Senior director of partner community, SolarWinds MSP
Which tech figurehead do you admire the most?
I've always had incredibly high regards for Bill Gates. Most people focus on his success with Microsoft, but for me it's two factors. First, Gates was famous for his "Idea Weeks", where he focused on ideas and exploring new concepts, which often came to be leveraged at Microsoft. Second, his second career - tackling big problems with philanthropy only possible with his level of wealth - is an inspiring concept.
What's the biggest challenge facing the industry no-one is talking about yet?
Roughly 33 per cent of all solution providers were founded 25 years ago or more. If we assume most of these founders didn't start out at age 20, we have a large number of industry professionals who are considering their exit strategies from the business. Are we ready? What does this mean for the industry as a whole as those who have led these businesses start to exit?
If you could invite three famous people to dinner, who would they be?
Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson was a visionary in terms communication, politics, and business. He was a renaissance man in the truest sense, from horticulture to architecture, and advocated for freedom and tolerance; Sir Winston Churchill. Churchill was a man of incredible words, incredible resolve, and his perspective would be invaluable on leadership, on overcoming odds, and politics; and George Carlin. An inspired writer, social commentator and comic, his insights into people would be fascinating. Plus, that dinner would need a bit of humour to keep it going with the other two.
How has 2017 been for you? Rockstar!
I think it's all about attitude. If you decide things are going to be good, they generally are.
What's the most extravagant business lunch you've ever had?
My business lunches have been tame, but some dinners have been amazing. The one I always think of was one of the times I was the guest, being hosted by a vendor. The wine was decadent and several bottles later, for a small group, the tab had to have been outrageous for this New York City restaurant known for its high-end wine. It's a good thing the colleague and I both enjoy great wines.
Which global city best matches your personality?
I'd like to think I reflect my home city, Washington DC. It's a city with a global view, connected to everywhere, where people try and do good work to help others, with a bit of Southern charm and an appreciation for doing business with people over a good drink.
What would be your super-hero power?
Shapeshifting. It's clearly the most versatile way to solve problems, allows creativity and seems like an awful lot of fun. I could probably pack a lot lighter with this one too!
Complete this sentence. The worst thing about our rivals is… when they don't push us enough with challenging ideas.
What makes you nervous?
I don't get nervous a lot, but surprisingly it's when I go into a room and don't know anyone at all. For a community person, that would be unusual, so I try and channel that to push myself out of my comfort zone. I loathe being in a situation where I'm out of place, and it makes me quite nervous.
If you could eat one type of food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Anything my wife cooks, which I say is a type of food. She's an amazing chef, and takes time to plan our meals every night, with an amazing eye for food choices, particularly for her husband who can eat like a 12-year-old. Left to my own devices, it will be steak and mac and cheese - but with the squeeze Velveeta cheese.
Sum up the channel in three words
Inspiring cooperative community.
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