>>Job description: I do a little bit of everything technology related. That includes researching project feasibility, conveying technology processes to people on their level, providing solutions to unique problems involving technology and breaking projects into individual steps and implementing them. Sometimes I optimize processes or supervise others to get a large-scale job done. Sometimes I make existing processes simpler for our clients. I also fix computers.
>>Years lived in Columbia: 20
>>Original hometown: Kansas City, Mo.
>>Education: Bachelor of Arts in English, University of Missouri; Master of Arts in environmental design, MU. Most people attend a university for four to five years and then run for the hills. I spent a decade when you count the year I spent taking classes between each degree program.
>>Community involvement: I volunteer some of my free time for various nonprofits in Columbia. In the past, those have included church and religious groups as well as secular groups, such as Rain, that provide necessary services to the area.
>>Professional background: I began work as a repair technician and progressed to the service director position. It taught me numerous lessons, but the primary one was how to manage service resources for a national group of consultants. I’ve been a technology consultant for five years as a business owner. In that time I’ve had the good fortune to solve some very interesting problems for clients. I have a broad understanding, including Macintoshes, Windows PCs, desktops, laptops, servers and all sorts of software.
>>A favorite recent project: I felt great satisfaction in supervising the redesign of the network backbone when a client moved into a new building. I had plenty of other things to do, but this aspect of the move was my favorite.
>>A Columbia businessperson I admire and why: This was a hard choice, but I have to say Dr. Ted Tarkow at MU. Tarkow does an amazing job inspiring and teaching students on multiple levels of education while serving as associate dean of one of the largest colleges at the university. I strongly believe that helps others find success later in life and enriches our community in all sectors.
>>Why I’m passionate about my job: I get to tackle new challenges every week. Plus, I like to think I help others understand, appreciate and utilize the technology they have. I want others to obtain at least a little bit of the passion I have for technology.
If I weren’t doing this for a living, I would: Be working with motion pictures as the head of a Midwestern special effects house. That or a published novelist.
>>Biggest career obstacle I’ve overcome and how: I once rebuilt a media server the same day the system became corrupted beyond repair. I didn’t have to do it on my own, but the how is patience and perseverance. There is always an answer out there somewhere. In this case the answer was re-imaging the whole box after hours on a weekend and keeping cool the entire time.
>>What people should know about this profession: You need to always maintain an open mind, patiently interpret logic in the seemingly crazy behaviors of misbehaving systems, voraciously stay abreast of technology topics and think about 200 feet outside the box to be a tech consultant. I do have a somewhat encyclopedic store of experience, but for me, I take a creative approach to analyzing and solving problems. You also have to be able to communicate. It does you no good to have an expert opinion about a request if you can’t convey it to the client in a way that empowers him or her to make the best choices. Beyond those traits, knowing when to stop is important. Just because you can do something if you devote hundreds of hours or thousands of dollars to it doesn’t mean you always should.
>>What I do for fun: I spend my off hours consuming media entertainment, mostly by reading, spending time with friends and writing. I rarely travel, but when I do, it’s usually to reconnect with friends in other cities.
>>Family: My immediate family is my partner, Jeremy, and our pet cat, Sonny Bear.
>>Favorite place in Columbia: I hate to be noncommittal, but I’ve been here so long that I would miss a lot of different places if I couldn’t go there or experience them anymore. So I’m going to say Columbia itself is my favorite place around here.
>>Accomplishment I’m most proud of: I wrote a cohesive story that was novel length and was well received by those I let read it. It’s given me a lot of confidence to pursue semi-commercial opportunities in that vein.
>>Most people don’t know that I: Like to sing. In the shower, in the car, in a karaoke bar, I sing almost every day.