Chief Information Officer at SAV Consulting Group
Can you please provide a little introduction about yourself
What has your journey to your position been like? What path have you taken?
My career as a CIO began as a sixth-grade teacher in Charleston, SC. I studied at The Citadel and acquired my Master's degree. Applying and being accepted at Boston College in the PhD Educational Research program, I learned my first programming languages, Pascal and Fortran. Having time during the day to work, I was fortunate to land a position as an Operator Trainee in the BC Computing Center, based on the fact that I had that previously-mentioned programming experience. I became immersed in technology at that point and never finished my degree search, replacing that with continually challenging myself to learn as much as possible working in Operations. My path through the Data Center steadily escalated to the point where I became familiar with other roles at BC involving technology that I might follow. Once I had reached the pinnacle of what I could achieve in the Data Center, I applied for and came a programmer analyst. Once again, I wrapped my brain around everything I could consume regarding this role and soon had the opportunity to become a manager of user services for the university. Leading a group of ten staff, I was totally enjoying the work and being a lifelong learner, kept adding to my repertoire. Leaving BC, I went to work at Clark University as the Director of Academic Computing supporting Macintosh computers, training faculty on their use and building courseware on those devices. A couple of years at Clark, with a long two-hour commute from home, I moved to Bristol Community College where I became the Manager of Computing Services leading an ERP implementation, using Oracle and DG/UX. with only two programmers onboard, I spent countless hours learning to manage the Unix environment, grasp and use all the Oracle functions I could, and deploying a major relational database system supporting the business of the college. Taking on the three roles was exhilarating but also very challenging. With my skills improving with the ERP, the vendor hired me to work at Virginia Tech. I spent four months there but wasn't satisfied with the work and not learning anything new, so I took a position with two community colleges in Massachusetts that were in close proximity to each other. At one location I supported DG/UX, Oracle and the ERP system with which I was familiar. At the other site, I supported DEC Unix, Oracle and the same ERP system. Travelling back and forth to each site was an interesting experience because it forced me to learn the needs of two colleges at the same time while supporting the different versions of Unix. Having done that for a couple of years, I was offered a position with a cryogenic vacuum pump manufacturer to manage their SQL Server environment. The ability to add one more system to those I supported was again quote compelling and fun. When the chip market collapsed there were many layoffs and the day finally came where my skills were no longer needed. My journey then took me to a consulting company who was looking for someone who could provide database support to various sites across the US and Canada. Travelling from one location to another was a unique experience I had never had. But at some point, the consulting company sent me to Canada to be a project manager and learn yet another database, UniData. The times in Canada were very interesting and a challenge to master the new database. Having filled this role for quite some time, the company then sent me to another site in Canada to become the CIO at that site.
Has it always been your vision to reach the position you’re at? Was your current role part of your vision to become a tech leader?
Have you had a role model or mentor that has helped you on your journey?
How do you see the role of the technology leader evolving over the next 5 years?
What skills do you think leaders of the future will need in order to thrive?
How do you keep current with new skills, technologies and personal development?
What do you see as the next leap in technology that will impact your business or industry in particular?
If you were mentoring a leader of the future, what advice or guidance would you give to help them on their way?
Is there anything in particular that you would still like to achieve in your career or what is the next step on your journey?
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?