stack in Your Network, Chris Miller. Miller is an experienced senior solutions engineer for QOS Networks. With over 25 years in telecommunications, he’s skilled in VoIP, Data Center solutions, WAN/LAN technologies with a specific focus and love for SD-WAN.  
  • Guerilla Vulnerability Management Using OSINT Techniques, Ramon “Ray” Balut. Balut has 25 years of experience in healthcare information systems and security and is currently overseeing both the Remediation and Vulnerability Management departments at UPMC. He’s held the CISO role within several national, regional, and local not-for-profit and university environments including Sutter Health, Adventist Health, the University of VA, and MedStar Health. 
  • The 4th Industrial Revolution: How Data Will Define Your Decade, Jon O’Keefe. 
  • The Roles of Obstacles in Leadership, Captain Robert “Hoot” Gibson, USN Retired. Gibson served as a fighter pilot, test pilot, and Navy astronaut before joining Southwest Airlines as a pilot in 1996. He flew five missions aboard Challenger, Columbia, Atlantis, and Endeavor, once as co-pilot and four times as the mission commander. He’s been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Legion of Merit, the Air Medal, and the Vietnam Service Medal. Gibson was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2003, the Long Island Air and Space Hall of Fame in 2011, the Space Camp Hall of Fame in 2012, and was enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 2013. 


“Technology has kept millions of workers and families connected during the pandemic. In many ways, it’s brought the importance and promise of tech sector to the forefront of the national conversation. Events like Tech at the Gap are critical to educating and connecting IT professionals, helping professionals seize on opportunities, and growing this sector in our region,” said Autumn Becker, executive director of the Western Maryland IT Center of Excellence.  “As we celebrate Tech at the Gap’s fifth anniversary, we’re hoping, of course, for our biggest turnout to date, but more importantly, we’re continuing our mission of expanding opportunities for tech companies and industry professionals in our area.”  


For more information, visit, call 301-784-5434, or email