I began very early, like many others in the computer industry. I learned to write batch files, QBASIC code, repair computers, set up small networks and became interested in learning anything I could about computers. I ran a bulletin board system (BBS) and was a hub for FidoNet before the internet was “mainstream”. Shortly after, I began working for a local computer shop doing on-site repairs, custom builds, and sales. I began developing websites and started working in PERL to write basic CGI scripts in the early stages of eCommerce.
I began dabbling in graphic design and digital photography, mostly for the purpose of websites, though to be fair, I’ve never really considered myself overly artistic. I left for college and while attending, worked primarily as a freelance webdesigner (and bartender — it was college after all).
I graduated from the University of Florida and have been an avid Florida Gator fan ever since. I received a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and a minor in Classical Studies; I went into college having a strong grasp and background in computers and looked to diversify my knowledge, specifically in business.
After college, I quickly began working as a full time web developer. I worked primarily in PHP and MySQL and it wasn’t long before I was doing all aspects of business that a small web design firm deals with; such as initial sales, contact relationships, graphic design, project management, programming, database architecture, and ongoing client support and upgrades. I decided that since I was able to handle working in so many various areas it would be a good idea to simply start my own company. So I did; which lasted about three months until I bought my first home and realized that I didn’t have the financial reserve to withstand late payments from clients, the inertia of starting a company, or the amazing amount of time and energy that was required.
Not discouraged, I went searching for other web design firms that I could offer my programming services to and came across a hidden gem of a company in my home town that specialized in large scale eCommerce for global companies. The initial and ongoing relationship I built with Online Management Systems (OMS) as a full time employee for three years was absolutely exceptional. It provided me the ability to grow, learn, and help teach others along the way and I will forever be in debt to certain individuals at this company.
After OMS, I began working for an insurance company, where I was happy to bring a bit of experience as well as continue to be exposed to new technology and unique requirements and challenges. I was able to learn quite a bit about working for a larger institution and many of the regulatory requirements necessary in the insurance industry. I also steadily learned more about architecture and vendor management during my time at Florida Family Insurance.
From insurance, I switched into a medical device design and manufacturing company in Naples and was very excited to address the challenges and concerns with working with several technological platforms including my first true ERP system (little did I know, we would have QAD, Oracle, and SAP during my career at Arthrex) as well as the dynamic business processes employed. It was at Arthrex where I really had the opportunity to understand corporate life for a billion+ company as well as the unique constraints of working in an FDA regulated environment. It was quite a time for Arthrex, as the company expanded at a record pace. I will forever be inspired by the drive and presence that Reinhold Schmieding brought to a room and an entire company.
I’ve served as the Chief Technology Officer for Flightdocs in the aviation industry, a multi-tenant SaaS software company which handles aviation maintenance tracking and a variety of other flight-related services. Flightdocs allowed me the ability to put together an extremely talented and senior-laden team of software developers in a variety of technologies and have successfully accomplished a complete reinvention of the software product line and operational processes. Here I was able to exercise my passion for product development with a focus on strategy while still maintaining my love of architecture and software development.
While still maintaining my position at Flightdocs, I was able to simultaneously step into the world of startups with a company called Zimit. Fighting amongst the enormous competition for the best and brightest willing to take a risk and build not just a product, but a company from the ground up provided an exciting new challenge. With a healthy dose of financial backing and expertise in professional services, we built the initial version of a web-based platform for enterprise sized consulting companies to bid opportunities better, schedule resources optimally, and determine true financial visibility into their business.
After accomplishing this milestone for Zimit, I returned my attention full time to Flightdocs to successfully release several new products. I’m proud to say that from the new products released at Flightdocs the company is now actively growing at 39% year over year with no signs of slowing. Average fleet sizes have grown dramatically as the software is now more appealing to large flight operations and even more demanding corporations and charters.
I believe it’s important to push yourself and never become complacent; at each new crossroad I have learned amazing new skills, perspectives, and invaluable lessons. Most importantly, compassion and understanding for others.
Now, I’m actively looking for my next endeavor in the beautiful city of Chicago.
If you’ve made it to the end of this, then I thank you for your interest and support, and wish you a wealth of knowledge and success.