Jill and Torgny Bjers, and Nanda Scott are one lean, mean, tech power family machine. Jill organizes Charlotte tech community events and co-owns startup Xorcode alongside her hubby. Nanda, a senior in High School, has his own graphic design company and volunteers in running these tech events alongside his mom.
Photo credit: Heidi Kraus
I caught up with Jill for a quick Q&A about what makes her so awesome, what she's learned after organizing dozens of tech events and from being such an influential tech community organizer because of it, and the tech the Bjers family cannot live without. Here's what she had to say:
Creative Loafing: What events have you organized in the last 18 months?
JB: BarCamp Charlotte
, The PPL
, Charlotte Start Up Weekend.
Nanda has been involved in TEDxCharlotte Youth and he designed the logo for BC7 and BC8, as well as volunteers the day of the events.
The name of your startup(s):
is our startup company. We do software/app/web development. Nanda has his own graphic design company called Mega Panda Designs.
How many events have you organized, and how long have you been at it?
I've been organizing events for 10 years. It started with a literature reading in college and snowballed from there. I couldn't count how many events I've organized since then. It is easily in the "dozens" category. I love bringing people together and seeing them make friendships and lasting connections. It also taps right into my highly organized, detail-oriented personality traits.
What is the No. 1 thing that makes you so awesome?
I'm a strange mix of introvert/extrovert and creative/analytic. Both sides of me are very balanced with rarely a winner. I feel just as charged from being around people and helping create these events as I do from being alone or at home with just my family. I am an artist (write, paint, paper craft) but enjoy the order and organization as much as the chaos of art.
Where did you get the idea to begin organizing?
A professor of mine encouraged me to help with a literature reading he was performing. He was a huge inspiration and help with getting my first play performed. I helped with the details and booking of his one-man show tour. It was great fun and a huge success for him. It allowed him to concentrate on his performance and I got to see the enjoyment of the attendees. I was hooked from there.
What's the biggest lesson you've learned through organizing?
The capacity people have for sharing is boundless. Most people want to teach what they know and give back. They just don't always know where to start. Nanda said that he learned from TEDx that people are still out there doing good things and working to make the world better.
What is the one piece of tech you couldn't live without?
I'd love for this to be a really creative and awesome answer but .... Probably my computer. It is often my lifeline to the outside world, that allows me to connect with people, organize events, and create art. The boys both had the same response, their computers. It is how all of us work. Nanda wouldn't be able to do his music or design without it and Torgny wouldn't be able to work or play without his computer.
* This is a continuation of an ongoing series highlighting the kind of selfless behavior that makes the Charlotte tech community powerful and inclusive.
Full disclosure: I have volunteered alongside Jill at many of the events she mentioned above: TEDxCharlotte, The PPL, and BarCamp Charlotte. That's how I found out about her and her family's awesomeness!
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