WHO WE ARE
In a perfect world, your IT system should work seamlessly and invisibly to help propel your business forward. But glitches happen. And systems get outdated. So the next best thing is to have an IT team on hand that you actually enjoy working with.
So take a good look at the people listed here, because we’re the people who will respond to your call for help, whether you’re looking for a new whole-systems approach to your company’s IT, or simply need to reset your password. (Hint: we’re an IT company. So we love email.) And yeah — those are our real email addresses, not some gateway to a generic spam box. Send us a note!
CEO & Principal Engineer
Scott’s favorite place to be growing up was undoubtedly outside, working on his family’s farm. When it came time for college, he headed off to the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he studied philosophy and enjoyed exploring the mountains on foot and by bike. He also worked at a bike shop in Boulder, where, in the process of helping the shop computerize its systems, he first discovered his interest in using computers to optimize business operations.
When he moved to Vermont in 1996 with his wife and newborn, he continued gaining insight into the role technology could play to offset business challenges while working as a Systems Administrator at Vermont Federal Bank and Country Home Products. Inspired to help others do the same, Scott launched Open Approach (OA) in 2002. OA’s goal was to support businesses of all types with a business-friendly philosophy—namely, that computers could and should work like the lights, phones and heat: easily and without hassle.
When Scott’s not trying to match his clients with the best-fitting tech solutions possible, he enjoys traveling, hiking, jogging, cross-country skiing and cycling—all of which balance out his love of cooking and eating good food.
Senior Systems Engineer
What drives Scott is an overwhelming appreciation for the results of hard work and commitment. As a native Vermonter, he credits this foundation to growing up on the family farm that included a maple sugaring operation for much of his youth.
With a deep-rooted passion for IT, he jumped directly into this career path upon graduating from UVM with a B.S. in Management Information Systems in 1993. Immediately afterwards, it seemed natural to move onto becoming a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer at which point his professional career blossomed.
After retiring his position as Sr. Vice President & Director of IT for a Vermont community bank in 2005, Scott transitioned full-time to his entrepreneurial venture as President & Sr. Network Engineer of St. Albans based Rail City Information Systems, Inc. (RCIS) which he had been growing since its inception in 1997. Scott operated RCIS for nearly 23 years before merging his company with Open Approach in early 2018, which provided an opportunity to better serve his clients and build on his career. “This was a bittersweet decision but ultimately the most logical progression for both myself as well as our family based employees. The sadness comes from building something for 20+ years and bringing it to an end but the sweetness is ramping it back up again as part of something greater . . . not only for personal development and growth but also for reasons in knowing how much better we can serve our customers going forward.”
After living and raising his family as a community member of St. Albans for the past 24 years, his home has gradually downsized to include his wife, Connie and dog, Otis. “My wife and sons would equally agree that my career is my passion and my passion is my career, but I do love traveling, cooking, and I can be found golfing from time to time but ultimately relaxing whenever I have a moment!”
Senior Systems Engineer
Prior to joining Open Approach in 2006, Steve ran his own consulting business, giving him a solid foundation in systems and network administration that he’s been able to build upon considerably in the past decade. “I was excited to finally be able to take the skills I had been developing over the years, and apply them in larger-scale environments where I was making a real difference,” Steve says.
A Computer Science student from SUNY Potsdam, Steve focuses primarily on network and systems infrastructure design, implementation, and support—but don’t be surprised if he’s on the other end of the line when you call in for help resetting your password, either. Steve believes that learning is an ongoing process that is absolutely vital to remaining relevant in the world of IT. “Not a day goes by that I don’t learn a new concept, have my ideas challenged, or spend an inordinate amount of time troubleshooting a complex problem,” he says. “And for that, I am grateful.” Steve enjoys running, hiking, and camping in the Green Mountains. A native of Colchester, he currently resides in Burlington with his two cats, Norma and Iso.
A long-time computer aficionado, Andrew has been tinkering with computer hardware and operating systems for as long as he can remember—or at least back to the days of Windows 95 and sub-gigabyte mechanical hard drives. Fascinated by the software and applications that seemed to tie everything together, Andrew became intrigued by programming, and eventually entered Champlain College with an initial focus on software engineering, before finding a deeper interest in business and management information systems.
Well-versed in Windows desktop and server environments, as well as automation and a wide variety of firewall and networking configurations, Andrew deftly handles any problem that comes his way. Outside of the office, he enjoys hiking and biking (sometimes both when he’s got a flat tire), and enthusiastically participates in Burlington’s adult kickball league during the summer months.
A degree in Biology and Psychology doesn’t usually give way to a career in IT, but an innate passion for technology certainly can. Devon’s work with Open Approach is a culmination of years spent in the classroom focusing on one field of study, juxtaposed with his natural curiosity about technology outside of it. Devon attended Cornell University, where he quickly realized he was enjoying his work-study at the on-campus technology retailer as much as (and sometimes more than) attending classes in the lecture hall.
In his work at Open Approach since 2014, Devon has used his love of learning to become the “utility man” for the company. Whether it’s front-line help desk support, assembling quotes for system builds, writing both technical and client-facing documentation, or digging into advanced-systems administration and project work, Devon recognizes that the cliché line about “learning something new every day” is truer than ever. Outside the office, Devon attends far too many concerts, snowboards and waterskis, and brews his own beer—which he encourages brave testers to drink only at their own risk.
Joining up in late 2016, Dev has become an integral part of OA’s support team. Dev has travelled to and lived in more places than he can count. He only began to settle down after coming to Vermont, falling in love the state’s beauty and deciding to stick around. With few other things staying consistent while growing up, one thing that never changed was Dev’s interest in computers and drive to pursue a career in IT.
Dev graduated from Burlington’s Champlain College in 2015 with a B.S. in Computer Information Technology, specializing in Computer Science. With an extensive background in customer service, Dev is on the front lines of OA’s Help Desk Support, eagerly assisting clients through their IT questions and troubles.
In addition to the office life, Dev is also a passionate musician, spending much of his free time engaged in music: writing, playing in bands, going to shows, and jamming with friends. He also enjoys travelling, getting better at cooking, PC gaming, and the occasional local beer.
Recently joining Open Approach in 2016, Jennifer adds another opportunity for us to connect with our clients, supporting our vision of being in direct service to each of our customers. She firmly believes exceptional customer service is the most important element when operating a successful business. Her goal is that we consistently meet if not exceed our customer’s expectations.
Graduating from UVM with a Business degree and accumulating over twenty-years of experience, her task is to help us grow our client base without losing the unique, personal service we are currently able to provide. Service is at the center of our company values and one which Jennifer has built her career upon. Jennifer thrives on creating community and when she isn’t working with us, you’ll find her spending time with her family, active outside, or volunteering.
A strong work ethic, dedication to family and friends and an active lifestyle are just a few things that describe Joe and his Vermont values. Born and raised in St. Albans, he now has the pleasure of raising his own family in his home town. This is an incredible fortune Joe never takes for granted!
Joe started his professional career not in the technology world, but in a small local family owned machine shop where he worked for 12 years. This was the start of the foundational work ethic he is known for today. After moving on to Rail City Information Systems, Inc. (RCIS) back in 2000, Joe began developing his technical skills over the next 18 years. Whether it was installing voice/data/fiber cables, implementing telecommunications systems, or the day-to-day Systems Administration work, his breadth of knowledge has been ever-increasing over the years.
Open Approach (OA) welcomed Joe to their team in January 2018, following the merger with RCIS. Joe has been able to carry this diverse level of experience over to his new position and provide OA’s client base with greater access to these varied services, all with a flair for friendly and efficient field work. Joe’s current expertise is in supporting client telecommunication systems such as Avaya Partner and IP Office. Often referred to as a “road warrior”, Joe isn’t afraid to head onsite when an issue requires some feet on the ground.
In his spare time, Joe enjoys outdoor activities of all kinds, cribbage, cooking for his family, traveling with family and friends, and spending time with his wife Amy, son Zachary and daughter Emma. The family also enjoys their beautiful black lab, Pepper.