UWF Degree and Year of Graduation:
BS System Science: Business, ’84
As you look back at your days at UWF, describe your best memory.
On a personal level, I made some great friendships that have continued for more than 20 years, including the woman who became my wife. From an educational viewpoint, my best memory would be the Operational Research class I took. It energized me to see the huge potential from writing software for personal computers to making businesses more productive. The professor would bring his “portable” computer to class every day. Toward the end of class, he would write a program to solve a given business situation. In the early 80s, this “portable” computer weighed more than 25 pounds and looked more like a sewing machine than a computer. Seeing where the personal computer environment is now compared to how I was initially exposed to it in the Operational Research class continues to be a great memory!
While you were at UWF, what did you think was its most outstanding and/or unique quality?
UWF’s park-like setting and access to resources was one of its most outstanding qualities. The university environment was all about the students and getting the best education possible at an individual level. The professors had great credentials and were always available. This environment creates a private school culture while offering public access and value.
As you reflect, did your education at UWF have an impact on where you are today? If so, how?
It did have an impact. It taught me that an individual can make a difference. At larger and older schools, it is too common to just be a number in the bigger university “machine” and everything has been done already. At UWF, I came away feeling my involvement was recognized and it created something for the next generation of students on both an academic and social level. In addition, UWF helped me develop my problem-solving skills which I’ve used successfully, both personally and professionally.
Describe what you do/did professionally including the type of company you work for.
I’ve been fortunate to work in my field of study, Computer Science, my entire professional career. As part of my degree program, I took a number of personal computer software classes. My first job was as a software programmer with a small company in Clearwater that developed business accounting and operational software for automotive body repair shops. I stayed with that company through a merger with Sherwin-Williams Paint Company. I was self-employed for several years before taking a contracting position with GTE. Shortly after accepting a full-time position, the company merged to form Verizon. For the past 15 years, I've worked for Verizon, a telecommunications company, and have held several positions involving software development. I currently work in the marketing department as a senior consultant and still work with domestic and off-shore Information Technology development teams on Internet-based software tools for our sales force.
What advice would you give students today who were looking at studying one of the disciplines in the School of Science and Engineering?
You will be able to work closely with the professors, staff and other students at the university. The next great ideas, even in technology, will come from human interactions. With smaller class sizes, you have access to faculty and equipment you cannot get at larger schools. The culture at UWF will give you an opportunity to experiment with ideas and see what can become of them. Upon graduating from the School of Science and Engineering, you will have tangible skills and tools that companies need.
Share one thing about yourself that would give others insight into your interests, hobbies, etc.
For the past 10 years, I’ve become very active in sailboat racing around the Tampa Bay area. I enjoy being outside and leveraging energy from nature, in the form of wind, to get around a race course. Every race is different that requires tactics and teamwork. Racing combines planning and being able to make and change decisions based on many factors during a race, including weather conditions, position on the race course and position against other racers.