The November edition of D.C. Tech Meetup will be Christopher Breene’s last as a member of the organizing team.
In a Medium post published last week, Breene said he will be leaving D.C. after nearly five years total in the city. He is moving to Boston.
Breene, who worked at Brllnt and iStrategyLabs before founding his current firm GFTB Digital, emerged as a leader in the D.C. tech community after making the transition from political work about three years ago.
In an interview, he said he believes the Massachusetts city will afford him a chance to grow his business and explore a new tech scene. He still plans to keep ties to D.C. via clients and continued mentoring through 1776. Boston’s more established community presents an opportunity to find clients that fit his firm’s work. Plus, educational opportunities abound. And, he’s from New England — Rhode Island, to be exact. So he’s looking forward to being closer to family, the Red Sox and snow.
A believer in sharing personal stories, Breene is also open about the challenges presented by healthcare. After spending multiple months in and out of the hospital last year, Breene said his own well-being took an even higher priority. Access to healthcare was always important to him as an entrepreneur, and it has even more importance now.
“By the law of the land, D.C. has no autonomy,” he said, referring to the lack of statehood that could leave the District vulnerable to changes by Congress and President Donald Trump. “At the end of the day, if healthcare is going to be attacked, this is the place where it’s going to happen.”
Massachusetts, on the other hand, has a state-run health insurance market.
Breene said he sees himself as a transient person, and didn’t think he would be in D.C. this long. Yet his passion for #dctech is clear. A big reason, he said, is the fact that so many companies are geared toward social impact. That guiding force is also a big reason he thinks the community will continue to flourish, even if individual leaders depart.
Another is the “infrastructure,” like D.C. Tech Meetup. He is currently looking to recruit someone to take up his spot on the organizing board, but he’s confident that person will emerge. He said finding someone with extra time to devote to the group and social media skills would be ideal.
“At the end of the day, someone else is going to step up and do an amazing job because we have so many great people here,” he said.
Asked about parting thoughts, he said he would like to see more activism among technologists, especially in a community where social change is a priority.
“The more that we can have a semblance of a conscience in tech and in taking a stand for what we believe in, the better off our community can be,” he said.