About Me

While I’ve always preferred the outdoors, in the 1980s I spent evenings on the family Tandy 1000SX programming in BASIC and Pascal, and playing Rocky’s Boots.  My “official” entrée into the world of tech would come years later through a Master’s degree in geology.  It was 1998 and I was deep into groundwater modeling (pun intended).  Completing the thesis meant that I would become an aquifer expert (#dreams) but also an inadvertent tech geek because I had to write software programs to crunch and analyze data integral to the numerical analysis, as well as hack on the MODFLOW code.  The tech experience turned out to be more interesting than I expected, so upon graduation I traded in my rock-hammer for routers and have been building infrastructure ever since.  But that careful modeling and analysis has served me well when designing and automating systems.  As far as my geologic background, it still comes in handy—especially to enliven family get-togethers: Finite-element mathematics and the flow of fluids in rocks?  That kind of topic keeps the conversation moving.

Experience

AWeber Systems, Inc – Senior Operations Engineer

December 2015 to July 2016

As a Sr. Operations Engineer I worked on a small team of multi-disciplinary engineers that managed the Linux and networking systems that powered the AWeber platform.  Each engineer was also embedded with the various development teams so that our operations planning and implementation was focused on delivering solutions for the developers, as well as fostering collaboration and communication among the different disciplines.  We relied heavily upon the “DevOps” mindset and used tools such as:

  • Puppet / Chef
  • Python / Fabric
  • Vagrant / Packer
  • Jenkins

to manage the systems and workflow.  Monitoring and remediation was handled with Nagios, Jenkins, and some Python/Fabric magic.  We were also in the process of moving much of the systems to AWS from our on-premise and colocated data centers, and assisting the developers in migrating services to AWS.

Acurian, Inc. – Engineering Lead, Systems & Networking

December 2013 to January 2016

While at Acurian I was responsible for the overall direction and management of the systems and networking infrastructure, specifically the Linux systems that hosted the Java applications and WordPress websites that were core to Acurian’s clinical trial recruiting efforts. Working with the developers to help streamline the development process was one of the more rewarding aspects of the role, implementing tools such as Jenkins for build automation and Ansible for configuration management.

  • Installed Zabbix to monitor all systems and applications on-premise and AWS; also implemented New Relic to monitor and gather stats on the Java applications, which helped the developers with insights on issues and helped us with debugging.
  • Managed the WordPress instances that were used for the study-specific recruitment sites.
  • Moved approximately 40% of the Linux infrastructure to Amazon Web Services to increase scalability, availability, and global reach as Acurian expanded its recruiting efforts globally.
  • Provisioned an AWS DirectConnect via Comcast EPL to Amazon/Equinix Ashburn, VA to provide direct connectivity from our in-house data center to our AWS environment, allowing for secure, low-latency transit.
  • Designed and oversaw an upgrade of the entire network which had previously consisted of a faulty, unmanaged Layer 2 environment connecting three separate suites; converted to a more redundant and segmented Layer 3 topology.
  • Migrated from a simple two carrier WAN implementation to a multi-carrier/diverse path configuration utilizing BGP instead of relying solely upon different /24 IP blocks and RR DNS.
  • Contracted with Sungard Availability Systems to move backups from in-house/tape to “cloud” based backup and integrated disaster recovery – our first full DR test in February 2015 was a success which was a first for Acurian in its 15+ years of operation.

University City Science Center – Manager, IT

August 2011 to December 2013

As the IT Manager at UCSC I oversaw and managed the IT infrastructure, as well as one direct report (technical support specialist) and Drexel University interns.

  • Manage the capital and operational budget for the information technology expenditures.
  • Successfully planned for and managed the migration of our entire Exchange infrastructure to a hosted environment (70+ mailboxes).
  • Rolled out a campus-wide wireless solution (Aerohive) to provide a more secure, cohesive, and reliable wireless experience for Science Center staff, incubator tenants and guests.
  • Manage the campus network consisting of several interconnected buildings.
  • Implemented the reorganization of the Cisco-based network by segmenting the network for both Science Center assets as well as incubator tenants, and implementing 802.1x network authentication to secure network access.
  • Implemented Zabbix for monitoring all servers, networking, printers, even building automation systems (HVAC, CCTV).
  • Implemented a secure method of remote access to building automation computers so that maintenance staff could access the HVAC/security computers from any location.

Focus Forward, LLC – Director of Information Technology

April 2009 to June 2011

Was responsible for all systems administration, networking, and telephony, overhauling much of it during my tenure. When I started with Focus Forward it was myself and a part-time support technician, but as the company grew in revenue and size I worked with the different department leaders to champion the integration of technology into their workflows.

  • Maintained a custom developed PHP web application, as well two .NET/ASP web applications.
  • As the needs of the business units grew I recommended hiring a full time developer to improve and expand the functionality.
  • I also developed a business intelligence strategy and hired a BI Manager to oversee the efforts. The integration of technology led to business leaders having the ability to get increased key metrics, and a faster pace.

IQnection Internet Services, Inc. – Systems Administrator

June 2007 to April 2009

  • Manage Tier 2 support functions: dedicated Linux and Windows web and mail servers.
  • Responsible for the installation and management of Nagios to monitor systems and network operations.
  • Provide advanced support functions such as mobile phone/PDA email support.
  • Assist Tier 3 in day-to-day systems administration.
  • Assist developers with their project needs, such as setting up test environments, virtual servers, installing server/web software.

Vector Security, Inc. – Helpdesk Technician / Trainer

April 2006 to June 2007

  • Helped manage each of the Windows servers (Windows 2000/2003, Exchange, Citrix) in 3 branch offices.
  • Was responsible for day to day support of approximately 40 users in my local branch, as well as approximately 30 others in other nearby local branches.
  • Traveled to other company branches throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions to assist in technology projects and emergency repairs.
  • Developed a training program for Vector Security installation and service technicians regarding systems and networking in the physical security industry, and in that capacity traveled to branch offices to lead the training sessions and work with technicians and sales staff.
  • Assisted with the transition of Franklin Security customers to Vector Security’s systems.

Franklin Security Corp. – Manager of Information Technology

1996 to January 1998 (part-time while in graduate school); April 2001 to April 2006

As the first (and only) technology person at Franklin Security, I oversaw the implementation and improvement of technology to assist the business as the security industry became more and more dependent upon networking and computers.

  • Worked closely with other departments to ensure that technology met the needs of the business, and used technology to maintain communications between office staff and field staff.
  • Management of LAN, Windows and Linux servers, and workstations.
  • Designed and maintained centralized backup and disaster recovery plan.
  • Developed and maintained custom software such as:
    • account/project management client/server software with a Visual Basic front-end and PostgreSQL database back-end.
    • a web application written in Python to manage the radio-based alarm signal backup system.
  • Created and maintained online documentation for all of the systems I was responsible for, as well as external documentation for sales persons and technicians.
  • Teamed with sales and installation departments to implement and design security/CCTV/access control/fire systems which required network and/or computer connectivity.
  • Worked directly with field technicians on projects that required networking and/or computer technologies; examples include access control or fire alarm systems.

Haverford College – Windows Support Specialist

1998 to 2001

My first full-time job in the tech field! My role consisted of managing the Microsoft Windows servers and workstations on campus. At the time, Haverford was still largely focused on Apple but faculty and students were increasingly using Microsoft-based computers. One of my first “large” automation projects was a bootable CD that used open-source imaging tools and scripting tools such as AutoIT to install Windows and the software (MS Office, etc.). The lab managers could use the CD to refresh the computer lab PCs around campus, keeping them fresh and “clean”.

Education and Training

  • Aerohive Certified Wireless Administrator – June 2013
  • Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer – August 2000
  • Temple University, Philadelphia, PA – 1996 to 1998
    M.A., Geology Cumulative G.P.A. 3.85
  • Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA – 1990 to 1995
    B.A., General/Earth Science Cumulative G.P.A. 3.44