Written by: Leslie Dobbins, Conference Services Manager

The Institute’s Conference Center was one of ten locations in the Commonwealth to hold a special coding experience for 100 middle school girls. This special one-day program taught students how to create their own mobile applications. The event was presented by the Virginia Secretary of Technology and Capital One.

The day-long event was supported by 35 volunteers who came to our area from Northern Virginia, Richmond, and as far away as Michigan. The volunteers spent two nights in local hotels and dined in area restaurants; a fine example of economic development. 

In preparation for the event, our catering provider, Sodexo, provided a healthy breakfast and boxed lunch. 

Following the event, the team leader from Capital One said, “Words cannot express enough how incredibly grateful I am for making the Coders Experience in Danville such a wonderful, life changing experience for the middle school girls who participated in this event. Thank you for hosting us at your incredible facility. Between the logistical and technical support that you provided before and during the event, to offering nutritious meals and refreshments for participants and volunteers, and especially your amazing hospitality – we were so very fortunate to partner with your team and are so very impressed by what you’re doing to support the workforce of today and of tomorrow.”

The Conference Services Team really enjoyed working with the planners from Capital One and the George P. Johnson marketing agency. Weekly conference calls over a three-month period gave the team greater insight into the program logistics. This kind of event contributes to our region’s economic development - people staying in our hotels, eating in our restaurants, and experiencing Southern Virginia in a positive and meaningful way while advancing the learning and growing opportunities for the youth of our future.

Comments and paraphrased statements from volunteers: 

“Amazing facility! If only Capital One had a place like this for conferences.“

“The conference staff was awesome, they assisted with every detail; from menu planning and catering along with caring for our every need during set-up and registration. 

“The food and service were wonderful!

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