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 And systems get outdated.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!
Amde joined Open Approach in May of 2021.
Amde received a bachelor's in Art and Mass Communication from Saint Michaels College and used skills from these areas as he developed and managed the Mac Lab at his alma mater. The Mac Lab was a space that Amde had hoped for when he was an art student; a space in which the Art Department could house equipment, teach, and students could practice, honing their skills. While serving as Instructional Technologist and Apple Platform Lead at the college, Amde was inspired to support faculty in their teaching, students in their learning, and provide other support as needed. Amde went a step further and completed his certification in Instructional Design prior to joining OA.
Since joining OA, Amde is using his passion to support users as a Support Technician and applying his expertise in Mac Administration, Apple Business Manager, Volume Purchase Program and MDM.
When he's not working, Amde loves to be outside playing with his daughter and his wife, making art, and playing pickup basketball with friends new and old.
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!"
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Scott joined Open Approach in November of 2019. As a longtime computer aficionado with extensive account support experience, Scott adamantly believes in the Open Approach vision that customer relationships are the most valuable asset in any business. His goals are not only to make sure we are providing the best solutions possible, but to also become a trusted advisor by understanding each client’s business at a personal level. Scott loves breaking down large goals and multiyear IT strategies into discrete, actionable steps which are easily communicated.
Scott graduated from the University of Vermont with a degree in Mechanical/Manufacturing Engineering. He has accumulated over 20 years of team, project, process improvement, and account management experience across the manufacturing, operations, and software development arenas. Scott is excited to apply this diverse background to ensure each client is successful and well supported. Outside of work, you will usually find Scott spending time with his two sons, transporting them to sporting/school events, jogging, or pampering his two cats.
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 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!
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 fashionalbe one here, Naomi is a friendly, patient and quiet addition to the office who brings a smile to all encounters.