I was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland, on Canada’s East Coast. Growing up in a fishing town, on an isolated island with a harsh climate, rocky soil, and not much money to go around, I knew the value of a dollar. I’ve worked hard my whole life, spending summers packing up books for schools and working in a children’s hospital.
It was a chance meeting with an employee of the Newfoundland Telephone Company in the student center of Memorial University, where I was pursuing a degree in physics, that really set the direction for my life. He was looking for some young able bodies to climb telephone poles, and I was looking for a summer job. When the summer ended, we maintained our connection, and I continued working for them for the next several years designing microwave and wired digital communications networks that enabled the island to communicate with the rest of Canada and the world. I loved building these networks! I’ve been passionate about communications ever since.
It was another coincidence that allowed my passion for the burgeoning field of telecommunications to take hold. This time, however, the chance was taken on me. A frequent business partner was impressed by my abilities and hired me into a product marketing job at Amdahl Communications in the big city of Toronto. At the time, I really didn’t know what “product marketing” was, but my boss felt I was perfect for the job. Three weeks later, I was at a customer site in Portland, Oregon and convinced them to adopt our T1 voice and data multiplexer for their statewide network. The customer was “sold” when I stood at a whiteboard and drew the network configuration with the acknowledgement of their local AT&T representative. From there I took on new opportunities left and right, creating a solid, diverse foundation in the field of telecommunications, gaining international experience, as well as solidifying my knowledge of North American markets. I created software products for enterprise Local Area Network management applications in North America and Europe, launched next generation data communications test equipment, and marketed advanced video networking equipment for distance education and tele-medicine applications in Canada.
In 2000, the next major leap in both my professional and personal life was taken when I applied for a Business Development position at Lucent Technologies (now Alcatel-Lucent.) Accepting the position would mean packing up my elementary-school age children for an uncertain future in the U.S. where several promising opportunities with American companies had already fallen through. Against the odds I was hired for the position and we made the trek down to Boston, where I was lucky enough to take the reins on the emerging Asian market, marketing next generation Voice over IP (VoIP) and internet technology in both Asia and North America. From there, I accepted a position at Mercury Computer Systems in the Washington D.C. area, which we’ve called home ever since. At Mercury, I launched a high performance data capture product for use in high altitude defense communications applications. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Mercury, and the personal and professional connections I made there. However when an opportunity arose at Pitney Bowes, I had to follow my professional instinct to gain more experience in the software field. With Pitney, I launched new Software as a Service (SaaS) and premises-based software that leverages barcodes to track outbound and incoming mail. This software is invaluable in a myriad of applications where it is essential to receive feedback on customer contact.
My life and career have both been defined by a strong drive, the ability to learn on my feet and a healthy taste for adventure that’s backed up by a grounded outlook and plenty of experience. I’ve been lucky enough to participate in the evolution of the telecommunications industry from the ground up, from physically establishing cell phone towers, to developing the massive global network we have today. I’m excited to see telecommunications transition into the next stage of its life, in the cloud and would love to work with some big thinkers, implementing their ideas with the strong hand, rational mind and gut instinct that comes from years of experience.