GTA 2021 Tech Awards Winners

Thanks to so many of you for coming out to our Winter Party to honor our 2021 award winners and finalists!
Columbia Gorge Community College Career and Technical Education Department received the GTA’s 2021 Technology Leader of the Year award for pioneering new ways to provide our current and future workforce with the skills it needs for successful employability in industries across the Gorge. The incredible and tireless work from everyone in the department helped make the opening of the Regional Skills Center in Fall 2021 a reality. Congratulations to the entire CTE department at CGCC!
Additional Technology Leader of the Year finalists honored were Nick Anderson from Overwatch Imaging and Mary Kramer from CGCC.
Amy Foley, Computer Science teacher at Hood River Valley High School received the 2021 STEM Educator of the Year award for her hard work in developing the first official sequence of Computer Science courses ever offered at HRVHS. Amy understood the importance of being able to offer computer science courses at the high school level and to be able to recruit a diverse student body to the program. Amy engaged in rigorous coursework to develop her own skills and knowledge in order to be able to offer the CS programs to students. Amy’s personal initiative has opened countless opportunities to the students at HRVHS. Congratulations to Amy!
Additional STEM Educator of the Year finalists honored were Michael Glane from Hood River Valley High School, James Pytel from CGCC, David Scharfenberg from Hood River Middle School, and Jamie Sowell from South Wasco County School District. The GTA is proud to recognize the hard work and talent of each of the finalists.

Trillium Engineering, LLC

About Trillium Engineering

Trillium Engineering is the industry leading provider of actionable imagery for small UAS tactical operations. By designing and manufacturing end-to-end imaging solutions for unmanned aircraft, Trillium is able to provide the high-quality tools that their clients need. Trillium’s customers vary widely, but are primarily subcontractors for larger, mostly military-based programs. 

On June 9th, 2021, Trillium announced that it will be supplying Martin UAV with Orion HD80 camera systems in support of a next-generation UAS program. By collaborating with Martin UAV closely for over three years, Trillium engineers understand the specific needs and have developed special integrations for Martin’s airframes. A U.S. Navy prototyping contract for Martin UAV is expected and has been awarded in part due to Trillium’s collaboration and product development. Learn more about that project here.

In addition to military tactical operations, some non-military applications for Trillium’s products include anti-poaching, conservation, and wildland fire control.  For versatility, Trillium offers five product lines ranging from 2.5” – 8” diameter gimbals that are operated remotely using the Skylink user interface. The gimbal combined with the user interface allows operators to concentrate on the mission, providing the precise imagery and data that is required.


About The Founders

Trillium was founded in 2013 by Gail Dagan, Rob Gilchrist, and Jeff Fisher.  All three engineers share an extensive background in unmanned payloads and a passion for technology.  The company remains located in the Gorge area to take advantage of the high quality of life and the concentration of talent. The company currently employs over fifty-five people and utilizes local suppliers whenever possible in order to help sustain a thriving Gorge economy.  

Trillium continues to push the envelope of what is possible by listening to customers and empowering its team to provide excellent products along with stellar customer support.

Learn more about Trillium here.

Nominations Open for 2021 GTA Annual Awards

The GTA’s annual awards program is now open for nominations! The two annual awards categories are:

  1. Tech Leader of the Year recognizing the outstanding achievement over the last year on the part of an individual or company that principally provides technology products, services, or support in the Columbia River Gorge. Our 2020 winner was Rob Coatney of Zepher Flight Labs. Access the 2021 Tech Leader nomination application form here.
  2. STEM Education Leader of the Year recognizing an individual for outstanding contributions to STEM (science, tech, engineering, and math) education in the Columbia River Gorge over the last year.  Our 2020 winner was Tom Dalbey from May Street Elementary.  Access the 2021 STEM Education Leader nomination application form here.

Nominations must be received by 5pm on November 19 to be considered. The winners will be announced at the GTA’s Winter Party and Awards Ceremony.  Contact Cheryl with questions. 

2021 Get There Challenge is on Oct. 4-17

Build skills, stay active, and make Oregon a better place! 

The ninth annual Get There Challenge is happening Oct. 4 through Oct. 17. Challenge participants can take actions to unlock a variety of experience, knowledge, and skill-building achievements in the Get There tool, as well as log transportation options trips and remote work days.

Anyone age 18 or older who lives and/or works in Oregon can join the Get There Challenge at any time, Oct. 4-17,  by visiting

The Get There Challenge offers 16 different remote work and transportation options achievements that participants can unlock online at to earn badges and points toward weekly and grand prize drawings. Achievements include optimizing your desk set up, calculating your commuter costs, testing your bike commute knowledge, and logging remote work/telework days and trips made by bike, foot, transit, carpool, and vanpool.

Get There Oregon is offering weekly prizes that include a $100 Oregon E-Bikes gift card, WiFi extenders, six $50 Made in Oregon gift cards, and more. Plus, grand prize winners will receive one of two $500 cash cards or $1,500 toward a custom folding bike from Bike Friday. 

In addition, some of our local Gorge companies are offering prizes that will be available only to participants from Hood River, Sherman and Wasco Counties!

  • Columbia Gorge Community College:  hoodie
  • Oregon E-Bikes:  t-shirts, swag, two one-day rentals
  • Mt. Hood Meadows:  two one-day lift tickets
  • The Link Public Transit:  one-year Gorge Pass

The Get There Challenge is sponsored by Comcast Business, Bike Friday, Hydro Flask, Chrome Industries, Café Yumm, Black Star Bags, Oregon E-Bikes, and Ruffwear. The Challenge is powered by Get There, a trip planning and carpool matching tool.

Get There is a program of the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).

2021 GTA Board Elections results are in!

Congratulations to Board members Erica Bogard and Christy Christopher on their re-election, and a warm welcome to newly elected board member Beth Alcouloumre!
The GTA Board also completed officer selection at the May Board meeting, and we are pleased to announce:
  • President: Erica Bogard, SIGMADESIGN
  • Vice-President: Greg Davis, Overwatch Imaging
  • Treasurer: Christy Christopher, Columbia Gorge STEM Hub
  • Secretary: Lori Nelson
The Board also wishes to thank Mike Graham and Mark Bauman for their years of service. 

Board Member Recruitment

The GTA’s regular elections will be held in the last week of April. Any member or sponsor who has been a member or sponsor of GTA for at least one year is eligible to apply. GTA members in all fields (including marketing, design, and remote workers) are encouraged to apply, as are women, minorities, and others traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields.
To be included on the Ballot, please complete this brief application by 5PM on Friday, April 23rd.
The GTA board currently meets on the third Wednesday of each month from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. The meetings are virtual for the foreseeable future. Contact Alice with any questions.

Vote: GTA Annual Tech Awards!

The GTA’s annual awards program is now open for voting!

Most importantly we’d like to thank you for your continued support, and extend our appreciation to all of our educators who are working under particularly trying circumstances. Thanks!

The GTA Board narrowed it down to two finalists from the nominations provided for each of our two categories. Please review the information below on each of the deserving candidates and share your vote here. All employees at our GTA members are encouraged to vote, but please only one vote per person!

The GTA will give the STEM Educator of the Year $1000 for their work and the Tech Leader of the year will have the opportunity to direct a $1000 donation by the GTA on their behalf to a non-profit of their choice.

Thanks again for your time and support. Happy Holidays!

Voting ends Friday, December 11th at 4pm and your votes can be cast here.

The two annual awards categories are:

Tech Leader of the Year

Tech Leader of the Year recognizes the outstanding achievement over the last year on the part of an individual or company that principally provides technology products, services, or support in the Columbia River Gorge. 2020 nominees include:

Rob Coatney, Zepher Flight Labs: Check out this video highlighting Robs’ work and an overview of the great things he’s been doing at Zepher Flight Labs  in his nomination here


Sierra Olympic Technologies Check out this video of Sierra Olympic’s work or read their nomination here


STEM Education Leader of the Year

The STEM Educator of the Year Award recognizes an individual for outstanding contributions to STEM (science, tech, engineering and math) education in the Columbia River Gorge over the last year. 2020 Nominees include: 

Ajay Rundell of The Dalles High School and Dry Hollow Elementary School in The Dalles, OR.



Nominations Open for 2020 GTA Annual Awards

The GTA’s annual awards program is now open for nominations!  Since everything looks a little different in 2020, the GTA is changing things up with our annual Tech Awards too. We can’t celebrate with the award winners together in person this year, so instead of throwing our Winter Party,  the GTA will donate $1,000 to a non-profit of the winner’s choice in honor of the Tech Leader’s contribution to the Gorge tech community in 2020 in addition to the $1,000 contribution for our STEM Education Leader of the Year’s efforts! Please consider nominating a company, individual or educator you think has made an important contribution to the tech community in the Gorge in the last year!  

The two annual awards categories are:

  • Tech Leader of the Year recognizing the outstanding achievement over the last year on the part of an individual or company that principally provides technology products, services, or support in the Columbia River Gorge. Our 2019 winner was Mark Zanmiller.   

Access the 2020 Tech Leader  nomination form here.

  • STEM Education Leader of the Year recognizing an individual for outstanding contributions to STEM (science, tech, engineering and math) education in the Columbia River Gorge over the last year. Our 2019 winner was Patrick Getchis. The winner of this category receives a $1000 contribution from the GTA to their STEM education program.

Access the 2020 STEM Education Leader  nomination form here.

Nominations must be received by 5pm on November 16 to be considered. The winners will be selected by our membership from videos submitted by our finalists and announced on our website.  Details to come! Contact Carrie with questions. 


Silicon Forest Electronics Featured in PNAA Factory Fridays

Silicon Forest Electronics was the featured company in the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance “Factory Fridays” tour on August 7. These virtual networking events allow people to network virtually, share a bit about their company and build powerful business connections. Each Factory Friday also hosts a tour of a PNAA Member’s factory. This is a great way to learn about what aerospace manufacturers are doing in the Pacific Northwest and build your network.
You can watch the factory tour here.  Additionally, if you would like to participate in Factory Fridays or have interest hosting a tour of your facility, please contact Dale King here.

Boss Ladies: Women In Tech Leadership

The Gorge Technology Alliance and Gorge Women in STEM are hosting a drive-in screening of Episode #3 of the Chasing Grace Project on October 14 at 5:30 pm.  The event will bring filmmaker Jennifer Cloer to share the final episode in this compelling docuseries.  The film will be followed by a panel discussion. Tickets are required and are available here.

Boss Ladies introduces a new format to the series. Episodes #1 and #2 embody a traditional documentary treatment, while #3 explores what happens when you bring women together, in community, around a table to share and react to each other’s stories in real-time. It is through this exchange that we can all feel connected, empowered and no longer alone. Boss Ladies tackles what it takes to become a tech leader and why increasing the number of women in those positions is so important. It gives the viewer a literal seat at the table to understand how women in tech are navigating their way to the top and what to expect when they get there.

How we are staying safe:

Please note that by purchasing a ticket for this event, you are agreeing to follow all COVID-19 safety protocols outlined by the GTA and the venue. These are subject to change based on the most up-to-date guidance by the Oregon Health Authority, but these currently include:

  • Vehicles should include only members of your household unless you are able to maintain safe distancing.
  • This event will be limited to 40 cars. Spots are first come, first served, but all of the spots are great!
  • We will not be collecting tickets from individuals to keep staff and guests safe so we ask that you please display your ticket to the person directing you to park with your phone or a paper print out.
  • The tasting room will be open to sell wine and food and you can order inside or from your car if you want it delivered to you. The Sunshine Mill will have its full appetizer menu, popcorn, hotdogs, soda, and candy for sale.
  • There will be a restroom available, but ask that you only use it in the event of an emergency.
  • Masks will be required if you are moving away from your vehicle or are unable to maintain 6 feet of physical distance at any time.

Thank you in advance for following the necessary protocols to keep us all safe! We are looking forward to seeing you at the event!