Pittsburgh selected as 2020 host for annual Tech Councils of North America conference, TECNA

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Attendees participate in the 2019 TECNA Conference. Photo Credit: Technology Councils of North America

Pittsburgh will host tech councils from around the United States and Canada next July when it welcomes TECNA 2020, the annual conference for Tech Councils of North America.

Founded in 1995 as the Council of Regional Information Technology Associations, TECNA represents some 50 IT and technology trade organizations across the United States and Canada, who in turn represent some 22,000 technology-related companies.

“Pittsburgh’s continuing rise as a dynamic tech ecosystem coupled with a strong tech council makes it an ideal location for the 2020 TECNA Summer Conference,” wrote Tim Jemal, TECNA’s Executive Director, in an email. “The Board of Directors considered a number of applications and unanimously concluded the Pittsburgh Tech Council’s excellent staff and new conference facility make it a perfect choice to host the 2020 Conference.”

The three-day event will be hosted by the Pittsburgh Tech Council (PTC), the oldest and largest technology trade association in North America. Brian Kennedy, Senior Vice President of Operations at PTC, says that, aside from prestige, TECNA will provide a positive economic impact to the city by welcoming guests from dozens of cities.

In addition, he says, “we’ll have people who are very influential in their own communities getting exposed and educated to some of the companies here in Pittsburgh,” helping to boost their stature beyond the Steel City.

Besides providing Pittsburgh tech companies with more exposure, Kennedy believes that his organization can use the opportunity to better understand what other tech councils are doing to address problems Pittsburgh also faces, such as attracting talent from outside the region, especially in the STEM fields.

“The value for us is to be able to hear about some of the creative things happening in places like Chicago, and Nashville, and Indianapolis, and learn from people who are working on and experiencing the same problems we are,” said Kennedy.

Why Pittsburgh made such a compelling host, he believes, is that “the story of the city has gotten out.”

“The story of how you transform a rust belt economy into an innovation economy, people are interested in coming here and learning that,” he said.

The Pittsburgh Tech Council describes themselves as “the voice of Pittsburgh’s thriving technology industry.” They help member businesses across four key areas: talent, business development, government relations, and visibility.

This isn’t the first time Pittsburgh held TECNA, having welcomed the organization in 2002.

Kennedy says the event will take place at PTC’s new headquarters in Nova Place, as well as other locations yet to be determined.

“We envision hosting some of our sessions at some of our member companies, so that we can not only achieve some learning, but also get [visitors] to experience the city, too.”

Brian Conway
Contributing Writer
Brian Conway is a freelance reporter based in Pittsburgh. His investigations into the city's lead in water crisis earned him First Prize for Environmental Reporting from the Keystone Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists in its statewide Spotlight contest. Brian has been published in several national news outlets, including Motherboard, October, and the Chicago Tribune. He also serves as communications director at Work Hard Pittsburgh digital media cooperative.