New Executive Director and Other Spring Updates

Alliance News, TechWomen TechGirls |

By Toral Cowieson, Board Chair

April is off to a fast start for the New Hampshire Tech Alliance!

During the first week of the month, we recognized our three awardees at the TechWomen|TechGirls Annual Awards Luncheon, co-hosted our annual BioMed|Tech update with ARMI and special guest Dean Kamen, held an eBrew on the Seacoast, and announced that we will have our first full time executive director starting this September!

For those who closely follow the Alliance, we have been going through a period of positive change and expansion for the past few years. All of these events and activities reflect back on our more expansive focus on serving, supporting, and growing New Hampshire’s tech ecosystem.

While this has been a busy period, it also builds on a strong foundation. In the past three years, the board and staff have:

  • Listened to the needs of our members and established four areas of focus. These value pillars which inform our work are talent & workforce development, education & programming, advocacy & policy, and ecosystem engagement.
  • Restructured our membership and sponsorship models so there is more clarity on the value proposition for our members and partners at different tiers.
  • Rebranded last September from the NH High Tech Council to the NH Tech Alliance. This was a deliberate move to reflect that anything we accomplish, particularly in a state such as New Hampshire, we accomplish together, with our allies who also seek to make NH an even greater place to live and work.
  • Brought into the fold AlphaLoft and Live Free and Start, two established and recognized forces in the startup sector of our ecosystem.
  • We also now have more than 125 volunteers across numerous event and programmatic committees, who help make all of this happen.

With all of these changes, the Alliance truly supports companies at every stage of growth and development – from startups to established leaders in the global economy.

Thank you to our many sponsors, committee volunteers, members, and partners across the state for all of their support and commitment to the tech ecosystem.

Welcome Julie Demers
Building on that arc and from a membership which is now 300 plus companies strong, representing more than 60,000 workers across the state, I was so pleased to announce at last week’s events that Julie Demers will be our first full time executive director! She will be joining starting in September of this year after she takes some time off to welcome her second child.

In her role as the technology sector advisor for the Sector Partnership Initiative, Julie has most recently focused on assisting companies in the Granite State that are faced with workforce and training challenges. Prior to that, she worked at University of New Hampshire Manchester and the Greater Manchester Chamber. A New Hampshire native, Julie has a Master of Public Administration from UNH. She is an active board member and volunteer throughout the community.

In speaking with Julie over the past couple of months and with others who have worked with her, it is clear that Julie brings solid business instincts and extensive professional relationships and experience.

Coupled with her passion for the Tech Alliance and its mission, she will be an excellent advocate for our members, the tech ecosystem and our state. Julie is the right leader to build on the momentum the Alliance has established over the past several years.

Thank you, Matt Cookson and team
Matt Cookson, with whom many of you have worked, will continue as the executive director through the summer, supporting a transition period as Julie onboards. A sincere thank you to Matt and his team at Cookson Communications for their partnership and professionalism during a period of significant change.

The Sunshine State gains New Hampshire transplants
In other news, Kristen Crawford who has been leading marketing and client engagement recently let us know that she and her husband have decided to make Florida their new home.

Please join me in thanking Kristen for everything she has done for the Alliance and AlphaLoft over the past several years and for her ongoing willingness to work with us through this transition.

Job opportunity for a senior manager, programming and outreach
With Kristen’s permanent move, we now looking for a new staff member to join Julie and Josh. More information can be found here about this exciting role with our growing and dynamic organization.

What’s next?
Once Julie starts this fall, we will have a roadshow across the state to get your input on the state of the New Hampshire tech ecosystem. Look for more information on this over the summer and please engage with us in the meantime at some of our spring and summer events and activities.

Also stay tuned for our Annual Membership meeting later this spring and for some news on our new board members.

In the meantime, we want to hear from you. Please reach out any time at or 935-8951.