My journey has been a testament to resilience, dedication, and an unyielding pursuit of knowledge and innovation. In 2006, I took the first step by enlisting in the United States Marine Corps. There, I was immersed in the world of data and cyber operations. My commitment and aptitude didn't go unnoticed - I graduated top of my class in data school, earning both the Warrior Award and a Meritorious Promotion. These accolades, chosen by my peers and superiors, spoke volumes about my character, leadership, and academic prowess.
I was assigned to the 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion, a special operations capable unit, after this achievement. For the first half of my service, I served as a networking engineer, diving headfirst into the intricate world of technology and cybersecurity. My dedication and mission-oriented focus led to another promotion, this time to the position of Data Chief. I oversaw critical data operations in this role, further honing my leadership skills and technical expertise.
While serving in the Marines, I was deployed to Fallujah, Iraq, as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). There, my unit worked closely with Navy Seals on critical missions to maintain peace and stability in the region. This experience was a stark reminder of the realities of conflict and the importance of our mission, reinforcing my resilience and determination.
Even while on active duty, I was committed to furthering my education. I pursued a Bachelor's degree in Information Technology Management & Security at Campbell University. This endeavor allowed me to blend my practical military experience with theoretical knowledge, creating a unique and robust foundation for my future career.
After an honorable discharge from the Marines in 2010, I transitioned into the civilian tech sector, joining Northrop Grumman as a defense contractor. Here, I gained valuable experience in logistics and supply chain management, further expanding my skill set.
While at Northrop Grumman, I had the opportunity to lead a significant project - building an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. This comprehensive system included Customer Relationship Management (CRM), helpdesk, and asset management modules. The project was a resounding success and was adopted by the US Marine Corps Logistics Command as one of their first cloud deployments. This experience not only honed my technical skills but also underscored the importance of efficient resource management and the transformative power of cloud technology.
In 2011, I decided to leverage my military, academic, and professional experience to start my own venture. I founded Usability Dynamics, which later became UDX – a Veteran Owned Small Business (VOSB). Initially, UDX focused on user interfaces and how humans interact with business systems. However, recognizing the potential for growth and talent in Eastern Europe, I spearheaded the expansion of UDX into Ukraine in 2012, opening an office in Kharkiv. Over the next decade, the company experienced significant regional growth, culminating in acquiring a building in 2022. Unfortunately, this growth was disrupted by the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
One of the significant milestones in UDX's journey was our collaboration with Lockheed Martin on projects related to the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. These initiatives further solidified our reputation as a trusted comprehensive information systems security solutions provider.
Our collaboration with Lockheed Martin was particularly noteworthy. We worked on projects related to the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. These programs were designed to connect Lockheed Martin's Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) with small businesses across the United States, fostering innovation and collaboration. Our involvement in these initiatives solidified our reputation as a trusted provider of comprehensive information systems security solutions. It underscored our commitment to fostering partnerships and innovation within the tech industry.
In 2018, UDX was contracted by Blackboard to lead cloud-native DevOps on Mobile Credential for Apple Pay. This project was a significant undertaking involving the development of secure software applications across multiple platforms while ensuring compliance with stringent security protocols. I devised a secure automation pipeline that met Apple's rigorous standards, demonstrating my cloud security and compliance expertise. This accomplishment was a testament to our team's capabilities and dedication to delivering secure, high-quality solutions.
Following the success of the Mobile Credential project, Transact Campus, a billion-dollar FinTech leader and part of Blackboard, asked UDX to take over all cloud automation. They recognized our ability to provide "world-class DevOps." This was a significant turning point as we were tasked with modernizing a legacy company, making it agile, modern, and cloud-native. We successfully transformed their operations, demonstrating our expertise in cloud automation and our ability to unfuck complex legacy systems.
In addition to my role at UDX, I serve as the Senior Manager of Cloud Automation at Transact Campus. I have over a decade of experience building secure and compliant automation pipelines. My primary focus is on moving software products to the cloud securely and compliantly, leveraging automation to drive efficiency and resilience.
In recent years, I decided to enhance my business acumen and leadership skills further. To achieve this, I enrolled in an executive MBA program at UNC Kenan-Flagler. Despite the demanding nature of managing UDX and my role at Transact Campus, I dedicated two years to this rigorous program. This educational journey has provided me with valuable insights and a deeper understanding of business strategies, which I am now applying to steer UDX toward a successful future.
My journey from a military veteran to an entrepreneur and business leader is a testament to my resilience, dedication, and passion for innovation. My unique blend of experiences and expertise makes me an invaluable asset in the tech industry and beyond.