Our Approach


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 And systems get outdated.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!


IT Services Steven Charbonneau




Open Approach Mascot

Scott Bernoudy

Scott Bernoudy


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.

Scott Burleson

Scott Burleson


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!"

Bill Caldwell

Bill Caldwell


Sr. Support Technician

Bill is a recent addition to the Open Approach Support Team. Hailing from the Midwest, he recently moved to Vermont from Chicago with his fiancé and dog. A tech enthusiast by nature, Bill comes to us with over a decade of corporate system administration experience. Before working professionally in technology Bill took an early interest as a hobby, gaming with his friends. Whether piecing together PC’s for friends, setting up home networks for family, or just perusing the net for tech tips, it soon became obvious to him that technology was his calling.

Outside of technology, Bill’s interests lie in more simple things. Nature hikes, bicycling, and cooking/baking to name a few. All of these helped in convincing him that Vermont could be a comfortable place to call home. When he’s not in the office he can be found exploring all the great things that his new home state has to offer. There certainly are no boring weekends in his foreseeable future.

Chris Carter

Chris Carter


Systems Engineer

A native of suburban Boston, Massachusetts, Chris brings over twelve years of professional experience working in Information Technology - and many more years of experience tinkering at home, starting in the late 1980s. Chris came to Vermont to attend Champlain College, from where he graduated in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems.

After a year working first tier support with a software company, Chris went on to work at an international development firm as a project implementation specialist. His primary role was to help establish network infrastructure in challenging environments in developing countries such as Haiti, Afghanistan, Iraq, and many more. Seeking a calmer work environment, he transitioned into the IT service provider market in Vermont, eventually landing at Open Approach. Based on Chris’s wide breadth of knowledge and experience, he brings an extensive skillset to the team.

Chris lives in Saint Albans with his wife, dog, and cat. Outside of technology, he likes golf, cooking, traveling and playing drums.

Steven Charbonneau

Steven Charbonneau


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.

Veronica Graham

Veronica Graham


Support Technician

Veronica joined Open Approach in May of 2020. She grew up in the north shore of Massachusetts where she spent her childhood surrounded by friends, family, and lots of animals. Her interest in technology was sparked early on by her father, a dairy farmer turned CAD administrator. She was fascinated by all the things computers were capable of, including video games, and when the time came, she set off to Vermont to pursue a bachelor’s degree in computer science at Saint Michael’s college.

After four years of various programming projects Veronica found herself drawn to helping others with various computer issues. Before landing at Open Approach, she contracted for various companies in the Vermont area, eager to grow her skills and knowledge. Since starting she has learned something new everyday and hopes to continue this trend. When she’s not working Veronica likes reading, drawing, hanging out with friends and enjoying local gluten free restaurants.

Derrick Kleckner

Derrick Kleckner


Systems Engineer

Derrick joined Open Approach (OA) in July 2020. Originally from Marquette, Michigan, he is accompanied by his wife of 17 years (high school sweethearts) and his 4 children. Derrick brings to the table a number of certifications; some in Industrial Mining as well as in IT with Google, Microsoft, Cisco, VMWare, 3CX and Identity Management. Derrick originally started his career in telephony, installing and programming several brands of PBX's as well as cabling. He then started his IT career within IT Support for a call center, leading him to IT Project Management for a Greenfield nickel and copper mine and to IT Infrastructure Management at the same mine.

Derrick spent several years in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with a few IT Service Providers working to help develop business ideas as well as support clients as a Senior Systems Engineer and as a IT Helpdesk Manager. During this time, he obtained his IT Certifications as well as knowledge and experience in working with Managed Service Providers. He brings the experience of both worlds, from a Managed Services side and from a Corporate and small/medium business side.

When he’s not working, Derrick stays busy with his 4 kids, enjoying school activities as well as weekend activities with sports and other entertainment with his family. He also enjoys the Technical Realm as a hobby. He enjoys building lab environments himself and playing/learning new application and new technologies as they come out. He finds himself quick to learn and quick to adapt.

Devon Klooster

Devon Klooster


Project Manager

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.

Andrew Korb

Andrew Korb


Senior Systems Administrator

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.

Andrew Krois

Andrew Krois


Client and Technical Operations Manager

Recently moving his family clear across the country to join the Open Approach team, Andrew spent the previous 18 years developing his IT expertise in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Prior to the big move, Andrew attended the University of Northern Colorado graduating with a bachelor's degree in Computer Information Systems. With a primary focus on information security, the first 15 years of his career were spent building the IT infrastructure, IT operations, and production data operations for two entrepreneurial healthcare analytics/data warehousing/SaaS startups, all while earning his MBA in Technology Management.

Andrew then went on to become the CIO of a regional credit union, that also happened to be a client of Open Approach. With daily interaction and first-hand experience working with us, he quickly understood the value and true business partnership that Open Approach provides and decided to accept the offer to become part of our team. We are thrilled that he was willing to make the move East.

When Andrew isn’t in the office working or renovating his new home, you’ll find him on the lake or in the mountains hiking or skiing -- enjoying the Vermont outdoors.

Joe Putnam

Joe Putnam


Systems Administrator

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.

Becca Russell

Becca Russell


Administrative Assistant

Becca joined Open Approach (OA) in March of 2020. She grew up in a small town in central New Hampshire, where she enjoyed spending her days with friends and landscaping during the summer. She is another Champlain alumni, graduating in 2009 with not only a Bachelor’s in Multi-Media and Graphic Design but also a new boyfriend who would eventually become her husband. She made Vermont her permanent home that same year when she landed her first job as a Receptionist/Graphic Designer for an “As Seen on TV” company.

Four years later she began working as a graphic designer for a grocery ecommerce company, where, over a 6-year period, she worked her way up to the Manager of Ad and Media Design. After a brief stint as a stay-at-home mom in Texas with her newborn and husband, who had to go there for training, Becca found herself back home in Vermont and looking to start her career again. She is looking forward to growing and developing the new Administrative role at OA and inserting a little design flair where she can.hassle.

When she’s not working, Becca is busy raising her little girl. But, when the opportunity arises, she likes spending time with friends, working out in the yard, working on different craft projects and enjoying the local food and beer scene.

Josh Suprenant

Josh Suprenant


Support Technician

Coming to us recently from Denver, CO, Josh is a seasoned IT support professional who brings years of experience in troubleshooting, user support and media design. Josh grew up in small town West Virginia, where his interest in computers was first sparked while troubleshooting a local-area-network he set up to play video games with his friends. This interest served him well as he pursued a degree in communications, where he founded a lifelong interest in photography, videography and writing.

Josh started his IT career in various posts around the Washington DC metro area, but a move west to Colorado and a transition to a tech role at a small independent school led him to discover his passion for technology support that meets the user at their comfort level, novice or expert alike. A decade in big cities led Josh and his wife to flee back east in search of peace, quiet and maybe a little maple syrup, eventually landing in Burlington as one of the newer members of Open Approach's Technical Support Team.

Brandon Szych-Brown

Brandon Szych-Brown


Support Technician

Brandon is a recent college graduate and one of the newer members of Open Approach. Hailing from Derby, VT, he grew up working on his grandparents’ tree and veggie farm, solidifying his work ethic early on. He first fell in love with technology in high school, having taken a number of computer and IT-related courses. Brandon graduated from Champlain College with a bachelor’s degree in Cybersecurity and dual minors in Digital Forensics and Criminal Justice. During his time there, he was also a cybersecurity club member and Resident Assistant. Brandon hopes to pursue his interest in cybersecurity with Open Approach by educating and emphasizing its importance when working with clients, as well as helping OA continue to develop their security focused service offerings. In his free time Brandon likes hanging with friends and family, working out and enjoying the beautiful Vermont weather. Brandon and his dad enjoy tinkering with his first vehicle, a 2001 Jeep Wrangler. Brandon hopes to one day turn this humble old-schooler into a full-fledged mudding machine that can join his Kawasaki Ninja 650 in his growing collection of toys!

Dev Taylor

Dev Taylor


Support Engineer

Joining up in late 2016, Dev is an integral part of OA’s support team. Dev has travelled to and lived in more places than they can count. They 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 their free time engaged in music: writing, playing in bands, going to shows, and jamming with friends. They also enjoy travelling, getting better at cooking, PC gaming, and the occasional local beer.



The youngest member of Open Approach, Moose is a friendly, energetic young pup that’s always happy to help with… well, we’re not quite sure what he does here, but he’s here all the same.



The most fashionable one here, Naomi is a friendly, patient and quiet addition to the office who brings a smile to all encounters.


Bennington Potters designs, produces, and markets beautiful, heirloom ceramics. Founded by David Gil in 1948, employed potters continue to follow David’s legacy, embracing his technical creativity, commitment and tenacity, acting as the driving forces to build the remarkable company that thrives to this day. Today they operate out of Bennington Potters Yard in southern Vermont, where they give guided tours 7 days a week, as well as a retail-only store in downtown Burlington!


Working with a jumbled web of computers, files, and encountering painful drops in network connectivity, Sheela Harden, owner of Bennington Potters, knew productivity was suffering. They needed a change, but more importantly, they needed guidance. Looking for someone to work with them on their day-to-day challenges, Bennington Potters reached out to Open Approach in 2006. From switching and firewall upgrades, to server and computer replacements, Open Approach was able to bring stability and efficiency back to the pottery.

“Working with Open Approach is fluid and conversational, and their work feels that way too; everything works, projects are simple and streamlined, and
issues are resolved quickly and effortlessly.”

— Melissa Colon, Marketing Manager at Bennington Potters


From its humble beginnings in 1974 operating out of a 19th-century barn, Hubbardton Forge has grown to become the oldest and largest commercial forge in the United States, generating more than $35 million in annual sales. Located in Castleton, Vermont, the company produces thousands of high-end, hand-forged lighting products – “Art that Lights up” – marketed through residential lighting and home furnishings retailers as well as contract distributors. In its highly competitive industry, Hubbardton Forge has distinguished itself as the preeminent design shop with a product line that is anything but common.


Hubbardton Forge was one of Open Approach’s first clients, and the two companies have figuratively grown up together. As the demands on the Hubbardton Forge network grew, Open Approach worked hard to not only meet these demands, but to help shape the future computing environment to match their corporate vision. Like all visionary companies, Hubbardton Forge works toward opportunity and avoids reacting in fear toward challenges. Open Approach embraces this philosophy, and the result has been a network that is flexible, functional, economical and equal to the demands of this growing company.

“Open Approach has a way of projecting ‘calm’ in the midst of an IT ‘storm,’ and I never have to worry about their professionalism when they interact directly with our users.”

-Dale Carr, MIS Manager at Hubbardton Forge


Working to protect the productive, recreational, and scenic land that gives Vermont its rural character, Vermont Land Trust (VLT), a member-supported 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is a land conservation organization operating five regional offices throughout the state. Established in 1977, Vermont Land Trust has permanently conserved more than 1,900 parcels of land covering more than 550,000 acres, or about nine percent of the private, undeveloped land in the state. They provide technical and legal assistance to individuals, communities, and local land trusts to help them achieve their conservation objectives.


VLT and Open Approach began working together after VLT experienced network connectivity issues at one of its remote locations. Later, VLT engaged Open Approach for full systems support, which has included migrating to a highly available cluster of servers, introducing necessary redundancy into a previously aging infrastructure. Along the way, VLT was able to retire its deteriorating tape library for backups, as well as move to Microsoft’s Office 365.

“From the first interaction with Open Approach, communication has been very clear, friendly, and thoroughly professional. They really listen and respond to my concerns and ideas in designing solutions that work for us.”

— Teija Huttunen-Green, Director of Operations & Technology at Vermont Land Trust


Meridian Trust Federal Credit Union is a multi-branch organization that has been catering to its customers’ financial needs since its inception in 1954. Originally founded by a dedicated group of state employees, Meridian’s goal was to establish a not-for-profit, financial cooperative that would be built on the philosophy of people helping people. That ideology has held through to today, as Meridian has grown both internally and physically throughout the 1970s and 1980s, with the fifth and most recent location opening in 2004 in East Cheyenne, Wyoming.


Part of Meridian’s growth yielded some growing pains, one of which was the loss of their network administrator in early 2013. Unhappy with another nationally known technology company, they utilized Open Approach in parallel while waiting for the contract to run out. “After only a few months of working together, we soon realized that going with OA was the best thing we ever did. We were treated like partners,” noted Huda Hussain, Director of Business Analysis.

Since joining the team, Open Approach has worked with Meridian on a complete network overhaul, including server virtualization, backup implementation, Active Directory restructuring, and network infrastructure optimization. They deployed a robust network monitoring system, a Citrix XenApp environment for more than 50 users, and an aggressive web filter, which increased productivity, security, and efficiency — all while being located more than 2,000 miles away.

“Despite the distance, Open Approach is in in contact with us all the time. We are kept in the loop of events, issues, etc. They are like our very own virtual IT staff.”

— Huda Hussain, Director of Business Analysis at Meridian Trust


Champlain Valley Equipment (CVE) is a Vermont-based company that represents Kubota, New Holland, Polaris, STIHL, Yamaha, and others to provide world-class parts, sales, service and after-sales support to customers for agricultural, light construction, and residential needs. Incorporated in 1970, Champlain Valley Equipment continues to evolve rapidly, and has undergone significant expansion of its product sales and geographic reach.


“Growing to meet your needs” is Champlain Valley Equipment’s motto, and growing they have been, now with five different branches spanning the entire state of Vermont. To simplify the expansion, CVE wanted to quickly unify all of their separate stores under one network, and called upon Open Approach to do so. By building an interconnected network of firewalls, switching, and servers, Open Approach took five disjointed stores and brought all users into a single domain with minimal interruption or changes to their desktop environments. Open Approach addressed CVE’s increased reliance on email as they migrated to Office 365, and in response to the growing mobility of their users, they deployed a unified wireless solution between all stores, allowing users to seamlessly move between networks with minimal effort.

“Growth and change are the constants here. We are always looking to expand to meet the needs of our customers. That puts a lot of pressure on our systems. Open Approach has really helped us to take on as much as we have. It’s been a great partnership.”

— Jennifer LaRock, Office Manager at Champlain Valley Equipment


Northern Tier Center for Health (NoTCH) is a primary-care practice serving multiple locations throughout Vermont’s Franklin and Grand Isle counties. A federally-funded nonprofit corporation, Northern Tier’s team of compassionate and devoted health care professionals and support staff offer a full spectrum of health care services, including family medicine, obstetrics, internal medicine, behavioral health, pharmacy, lab, and general dentistry.


Open Approach began working with NoTCH mid-2015, filling the void when a critical internal IT employee left unexpectedly. Work commenced quickly with a sizable project to restructure NoTCH’s backup environment, simplifying and automating backups for their entire server infrastructure, including offsite replication of vital data. Next up was a deep evaluation of network security and firewall configurations, resulting in a significant simplification and hardening of the rule set, which in turn reduced complexity and increased manageability. Along with this came enhanced flexibility for users to roam freely across their multi-site network — and resulted in more than $20,000 in annual savings.

“We needed a resource with the appropriate skillset who could come up to speed quickly, cost less money and have greater availability. The Open Approach philosophy matches ours to a tee.”

— Andrew Hoadley, IT Manager at NoTCH


Leveraging nearly 40 years of expertise, Momentum Manufacturing Group is the result of an effort to build a comprehensive set of end-to-end metalwork and manufacturing services. From prototype review and value engineering, small batch or mass production of a part or integrated sub-assembly of parts, all the way through to complete assembly of a finished good ready to ship or sell, Momentum brings simplicity and efficiency to metal manufacturing challenges and has the skills and experience to get it done right.

Today these four business units are now unified and operate under the umbrella of Momentum Manufacturing Group: NSA Industries LLC, Vitex Extrusion LLC, Metal Tronics LLC, and KC Precision Machining LLC.


Open Approach has worked with NSA, now Momentum Manufacturing Group, since 2008 to support the systems infrastructure required to maintain the reputation that they’ve built. Early on, a high availability virtual environment replaced their collection of outdated physical servers. This paved the way to support a variety of business demands, such as remote access, a robust phone system, standardized workstations, and multi-site networking for all users across the entire organization. As Momentum grows, OA’s latest work has been to facilitate the integration of acquired companies by extending the computer environment into new locations.

“Open Approach has become part of the [Momentum] team. Our concerns become their concerns and are worked through together.”

— Jeff Keyworth, Process Engineer at Momentum Manufacturing Group


Marine Engine is an online retailer in Brandon, Vermont, that provides boat motor repair information and parts to both boat owners and mechanics across the country. Marine Engine has had a large online presence for over 17 years, selling everything from boat motor parts to engine repair manuals, accessories, and supplies. They also maintain an active discussion forum that provides a wealth of knowledge for boat owners everywhere.


Open Approach teamed up with Marine Engine nearly a decade ago when their IT needs began to overwhelm the quickly growing business. Due to the important nature of Marine Engine’s online presence, Open Approach established redundant internet circuits from different providers with automatic failover to serve those high-availability needs. They were able to perform an email migration from in-house Exchange to the more dependable and robust Office 365, and built up a modern virtual infrastructure as the company backbone. Today Marine Engine is sailing smoothly, and OA continues to monitor, maintain, and be readily available should any needs arise.

“We recognized the need for network support beyond what we could do on an ad-hoc basis, and we wanted a solid business to cover that realm for us. OA is always available for discussion surrounding issues or whatever comes up, and there’s nothing out of bounds.”

— Andrew Menkart, owner of Marine Engine