What do you do professionally?
Since 2003 I’ve been with Full Sail University. In my tenure at the institution I’ve held numerous leadership roles, specifically to incubate new ventures from concept to rapid growth. In my current position, I serve as Vice President of Emerging Technologies. Here, I’ve been entrusted with the growth and success of our portfolio of technology and gaming degree programs which include: Computer Science, Game Design & Development, Simulation, Mobile & Web Development, and Information Technology.
What is the most enjoyable part of your job?
I really enjoy all aspects of my job. In order to execute our strategic plan, I get to work across several departments in all the aspects of the student life cycle: admissions, education, partnerships, research, public relations and career development. I also get to visit and connect with our alumni working around the world in the leading technology and gaming companies. Finally, working with companies to bring research to our institution always keeps a spark of creativity and ingenuity to my job. It’s great all around!
What is the biggest challenge you face?
Full Sail University is highly recognized around the world for our alumni’s contributions to the entertainment and media industries—from OSCAR-winning films and AAA game titles to GRAMMY-winning albums. Although these industries use technology for creating content, currently we are working to spread the word about our university’s educational contributions to emerging technology. That’s why I spend so much time connecting with tech companies, attending and speaking at tech-focused events, and sharing the work of our graduates, many of which are recognized thought-leaders in numerous technology fields.
What sorts of interesting places has your position taken you? Do you have a favorite?
Part of my job is to visit companies, conferences, and graduates in the U.S. and around the world. This has taken me to inspiring places where they are solving very interesting problems. Not only in technology companies, but across entertainment, healthcare, sports, and even banking, organizations are using technology in new and innovative ways. In every visit, I am in awe of the possibilities and I find myself embracing a new favorite. Some of these innovations are happening right here at our university and in the Orlando area. Having said that, a few places stand out, including Apple Park, Epic Games, Riot Games, MagicLeap, and Pixar.
What is the best professional advice you’ve received?
I’ve been very fortunate to have met people that care for me and mentor me through the good and the bad times. Luckily, I don’t have to go very far to get good advice. I never make an important decision without consulting with my wife and my siblings. At every turn, they have given me the advice, love, and support that I needed. So, if I have to pass something on, it would be to listen to those that love you unconditionally.
Aside from your current role, what is your dream job?
I really enjoy my current role and have enjoyed working in higher education. In a parallel universe, I would love the opportunity to lead a technology company that is solving an important problem.
Professionally or personally, what are you excited about right now?
I am an eternal optimist and I believe that the best days are ahead of us. We are living during very special times because we have the opportunity to build on top of 50 years of technology achievements with the highest acceleration in innovation in human history. The problems we are going to be able to solve because of technology will change life in profound ways. I am convinced that I will see many of those changes in my lifetime, and I am very excited about what the future holds.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Traveling with my family is one of my favorite things to do outside of work. Every year we take a long trip to a different continent. My wife and I think it’s very important to expose our kids to different cultures. Aside from that, I have developed a love for running and swimming outdoors, which has led me to run several marathons and participate in open water races. One worth mentioning is the time I swam the San Francisco Bay from Alcatraz into the beach.
What is the most important thing you learned during your time at Fuqua?
I really enjoyed my time at Fuqua. While I was attending I felt that every day was a learning experience. All the hard skills knowledge was relevant and I still use a lot of the knowledge acquired. On the soft skills side, I felt the overall experience was very profound. I’m most grateful for the knowledge and care I received from my classmates.
Who was your favorite professor?
Let me start by saying that all the professors were excellent, so this is a hard question to answer. Having said that, I really enjoyed Professor Sim Sitkin. His leadership model really shaped my approach to managing and mentoring people.
What is your favorite Fuqua memory?
This is a funny one. Our cohort was divided into two classrooms. Almost every weekend a classmate from the other classroom would leave to go to the restroom and then walk into our classroom by mistake on his way back. He would be halfway into the classroom before he realized he was in the wrong place and have to leave. The first time was kind of funny, the second, third, and so on was really funny!
What does Team Fuqua mean to you?
It means that I belong to a group of people that share something special. As I go on into the business world, I often run into other graduates and it feels like I know them a little better.
Why do you support the Fuqua Annual Fund?
I support the Fuqua Annual Fund because I am grateful for what Fuqua has meant to my career journey and I want to help others do the same.