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Chief Data Officer
Ken Pfeil


Virtual Virginia Datathon: 10.07.2021 - 10.08.2021

Watch the Virtual Virginia Datathon opening kick-off and the recorded team presentations (including the winners!) on the Library of Virginia YouTube channel.

The purpose of the Datathon was to explore and identify open data assets supporting solutions that deliver outcomes positively impacting communities across the Commonwealth.

2021 Virginia Datathon Theme: Addressing Hunger Through Bits and Bytes

Food insecurity rates across the nation are rising and in 2018, there were nearly 850,000 food-insecure Virginians, a number that only increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. This timely theme serves to solve a challenge that affects our neighbors, friends, and fellow community members. On October 7-8, Virginia Datathon teams will work to develop data-driven solutions to address hunger in the Commonwealth.

Meet The 2021 Judges

Heidi Hertz

Heidi Hertz serves as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry for Governor Northam. Prior to her appointment, Heidi held roles in the Office of the First Lady of Virginia Dorothy McAuliffe, with the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth, and for the Virginia Department of Health. Heidi leads Governor’s Office efforts to solve hunger in Virginia. She is passionate about making connections between agriculture and health and focuses much of her time on strategies linking food access and solutions to hunger. Heidi serves on the Board of Directors for Shalom Farms and is active on the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Alumni Board. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and a Master of Science degree from James Madison University. She is a native of Lunenburg County and lives in the Northside of Richmond with her family.

Sam Portillo

Sam Portillo is a Data Engineer for Ippon Technologies USA and a member of the first place team from the 2020 Virginia Datathon. He has hands-on experience with AWS and Azure across multiple data-intensive projects. Sam is also passionate about sharing tech knowledge and experiences through the meetup he organizes, RVA Data Engineering.

Eddie Oliver

Eddie Oliver is the Executive Director of the Federation of Virginia Food Banks. Under his leadership, the seven regional food banks serving the Commonwealth work together to improve access to nutritious food for all Virginians. Prior to his start with the Federation in January 2018, Mr. Oliver served as the No Kid Hungry Virginia State Director. There he lead the statewide campaign to increase participation in federal child nutrition programs. His efforts led to an annual increase of 10 million school breakfasts and 2 million afterschool meals and snacks served to Virginia students. For the past six years, he has worked with a broad range of partners across the Commonwealth to build a better food system that works for everyone. He is continuing that mission by spearheading the collaborative priorities of Virginia’s food banks.



2021 Sponsors

Terabyte Title Sponsor

Gigabyte Sponsors




Megabyte Sponsors

Kilobyte Sponsors


SWaM Sponsors

2021 Participating Team Organizations

Capital One

City of Norfolk

Deep Run High School

George Mason University

Kearney and Company


Sentara Healthcare

State Council of Higher Education for Virginia

University of Richmond

Virginia Commonwealth University

Virginia Department of Transportation

William and Mary

Awards and Prizes

The judges for the Virtual Virginia Datathon awarded prizes to the top team submissions. Every team member on the 1st place team received a $750 Amazon gift card. Every team member on the 2nd place team received a $500 Amazon gift card and every team member on the 3rd place team received a $250 Amazon gift card.

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