Below is my “long form” resume, with a bonus additional narrative. Simply posting my job history doesn’t tell you anything about who I am as a person and where I come from. So read on for more…
I was born and spent my early years in San Jose, CA. My parents divorced when I was 8, and I was the oldest of 3 boys. Eventually my mother moved to Soquel, CA when I was in 6th grade and I got to know Santa Cruz, CA and the beaches for a bit. After that I ended up with my father and attended High School in Morgan Hill, CA, while my brothers remained with my mother until they graduated High School. They both attended and graduated from Chico State University.
Soccer – I played soccer from the age of 5 and at a competitive level from the age of 12 through high school, and eventually later in life played indoor soccer until my mid 40’s. I enjoy all kinds of sports, by I am a devoted U.K. Premier League fan and consider Arsenal “my team” although I would say I watch and cheer players over a particular team. I am also an L.A. Rams fan.
College #1 – After High School I attended Gavilan Jr College in Gilroy, CA for 2 years taking primarily fine arts classes, consisting of various drawing and painting classes, music instrument instruction, music theory, and a full year of both art and music history. One of my classes ended up being the first MIDI (Music Instrument Digital Interface) classes ever offered through a college. I’ll never forget the assignment to use audio samples we had to record and edit/tweak to make it sound as close to “a ping pong ball taped to a seagulls wings” as possible.
Travelling & Music – After that, I took 18 months as a break from school, to first drive out and live in various spots around Nashville, TN (Williams, Murfreesborough and Madison to be exact), discovering how amazing travel was and spent a very brief stint in a country band once I turned 21 playing bass at various clubs and dive bars. But realizing that wasn’t for me, I drove back to CA and then not long after spent another month and a half living in Albuquerque, NM. Again… not for me, but I do not regret getting this time to see the US.
Influences – From a very young age, I knew I wanted to do something, anything, with art and music. As a child, I would draw various Mickey Mouse and Disney characters, and always thought as a kid I would work for Disney as an animator. My earliest music exposure was my father taking me to see John Denver perform live when I was 6 in 1975. And I was in the lines in 1977 to see Star Wars in a theater. All of these things, and many more, would factor in to my career choices over the remainder of my life.
Career Phase 1 – Retail Sales
Once I returned to CA again I worked in retail musical instrument stores while also attending Masters Institute (a failed for profit traditional and digital Desktop Publishing trade school in the 1990’s) for about a year. It was here that I got my first taste of digital art – Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Aldus PageMaker, Quark InDesign.
I worked at a music shop called K&K Music near downtown San Jose with the Bass Player from the Eric Martin Band, Tom Duke who had this pretty big hit: Sucker for a Pretty Face. My final retail music store job (working for someone else) was at Guitar Showcase, in San Jose. I managed the “Used/Consignment Shop” and this is where I met Rob Stephani when I was 23.
Guitar Showcase, San Jose, CA
Retail Management 1992 – 1993
Managed the day-to-day operations of a used and consignment musical instrument equipment building for Guitar Showcase that also included music equipment rentals for small to large professional venues all over the California Bay Area. Our departmental gross sales revenues exceeded a million dollars each year.
It was there Rob and I discussed and eventually decided to open our own music business. We called it Paradise Music and it first opened in Morgan Hill, but a year later due to explosive growth, we moved it to San Jose, just a block down the street from Guitar Center on Steven’s Creek Blvd. I worked with Rob at Paradise Music for about 3 years in total. The web site design below was done around 5 years later when I was doing web and tech work for a living.
Paradise music, San Jose, CA
Retail Management 1993-1995
Co-founded musical instrument retail location in 1993. My responsibilities included Retail Management, Advertising, Merchandising, Sales, Product Ordering and Personnel Management. The business was started with $2000 of working capital and a garage full of used instruments in 1993, and by 1995, net profit from sales exceeded $500k. Business expanded into an additional locations after I left in December of 1995, but the business as a whole ended up closing in 2003.
Career Phase 2 – Graphic Design & Web Dev
Living in San Jose in the mid-nineties resulted in a few things converging for me. I decided to enroll at Cogswell Polytechnic University in Sunnyvale, CA. It was here I dove deep into art. Multiple semesters of figure drawing, story boarding, Macromedia Director, Video Production and even early 3D animation in Soft Image and 3DSMax. While at school I also interned for an AVID VAR who sold turnkey professional video systems, and I participated in a video editing session with Thomas Kinkade while he was recording his Christmas Special for PBS.
But right in the middle of this, I broke my ankle badly and needed surgery. So during recovery, I decided to invest my time in this new “web thingy” I kept hearing about. It seemed like the perfect way to combine my art and technology interests. So I learned to code HTML in my sleep and off I went with a string of short term .com “start up” jobs for the remainder of the 1990’s as well as freelancing and consulting, starting buttitta.it in 1996. I am proud to say that until this very day, I have always keep a creative element to every job I have worked at, even at the government and medical organizations. However, most of the companies I list below in this next section have long since gone out of business.
Test Drive Corporation (aka Software Buy line), San Jose, CA
Developer / QA / Information Services 09/1996 – 05/1997
Created encrypted services for use by world-class hardware OEMs (Logitech, S3, Intel) that make new products available to their customers on their hard drive media via the internet through download and in package CD’s. Responsibilities included software encryption processing using proprietary encryption technology with SQL 6.5 databases, and CD setup / creation using Install Shield and Setup Factory scripts in multiple languages. Developed project management skills and insured quality of multiple CD and Internet development sites concurrently.
Super Business NET, San Jose, CA
Web Designer / Developer / Creative Services 05/1997 – 09/1998
Maxim Group, San Jose, CA
Contracted Senior Graphic & Web Designer 09/1998 – 01/1999
INS (International Network Services), high-profile network subsidiary of Lucent Networks
Established an in-house web design department for International Network Services to replace outsourcing services. HTML and graphic responsibilities included: intranet maintenance, new content creation for public site, and new concept development and implementation for partner sites (GTE, MCI, Microsoft, & Cisco). Additional projects included: web creation of 1998 Annual report from QuarkXPress based printed brochure and re-design / re-organization of the marketing intranet.
Audio Highway.com, San Jose, CA
Senior Web & UI Designer / Creative Services 01/1999 – 05/1999
Brought first ever Portable MP3 player to the market. Lead Creative Designer, developed front-end designs for dynamic Active Server Page (ASP) based audio website. Managed the front-end integration with outside vendors to facilitate the back end encrypted, online real-time sales transactions. Company focus was “Audio On-Demand” streaming solutions. I also created page and GUI designs for personalization in audio related e-commerce section of Audiohighway.com site. Daily responsibilities included graphics, design, and page layout.
VOXA.com, Mountain View, CA
Art Director and I.T. Services 05/1999-09/1999
Lead Creative Designer, with assumed Art Director responsibilities, created and developed a new Human Resource company UI/UX concepts. Page and GUI navigation elements were developed and refined daily and integrated with SQL 7 database, client Active Server Pages and proprietary server-side scripting. Client customization was based on individual need. Responsibilities also include corporate ID development and establishing an in-house web design/development department, and daily support of desktop systems and LAN services.
M3iWorks, San Jose, CA
Web & UI Developer 09/1999 – 10/2000
Creative Development work, primarily with the Sun Corporation on Cold Fusion based intranet, extranet, and internet projects, in the Workgroup division. Daily responsibilities included extensive web development and design in dynamic database driven intranets for marketing and OEM channel partners. Extensive use of MS Access, IBM DB/2 and Oracle 8 SQL in most applications developed.
Additional tasks included: Working with the MDDR division of Sun, GUI design work for Schwab Corporation, and development of web applications for Manual 3’s company intranet.
At this point I had built a family with 2 small children so took what seemed to be an amazing job opportunity to move to Grass Valley, away from the police helicopters circling overhead at night due to the rising crime rates. However, the 1,176 sqft house I bought for $333K in 1997, sold for $450k in 2000 now is valued at $1,650,700 in 2022. Maybe the neighborhood improved?
Grass Valley Group, Grass Valley, CA
Web Developer, Graphic Designer, IS Support Services 10/2000 – 11/2001
Managed the creation and maintenance of intranet portals designed to improve departmental communications.
Developed and designed numerous Cold Fusion web applications for critical day-to-day reporting.
Rolled out WebEx communication software for company-wide use in pre-NAB (North American Broadcasting) conference training and meetings, saving the company over $200,000 in travel and accommodation expenses in 2001 alone. Travel expenses related to training and departmental meetings were reduced and a savings of over 1 million dollars due to WebEx deployment globally over the course of the 2001-2002 fiscal years.
Developed test project coordinating an entire Microsoft Active Directory Server implementation for testing. This included Active Directory Services on Windows 2000 Server, SharePoint Portal Server, Content Management Server, Certificate Services, and Project Central. Some testing was also done with early beta software of .NET Server, .NET Enterprise Server and .NET Web Server (Windows 2003 Server).
IS support included extensive Windows 2000 desktop rollouts, Windows XP upgrades, and continued support for all Windows desktop platforms (back to Windows 95) and Apple Power Macintosh systems. This included trouble shooting peripheral installs, application upgrades and hardware conflicts.
Creative services were used in intranet portal design, either through custom designed Cold Fusion applications or modifying Cognos UpFront Portal Server, working with XML scripts and repurposing branded graphics. Work was also done on internal web-based newsletter design, targeted at specific customer groups, based on products purchased.
Unfortunately, a career at Grass Valley Group was not to be. In November of 2001, about 3 months after the 9/11 attacks and a devastating hit to revenue stream as television studio’s stopped running commercials and stopped purchasing anything, Grass Valley Group sold itself to Thompson, a German video company and laid off about 60% of its staff, including me.
This resulted in the hardship of suddenly having to commute often 90 minutes each way to work in Sacramento.
Anderson / Solone Inc, Rancho Cordova, CA
Multiple Contracted Roles as Graphic Designer & Web Developer 04/2002-04/2003
Design & Development work on high profile Intel Corporation web sites as an Intel certified CPS Web Author.
Career Phase 3 – Manufacturing & IT
During this time, I had moved my family to Auburn, CA and gotten to know the President of the homeowners association where I lived, which I parlayed into a year long solo consulting gig to revamp and upgrade their entire computing infrastructure.
Lake of the Pines Homeowner Association, Auburn, CA
Contracted I.T. Manager 04/2003 – 04/2004
~Complete re-architecture of computing infrastructure from single building wired LANs to multiple wireless WANs over VPN
~Migration of Novell Server & Win98 desktop clients to Windows 2003 server and XP/2K clients
~Ongoing Windows 2003 Server management, Desktop support, LAN & WAN, wireless services
~Migration of accounting system from Novell to Windows and subsequent upgrade of accounting software
~Implemented restaurant point of sales install to replace pencil and paper accounting, networked over WAN
~Integration of Restaurant POS and accounting database for real time back-office accounting and customer service
~Programmed public web site application services using Cold Fusion
~Planed Phase 2 integration of accounting back end to allow association member account interaction and invoice payment
~Consulted on 9 camera video surveillance system implementations via wireless and wired WAN and LAN
~Video broadcast hardware support via video server at the Sudden Link Cable provider’s NOC
~Video production and editing (Adobe Premiere) and support of public access TV channel 7
At the end of this contract, Rob Stephani reached back out to me with a new business venture I was able to partner in – a manufacturing venture to make shaped guitar picks. The most amazing part of the business, is that I was able to work remotely to raise my daughters and maintain a work / life balance in Auburn, CA as the company originally headquartered in Modesto and then San Jose.
Overdrive Merch Group (Was Big Idea Guys / Hot Picks Guitar Accessories), Grass Valley, CA
Graphic Design & Production Artist 01/2004 – Present (currently consulting)
19 years remotely managing aspects of Marketing, Graphic Design, Print Design and Web Design.
Providing expert oversight to original design concepts and production projects for Hot Picks and Overdrive Merch.
Licensed major global brand artwork for products, including Disney and Pixar (Pirates of the Caribbean, Nightmare Before Christmas, Finding Nemo, Mickey & Friends, High School Musical, Winnie the Pooh, Cars, etc.) Live Nation (AC/DC, U2, Judas Priest, Megadeth, Rush, Def Leppard, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Mötley Crüe, Maroon 5 and Sex Pistols), Alchemy Gothic UK, Lethal Threat US, and Taylor Swift (directly through her father Jeff Swift).
Managed multiple websites to boost e-commerce revenue, while administering key marketing efforts.
Continuous evaluation of current technology infrastructure to streamline and upgrade when necessary.
In 2005, successfully developed a custom internal CRM in Cold Fusion to manage over 1,500 retail locations, and boosted international sales between 2004-2008, with year-to-year annual growth exceeding 10%.
In 2006, generated 60% of total company sales for the year, over $720,000 in guitar picks and straps
Over the first 13 years, I remotely attended Union Institute in Chicago and got to the equivalence of a Senior Year working towards my B.A. in Fine Arts, but then realized the benefit of a CS Degree would provide, so I switched gears and literally started over at Western Governors University, even though not many of my Fine Arts units would apply. I effectively became a new Sophomore again, starting over with a focus on technology.
Career Phase 4 – Government & Healthcare
By 2017, things had slowed down significantly since the 2008 market crash, and I decided I needed another break as I had a strong desire to give back to my local community. I had moved back to Grass Valley after a divorce in 2008 and was heavily involved is coaching and being on the board of the local soccer league as well as playing indoor soccer for over 15 years. I applied and eventually got a position for the County of Nevada, in Nevada City which, yes… is in California.
County of Nevada, Nevada City, CA
Information Systems Analyst / Webmaster / Graphic Designer 01/2017-02/2018
Developed SharePoint sites for various departments and agencies information and document management.
Managed the rollout of new Nevada County CMS web site hosted by CivicPlus+ (mynevadacounty.com) and trained over 120 users in content management and ADA compliance.
Evangelized a new GoAnywhere Managed File Transfer Server and programed multiple complex file transfer solutions for various departments.
Created project plans for development, testing and implementation of various county-wide systems, including an entirely new enterprise-wide security system with 125+ video security cameras and video storage spanning most Nevada County facilities over LAN and WAN providing CA State mandated 365 days of video footage archival.
Continuous identification of business or customer requirements and information technology alternatives as needed for the Health and Human Services Agency.
Nevada County was an amazing organization, and I still miss them. But I re-connected with my now wife who I had dated briefly back in 1995 and moved to Chico, CA. I found employment in town at Enloe Medical Center who also required me to finally finish my degree, which I did. The side benefit was a lot of the classes allowed me to also test for IT certifications, shown on my Skills page.
Enloe Medical Center, Chico, CA
Webmaster / Graphic Designer 2018 – Present
Web Master for Enloe.org supporting the organizations marketing and web services, administratively managing the current public web site and intranet (SiteFinity CMS). Transferring content and applications to re-launch the public web site, migrating from an old vendor (Merge Atlanta https://mergeworld.com) to a new one (Geonetric https://www.geonetric.com) on June 29, 2022.
Light Video editing and production of Facebook live and social media posts, and community outreach projects.
SharePoint Online & Teams Administrator. Migrating dozens of Classic SharePoint sites to new Modern Teams Integrated Sites while working with Marketing for the branding of modern site collections, Hub Sites, and a top-level site.
Tier 2 troubleshooting tickets and continuous identification of business or customer requirements and information technology alternatives as needed for the organization.
Career Phase 5 – Coming soon…!
I am currently discussing consulting for CONVERGEIT, Inc. to help them revamp their Marketing, to assist in upcoming rounds of investor funding.