July 30, 2019
Interview by Tim Thornton, Virginia Business 

Bringing the world to their doorstep

Technology and health care are shaping region’s future

The Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC, a Roanoke-based partnership between Carilion Clinic and Virginia Tech, is busy building the future, but it’s making substantial economic contributions right now. The research institute is also a marriage of the two largest forces driving the Roanoke and New River Valley region’s economy: health care and technology.

Formula for the future

While the Fralin Research Institute and its partners are working to launch medical breakthroughs and the companies that will profit from them, 1901 Group is working to bring more work to the relatively rural New River Valley.

The company’s vision, says Brandon Walsh, SVP Partner Relations at 1901 Group, is to handle routine IT activities remotely in a rural area that has access to talent, a high quality of life and an affordable cost of living. When the formula works, customers receive IT services at a relatively low cost performed by a stable work force, since there are fewer potential poachers to lure employees away.

There are other benefits, too. Blacksburg is close enough to Washington, D.C., for people to travel between the two fairly easily and quickly, but far enough away that if something disrupted operations in D.C., work could continue in Blacksburg.

1901 Group is even open to hiring people if they don’t have an IT background (one manager is a former welder). But the steady flow of graduates from Virginia Tech, Radford University and New River Community College provides a pipeline of tech talent that fuels the company.


Read the full interview here.

“I think it is a formula for the future, especially for the public sector. You need U.S. citizens on U.S. soil, and I think the rural sourcing is really a win-win.”


– Brendan Walsh, SVP Partner Relations

Relevant Links:

Sonu Singh

Sonu is the founder of 1901 Group and corporate leader responsible for our strategic vision, innovative business model, and financial performance.

 Follow Sonu on LinkedIn


Paul Wilkinson
EVP, Corporate Strategy and BD

Paul leads Business Development, Capture Management, Marketing, and Channel Partners. Paul provides leadership for 1901 Group’s growth initiatives by supporting the development of new markets and services.

 Follow Paul on LinkedIn


James Christopher
EVP, Operations and Engineering

James brings over 25 years of industry experience to 1901 with a focus on delivering Information Technology business solutions and managed services.

 Follow James on LinkedIn 


Dana Pittman
SVP, Talent Strategy & Human Resources

Dana is the leader of our Human Capital Management function for providing organizational growth, performance, and profitability.

 Follow Dana on LinkedIn 


Brendan Walsh
SVP, Partner Relations

Brendan leads our partner relations and management efforts and supports business development activities in addition to establishing strategic business alliances with leading cloud service providers and security solutions.

 Follow Brendan on LinkedIn



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