May 27, 2015

About Smart Cville

Smart Cville is a citizen-driven organization that promotes the use of technology to make cities better places to live.  Our efforts seek to promote civic innovation and technology-driven solutions throughout local government in Charlottesville and beyond.

Smart Cville is a non-profit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code.

Who We Are


Christie Taylor
Executive Director
Abigail Cox
Program Associate
Kurtis Pivert
Data Fellow

Board of Directors

Rick Hinton
Devin Harris
Amanda Poncy
Seth Ragosta
Vice Chair
Alpha Diallo
Sarah Burke
Aleena Haidari
Jim Duncan
Lucas Ames
Founder, Ex-Officio Member

Board Bios

Rick Hinton is a technology entrepreneur and consultant working with analytics-focused startups and mature firms. Rick’s experience includes a healthcare workforce analytics start-up, a venture-backed firm focused on online investment and financial planning, an online political prediction market startup, and a leading Microsoft partner focused on cloud-based productivity solutions. He’s passionate about how design, data, and analytics can help solve some of our toughest societal challenges. Rick received an MBA from George Washington University and a BA in Government & Politics from the University of Maryland. He also serves as a member of the leadership council for the Virginia Center for Health Innovation. A DC transplant, he lives in Charlottesville with his wife and dog and, on occasion, can be found running the hilly streets of C-ville.

Dr. Devin Harris is an Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering Systems and Environment at UVA. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Florida and his graduate degrees at Virginia Tech, both in Civil Engineering (Structural). Devin is the Director of the Center for Transportation Studies, which is the focal point for education, research, and service in transportation engineering at UVA. CTS provides both research support services as well as transportation-focused education and training activities throughout the Commonwealth. His research centers on the built environment and aims to leverage data to create information, which can be used to inform decision-making. In his free time, Devin enjoys snowboarding, wakeboarding, boating, and spending time with family. Devin lives in Crozet with his wife and daughter.

Seth Ragosta is a litigation attorney who focuses on Family Law and Commercial litigation matters at Lenhart Pettit in Charlottesville. Before returning to Charlottesville, Seth worked for a multinational law firm on matters involving the largest technology companies in the world. Seth has experience with the practical uses of technology in the legal field, as well as the rules and laws governing various aspects of technology in commercial, personal and public realms. Seth is a county resident and passionate advocate for rational, open discourse about social justice and public policy issues, and believes technology can serve a key role in driving positive, fair and clear discussions about our public future.

Aleena Haidari is a third-year student at the University of Virginia, where she major in Global Development Studies with a concentration in Middle East and South Asia and minor in History. Her passion lies in working with non-profit and humanitarian organizations that advocate for equality and systemic changes globally. She has extensive experience in working as an analyst, researcher, writer, and interpreter for the Afghan community in Charlottesville. She is fluent in Persian/ Dari and is hoping to continue learning Spanish and Urdu. She was a part of the inaugural Center for Civic Innovation Fellowship.

Amanda Poncy is the Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator for the City of Charlottesville, VA, where she continues to pursue her interests in creating vibrant and healthy communities through sustainable transportation planning and community design. Amanda lives in the City with her family and spends her free time exploring local trails and helping with the Clark Elementary School PTO.

Christie Taylor is the Executive Director at the Center for Civic Innovation. For nearly 15 years she has served nonprofits working for social justice, with outcomes reforming communities to be more inclusive, equitable, and resilient. She enjoys the collaborative and creative nature of grassroots work, and practices relational-based approaches to resolving challenges. She holds a BA in Political Science from Old Dominion University and an MS in Conflict Analysis & Resolution from George Mason University. She has served her community as a volunteer Mental Health First Aid responder, foster parent, and roles for school board committees. She lives in Crozet with her four children, and competes in long distance running.

Alpha Diallo is from Guinea, West Africa. Although he has spent the majority of his life
in Virginia, Alpha’s passion in community innovation and development stem from his experiences living in Guinea. Since obtaining his Masters degree in Urban Planning from the University of Virginia, Alpha has had a keen interest in the intersection of data science and public good. Currently, he is a full-time Senior Data Analyst with Magellan Health, a managed health care company, and a Masters candidate in Computational Data Analytics. He also served as the first Smart Cville Program Director.

Sarah Burke owns and operates a mitigation and criminal defense investigation firm in Charlottesville, VA, specializing in capital murder cases. She works on federal and state cases throughout the country. Sarah works with defense attorneys in cases involving the death penalty to uncover and weave together evidence into a narrative that fully humanizes the defendant in a way that is often absent from the courtroom. Sarah is from Charlottesville and attended the University of Virginia. She was recently a volunteer appointee for Charlottesville’s Initial Police Civilian Review Board. The CRB was tasked with creating a model for civilian oversight of the Charlottesville Police Department. She values listening, justice, critical thinking and questioning of systems, working toward racial and social equity, putting ideas into action, and the power of community and relationships.

Jim Duncan is Partner & Founder at Nest Realty Group whose main office is located in Downtown Charlottesville. Jim has always been active in the community as evidenced by his authorship of two prominent local blogs (Real Central VA and Real Crozet VA). He has a deep interest in working to instill a sense of community and engagement of and by the citizenry. A county resident, Jim is a 1998 graduate of VMI and is passionate about representing his real estate clients, the environment, riding bicycles, coaching soccer, and being a dad.

Lucas Ames is the Founder of Smart Cville and Associate Director of Organizational Systems and Technology at Global Online Academy (GOA). At GOA he is responsible for ensuring that the organization’s use of technology represents best practices in online teaching and learning and aligns with its mission and values. Leveraging data to obtain the best learning outcomes for students and utilizing APIs to extend online learning platforms are key parts of his role. Lucas strongly believes that technology has democratized civic engagement in a way that allows all citizens to help solve public problems. Lucas lives in the City with his wife, daughter, and son.

Abigail Cox is a reference librarian at the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library (JMRL) in downtown Charlottesville. At JMRL she provides reference services and technology training on a daily basis. She also develops and facilitates free programs that are open to all members of the community in order to promote lifelong learning and reading. Her work has a strong focus on increasing access and on promoting digital equity and inclusion. Abigail is a City of Charlottesville resident.

Kurtis Pivert is the Data Science Officer at the ASN Alliance for Kidney Health. He oversees the Alliance’s Data Analytics Program which provides in-house decision support services, extracts actionable recommendations from data, and tailors solutions to meet business needs and use cases. Kurtis manages the ASN Alliance’s workforce research portfolio, and is interested in communicating insights from data to advance the organization’s mission and strategic goals. Kurtis received his MS in Analytics from the Villanova University School of Business and lives in Albemarle County with his wife and daughter.