Information Technology guru, Audio/Visual installation and design specialist, Digital Signage Expert, father, surfer, and traveler. Not always in that order, but as I sit to write this these are titles I would give myself. When I first started learning about computers data was being stored a new and exciting way, cassette tapes??? It isn’t as bad as punch cards but right there competing with IBM’s new floppy disk. Needless to say I have been using, supporting, building, managing, and coming up with new code to use on computers for a very long time, nearly 40 years. It has always been my passion. I have wavered from time to time; first with athletics in High School, then with CAD during my 20’s, but I have always come back to my best skill set, Information Technology. I have operated in almost every function in my various positions. I have been a desktop support technician all the way up to an IT Director. I ran my own business for 7 years being “THE” IT guy for hundreds of businesses in the Tampa Bay area. The only thing that cut that short was the economic downturn. With customers going out of business and the housing industry drying up it was hard to keep the lights on, then came new opportunity, Digital Signage.
Over the years I had dabbled with A/V. The first business I ever started was performing car stereo installations. I created a relationship with a local manufacture of car stereo amplifiers, bought the tools I needed and got to work. But college and life got in the way and it didn’t hold my interest. Years later while running my business a hardware vendor turned me on to some new technology in home automation. This was where I started being able to combine my two professional passions together. Well this grew into more than an R&D project when the housing market took off in the mid-2000’s. Suddenly I was selling as many home theaters and presentation systems as I was selling computers. Technology grew and changed constantly, I was getting certified by manufactures almost monthly on new hardware. I was installing theater after theater. People were buying and selling homes, times were good…POP!!! Then it all came crashing down.
This time instead of running back to my perennial savior in IT, I decided to stick with the A/V-IT mix, but how? It was then I discovered Digital Signage. It is always a mixture of both. I started looking and found a position managing a field force installing simply digital signage systems nationwide. It wasn’t technical, but it got me in the door. Three years later I created the position of Product Technology Manager. Here I took the basic sign premise and started building on it. Not only did I improve the behind the scenes processes, but I started getting them to allow me to design new products. I was given the opportunity to design the companies first full interactive digital signage product. Within a year 10,000 units had been deployed. Things are rolling in the digital signage world. It is a great professional space where I can use both of my professional passions to accomplish great things.
Now a days I have given up the surfer life in Florida for the more country life of Kentucky, but I am still at the bleeding edge of Digital Signage. I now work for the edgy and dynamic Creative Realities Inc. , a leader in the industry. From big retail to point-of-sale to large format public venue sign systems we install it all. It is a very explosive time in this exciting industry and I enjoy leading from the front in it!
This story continues, check back from time to time…