Virtual Gala Celebrates Tech in Education, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship

(Charlottesville, VA) … For the first time in its 22-year history, the CBIC Awards gala was held not in a ballroom or theater, but in the new gathering realm that is the Internet. This Thursday evening, September 10, Central Virginia's leading innovators clinked glasses from respective remote viewing locations -- from as far away as Martha’s Vineyard and San Diego -- to honor recipients of the 2020 CBIC Awards. 

CBIC also gifted $8,500 in scholarships and grants to three student entrepreneurs and a teacher to support entrepreneurship and science and technology education. The annual event was emceed by Mr. Chiedo John, Engineering Manager at GitHub and Founder of Generate Impact.

Dominique Morse, an inspiring teacher with Albemarle County's Murray High School and Community Public Charter School, was awarded the 2020 CBIC Educator of the Year and a $2,500 CBIC Tech in Education grant in support of educational activities encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship. Since 2003, including tonight’s grant, CBIC has gifted $45,000 to area teachers to further the use of technology in area classrooms.

CBIC Educator of the Year was just one of a dozen awards announced at the annual gala hosted by the Charlottesville Business Innovation Council (CBIC). With an anticipated viewership of more than 450 people, Executive Director Tracey Greene, co-chair of the gala, explains the importance of The CBIC Awards to central Virginia and why CBIC opted to go virtual:

"The CBIC Annual Awards has inspired, informed, and advanced our supportive community in which we celebrate each other's accomplishments and recognize successes. 2020 brought exceptional barriers to gathering people for all of CBIC’s events, including the gala, which creates an environment for attendees to develop relationships that create a fertile future for growth and expansion. We were committed to ensuring this vital aspect of the gala was not incorporated. As any innovative organization would, and especially a tech council, we found a technology platform to solve this challenge. Our exceptional volunteer gala planners worked tirelessly with CBIC’s staff to learn the tool and guide our community to this new experience."

Below is a list of the 2020 CBIC Award Recipients. Please let CBIC know if you would like photos or interviews with any of these honorees. A complete list of the finalists for the 2020 CBIC Awards is at the end of this news release.

  • Dominique Morse was named the 2020 CBIC Educator of the Year. Dominique is the youth entrepreneurship facilitator at Community Charter Middle School and Murray High School. Dom works with children on their designs and how to turn those designs into businesses, getting them to think about how their work in school can affect their community. 
  • The 2020 CBIC Business of the Year is Ting | Charlottesville. Ting | Charlottesville works throughout the region to expand crazy fast fiber internet to reach more homes and businesses than ever before by bringing the internet to brand new neighborhoods and upgrading areas that already have service. 
  • Cynthia Adams was honored as 2020 CBIC Entrepreneur of the Year. Adams is CEO and Founder of Pearl Certification, which makes home value visible through a platform that collects data on energy-efficient and renewable energy features so that homes can appraise for more at resale or refinancing. Cynthia launched Pearl in Charlottesville because the community is so supportive when it comes to cleantech, sustainability, and entrepreneurship. 
  • Welld Health was named 2020 CBIC Innovator of the Year. This innovative company delivers proven wellness programs backed by verified health data through connected fitness trackers and devices.
  • Cardboard Live nabbed the 2020 CBIC Startup of the Year award. Wilson Hunter, Founder and CEO of the online gaming platform Cardboard Live, chose to move back to Charlottesville to start his business because Charlottesville provides the best of both worlds: a vibrant and emerging startup community with many opportunities to learn and grow professionally and a small town where you can run into people you know every day. 
  • A major booster for student entrepreneurship in the region, CBIC recognizes a student entrepreneur or startup that is inspiring young students with successful innovation. The 2020 CBIC Student Entrepreneur of the Year is Roman Bohuk of MetaCTF. MetaCTF’s main line of business involves running custom, hands-on cybersecurity training and exercises for organizations large and small.
  • CCRi has been steadily hiring hi-tech professionals and continuing to grow since it was founded in 1989 and was named the 2020 CBIC Top Job Creator. The company credits a collaborative environment that focuses on continuous learning and a supportive company culture for their ability to attract and retain critical employees.

  • A new award was launched in 2020 to honor the collaborative nature of businesses and nonprofits. The inaugural CBIC Partnership of the Year goes to New Hill Development Corporation and the Fountain Fund. The dynamic duo has multiplied their impacts working alongside each other on Operation Hope, which brings financial education to their client partners and helps them achieve their dreams. 
  • CBIC wishes to thank several of its board member volunteers who have been instrumental in creating, directing, and pivoting its programming to the “zoomisphere.” A trio of heavy lifters, Justin Ritter, Lily Garcia Walton and Hope McCutcheon were honored as a 2020 CBIC Volunteer of the Year. These are three of hundreds of volunteers that make CBIC's educational and networking mission possible. If you'd like to volunteer, CBIC welcomes your help!
  • Each year, CBIC recognizes one company that focuses more on improving the common good than on private gain. This year, Antwon Brinson of Culinary Concepts AB was awarded the 2020 CBIC Social Good Award. With Culinary Concepts AB, Antwon wants to empower people to live healthier, wealthier, more fulfilling, passionate and purposeful lives- whether that means achieving in business, reigniting your relationship with the stove, or discovering new tricks and techniques through the culinary arts. 

CBIC Tech Tour Scholarship Recipients

Annually at the CBIC Awards Gala, CBIC presents $2,500 scholarships to two junior or senior high school students who plan to pursue education beyond high school in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering or Math). Since 2003, CBIC has gifted more than $50,000 to students through the CBIC Tech Tour Scholarship program. This year, the CBIC Tech Tour Scholarships were awarded to:

MAUREEN “QUINN” LOFTUS, who says she hopes to dedicate her time at college to learning all that she can to give back to the people who have supported her, and offered her so many opportunities. Quinn has been the president of the student computer repair services group at her high school, as well as a member for three years, and served as supervisor and head of her high school’s MakerSpace, and as a Library Intern. Further, she worked as a LEAD intern, on imaging and repair of student laptops for Albemarle County schools over the summer. She is heavily involved in community improvement, as a camp counselor for the Youth Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Prevention Program as well as many other civic-minded groups.

EMMA MANCLARK, a member of Western Albemarle High School's Environmental Sciences Academy's class of 2020, spent her four years at WAHS taking full advantage of the ESA program, participating in numerous volunteer projects, which included work with Blue Ridge Prism and Wildrock. She founded the school's Ecology club and managed a recycling program for the school. Emma participated in leadership programs locally through the County and through James River Association and Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District. Finally, Emma was involved in the CBIC Tech Tour and participated in and volunteered for the Bio-Med Tech-Girls and Girl’s Geek Day events. Emma’s interests are in biotechnology and genetics and she plans to major in Biology and German.

To be eligible, students must have attended at least one CBIC Tech Tour, a day-long event that introduces area students to our region’s technology companies and exposes students to the diverse career possibilities offered by our regional technology community. 

Each annual tour organizes upwards of 400 area middle and high school students who collectively visit as many as 80 technology-related companies and organizations in a single day! The hands-on visits allow students to meet employees and experience the innovative applications of technology in unique and specialized operations. During the time of the pandemic, CBIC will be exploring creative ways to create this unique experience for students in 2021. 


ABOUT CBIC: Educate, Advocate and Celebrate

As the region's technology council, CBIC promotes innovation and entrepreneurship and supports growth and success among the Charlottesville region's technology-focused organizations. CBIC provides a forum for ideas and a collective voice on behalf of the technology sector. Through collaborative partnerships, educational resources and strategic relationships, CBIC enhances, publicizes, and champions technology initiatives that strengthen economic and social vitality in our area.

For more information, please visit our website at, follow us on Twitter or Instagram at @CBICouncil, and follow the 2030 CBIC Awards Gala at #CBICGala.

Here is CBIC’s Complete List of 2020 CBIC Award Finalists:

CBIC Business of the Year

CBIC Educator of the Year

  • Dominique Morse, Albemarle County's Murray High School and Community Public Charter School
  • Erica Knights, Greene County's Ruckersville Elementary
  • Trevor Przyuski, Albemarle High School
  • Peter Davis, Charlottesville High School

CBIC Entrepreneur of the Year

CBIC Innovator of the Year

CBIC Job Creator of the Year

CBIC Partnership of the Year

CBIC Social Good Award

CBIC Startup of the Year

CBIC Student Entrepreneur of the Year

CBIC Volunteers of the Year

  • Justin Ritter
  • Lily Garcia Walton
  • Hope McCutcheon 

CBIC Tech Tour Scholarship Recipients

  • Maureen “Quinn” Loftus
  • Emma Manclark
About the Author
India Brahm
Author: India Brahm
Deputy Director CBIC
As Deputy Director, India manages CBIC's For the Founders education series and assists the executive director with strategic development and daily operations.