I think I can answer that, seeing that I’m, you know, him.
What follows is just a long, winding tale detailing a few of the things I’ve done and what I learned from it, but if you’re looking for tangible proof, I can easily provide that for you, too. Just know that most of what I’ve made or worked on is proprietary to the organizations I worked for, and therefore not able to be shared. The things that are shareable are in that portfolio.
This is meant to be a sort of Bowie-esque “but I can trace time” retrospective of my professional history. As such, I hope you’ll forgive me just glossing over a ton of restaurant jobs, cover band gigs, and non-management retail work in the early 2000s. Trust me, I’m doing you a favor on that one, just know that the takeaway from that is that I’m absolutely unafraid of speaking to people, whether that’s on a person-to-person basis or in groups, particularly large ones.
I’ve always found a way to tie technology into doing my job, whatever that job may be. You will always find me looking to do a job better than before.
When I was a Lead Houseman for the Banquet department at a five-star resort, I used Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to craft detailed, to-scale setup and breakdown plans for multiple concurrent functions that were often attended by anywhere from twenty to 1,200 people. I led my team in ensuring we built and broke down entire functions in record time, all while prioritizing the flow of service for wait staff and maximum positive guest experience.
When I was a cell phone repair technician, I would create easy-to-follow infographics on basic smartphone maintenance for every hot new model that released. I would also train people in best practices for using new technology, as that would reduce frustration, and therefore reduce cancellation turnover through increased customer satisfaction.
When I managed a location of a very prominent nationwide videogame retailer, I would bring in video game soundtracks and play them on an iPod dock, I’d make new trailer DVDs and play them in the store, and I’d also load up the store systems with new indie games in an effort to push the sales of points / storefront cards. I would also create flyers for tournaments we would host, as well as officiate them by designing brackets and rulesets.
When I worked for a company that specialized in the development and support of real estate appraisal software, I spearheaded the move from phone-based support to live chat-based support, and created the standards and best practices guidelines used to determine how that tool was best used. Within three months, I had successfully closed incidents at a rate of four-to-one when compared against previous exclusive phone-based support records. That’s a 400% increase within ninety days. While there, I studied hard, and earned my CompTIA A+ Certification.
When I worked in the IT department for a major private university, I was part of a four-person squad that managed the hardware fleet, software support and technical needs of 126 satellite campus locations, worldwide. I designed user guides, created how-to videos, crafted quarterly report presentations, created standardized system images and procedures for the entirety of the Apple Mac / iOS device fleet, and managed the entire university’s Adobe Creative Cloud backend. I worked closely with VR / AR / MR developers in creating and testing virtual reality robotics / UAS / airline crash investigation labs, learned quite a bit about how Unity and Unreal Engine work, got to work with Microsoft Hololens, Oculus Rift, and the HTC Vive. I demonstrated this technology to multiple groups including elementary and high school kids, major university stakeholders and members of the university’s board of directors, and I also spoke on a panel about virtual reality technology and its future in both higher education and aeronautics at an aeronautics industry conference.
Meanwhile, after a decade and a half of amateur writing and blogging efforts, I finally got the break that I’d been working toward in March of 2015, when I was approached to be a staff writer at G4@Syfygames. After spending a few months in the trenches, I was promoted to Copy Editor in June of 2015. This allowed me to use this incredible affinity in finding mistakes and identifying weaknesses in other people’s writing, which is a skill honed and forged in the brutal dog-eat-dog world of early-90s skating rink arcades. I would then train and coach writers into sharpening themselves, which in turn caused them to produce work that has since landed them gigs elsewhere. This led to me being promoted to Assistant Managing Editor, where I served in that position until the site’s closure in August of 2016.
After that, I ran into a bit of tragedy.
My mother passed away in May of 2017, and she was the person that showed me that creative types were the people that changed how the game was played. In the wake of her death, I went back to school to finally finish my degree, I got my AS in Computer Programming and Analysis, and then got my BAS in Business Management and Administration. I used this fusion to not only learn the rudimentary backbone of software development, but to also learn about what was important to running a business. Through this, I was able to see where these chains connect, and have since begun to seek out problems that can be solved, especially through solutions that empower both workforces and userbases alike.
From this ethos, I started my own IT & digital marketing consultancy company. I ran that company for two years, helping multiple businesses expand their digital footprint and marketing reach through branding (logo design, taglines, brand identity), front-facing web presence (website design, sales funnel design), and other services (hardware / software troubleshooting, graphic design, social media management, video editing, and more).
As a result, I would also manage a number of projects in my non-professional time, including the creation of the definitive English-language guide for the latest entry in my favorite video game series, thanks to the help of multiple experienced players who were kind enough to provide material for a scaffolding designed with inspiration from the Universal Design for Learning framework. I would later convert this document into a web-based application in April of 2021 as a means of enhancing the guide’s accessibility as well as its usability. I also began creating video content to help this goal, leveraging Adobe Premiere, Adobe After Effects, and Adobe Audition.
Following the sudden death of my father in July of 2020, I closed the business in September 2020 during the height of COVID-19, and soon moved myself, my wife, my two daughters and two dogs from Florida, where I was born, raised, and spent my entire life up to that point, to Vermont, where I hope to stay.
From here? Well, that’s not been written yet, and if I’m being completely honest with you, there’s nothing I enjoy quite as much as the limitless and infinite freedom afforded by a blank page. This story can only expand.