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A Publication Featuring The Information Services Technology of Maine State Government
|Volume VII, Issue 1||January 2004|
The Office of the CIO has recently added two new resources to the team. Dick Thompson is very pleased with the Office and they stand ready to provide leadership and support to agency technology efforts across state government. Take a moment to meet Kathy and Kevin, you will find them interesting, dynamic and dedicated to achieving success.
After growing up in the Hartford Connecticut area; attending college in New York; and working in Boston, Kathy set down roots in Readfield with her husband, who had grown up on a farm in Livermore Falls. They built a house (Kathy knew that table saw her father gave her as a college graduation gift would come in handy some day), settled into a very warm, welcoming community and set about raising three children. Kathy worked at the state for DOT for three years before taking a hiatus to have children.
Her original plan was to “stay home” with the children until they started school, but she soon found herself doing hours of volunteer work. In order to give her life structure, she decided to do some contract programming where she could set her own hours. That worked well until she was offered a part time job at Saunders Manufacturing in Readfield. She joined their family and that is where she has worked since. She found it to be an exciting and fun place to work with terrific and knowledgeable people. The environment there was constantly changing and, because Saunders was a small company, she had lots of opportunities to gain a great deal of varied experiences within the IT field.
Kathy claims to have had a well spent year off between leaving Saunders and beginning work at the Office of the CIO. She visited her children in Hawaii, Thailand, and Costa Rica, hiked the Northern Cascades and skied Sugarloaf as often as possible. In her free time, Kathy also enjoys cross-country skiing; snowshoeing; sewing; swimming; hiking; and kids. She and her husband have hosted several AFS (American Field Service) students for varying lengths of time. She still stays active with AFS and recently hosted a Thai teacher. She recently joined a book club with the hopeful outcome of reading more fiction and less non-fiction.
Kathy says she is excited to be working for the Office of the CIO and working with such a professional, knowledgeable, and talented group. She enjoys challenges and is looking forward to those that are certain to be ahead. She brings to this position over twenty five years of IT experience, starting out as a programmer and progressing through the ranks to a management position and member of the executive management team. She says that she has been very impressed with the people she has met so far and looks forward to meeting and working with more folks from the various departments.
Kevin moved his family to Maine 20 years ago from the mid-west, where he worked a wide variety of jobs from laborer to foreman. Kevin originally started working summers at United States Steel Corp. for college tuition, but within a blink of eye, 15 years had passed. After the Andrew Carnegie blast furnace was finally shut down, Kevin transferred to Wyoming managing ore operations at a taconite mine based in the Shoshone National Forest. (It was quite a change from an urban setting to working on the Continental Divide at over 13,000 feet.) Operations in Wyoming were brief and Kevin transferred to a facility building oil rigging. Oil embargos forced the closure of that plant.
Since one of Kevin’s hobbies was developing games for Atari and Commodore PCs, he decided to turn his part-time hobby into a career and, with a new degree in hand, moved in with his sister, a Vassalboro Elementary School teacher. Kevin’s family had been vacationing in Maine for years and they were determined to make it their new home. That first winter, one of the coldest in Maine’s history, was quite a shock to someone who considered the temperate winters of the Ohio valley as being brutal! Initially it felt like a life of exile without his wife, Joan, and their two daughters, Shannon and Briar.
Kevin worked for Val Wood at Central Computer Services in the database design group. Spring and his family arrived and they moved to Mt. Vernon. The family agreed that Joan should go back to Ohio to pursue her degree in biology. While this was going to take close to two years, everyone was confident that Kevin’s daughters, ages 12 and 10, could take care of dad. Kevin fondly remembers that “single parent” period and it profoundly influenced forever his relationship with his daughters.
That first assignment with the database team set the tempo for the next twenty years. Keeping at the forefront of IT and constantly exploring its limits has been Kevin’s focus. Both Kevin and Joan are avid environmentalists, with Joan now working as an Environmental Specialist at DEP, but these two high-technology wonks jump at any opportunity to be outdoors. Kevin is passionate about diving; hiking; skiing; carpentry; or just spending time working out in the garage on his classic Miata roadster. Anything of a physical nature to balance the sedentary office work.
“Its all about balance and taking nothing for granted”, is Kevin’s motto. He experienced seeing the largest corporation in the world, USS, fade away to nothing. “I love my job with the State of Maine but I don’t expect any career to define me. Family and friends are the best measurement of success and I believe that there’s nothing that can’t be accomplished, providing you keep perspective.”
After a number of years managing Desktop Support Services in BIS, Kevin hopes his experience and technical skills bring a new balance to that strategic office.