Posts in The ‘Inside Consonus’ Category

Employee Spotlight: Solution Architect JD Eller

Friday, March 11th, 2011

A true southern gentleman minus the accent, John “JD” Eller is one of the latest talented IT professionals to join the Consonus team. His role as solution architect has him traveling the Carolina’s with sales reps to consult and advise on the technical components of Consonus IT solutions.
“I was attracted to Consonus because they had a core focus in solution offerings that I felt were the right direction for my skill sets,” says JD. “I wanted to work for an organization that would allow me to enhance my skills and offer the opportunity for stability and growth. Consonus was an ideal fit.”

With an impressive IT background, JD specializes in IT solutions involving storage and disaster recovery. Certifications include Dell Equal Logic, Hitachi Storage, NetApp, and many more.  In addition, he is Gartner Group certified in Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) research, is a Proxim Wireless long range solution specialist, and practiced in virtualization solutions using Citrix.

When not talking “tech speak” with IT execs, JD indulges his inner history buff by creating dioramas of various events from the past. He’s currently working on a diorama of the Battle of the Alamo. Incredible patience and meticulous attention to detail are JD’s strengths and definitely come in handy as he crafts everything by hand. “The Alamo project has taken me four years and I have two more to go,” JD says.

Born in Jackson, Tennessee, JD has traveled all over the world, lived just about everywhere, and visited far too many places to list. His parents are both ordained ministers and while young, he accompanied them on their missionary trips. Out of all the places he’s been to, JD says his favorite is a tossup between Brazil and the Redwood Forest of California.

Returning to his southern roots, he calls Georgia home. The proud father of four children — yes, four children — JD says that being a father is his proudest achievement. “I’m blessed. They are all beautiful. But they certainly keep me on my toes!”
Glad to have you aboard JD!

Employee Spotlight: Sales Analyst Stephanie Rebain

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

As a sales analyst with Consonus for over three years, Stephanie Rebain can normally be seen staring at a spreadsheet, crunching numbers for renewals, revenue, and just about anything else that needs calculating for the Consonus sales team, manufacturing partners, and vendors. Based in our Charlotte office, Stephanie works closely with account executives, managers, and directors to provide accurate sales forecasting, weekly detailed sales reports, and tracking for sales contents, spiffs, and other incentive programs.

“I love math puzzles,” says Stephanie. “Building repeatable processes and solving problems is my strength — it’s what I love to do. And the chance to work with great people both inside and outside of Consonus is very gratifying. I am blessed to be able to do all of this at Consonus. It may sound corny, but I really do love my job.”

Not only is Stephanie a numbers geek, but she can make a mean cobbler over an open campfire and teach you how to cook a complete dinner in a cardboard box thanks to her extensive scout training and genuine love of the outdoors.

Outside of work, Stephanie leads a very active life with two children, one in middle school and one just about to hit college. She finds peace in the open air where she enjoys hiking, camping, kayaking, canoeing, whitewater rafting…well just about anything outside.

Her philosophy is simple, “There is way too much to discover in this world. Never quit learning and pushing yourself both professionally and personally.”

Words to live by, Stephanie. Thanks!

Employee Spotlight: Marketing Programs Manager Chris Kirchner

Monday, October 4th, 2010

Affectionately known around Consonus as the “cattle herder,” Marketing Programs Manager Chris Kirchner is responsible for all Consonus events related to customers and partners as well as campaigns and projects that include National Sales Meetings, Awards banquets, and special incentive events. He coordinates over 100+ events and campaigns each year while providing project management assistance to various departments.

A Consonus employee for over five years, Chris enjoys what he does and it shows. “Trying to get everyone headed in the same direction is not an easy task. But I love my job because at the end of the day, if I have done my job well, the end result is something that creates more awareness and a positive experience. The favorite part of my job is helping people clearly identify what is needed — building strategies, executing plans, and achieving goals. Having a part in the early development of marketing programs gives me a real opportunity to add my expertise to help make each project a success.”

Chris moved to Charlotte in 1989 from Dallas, Texas and has an extensive background in events planning and marketing campaigns. Prior to Consonus, Chris worked for Momentum Marketing World Wide, managing the Lowe’s Home Improvement “How To” clinics in over 1000 stores throughout the country. While in this role, Chris helped Lowe’s identify and secure “special interest” clinic alliances with national sponsors like Habitat for Humanity.

Early in his career, Chris had the rare opportunity to work with MTV-Networks in New York City (and boy does he have some stories to tell). After moving to North Carolina, he worked with the Muscular Dystrophy Association as a fundraising program manager covering the Carolinas and Georgia where he was responsible for sponsorship recruitment and coordination of large events such as golf tournaments, galas, city-wide fundraising projects and even producing the local Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon on WSOC-TV.

When he’s not working, you can find Chris testing out a new recipe or entertaining the locals. A self-proclaimed “foodie,” he is a master in the kitchen. Need something yummy for everyday or unique for that special occasion?  Chris is your go-to guy. He’s sure to have a recipe, or two, or three, to satisfy even the pickiest of taste buds. His signature dish, Risotto with pancetta and spring peas is simply divine!

Oh and Tux, his miniature schnauzer, would definitely agree…not only does he get the leftovers, but Chris cooks gourmet burgers, steak, and chicken especially for his little guy — he probably eats better than most of us!

Employee Spotlight: Practice Manager – Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Patrick Dunn

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

No wonder Patrick is engaging and dynamic at his numerous business continuity speaking engagements around the country…as a two-time All American cheerleader and former University of Maine mascot, Bananas the bear, he’s had plenty of practice motivating crowds!

Consonus is pleased to have Patrick Dunn as practice manager - business continuity and disaster recovery. His extensive background comprises over twenty years of industry experience providing crisis management, business continuity development, disaster recovery planning, information security, IT assessment, and project management for Fortune 500 and Big Five accounting firms. Impressive credentials include time spent at SunGard Availability Services as a BC/DR Consulting Practice Manager, as well as Cap Gemini, Wright Express, Check Free/FISERV, and Fairchild Semiconductor.

As if his job doesn’t keep him busy enough, Patrick is an active member of numerous highly-regarded industry organizations up and down the east coast, including the Contingency Planning Association of the Carolina’s Inc. (CPAC) where he was recently appointed vice chairman. Industry certifications include: Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP), and National Incident Management Systems (NIMS).

On those rare occasions of downtime, Patrick enjoys wine tasting (Shiraz is his favorite), American Revolutionary history (as a former Park Ranger for the National Park Service he led historical tours), and watching his beloved Boston Red Sox. Obviously a proud graduate of the University of Maine at Orono, Patrick lives in Flowery Branch, Georgia.

Three cheers for Patrick!

Employee Spotlight: Senior Account Executive John Rapp

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

You would think John Rapp was from the south with his genteel mannerisms and polite disposition. But get him talking and that thick Long Island drawl gives him away. Fortunately, he does not have the New York “attitude” that often-times accompanies the accent. (No offense to New Yorkers.)

Always the consummate sales professional, John is a Consonus senior account executive based in Charlotte and is responsible for clients in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. Some of his accounts include: Analog Devices, Belk, Founders Federal CR Union, Kaplan Early Learning, Quoizel, The Roanoke Times, and RF Micro Devices.

“I thoroughly enjoy working for Consonus,” says John.  “I like the way we differentiate our company and IT solutions from our competitors to provide strategic, forward thinking, real value to our clients. And I especially like the dedication and enthusiasm of the people throughout the company that I work with.”

Before coming to Consonus, John was a Services Sales Consultant for Hewlett-Packard where he achieved over 150% of last year’s goal covering major commercial accounts in five states. Prior to HP, John served as the manager of an enterprise accounts team for CA, Inc., a regional director for Talisma Corporation and an account specialist for IBM.

As John explains, “I’ve been a sales representative and a sales manager for some of the largest players in the IT industry as well as some start-ups.   I’ve also covered Fortune 500 clients in major metropolitan territories as well as small to mid-sized businesses in more rural areas.  My broad base of experience adds an industry perspective that is very useful to my accounts.” 

When John is not busy at work, you can find him on the golf course (probably closing a deal). And like a true Long Islander, he is an avid fan of Islanders hockey. Though as he tells it, “To witness this spectacle, you just have to ask yourself, why.”

Married to Nancy for 27 years, he is the proud father of a daughter who just graduated from Wake Forest University Law School.

When asked about transitioning from the north to the south and the differences between regions, John says, “I was told there would be pie and that southern folk would offer it wherever I went… Neighbors would bring pie to my house, etc.  — I haven’t seen much of that.”

Employee Spotlight: Sr Consultant Specialist in Virtualization and IT Strategy Stan Yarbrough

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

When he’s not advising, blogging, or speaking about virtualization projects, you can find Stan communing with nature on one of his many hiking and camping ventures.

As resident expert on virtualization solutions and related technologies, Senior Consultant Stan Yarbrough brings over twenty years of IT knowledge and an impressive skill set to Consonus. Based out of Charlotte, NC, Stan serves customers and partners nationwide, delivering strategic consulting and technology solutions in support of a targeted and comprehensive expansion of Consonus virtualization service offerings.

“Consonus is unique in that we have the delivery and fulfillment strengths of a VAR and the vendor agnosticism of a consulting firm,” says Stan.  “We can adapt the needs of our customers based upon their preferences instead of the labels on the boxes in our warehouses.”

Stan’s experience includes management and consulting in IT operations and IT strategic solutions for various client companies of North Highland Company and Katalyst Network Group, primarily Fortune 100 companies throughout the southeast. With an engineering background in complex networking, infrastructure, and data center architecture, Stan has worked with such companies as Cisco, EMC, Microsoft, Novell, Sun/Oracle, IBM and other top-tier network services vendors. Industry certifications include: CCDP, CCNP, MCSE, MCNE, and CISSP.

“Using the breadth of my experience, I am able to engage a client on many levels,” Stan explains.  “I can be a strategic consultant, providing high-level thought to market direction, solving a significant problem, and injecting new ideas into the leadership of an organization. Or I can be an engineering consultant designing the components to develop a comprehensive technical solution.  However, I prefer to act in both roles simultaneously.  I love being in the middle of everything, like the glue that holds the project together. Clients see me as a trusted advisor. I like that.”

One thing is for sure, though Stan’s job keeps him very busy, his main priority is definitely his family. As husband to wife Kim and father to five children, Stan is an active volunteer in the community and donates a significant amount of time to his church.  

And as if that’s not enough, Stan is also an accomplished drummer and bass player, often playing for local bands in the Lake Norman area.

Glad to have you on the Consonus team Stan!

Employee Spotlight: Consonus HP Expert, Tara Huddleston

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Pronounced “Tear-ah” as in Scarlett’s mansion from Gone With the Wind, Tara Huddleston is new to Consonus but by no means a technology novice. She brings to Consonus over 20 years of enterprise-level sales and account management expertise and over a decade of experience selling Hewlett-Packard (HP) solutions.

As HP Program Manager and Senior Account Executive, Tara is the central point of contact for HP with responsibilities that involve deal coordination, translating HP messaging for products and services, plus training and communications. Current accounts include Premier, Lash Group, TIAA-CREF, Maersk, and American Tire Distributors.

“I have been selling HP enterprise-class products for most of my 20-plus-year career and have worked for HP for the last twelve, so I’m very knowledgeable and passionate about their products and services.  I hope to use this experience to make it as simple, and as painless as possible, for Consonus to become a very strong and successful HP Partner,” says Tara.

Clients and peers alike find her engaging as she is cheerful and approachable with always a story to tell. Working for Consonus has proven to be a good career match as Tara explains, “I was first attracted to Consonus by the strong portfolio mix of data center-focused solutions and by the strong sense of employee camaraderie I got when I interviewed.  Six months later I haven’t been disappointed in the least and I’m thrilled to be part of the team.”

A self-described “Navy brat,” Tara has lived all over the world, spending a majority of her time in Indiana prior to coming to Charlotte almost 14 years ago. She lives in the southern part of Charlotte with husband Tim, a freelance technical writer, and her two beautiful daughters with personalities that are completely opposite of one another – the dainty Savannah and the sporty Lucy. Add two rescued Labrador-mix mutts, two toads, and a parrot named Daisy to the mix, it’s a wonder she took up running — how else would she get any peace and quiet?!

Glad to have you aboard Tara!!!

Employee Spotlight: Senior Systems Engineer Ravi Parkash

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

If you’ve ever had to call Consonus for help with a technical matter — be it servers or software — you may have had the opportunity to speak with Ravi Parkash.  As a senior systems engineer in the customer care division, Ravi has been with Consonus for over nine years, helping customers solve complex technical issues.  His typical day begins by answering customer phone calls, talking to system administrators to gather specifics, analyzing, troubleshooting, and then providing an action plan to promptly remedy the situation.

“The best part of my job is the joy I experience when resolving a customer’s technical issue. At the end of the day, my reward is a happy customer,” says Ravi. “I also like the constant challenge my job offers. As part of the customer care group, we are the first to test, understand and use new products and updates. This helps me stay ahead of the technology curve to better serve our customers.”

Ravi explains that in working with the customer, he takes ownership of their problems and is able to push vendors to ensure resolution in a timely manner. “The complexity of technical issues is greater today than ever before and downtime of production servers and applications means thousands or millions of revenue lost.  These days, companies are not looking for just a support provider, but a support partner who they can trust and rely upon to decipher complicated multivendor problems.”

Customer care is available 7×24x365 — Ravi knows this all too well as he has answered many of those 2am summons to solve a business-critical emergency. But according to Ravi, serving as the customer’s advocate is what sets Consonus apart and it’s what he values most.

When not working on behalf of Consonus customers, Ravi is studying for his MBA at Wake Forest University, where he is expected to graduate in November 2010. But even with his busy schedule, Ravi still finds time to enjoy a robust family life with his wife and ten-year-old son here in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Consonus is fortunate to have such a brilliant, personable team player as a member of our customer care division. And if you ever need technical support, we believe you’ll feel the same way too.