February, 1988, I found myself working for
a small financial firm, called Ibbotson
Associates. There were only about 10 of
began as the office secretary. As
desktop publishing came into view, I gobbled
up my opportunities to learn it. I soon
became Ibbotson's first in-house graphic
designer. As more designers came on boardbringing
with them those nasty, little Macintoshes<evil
snicker>I moved into my own niche
in technical work; specializing in designing software manuals
and financial publications such
as Ibbotson's renowned Stocks,
Bonds, Bills & Inflation Yearbook.
early 1995, my boss at the time, Dave Montgomery,
asked me to experiment with Microsoft's OLE
(object linking and embedding) Technology.
I started to learn WordBasic (Word's
macro programming language) and VisualBasic (Microsoft's
visual programming language for Windows).
I soon moved into the Software Development Group
as Designer/OLE Automation Specialist and
began designing and programming
custom reporting applications, such as their Investment
Policy Statement Guidebook and Portfolio
Strategist software reports,
as well as learning to develop custom database front
years as a developer, I realized I missed
human contact.<grin> I've always enjoyed
learning and teaching technology, so I became
their Technical Support Supervisor, managing
the support group and teaching our financial
group about the technical support requirements
of computer operating systems and applications.
growth and more platforms to support proved
that Ibbotson needed an advanced support
department. They slapped the title of
Technical Consultant (Tier II Escalation
Support) on me and the escalations
division was started. Together, Greg Chapman (also
working for Ibbotson at the time) and I wrestled with the
toughest technical issues, as liaisons between support
Ibbotson began to suffer from poor management.
After 12 years, I left! I then enjoyed a
short run as a freelance consultant, working
Adaptive Technologies as a Technical
Project Manager. Just as that job was finishing,
my former boss, Dave Montgomery, asked me
to join him at Morningstar,
another financial firm, where I was Infrastructure
Project Manager. It was great having an
opportunity to dig deeper into web backoffice
I enjoyed my time at Morningstar,
but the events of September 11th hit the financial industry
hard. Economic cutbacks forced Morningstar to take a harder
look at their business scheme and my position was eventually
dissolved. The job market, being what it was, it was time
to kick up the consulting career.
Now I work as
a technical consultant, helping wise business owners realize
time and money saving solutions to help their companies run
more efficiently. Whether it's creating automated workflow
processes using Microsoft Office, developing automated VBA
forms or templates, building database driven document solutions,
technical writing or building dynamic, ASP/ADO web content solutions,
I'm doing the work I enjoy most—showing people how cool technology can be and helping
others look good!
If you'd like to discover solutions
to make your business better, check out my Consulting page.
I'd be happy to answer your questions and/or send you a quote.
in 1995, when I was fighting to learn WordBasic
and VisualBasic, I turned to the Microsoft
forums on CompuServe for help. After
my learning curve smoothed, I
started helping others with answers to their Microsoft
questions. My technical
skills were soon recognized by Microsoft and
I was recruited as a Microsoft
MVP (Most Valuable Professional). I've continued
to receive the Microsoft MVP award each year.
I'm honored to be a part of this elite group
of worldwide professionals who assist Microsoft
by providing support to Microsoft users via
Newsgroups and various
other support forums.
And in answer to a popular question—yes,
I've had the pleasure of meeting Bill Gates. And yes, he's
a cool, down to earth guy! (See
MVP photo gallery.)
I'm not the type to sit idle, so I'm always into something.
And when I became primary caretaker for my elderly mother who had a stroke a couple years ago...leaving her with brain damage (Aphasia)...life got really interesting.
Greg and I are Patriot Guard Riders and I also joined Soldiers' Angels in early 2008...working on their sewing and crochet teams making blankets for deployed soldiers and wounded vets, as well as sending notes and goodies to my adopted, deployed soldiers. (See my work, here: http://www.mousetrax.com/dian/angels.html.)
When I have time from those priorities, I'm usually at home...trying to keep our
volunteer technical support to other computer
the Internet, working on my popular Ezine, TechTrax,
writing for various 3rd party tech newsletters, teaching Advanced Word courses online, or studying the
latest geekware. (Sleep? What's that?<g>)
In summer, Greg and
I try to grab a little quiet time by jump into his plane or
onto our motorcycles and forget about the world for awhile.