What do you do at our company?
I'm the Founder and CEO, so I make sure that the bills are paid, I develop leaders (we have some great ones!) and put them in positions to take responsibility and flourish in their roles, and I paint a vision for where we want to go as a company and empower the team to make it happen. I'm also the main cheerleader for RoundTable because I can brag about our team in a way that nobody else can. They're the best!
What do you ACTUALLY do at our company?
What motivates you to wake up and go to work?
I love solving complex problems in a collaborative way with great people, and RoundTable is the ultimate opportunity for me to do that every day. I also am incredibly passionate about finding the perfect work for talented people and putting them in a place where they're absolutely in love with what they do, to the point where it doesn't feel like work (on most days!).
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
For most of my early life, I wanted to be a music teacher. I played several instruments in school (primarily bass clarinet and tenor saxophone), and being in various school bands was a very important part of my life - to the point where I was voted "Most Musical" by my graduating high school class.
What are one or two hobbies you enjoy?
I love to read. I spend a lot of my non-work time reading books about personal development and business, and also enjoy reading science-fiction and fantasy. Typically the longer the book or series, the happier I am! I also recently started dabbling in Cardistry (the performance art of card flourishing), which scratches a lot of itches for me - collecting cool decks of cards, hand and finger dexterity, and something to fidget with and keep my hands busy when I'm focused on something else. I love that it doesn't take any "extra" time, which is about the only way I can fit a hobby into my life right now!
Favorite thing about YOUR IT environment
Without a doubt, the best thing about our IT environment is that we were "born in the cloud," which gives us the ability to work and be fully engaged from anywhere in the world that has a stable internet connection.
What is currently on your desk?
A 15" MacBook Pro, a lava lamp, my daily planner, half a dozen RoundTable pens, various knick-knacks that I like to look at and fidget with, and some form of BOSE speaker or headphones to use for music and calls.
How did you start your career in IT?
I was 19 and engaged to be married to the girl of my dreams (she still is, 20+ years later!) and had a pretty cool job working for the University of Maine in Augusta as a broadcast engineer for Interactive TV classes. I did some math on the $8.31/hour that I was making at the time and had a very real sense of panic once I got out a calculator and started pricing out apartments for my upcoming married life. I started aggressively looking for a better paying job and got one working for a Maine-based help desk that remotely supported clients in New York City. I fell in love with helping people solve technology problems, and it became my career. Ironically, the remote support idea of helping New York clients from Maine was an idea that stuck with me for years long after I left that job and helped shape who we are as a company today.
What are the biggest misconceptions of your role, internally or externally?
It's fun to pick on "The Boss" as not working or say "what do you even do, anyway?" I get it and laugh about it, too, but I also have learned that thinking about the business and delegating work are important skills and require an enormous amount of time and effort to do correctly. I spend a massive part of my waking (and sleeping!) life thinking about our business, our team, our clients, and how to fit all of the pieces together in a way that maximizes our talent and provides enormous value. I've literally done every job in this business, and without being able to delegate, we would still be a one person shop reselling cloud services like we were in 2010. Developing the team, thinking about how to best structure it, and then getting out of everyone's way to empower them to shine IS the work, and I think it's very rewarding to see the results come to fruition.
What was your proudest professional moment?
I think for me it's more the daily "wins" that stand out more than any particular moment in time. When I see a new process that we've been working on for months click in place and save a bunch of people time and distraction so we can focus on our clients more, or when I see months go by without a single negative survey result for our amazing Support team...Those are the moments when I sit back in my chair and reflect on what we've accomplished together and feel overwhelming pride for this group of people that I'm blessed to spend my working days with. I'm also very proud of the fact that RoundTable is a "long-term relationship" company. We have team members and clients that we have relationships with that, in some cases, span more than 20 years! That is very special to me and speaks to the character of who we are.
What are the biggest challenges in your work?
For me, the biggest challenge is making decisions for our company that are focused on the greater good of our team, our clients, and our shared future. This has become more impactful as the decisions have become more difficult and touch more people. Often the hardest choices are between "good and possibly better" where you won't know the result for months or even years.
We've had several employee gatherings over the past year and something struck me that I said "I wish our clients knew this about us," so this is a great opportunity for me to share that observation. Whenever "two or more RoundTablers are gathered," we spend our time talking about our clients, their issues, how to fix them, and how to serve them better. It could be a random pizza party, a holiday gathering, or just food and drinks after work - it doesn't matter. Time that could be spent just being social and relaxing away from work, without fail, always comes back to brainstorming about how to be better and serve more. It overwhelms me how passionate and caring our team is, and I believe is one of the things that sets RoundTable apart. I couldn't be more proud of our team and how much we genuinely care about our clients.