Employee Interview- Joe Guidali
Meet Joe Guidali, senior project manager. If you are already a client, chances are, you have shared a moment with Joe. His passion for serving our clients is evident. We are blessed to have him as part of our team. Joey G, as he is known around the office, is not a boring computer guy. We wanted to let him tell you all about himself.
What’s your story? Tell us about yourself.
I’m an East Tennessee native, but lived other places before coming back to Knoxville around 2004. I married my beautiful, smart, talented wife in 2007 and have four children, currently aged 22 through 17 and a granddaughter who will be two in June. My wife and I also have been foster parents. My interests include everything from family, skydiving, scuba diving, motorcycling to gardening and bee keeping. I have just over 100 skydives and around 250 scuba dives. Later this summer I am going to learn to fly powered paragliders. You might think, from my interests, that I am a dare-devil, but it’s really about managing an acceptable level of risk vs. reward. Training, rigorous adherence to safety checks and common sense make most activities much safer than you would initially think and the rewards are amazing! I guess that holds true through most things in life. I’m currently going back to school for my degree in Information Technology with a specialty in Security.
What’s the most important thing I should know about you?
I know this will sounds hokey, but I care deeply about honesty, compassion and doing the right thing. Being honest is not always easy but people appreciate and trust honest people who are also compassionate. I feel fulfillment from working with like-minded people and for companies whose goals align with my core values.
What do you think is the driving force in your life?
Two things really. Continual improvement and true grit. By that I mean that I am continually looking for ways to make things better, more efficient, and frictionless and, once I get my teeth into something, I almost never give up, regardless of the difficulty.
Give me a little background on your experience before The IT Company. How did you end up working at The ITCo?
I started working in IT before there was much formality around what IT meant to business. For example, businesses would begin using technology and discover that they needed a “computer guy” to fix those problems. Quickly though, I determined that “fixing problems”, while valuable, is less valuable than having a deep understanding of the business’s needs and deliberately implementing technologies that give the business the best value from IT. Because of this, I worked to become an integral part of the business and help deliver results that empower business to do more. I spent a fair proportion of my career as a contract consultant, from Baltimore/D.C. to Atlanta, helping businesses with specific projects before coming back home to East Tennessee. At each company that I helped, I took note of how and why they used technology the way they did and gleaned a lot of information about what works and what doesn’t.
When I decided to move back to East Tennessee, I joined WIN Learning, an e-learning company that focuses on providing training for fundamental skills necessary for career readiness. I spent about 10 years with WIN Learning, helping them to grow and secure their online learning infrastructure, performing multiple migrations to new platforms and to cloud hosting, before joining The IT Company. I first heard of The IT Company through a “lunch and learn” about security and compliance that I attended. I began corresponding with The IT Company and eventually joined them in 2015 as a Project Manager. It was really a hard decision to leave WIN Learning, both because of the relationships I had and because their mission of helping people is a noble one. In the end though, I still get to work with and help WIN Learning as they have partnered with The IT Company to assist them with security, cloud infrastructure and end-user support!
What is your position at The ITCo? What are your primary responsibilities?
I serve as Senior Project Manager. I work with new customers to gain a deep understanding of their current infrastructure, help them determine where technology is causing them pain and work with them to come up with and execute a plan to overhaul their IT to make IT work for them while focusing on making sure their systems are secure. I also work with existing customers to refresh their infrastructure or to do special projects to, for example, help them migrate their LoB applications to new platforms, including migrations to the cloud. There is a lot of satisfaction in seeing how reducing IT headaches makes a company more efficient and happier. As a Senior IT Professional I also work with our staff to help with complex customer issues and if there are recurring issues, help find the root cause and fix the underlying issue.