Hubzone
technology
initiative

who we are

A Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) is an area designated by the U.S. Small Business Administration, typically of low median household incomes and/or high unemployment. HTI is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization helping to bring technology to those in need in HUBZone communities nationwide.

what we do

HTI acquires functional laptops, donated by individuals, organizations, and businesses, and converts them to Google Chromebooks. We then partner with communities to get them into the hands of those who need them for educational and professional advancement.

get involved

A HUBZone is more than just a geographical area; it's a community striving for growth. We invite you to join us in creating a lasting impact. Your contribution can transform lives by providing access to technology and opportunities that empower individuals and families.

Why Chromebooks

HTI uses Google ChromeOS Flex because it is a highly secure, fast, and modern operating system (OS) that runs on almost any hardware. Formerly known as Cloudready, ChromeOS Flex garnered immediate attention as an operating system created by Google to give its users a way to turn old, slow computers into fast, reliable devices.

ChromeOS Flex can be used to refresh older devices with a modern OS and extend their lifespan to reduce e-waste. Devices boot quickly, don’t slow down over time, and update in the background, reducing device downtime. ChromeOS Flex allows organizations to deploy a more energy-efficient, sustainable solution while experiencing a lower total cost of ownership.

Our Mission

HTI exists to bridge the digital divide by providing individuals with technology to achieve their educational and career goals.

Meet our Leadership

Customer Success Team
Matt is the Executive Director of HTI and leads most of the major decision-making processes within the organization. He is focused on setting the vision for HTI to follow and funnels his efforts into leading the fundraising portion of HTI. Without donations, without the help of generous and giving people, HTI wouldn’t be where it is today; and without Matt, HTI would be at a standstill developmentally. Matt started HTI officially in January of 2019 and obtained the 501(c)(3) status in July of 2019. The driving motivation for Matt’s work is to make a difference and help somebody that is in need of assistance, equipping them with the proper tools and resources to be successful. Matt’s goal is to see students and adults have equal opportunities to learn and be successful in their education or careers. In this spare time, Matt is a huge sports fan, and you can find him playing on the golf green, or coaching one of his kids on a sports team! He has a lovely wife and two children that inspire him every day to continue making HTI better every day.

Matt Raydo

Executive Director

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Customer Success Team
Fueled by a passion for technology and a strong desire to help others, being a deeply committed member of the HTI family since 2019 has allowed Mark to combine his passions to serve local communities in a digital capacity. He has been an optimistic leader here at HTI, stating, "If we want to, we can all still stay connected and engaged with each other even in the most isolated times. We can increase our love and compassion toward others by placing their needs above our own. To play a small part in helping even one person further their education or find a job that pays a living wage is truly gratifying and inspiring."

Mark Williams

Associate Director

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Customer Success Team
Steven Chais has held a professional capacity in the travel and hospitality industry for over twenty years. Most recently, he has enjoyed his position as a Sales Manager for Carnival Cruise Line. Throughout the years, he has served various non-profit organizations, which include, but are not limited to, Toys for Tots, Boy's and Girl's Club of Broward County, Broward Cops and Lobsters, Kids in Distress, and Camillus House. Steven is a South Florida native, but in late 2018 relocated his family to Wake Forest, North Carolina, for a change of scenery. In his free time, you can find him coaching his son’s soccer team or simply spending quality time with his loved ones. Steve is excited to be a part of HTI and looking forward to bringing his diverse experience to an already thriving organization.

Steven Chais

Board Member

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Customer Success Team
As an employee of Duke Energy, Don has served in the positions of Revenue Recovery, Non-Climbing Service Work and Electrical Field Service Technician. Mr. Williams presently serves as a Reliability and Power Quality Engineer for Duke Energy. Mr. Williams has over 20 years experience in public relations, public speaking and customer service. He also has extensive knowledge in community outreach as a result of his background in theological and career-focused activities. Because of his community outreach service, Mr. Williams has become acquainted with many local proprietors in both Vance and Granville counties. Professionally, Mr. Williams has excelled in team-building exercises, problem-solving, critical thinking and innovative business strategies. He is proud to be a board member of HUBZone Technology Initiative (HTI) and excited about collaborating with co-members to increase HTI’s presence in our local communities and beyond. Mr. Williams has expressed a personal commitment to the success of HUBZone Technology Initiative.

Don Williams Jr.

Board Member

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Customer Success Team
Jody Zeugner spent 30 years as an information technology manager and planner with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. As director of EPA's Technical Architecture and Planning Division he collaborated with the Agency's system developers and IT infrastructure managers to design, acquire and implement well-integrated enterprise technology solutions. Jody graduated from the University of North Carolina with a degree in Business Administration and holds a Masters in Industrial Engineering from North Carolina State University. Among his hobbies are coaching youth baseball and basketball, playing saxophone in a rock-n-roll band, and serving as statistician on the Tar Heel Sports Network's radio broadcasts of UNC football and basketball.

Jody Zeugner

Board Member

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Customer Success Team
Melissa Pettis has a diverse background that began as an industrial engineer in the healthcare industry, transitioned into 14 wonderful years owning and managing a private preschool and continues with her current role as Program Assistant for The Salvation Army’s Project CATCH program. After “semi" retiring, Melissa’s focus has been on giving back to her community by using her skills and experience to improve the lives of at-risk children. In her position, she coordinates outreach events and trainings throughout North Carolina to educate families experiencing homelessness on the importance of early care and education, a cause near and dear to her heart. Melissa is looking forward to serving on the board and hopes to bring a unique perspective to the HUBZone Technology Initiative.

Melissa Pettis

Board Member

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Customer Success Team
Rob is a technology, sales, and channel executive at Google with documented success in identifying opportunities and creating demand. Based in the Triangle, he and his son both work with HTI, helping to bridge the digital divide.

Rob Harper

Board Member

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Customer Success Team
Brooke Cook has 20+ years in the cybersecurity executive relationship building and event space. With a background in business and psychology, Brooke has mastered the niche of building trust authentically with executives worldwide and treating them to first-class event experiences. As CEO and Co-Founder of Security Sisters Network™, Brooke brings her passion, industry knowledge, and tenacity to help her network of over 15,000+ CXO relationships stay at the leading edge of their business, cultivate their desire to learn about new products, and surround themselves with their peer group for the benefit of their own network. With experience in North America, Europe, and the Asian Pacific, she is giving back to her network by marrying them with cyber security products they can guide in business development decisions. Brooke believes in keeping things fun, and her unique approach has allowed her great success in her area of expertise. Brooke comes from Silicon Valley, CA, and now resides in North Carolina with her husband and two beautiful daughters. Brooke has a passion for non-profit work and currently serves as the Director of the Mayor’s Task Force for Substance Abuse, volunteers at her church, gives her time to other service work, and is active in many cybersecurity education awareness groups.

Brooke Cook

Board Member

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Customer Success Team
For the past five years, Jed has worked as a sales account manager with technology giant Cisco Systems. At Cisco, Jed’s focus is providing technology solutions, both hardware and software, to public sector entities, including K-12 school districts, state and local governments, and higher education institutions. Prior to Cisco, Jed worked in higher education within enrollment and admissions departments with a focus on adult education. While working at the University of Phoenix, My Computer Career, and Campbell University, Jed coached and advised many adult learners seeking college degrees or technology certifications t

Jed Drake

Sales Account Manager

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Customer Success Team
Aaron Palermo has established himself as a seasoned cybersecurity professional. His expertise encompasses a broad spectrum of areas, including networking, virtualization, cloud computing, systems security, and automation. Aaron holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Engineering from Texas A&M University. Beyond his professional endeavors, he is deeply committed to giving back to the community. His volunteer work includes teaching for Code Club and CS First at Boys & Girls Club, where he has mentored the next generation of technology enthusiasts and cybersecurity experts. Additionally, his involvement with Pardoned by Christ reflects his dedication to transformative social initiatives, emphasizing rehabilitation and positive societal contributions. His commitment to excellence and a passion for mentorship and community service have defined his professional journey, underscoring his contribution to a safer and more secure digital world.

Aaron Palermo

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Join Our Mission

View Open Positions

Business Development Liaison
Department
Raleigh Metro area
Full Time (Flexible)

HTI is hiring a Business Development Liaison to help market HTI’s mission of bringing technology to underserved communities.  This person should be located in the Raleigh Metro area (or surrounding areas) to consistently meet with organizations around the area. The ideal person will have an established network of contacts and comfortable in a networking environment.  While this job is full-time, hours can be very flexible for the right candidate.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Ability and interest to call on organizations to market what HTI does and who we serve
  • Primary goal will be to obtain used laptops from organizations or encourage them to become a corporate sponsor.  The most important part of this is to make sure people know HTI is out there.
  • Strong organizational skills.  It is important that this person is able to track in our Salesforce database activities they have
  • Fully understand HTI’s mission so they can properly communicate to those they are speaking with
  • Consistently work with the Board Members and other members of the team to help inform of progress and brainstorming with team on how to improve awareness and get more corporate involvement

SKILLS AND QUALIFICATIONS

  • Personality that enjoys meeting new people
  • Some experience working within a CRM (like Salesforce) to document meetings and information from information they have uncovered
  • Ideally having a pre-existing network of contacts and potential involvement in various groups like Chambers of Commerce or others groups in the Raleigh area