Alternative Solutions, Inc.

Employee Spotlight: Steve

This week we’re celebrating Steve’s one-year anniversary with ASI! Steve joined us last year after working for over 20 years in a large company’s IT department. We truly treasure his breadth of knowledge and thoughtful mentoring skills. We could write a whole blurb on who Steve is, but honestly he’s quite aptly personified by a quote he gave regarding his first boss: The original president made sure we knew that everyone would have a bad day and make a mistake. He was adamant that we help each other on that day, extend a hand and pick them up. Fix the issue and move on. That is a lesson that has stuck with me. So many leaders take a harsher approach to dealing with other’s mistakes and that really makes little sense to me.”

Steve, we sure love having you here! Read on to dig a little deeper…

  1. What is your biggest software success? Designed and implemented one of many reporting ordering services for a large audience. In the end it felt clean with a simple design, easy to understand and maintain. The system really remained mostly unchanged for a good number of years. When it did need changes, the project was completed under budget and on time.
  2. Hobbies/pets/fun fact that not many people know? My hobbies are mainly driven by family and have been taken over by FIRST Robotics & Scouts BSA as my sons take part in these programs. I also enjoy listening to my daughter play piano. My kids are at an age where they keep me and my wife very busy, which is a good thing. We do not have pets due to allergies and busy schedules but have tried hermit crabs and goldfish at various times. For fun we enjoy traveling and the outdoors. Camping with family and friends is always a great time. 
  3. Favorite memory from work? First day in a new job after 20 years, that was an odd and exciting day.
  4. What do you do/what does your day consist ofTroubleshooting, trying to walk in user’s shoes (empathy), mentoring/helping, think outside the norm and try to find the simplest answer to a complex problem. I do not believe in adding complexity until it becomes necessary. 
  5. One thing you can’t resist? New information. Now if I could only work on my memory.
  6. Favorite Quote? Serenity prayer. It reminds me to celebrate all parts of life. 
  7. Favorite piece of technology you own and why? Probably my 2013 MacBook Pro. It has an elegant design and it simply works. I don’t need to tinker with it or tweak the heck out of it. You turn it on, everything makes sense and it just runs. It is the only machine that just does not seem to need upgrading, which is impressive for a 7-year-old laptop. 
  8. Any favorite line from a movie? Numerous lines from Animal House, Christmas Vacation and Tommy Boy, probably Airplane too, and The Princess Bride. 
  9. If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor? Bruce Lee, interesting blend of crazy-intense, philosophical thinker and positive attitude. 
  10. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? Molecular Engineering or Biomechanical Engineering. These are fields that can change another person’s life in unimaginable ways. The ceiling is very, very high.
  11. What are 3 words you’d use to describe ASI? Opportunity, Close Knit, Relaxed
  12. If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do? Retire 
  13. What is the first concert you attended? Quiet Riot, sometime in the 80’s.
  14. What music is on your iPhone/Android phone? Just about everything: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Country, Grunge, Pop, Classical, Dance, Synth, Polka, Disco, Funk, R&B, new stuff, old stuff, other stuff. Just hit random-play and see what comes up. Currently, I’m in a newer heavy metal/hard rock type phase. 
  15. How do you balance your career and family? Not alone, that is for sure. I lean on family and friends for support and have an understanding employer. 
  16. What is your greatest fear? Becoming irrelevant. 
  17. Where is your favorite place to be? Anywhere with family, friends and a lawn chair.
  18. Where is the best place you’ve traveled to and why? Germany. It was awesome connecting with part of my heritage. One day we visited a cows coming home celebration, and it was one of the most awesome events. Especially when you realized this was part of life for the locals. They were not celebrating just to party, it had meaning going back generations. 
  19. What’s the best meal you’ve ever had? Schnitzel in Germany, so good! 
  20. What is your favorite family tradition? Probably Thanksgiving. I enjoy getting together for a great meal and simple family interaction. No need for gifts or ceremony, no need to meet artificial social expectations or norms. Just great food, a few beverages and simple conversation. 
  21. How do you define success? Feeling like you can contribute and make a difference. At the end of the day, being able to look back and know you helped when you were able and maybe nudged someone along when they needed that help. 

Who else feels inspired after reading that? Thanks for your work with us at ASI, Steve, and we can’t wait to hear more about that Robotics team…maybe in a future post?