VP of IT and Facilities
United Way of the Greater Capital Region
Albany, NY, USA
How long have you been working for your organization?
What’s a typical day in your role like?
My day ranges from network administration, database administration to resource development and finance. Most days, I work with data and ensuring data integrity. However, I am also responsible for the building and our tenants.
Can you tell us about a project you’re most proud of?
This is a tough one. I have a couple that I am proud of. I guess the most recent is the creation of standard operating procedures and data lookup tables. These two projects ensure that all information in and out of the data took the same path. This helped keep the data integrity in place and shaved time off, in some cases days, of certain tasks.
Working with Andar, I also took a payout process that was taking our team weeks to accomplish and knocked it down to a day, two tops. This was run by finance, and saving the time off their schedules really offset our cost to do business, in hours spent working.
What motivates you to come to work every day?
I have to say there are a couple of items that motivate me to continue going to work after nearly 20 years. I love a challenge, and anyone who has worked in a United Way, especially a smaller one, understands that challenges pop up on an almost consistent basis. The challenges keep me from getting bored. Every week is a new set of tasks, and I love the feeling you get when you accomplish the work. Whether that is implanting processes that save time and effort or maintaining the systems.
One other thing is that I may not see it, but every night when I leave the office, I know that my time today helped someone. My work in my office with no windows, helped put a meal on a table or provided a roof over someone’s head that would have spent the night on the street.
What’s your favorite aspect of your job?
As I mentioned above, the best parts are the challenges. That and knowing my work, no matter how frustrating a day, week or more may have been, provided help to someone in need. That is an amazing feeling, helping another.
What are your biggest professional challenges?
Time is one of the biggest challenges I face on a regular basis. I am a one-person department, and because I have the history, I am involved in many tasks, teams, departments workload. I have a network of 20ish employees with on-site hardware that requires administration. This goes for the database as well, as the sole employee with the ability to support both puts a lot of pressure on you and can take you away from your own tasks.
I struggle to take time off because I do not want to leave my team with no support. I throw away vacation time every single year and when I take a vacation, I end up working remotely in some capacity, texts, emails or even calls.
If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor? Can you tell us why?
This one stopped me. This is difficult to pick someone, as I have so many interests.
On the technical side of things, I would have to choose one of my IT vendors who help support me. I have a relationship with a gentleman by the name of Eric who has helped me in the last 13 or so years. He is an extremely intelligent human being, and his knowledge of technology and his approach to customers are traits that I admire. As someone is a little quick-tempered, these types of traits are sought after.
What is your personal mantra?
Breathe. PMA (Positive Mental Attitude)
Do you have hobbies outside of work? What are they?
I am an avid gardener; I really love being in the garden.
I have a little creative side in me and have done T-shirts, screen printing, tie dyes and more. I have also taught myself to blow glass, lampworking, an escape for me from the stress and frustrations.
Caring in Common is a spotlight series that showcases different nonprofit professionals on the last Friday of each month. The goal is to highlight Andar Software customers from all walks of life, levels of experience, and areas of expertise. Their answers will inspire you, give you insight about the nonprofit industry, and motivate you on both a professional and personal level.