Your browser does not support JavaScript!

Chief Data Officer
Ken Pfeil


History of the Virginia Datathon

Former Governor Terry McAuliffe announced in April 2014 the first Virginia Open Data Portal and in September 2014, the first Virginia Datathon was held during the Commonwealth of Virginia Innovative Technology Symposium (COVITS) in Richmond, Virginia leveraging data in the Open Data Portal. The event was a first of its kind among state governments across the country. Teams from across the state were challenged to create applications using state data to promote efficiency and transparency within state government. The teams presented their projects to a panel of expert judges and conference attendees who voted for the best team. The spirit of the event prevails today with participants engaging in the sandbox provided and leveraging technology, exercising creativity, and wielding data to develop transformative solutions addressing complex problems. 

The event is now produced by the Virginia Office of Data Governance and Analytics and still leverages the Virginia Open Data Portal but powered by new technology. Event participants include state agencies, students, localities, non-profits, and private sector employees.

A virtual kickoff will be held on April 12, 2024 when registered participants are briefed on this year's theme and provided with the datasets. Teams will have nearly a week to develop an innovative solution and presentation related to the proposed challenge. On April 19, 2024 everyone is invited to the Richmond ACCA Shriners Center where a panel of judges will review the team presentations and awards will be announced.

The event follows a simple formula: Anyone can join the event. In previous years, event participants have ranged from state agencies to high school and college students. We have even had private sector participation! 

Teams of 4-6 participants will be given Commonwealth data about the theme via the Virginia Open Data Portal. They then work for 1 week to create a solution based on the theme. The teams will present their solutions to a team of judges, who then grade the solutions based on the following criteria: 

  • Impact (as it relates to the theme) 35% 
  • Innovation 20% 
  • Feasibility 20% 
  • Completeness of Idea 15%
  • Presentation 10% 

Prizes are awarded for the following: 

  • 1st Place- Amazon Gift Card Prize 
  • 2nd Place- Amazon Gift Card Prize
  • 3rd Place- Amazon Gift Card Prize
  • People’s Choice­- Amazon Gift Card Prize 





Datathon Prizes

First Place: $500 for 1st place team participants!

Second Place: $350 for 2nd place team participants!

Third Place: $150 for 3rd place team participants!

People's Choice: $100 for people's choice participants!

Datathon Email List

Sign up to receive event updates and information.

2024 Theme: Boosting the Virginia Workforce

In May of 2023, Governor Youngkin created a new agency for workforce development in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In August of 2023, Governor Youngkin also announced $2.3 million in workforce opportunity grants across the Commonwealth of Virginia, thus establishing workforce growth and development as a key priority of his administration.  

The 2024 Virginia Datathon aims to source the best and brightest minds across the Commonwealth to address workforce development. Participants in the event will use Commonwealth datasets to provide fresh, unique ideas to determine how Commonwealth leaders can develop and expand the workforce. Overall, the goal is to figure out how to help people find jobs and training that will make Virginia the best place to work, live, and raise a family. Participants are encouraged, but not required to, compare Virginia workforce development progress to other states.  

The theme, following the tradition of previous years, will remain open to encourage creativity and a variety of solutions from participants. Solutions can range from a variety of topics surrounding workforce, such as education, job availability, training, and more. The sky is the limit! 

2024 Datathon WINNERS

1st Place: Team Norfolk

2nd Place: Team Alpha1Data

3rd Place: Team Data Tribe

People's Choice: Team WM MSBA

More information about all of the 2024 Virginia Datathon Presentations can be found here. .


2024 Datathon Judges

Headshot for Nicole Overley

Nicole Overley, Deputy Secretary of Labor for Workforce Development

As Deputy Secretary for Workforce Development, Nicole supports the Commonwealth-wide ecosystem of employers, educators, agencies, and service providers who together enable every one of us to thrive. In joining this team, Nicole’s role is to amplify and contribute to the incredible efforts of workforce & talent programs across the Commonwealth and help establish and grow our new and forward-leaning workforce hub called Virginia Works (the Department of Workforce Development and Advancement).

Serving the Commonwealth in this capacity fulfills a lifelong dream of public service for Nicole. In over a decade spent with Deloitte Consulting prior to joining the Governor’s Office, Nicole incubated and scaled the firm’s Future of Work practice for government, nonprofits, and higher education, spoke and published frequently on workforce & workplace trends, was named to Consulting Magazine’s “35 under 35,” and worked with public and private sector clients across the nation, all while calling Virginia home.

Nicole received two degrees from the Johns Hopkins University and has participated in fellowships and continuing education programs at Wharton and MIT. In her free time, Nicole can likely be found on the road or in the air exploring new places with her other half, who’s a VT grad, Navy veteran, and airline pilot – together, they’re endeavoring to visit all the cities and towns of Virginia, every US national park, and every continent (only one of those left!).

Headshot of Tony Fung

Tony Fung, CEO of Amplitude 9

Anthony Fung is the CEO of Amplitude9, a company that provides robotic process automation and artificial intelligence solutions that improve service delivery to citizens, provide significant organizational cost savings, and increase employee productivity and satisfaction.

He served as Deputy Secretary of Technology for the Commonwealth of Virginia. In this capacity, Anthony served as a senior advisor to the Commonwealth on technology matters including data analytics, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, innovation and entrepreneurship, and oversaw Virginia’s technology agency which supports technology governance and needs for over one hundred thousand commonwealth employees.Anthony is a proven executive with over 23 years of experience in information technology management, strategic planning, and operations management. Before joining the Governor’s Cabinet, Anthony was the CEO of a professional consulting firm, which serviced Federal focused clients such as DoD, HHS, DHS, and GSA. Anthony also served as a SCORE counselor, providing advice to small businesses on start-up best practices, business operations, and strategy.He has been recognized as one of Washington’s top business leaders, recipient of Washington Business Journal’s Award, SmartCEO Top 100 CEOs, and named Top 40 Under 40 Business Leader. 

Headshot of Antonio Villafana

Antonio Villafana, CIO of the Virginia Department of Human Resource Management

Antonio Villafana is currently serving as Chief Information Officer for the Virginia State Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM), and has been in this position since 2019. Antonio have served in numerous other executive level IT positions providing executive leadership and technical expertise in support of IT Investment Acquisition and Governance with at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Most recently serving as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the DHS Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) Office. Prior to this role, Mr. Villafana served as Deputy Executive Director, for the Enterprise Business Management Office (EBMO) within the DHS Office of the Chief Information Officer. 

Mr. Villafana provided executive leadership support to the DHS CIO by developing and implementing IT governance, management, and monitoring services for all major DHS IT Investments. His duties included monitoring of IT Investments, DHS Software Engineering Lifecycle (SELC) management, PortfolioStat and FedStat support, and FITARA Implementation. Mr. Villafana also served as Chief Enterprise Architect for the DHS Intelligence Enterprise at the Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A). In this position Antonio oversaw the management and alignment of I&A’s information technology (IT) assets, personnel, operations, and projects with operational requirements. Antonio’s office provided Enterprise Architecture (EA) support to the DHS Intelligence Community and was an active contributor to the Joint Architecture Reference Model (JARM). Mr. Villafana’s IT Leadership and strategic thinking was instrumental in the establishment of the Southwest Border (SWB) Border Intelligence Fusion Section (BIFS). 

Before joining I&A, Antonio served at the Federal Emergency Management Agency as an IT Delivery Manager for a $1 billion Enterprise Application Development contract. His duties included management of senior IT project managers, and serving as a senior IT adviser to executive leadership. Antonio has more than 25 years of experience in the areas of application development, systems engineering, business process reengineering, strategic planning, and financial management. Antonio believes strongly in leveraging existing capabilities, reusing existing solutions, and reducing duplication. 

Mr. Villafana served 10 years with the U.S. Army as a Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical (NBC) specialist and participated in Operation Uphold Democracy (Haiti), Operation Restore Hope (Somalia), and Hurricane Andrew Relief. Antonio graduated from Jacksonville State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science. His hobbies and interest include soccer (Go ManU!), cricket, traveling, and teaching.

2024 Virginia Datathon Speakers


Headshot of Ken Pfeil with the Commonwealth seal in the background

Ken Pfeil, Chief Data Officer for the Commonwealth of Virginia

Ken is a security and finance industry veteran, formerly serving as VP and Managing Director of Data Protection and Governance at OneMain Financial. Prior to OneMain, he served as Chief Security Officer for TechDemocracy LLC, MFS Investments, and before served as CISO for Pioneer Global Asset Management SpA (Including Pioneer Investments and all operating subsidiaries in 26 countries).

Ken’s Information Technology and Security experience spans over three decades, with strategic, technical, and executive experience at companies such as Microsoft, Dell, Capital IQ, Miradiant Global Network, Avaya, and Merrill Lynch. Ken coauthored Microsoft's “Best Practices for Enterprise Security” white papers and participated on the Information Systems Security Association's International Privacy Advisory Board covering the initial implementation of GLBA. He reported on security risks and performed vulnerability analysis for Windows IT Pro Magazine’s “Security Administrator” publication for four years, and has been a contributing expert for Information Security, CIO and CSO Magazines, and is a Distinguished Fellow of the Ponemon Institute.


Headshot of Carrie Roth, Director of Virginia Works

Carrie Roth, Director of Virginia Works

Carrie Roth was appointed to be the Commissioner of the VEC and the Advisor to the Governor for Strategic Initiatives by Governor Youngkin in January 2022. She is now spearheading Virginia Works, a new Commonwealth of Virginia agency. Prior to her appointment, Carrie was the founder of Rerouted, a strategic growth and communications consultancy. From 2013-2021, she served as CEO and COO of Activation Capital and the VA Bio+Tech Park. Carrie previously served as Deputy Secretary of Commerce & Trade for Governor Bob McDonnell. Prior to joining the McDonnell Administration, she was President of her company Capitol Square Communications. Carrie served as Press Secretary for U.S. Senator George Allen, whom she worked for in various roles from 1993 to 2003, and as Policy Director for the gubernatorial campaign of Attorney General Jerry Kilgore after serving in the Attorney General's office. In 2023, Carrie was named RVA Power Woman in Government; in 2019, she was named a Pioneering CEO by myTechMag; in 2018, she was recognized by Richmond NAWBO as Community Leader of the Year and RTD Person of the Year Honoree; and in 2016, she and her husband, Doug, were the JDRF Central Virginia Chapter Gala Honorees.

In her free time, Roth is a strong supporter of the non-profit ‘Sports Backers’ that encourages people to lead active lifestyles, as she is also an avid runner and 18-time marathon finisher herself.  As a UESCA-certified running coach, she and her husband have competed in multiple marathons together, including the Richmond and Boston marathons.

Although originally from Michigan, Roth moved to Virginia at a young age and has resided in Chesterfield County for most of her life. She attended Hillsdale College and is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University.

Secretary Bryan Slater, Secretary of Labor for the Commonwealth of Virginia

George “Bryan" Slater brings more than 20 years of experience to the Youngkin Administration with a wealth of knowledge and senior-level experience leading public, non-profit, and private sector organizations.

Bryan received his associates degree from Ferrum College and his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from University of Richmond and immediately began his career in politics. He has taken on roles large and small from campaign work to serving in senior management, operations, transformation, and administration.

In Virginia, Bryan served as Secretary of Administration for Governor James Gilmore (R-VA) and as Director of Administration for the Attorney General’s Office under Attorney General James Gilmore. Most recently, Bryan served as Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management at the U.S. Department of Labor and Assistant Secretary of Administration for the U.S. Department of Transportation under President Trump. He was the White House Liaison at the U.S. Department of Labor under President George W. Bush, where he managed all non-career appointee hiring, and as a congressional relations officer for the Department of Housing and Urban Development under President George H.W. Bush.

Bryan has served in numerous senior positions in non-profit organizations including Americans United for Life, Freedom Partners Shared Services, and Generation Opportunity. He was also the former Executive Director of the Republican Party of Georgia.

Bryan is a recipient of the 2007 Innovation in Government Award from the Virginia Commonwealth University Wilder School of Government, as well as previously serving on the Board of Visitors for Virginia Commonwealth University.

Headshot for Vanessa Jackson

Vanessa Jackson, Professor, Virginia Commonwealth University

 Vanessa L. Wright Jackson is a 2018 graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Pedagogy, a 2015 graduate of Virginia Union University’s School of Theology, and a 1999 graduate of VCU School of Business. Vanessa worked as a Financial Analyst for more than 12 years. She has been a playwright for over twenty years. She began writing for small productions within her local church, St. John United Holy Church. Her productions grew from the quaint facility of her church to several stages throughout Virginia. Vanessa is founder of The Wright Penn Company, a growing performing arts company committed to telling stories that are vital to the spirituality of her community. Vanessa’s dramaturgical credits include Fences (Virginia Rep), A Raisin in the Sun (Virginia Rep), Blues for Mister Charlie (University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University). Vanessa also worked with Dr. Tawnya Pettiford-Wates as a contributor and dramaturg for the Festival of the River in conjunction with the Institute for Contemporary Arts at VCU and the Conciliation Project. She is an adjunct faculty member at VCU teaching Effective Speech and Winning Presentations.

Headshot of Bichelle Jeffires

Bichelle Jeffries, Strategic Customer Success Manager, OpenGov

Bichelle Jeffries is the Strategic Customer Success Manager at OpenGov, where she leverages her extensive experience in customer success, operations, and strategic account management to align the company's offerings with the strategic objectives of local and state government customers. With over seven years of expertise primarily focused on working with the public sector, schools, and government contractors, Bichelle brings a deep understanding of the unique challenges and needs of local and state governments.

Originally hailing from Northeast Ohio, Bichelle has called the state of Maryland home for the past five years. Her educational background is equally impressive, having earned a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Communication Studies from Ohio University and recently completed a Master of Business Administration from Loyola University Maryland. This commitment to continuous learning and professional development underscores her dedication to personal growth and staying ahead of industry trends. Since joining OpenGov in 2022 Bichelle has found great joy in using her years of customer success experience to help align OpenGov's offerings with the strategic objectives of local and state government customers.













2024 Sponsors

Terabyte Title Sponsor

Open Gov logo

Gigabyte Sponsor

Voyatek LogoCarMax logo

Kilobyte Sponsor

Dataversity Logo

SWaM Sponsor

Maconit Logo