A life long geek, I love books, comics, movies, scripted hour long tv series, music, cats, science, beer, sports, physical fitness, economics, politics, games, writing and most of all, I love my Dawni.
Some career centric highlights of my life:
A native of Tarboro, North Carolina, I attended East Carolina University for three years, working my way through college thirty-five hours a week at the local K-Mart and delivering pizzas. I began working for Equifax, eventually transferring to Raleigh, NC, where I had my first experiences in the realm of people management. After several years, my success there gave me the opportunity to transfer to a third Equifax office, this one in Portland, Oregon, where I took a position in the Equifax Risk Management Legal Department. After three years, the Portland office closed, and I returned to school. I completed a one year certification program in Computer Information Systems at Portland Community College, picking up an Associates degree along the way.
Returning to the workforce in 2000, I joined Stream, a tech support out-sourcer representing many major consumer technology companies. I had a successful stint on a Hewlett Packard contract, launching their first consumer printer email support team. In 2001, I began an extended run as a manager for the Adobe Technical Support contract. My career progressed from leading a 35 person team to an eventual position as Operations Manager for the 300+ person operation. Working with, and being responsible for, so very many people, was eye-opening. While an inherently private person, the various leadership roles forced me to get to know and appreciate a vast number of different people, each with their distinct personalities and back stories. I got to know thousands of people over the course of seven years. This period was one of great personal and professional growth for me. I had the opportunity to develop strong working relationships with many richly talented individuals, both at Stream and at Adobe, learning a great deal along the way.
This immersion in the world of creative technology was extremely valuable. Working with so many creative and technical minds provided me with experience in managing that no school could. Understanding, motivating and maximizing the contributions of such talent is as much an art as a science, and I’ve come to highly value “non-conventional performers” as a result. With sufficient investment of time and energy, these creative professionals can and will perform at very high levels. I very much appreciated the efforts of these artists and geeks, a demographic I’m very much a part of, and I always strived to show these individuals the respect and appreciation I felt their efforts deserved. The team was an outstanding group, delivering world class support, research, data gathering, troubleshooting and technical collaborations for many years. On a personal level, the close exposure to creative industries was tremendously educational. Fields ranging from magazine and print publications to film and television production to web design and even recording studios utilized our services, and we worked diligently to assure they received the high level of support their projects demanded. And yeah, a lot of it was very, very cool.
I was eventually recruited away, opting to leave the outsourcing world behind me and join Yahoo’s Customer Care technical support team in 2007, remaining there until 2010, and working in support of groups such as Yahoo! Finance, News, TV, Video, Movies, and Search teams, among many others. As a huge fan and evangelists of several Yahoo products since the late 90′s, the time spent working with properties and contributors was tremendously rewarding. I’ve a great deal of respect for the hard working teams behind these properties, and expect they will continue to produce high quality content for many years to come! Since 2010, I’ve been working towards completion of my first novel, while intermittently contributing to Associated Content and the Yahoo! Contributors Network.
My time in the tech support field had an even more important benefit, namely the chance to meet my brilliant and beautiful wife, Dawni! In June of 2011 we’ll have been together for eight years. Our marriage continues to grow stronger with every passing day. Our family includes two cats and a dog in our home in suburban Hillsboro, Oregon.