Hi there! My name is Keith Yonan, and I’ve been an IT professional for the past 30+ years. I started my career as a mainframe COBOL developer, and over the years, I’ve been able to experience and learn a little bit of every new piece of technology that was developed and thrown in front of me. To help further my career as it went on, I also became involved with the management side of IT development teams, Computer Operations Support, and Project Management. And sometimes that pushes you away from the actual development side of IT. A short while ago, I thought I was ready to leave the world of IT and settle into some greener pastures. (Can you tell already that I might have a golfing addition?)
But as time passed, I could see that my mind wasn’t being challenged like it was in the past. I mean, one can only do so many crossword puzzles! So when I saw that ASI was looking for a COBOL developer with additional skills, I jumped at the opportunity. At first, I was surprised by the fact that there was still a need for COBOL developers. But once I got to ASI, I found out that the COBOL tools have been amped on steroids a bit, and it wasn’t quite the same as all those years ago. I was hooked and ready to go again!
I have only been here a short time, but I have hit the ground running. Even my limited knowledge from my college internship days with insurance companies and my development background has helped me be productive in a hurry. But the best part about being at ASI has been the people and the culture they foster here. They have welcomed me with open arms and made me feel right at home. It has been such a refreshing change from past experiences that I absolutely love coming to work (or working from home LOL) again. I have found a great place to be and am looking forward to contributing more and being here for the rest of my career.
Although I seem like all business at times, I do have a personal life outside of work (and golf). I am married to my wonderful wife Stacy, and we have just added a 16-week-old puppy to our midst, Oreo. He’s quite the handful, so life is quite busy on all fronts now. I currently have two children, Jocelyn (a nurse in Fargo) and Trevor (working in marketing at Kohler). My favorite pastime, though, is spending time with our six-year-old grandson Lucas. We even have a little baseball rivalry going already as he’s the Brewer fan, and I’m the Cubs fan being from Illinois – even though I’ve lived here for 30 years.
But if that’s not enough to keep me busy, we try to find time to give a little back to the community. My oldest son Sean passed away in 1995 from an asthma attack. Due to his severe asthma, one of the few sports he could participate in without too much stress was bowling. We had struggled for quite some time to figure out how to honor and remember Sean, and one day a magical idea came along. We organized a bowling tournament in Sean’s honor where we gave away scholarship money to those who participated. The first year of the tournament we raised $4,000 that was given away. Fifteen years later, the tournament has grown into a full-blown weekend extravaganza that has provided Sheboygan’s youth bowling community and beyond almost $250,000 in scholarships.
Here are some other fun facts about me:
- What is your biggest software success? I was able to get 3 different accounting systems up and running on 3 different platforms (COBOL File Systems, Informix, SQL Server) over the years.
- What did you want to be when you were a kid? I wanted to be a sports broadcaster. I even was accepted to a University for that field, but realized that IT was the better career choice.
- Where’d you grow up? I was born in Chicago, moved to Lake Tomahawk, WI and went to school for Applied Mathematics at UW Stout.
- What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this? I’d be working at Whistling Straits in the golf industry (which I did for a short time while on sabbatical from the IT industry).
- What is your favorite place in the world? Myrtle Beach, SC. Absolutely love the ocean and apparently there are over 100 golf courses available to play at.
- What is the one TV Show you can rewatch endlessly? I love turning on Impractical Jokers so I can get a good laugh going.
- What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done? I jumped off a bridge into a river in college. There may have been alcohol involved. Now for some reason, I’m afraid of heights.
- What is my hidden talent? I’m pretty good at ping-pong — we have a table in the man-cave!
- Any favorite line from a movie? Well, I can pretty much quote all of them from Caddyshack or Animal House or Blues Brothers. They don’t make them like that anymore.
As you can probably tell by now, Keith is not only full of surprises, but experience too! We’re so happy to welcome him to our ASI family, and can’t wait to learn from him – both professionally and personally!