At Airship, we’re big believers in the power of community and we are committed to cultivating amazing company culture. For the Airship Employee Spotlight series, we’re putting the spotlight on Airshippers who are living out that #AirshipLife.
Hello! I’m what you might call a tech veteran; I started my tech career in 1986 at Boeing teaching myself how to use Rbase 5000 on the non-networked IBM XT clones (Give me a shout out if you know what I’m talking about!). Since then I’ve done other tech work such as desktop support, email administration and tech management. My life is more than just tech though! I’ve been a professional improvisational actor and teacher since the nineties and have performed hundreds of times on many stages around Portland. I’m also a dad, husband, volunteer, non-profit board member and theater patron.
What Does the Director of Data and Integration Do?
I think the roles and responsibilities of this position vary by company and industry but at Airship, I lead the data warehouse team. Our data warehouse holds the information and numbers we use to create reports for different departments beginning with finance, of course. Ultimately, the goal is to make data-driven decisions, and the warehouse provides us a tool for reporting that doesn’t exist in any one source system alone. I’m also responsible for process mapping across departments. If we don’t have a clear picture of how the processes work, all our efforts at improving them are likely to fail.
What Are You Passionate About?
I’m passionate about people feeling challenged and supported in their work and in their team. If your goals are clear, and you feel your peers and management have your back in achieving those goals, then coming to work will always be a net positive. Regardless of my role, I want to lean into creating that kind of organization.
What Advice Do You Have About Data Security?
I think companies that are trying to match their older models for security with the new SaaS/Cloud reality are facing a lot of challenges when it comes to data security. The way data is secured in the cloud requires a more complex security model. I believe that the role of data security administration will only grow and become more important, given that more companies are working with cloud infrastructure.
Some general advice I can give (with help from our Technical Security Manager, Robert Imhoff) is the importance of collaboration between infrastructure, data and security teams. And test your privacy systems!
What Is It Like Being an Airshipper?
For my time at Airship, I would say it has been a great experience when it comes to balance. I appreciate the opportunities to try new things and take on new challenges. There are a number of relationships here at Airship that I have been able to cultivate in the past years that have become very valuable to me, and I try to reciprocate the generosity I have experienced.
What Is It Like Being an Improv Actor?
It’s a delightful way to spend time. I get to tell interesting stories in a team environment and grow as an actor. I teach improv as well, and having the opportunity to introduce people to playing, generosity, gratitude and removing self-judgment from their work as improvisers is a joy.
I’ll actually be performing a full-length improvised play at an improv festival in Los Angeles in a couple of months. Improv festivals are a lot of fun where you get to take workshops, meet improvisers from around the country and perform.