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Changes Afoot at NH High Tech Council

Published Thursday May 31, 2018

Toral Cowieson, NHHTC board chair
Toral Cowieson, NHHTC board chair

The New Hampshire High Tech Council (NHHTC) is hiring full-time staff, looking for an executive director and getting ready to re-brand itself as the NH Tech Alliance.

According to Toral Cowieson, NHHTC board chair, there are three key initiatives in the works. She says the first is strengthening the value proposition for start-ups. Earlier this year, Alpha Loft became part of the Council. Joshua Cyr and Kristen Crawford (the Council’s first full-time staff, continue to work on Accelerate NH and Startup Fundamentals.

The second initiative is rebranding and reorganizing to better align with and reflect the tech ecosystem. Cowieson says the Board approved the renaming of the Council and there will be some overlap up to the official launch late in the third quarter. The rebranding will include a new website along with statewide outreach through an ambassador committee.

The third initiative is hiring a full-time executive director. Cowieson says the Council has been fortunate to have had Matt Cookson and his team at Cookson Strategic Communications as “extended staff” since November 2010.

“Under Matt’s stewardship in partnership with the Board, there has been tremendous growth in programming, members, and community engagement. This includes a 66% increase in revenue growth from 2013 to 2017, a 14% increase in members, and most importantly a 275% increase in the number of individuals engaged through the Council’s programming,” Cowieson says.

Cookson says he is very proud of what the Council has accomplished through the work of his entire team, they have supported the organization for many years and should celebrate the role they have played in enhancing the more prominent and influential role the Council plays today in the tech ecosystem.

“I am also thankful to current and past board members for the unique opportunity to run such a special organization; to the members who have been generous through their support and volunteerism; and to our many partners who have helped us truly elevate the organization to new heights,” Cookson says. “I look forward to a successful search and transition and have agreed to stay on in an advisory role after that time.”

Cookson says he is also excited for the future of his company that has been growing steadily and taken on a larger role in workforce development, managing two state grants to support marketing and communications for the ApprenticeshipNH and Sector Partnership Initiative through the State.

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