What is your role in the Service Center of Excellence?
My role is to lead the Information Technology area within the Service Center of Excellence (SCE). The Finance and Administration IT Team has been providing services to Finance and Administration for several years. They are a group of highly dedicated individuals, and it is truly a privilege to work with a team who cares so much about our customers. Our team supports over 50 business units, 100 applications, 138 servers, and over 2,000 staff located all across the university. In addition to maintaining existing services we are building a foundation that will improve our agility to meet future demands. We are currently refining our service catalog and developing a plan that brings clarity to how our customers can request support and services. To accomplish this, we must recalibrate, set new targets, and continue to assess our strengths and weaknesses. Of course one of our most important projects is to support the transition of staff and technology to our new center in the Roberson Building.
What did you do before you came to the SCE?
I started my career at Indiana University where I supervised staff and projects in the onsite support locations throughout campus. I also taught graduate courses for many years in the Instructional Systems Technology Department. During the “Desert Storm” years I worked for the Department of Defense as a training specialist. For the decade before joining Finance and Administration, I served as the Chief Technology Officer for the local Chapel Hill-Carrboro School District. In all of my previous positions, I served as the bridge between the technical experts, the administration, and our customers. I’ve also worked as a hotel valet, pizza baker, dog walker, greeting card salesperson, and a few other jobs to pay the bills through college.
Why are you excited about joining the SCE?
I’m a “project guy.” I love to build and create. It’s very satisfying to start with a blank slate (or a set of business goals) and work through the design phases to build a solution that meets everyone’s needs. Being part of the service center initiative here at UNC is very exciting. We’re all involved in building something new and we all have input in shaping this new venture. I’m also excited about the creation of a new SCE team. Just like any new team, we’ll need to come together, practice, refine our skills, and support each other as we face upcoming challenges.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I like to travel and enjoy outside activities like hiking and biking. I’m normally involved in some type of renovation or building project at home. My wife is an avid vegetable gardener, which is really great because I like to eat! Our children are grown and out of the house, but somehow they manage to get us involved in their escapades.
What is something people probably wouldn’t know about you?
Most people don’t know that I hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon during a blizzard. I was out in Arizona with two college buddies. We had a goal to hike to the Colorado River at the very bottom of the canyon. Unfortunately, there was a blizzard on the day we arrived and it was to continue for the next few days. We didn’t have a tent, so we needed to complete the hike in one day … sun-up to sun-down. We asked a Park Ranger if it was possible. He said, “No, highly unlikely that you’d make it back out in a day.” We did it anyway. We made it to the river at the bottom. Twenty hours later we emerged, beaten, battered, and half frozen, back at the top of the rim. There were many lessons learned on that day. One of the biggest was the importance of listening to experts and collecting all the facts before starting a risky venture. It was a good lesson to learn early in life.