We’d like to take a moment and recognize our newest employees to Green River. Please take a moment to learn more about them, in their own words.
Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
Hi everyone, my new title is Information Technology Support Manager for Green River Community College. I’m very excited to be offered this position and I’m thrilled to become a member of the GRCC team!
As for my background, I come from 15 years (give or take) in information technology. I began my career at the helpdesk representative at PACCAR years ago. I was then picked up to do IT consulting and training for their network of truck dealerships across the country. Yes, you read that right, I was teaching IT to truck dealers, service technicians, etc… So if you ever feel silly with your technical questions, first of all, please don’t feel that way, and be assured I’ve heard most of them.
After dealer consulting, I had the choice to move into a more corporate facing role, or into management in the IT operations realm. I decided to go back into operations and manage the helpdesk team that I had originally worked in. Helping people has always been close to my heart and I enjoy assisting in “keeping the lights on” from an IT perspective.
Since that time, I have held jobs with increasing responsibilities in the realm of IT operations, management, and support. Managing internal groups, IT vendors, in both large and small scale environments.
What drew you to apply to Green River?
I wanted work that was bigger than just getting a paycheck. Growing up I was one of those underachievers, a smart kid that had a mediocre experience in high school. I wasn’t very motivated to continue my educational journey.
My grandmother, eventually, took me under her wing and drove me up to Seattle Central Community College one day. She told me, “It is time to get you enrolled back in school. I don’t care what you take, but you’re going to enroll”. I wasn’t convinced at that time, but after starting my classes I began to realize that I wasn’t just learning academic subjects. I realized that the process of learning could be engaging, interesting, and fun. This really changed my outlook on education and my future.
Community colleges have a place in my heart. I believe that they really meet people where they are at. I would not be where I am at today without meeting some very talented instructors along the way. I wanted to be a part of that process, and when I saw the job for Green River, my thought from the very beginning was I want that job.
On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
LOL, ok well you wouldn’t know it to look at me but I’m a dance music person. So depending on the day I might be listening to Cazette, Morgan Page, David Guetta, or something like that.
I’m also a news junky so I usually have KOMO, NPR, or some such programmed on the radio dial as well. It just depends on the day, my energy level, and usually the state of the sunshine in Seattle.
I know, I know, it’s a weird combination.
What was the very first job you ever had?
It certainly wasn’t fancy. My first job was working as a grocery bagger at Kroger’s in San Antonio, Texas. I went to “bagging class” for two days to learn basically don’t put the heavy stuff on the top. A lesson mind you that I have continued to use to this day.
What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I’m working at a respected educational institution, doing my small part to help people learn, that in and of itself is awesome! Information Technology isn’t always something that you think about when you sit down to take a class, but it is the IT groups that make sure your PC is working, that the connection to your resources is functioning, etc. We really do touch everything. I’m glad that the results of my work, and the work of the overall IT teams, enable people to expand their knowledge and grow in their lives and careers. That is exciting to me.
What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
Hmmm, what is the one thing? I happen to know that I’ve got a few deliverables already queued up. I won’t speak to those, however, until I’m a little more familiar.
My personal goal is to get to know and create a great working relationship with my GRCC teammates, capitalize on what’s working well in the support team and implement a plan to enhance things that could be improved. I’m cheating a bit because that’s more than one thing, but to me that all rolls up. If we can accomplish that, I’ll definitely consider my first year successful.
What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
My number one is easy. I’m most proud of my 27-year relationship with my partner. We still enjoy each other and have fun after so many years together. It is my biggest blessing and my foundation to be sure. The second would have to be receiving my degree. The third are the relationships I’ve formed with the many of the people that have worked for me in previous positions. I really enjoy helping people advance in their careers. It really is rewarding to watch people grow their skills, and move into new more complex positions within an organization. It’s one of the things I truly love about what I do.
If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
Oh, good grief do we have to go there? Ok, full disclosure, I was once given a coffee mug with “Tigger” on it from one of my teams, in reference to my character. So I’ll go with that one. I suppose that is because I like to have fun, joke a bit, and keep the energy moving during my work days. I’m quick, a little goofy, and I’ve been told my energy can be infectious. Now that is why “I” think I was given the mug and nickname. It is one of those strange life events where in fact it could be because I was wearing orange or bounced as I walked in a new pair of shoes or some such.
For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
It has been said, that on select nights, with the right ambiance, and likely a little inebriation that I am a decent singer. I have some vague memories of singing “love is a battlefield” with one of the directors from a previous position at a Karaoke bar in Seattle. At least, I hope it was a Karaoke bar. It is still talked about in hushed tones. No, I won’t be trotting that out during the next GRCC event, maybe in a few years, or maybe not.
If G.R.E.E.N. where an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?