Joan Myers is off to a rocking departure as chief executive officer at the North Carolina Technology Association.
Earlier this month at the final leadership program put on by NCTA under her leadership, Myers unveiled a song built around the group’s “It’s a Day of Innovation” theme. Myers co-wrote the song along with Noah Garrett, NCTA’S director of communications.
Garrett, a former professional musician and journalist before joining NCTA, produced and arranged the song.
Myers, who is leaving NCTA to take an executive position at SAS, has been a tireless advocate of education in her near-decade at the helm of the state’s largest technology trade and lobbying group. “It’s a Day of Innovation” became the mantra for the group, which several years ago coined the “State of Minds” phrase of the North Carolina Department of Commerce.
The song is just a part of NCTA’s efforts to encourage more use of technology in education across the state and to hopefully excite more children about careers in science and math, Garrett said.
“The idea is to promote our 21st century workforce agenda and technology in education,” Garrett explained. “The philosophy behind doing it was to appeal to the audience we are really trying to help, i.e. the students, using music and songs.”
Jamai Blivin, a consultant with NCTA, helped with the project. “They came up with the concept,” Garrett said, “and I just made it happen.”
Myers’ two children, Mackendrick and Mary Kate, provided background vocals.
The song, according to Myers, speaks to an important issue.
“Today we face a national challenge that hits to the core of our economic and national security. North Carolina and the United States must increase the number of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) graduates immediately and in the years and decades ahead,” she said. “School connectivity and technology in the classroom are imperatives, but these efforts are just the beginning. We need to reach young people through the Internet, through the media and through music.”
Writing and performing the song gave Garrett, who joined NCTA on Jan. 1, a chance to return to his songwriting roots. Garrett, 30, has two albums “filled with original music” to his credit, and he has been performing for nearly 15 years. In 2006, he toured nationally with 216 performances.
Before devoting two years to music, Garrett worked as an editor at the Coastal Times in Manteo and wrote a syndicate column about extreme sports based on his experiences as a surfer.
“I enjoy music, I love listening to it, I love performing it,” Garrett said. “This gave me a great opportunity to use my talent for great cause.”
The song can be heard through the NCTA Web site, and CD copies of it are available.