Meet Your eTech Team
"Seize the day"
Jim's 7 Habits Target - Seek first to understand, then to be understood.
"Without a doubt, habit 5 - It's all about listening and learning. You don't want to provide solutions before you've heard the problem. Sometimes you just need to shut everything off and listen.”
As an esteemed member of the eTrepid team since its inception, Jim Garvin knows his way around a secure client network. After joining his son and daughter in their quest to become black-belt taekwondo aficionados, we’re guessing he and his children know their way around a roundhouse dollyeo chagi, too.
Recognized for his fierce dependability, this consummate family man knows customer retention is not about sales, “it's more about providing digestible guidance and clear solutions to help our clients become more efficient and more secure.”
Considered a virtual CIO by many eTrepid clients, “Cybersecurity and protecting our clients from breach, in any form, is our top priority.” Jim explains. “We're doing big things and everyday there's a new challenge. When we get to see our scores after the end-user gets an opportunity to evaluate us - that’s meaningful.“ Jim may have said it best as he explained, “eTrepid is more than just an IT company, we really are a solutions provider, always looking at solving problems for our clients. We actively listen to understand the details so we can be an effective partner overall and not just on the tasks at hand.”
“Sweet as sugar, tough as nails”
Shamshul's 7 Habits Target - Think Win-Win.
“Win-win sees life as a cooperative arena, not a competitive one, it is a frame of mind and heart that constantly seeks mutual benefit in all human interactions. Win-win means agreements or solutions are mutually beneficial and satisfying. Win-win thinking flies in the face of this ‘I win, you lose’ mentality. It encourages us to help others to win too, and in doing so increase success for ourselves”
Shamshul Khaliq started his journey with eTrepid handling support tickets and getting to know our infrastructure. Years later, he now handles an array of the service desk and system administrator tasks.
With nearly a decade in IT infrastructure support, the team was surprised to learn that Shamshul is an aspiring software developer, too. As a child, he’s always wanted to jump out of an airplane, but for now, he’ll settle for flying in one. Traveling the world in his off-time, Shamshul has been to five countries and takes every opportunity to add to his mounting souvenir collection.
Shamshul likes finding innovative solutions for hard to reach problems, “There can be a hundred ways to do something, I want to find the best way to do it right.” Known for his technical prowess and customer support ethic, Shamshul understands the eTrepid customer, “When we work on all project types, we are dedicated to on-time completion within the budget to meet and exceed the expectation of the client and end-user - that's our main goal.”
When asked what it means to be a part of the eTrepid team, Shamshul recalls the early days, “It's been an amazing journey, I’ve enjoyed driving the technology and working as a team to understand new concepts globally to deliver for our clients. With exposure to Azure, Microsoft, networking - all those skills are enhanced.
"EVERYONE has strengths and differences that can be utilized to reach greater heights. We just have to take the time to recognize and understand them. One's strength could fill in for my weakness. One's difference can enlighten my point of view. So when teamed together, we become a powerhouse bulldozing down oppositions and obstacles to reach our goals.”
Establishing the voice and foundation for all eTrepid marketing efforts, from design and digital to PR and strategic planning, is our marketing director, Sheebah Smith. With 15 years in marketing, two master's degrees (an MBA and another in marketing management), Sheebah also applies her expertise in providing an exceptional experience to organizations building our community. “Through great leadership, I’ve learned to give back to your community. I work closely with nonprofit organizations in our community who lack the capacity to outsource marketing efforts.”
While she’s among our newest team members, it’s hard to recall what it was like before Sheebah arrived. Before joining eTrepid, Sheebah held marketing and business development positions for small businesses across Southern Maryland focused on delivering a superior brand experience. “It’s about being passionate around what you do, and I love what I do.” It’s not just her 15 years experience as a marketing leader that makes her a force to be reckoned with - Sheebah simply doesn’t stop moving.
The ultimate giver, Sheebah is a leader in the Charles County Chamber and an advocate for small organizations that build the community like Zonta of Charles County, a leading global organization of professionals empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy.
When she’s not giving back to the community, you can find her at the local yoga studio where she found and fell in love with pole athletics and aerial hoop fitness, specifically known as Lyra. In her few moments of spare time, Sheebah focuses on continuing her education and intends to seek her project management certification among other professional certifications.
“Innovation drives everything we're doing. We solve problems with technologies that continuously evolve and thrive on those evolutions. Our family-first culture at eTrepid drives us to get even better at what we do. We strive for excellence and open conversations that keep and hold each other accountable.”
Best known for her organization, listening to Ted Talks, making lists and crushing goals, she explains, “I live for the results we get for our customers, our team strives for the excellence that keeps me on my toes.”
"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”
Ken's 7 Habits Target - Seek first to understand, then to be understood.
Ken is our always-curious technology enthusiast. As a business development manager, Ken works with our small to medium-sized businesses and defense contractor clients to find managed service solutions that meet stringent technical requirements and security concerns.
With over 10 years in business development, Ken has a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Long Island University. But it's a course he took on Big Data that got him truly engaged in technology-driven insight.
Ken's father was an impactful figure in his life and continues to inspire him as an adult. As a child, Ken had dreams of becoming a police officer, coming from a family of 3 generations of officers across 4 countries.
Known for his personable, relatable approach, Ken is extraordinarily patient with an uncanny ability to listen. "I make sure client issues, questions, and concerns – from start to finish – are taken care of. Listening coupled with working to understand a client's real need is how we’ll reach a successful outcome,” is what he believes.
Besides his love of science and growing passion for technology, Ken is a world traveler. "I've been to 14 countries and hope to make it to 89 others on my bucket list"
Ken is becoming increasingly knowledgeable about encryption and network security. He thinks it's important to spend some time feeding those less fortunate. He also loves dogs, has two of his own to prove it and spends time with animal rescues.
"Keep striving, for God gives His hardest battles to His strongest soldiers."
Ashley's 7 Habits Target - Put First Things First.
"It's important to always have a plan/checklist to stay organized. When you begin setting and achieving goals at an individual and team level, it builds morale and prepares you to set and achieve the next accomplishment."
The Maestro... Ashley Thorne has earned this distinction through almost a decade of experience managing highly skilled technical teams and intricate growth-oriented client projects.
A stickler for a deadline, Ashley’s approach is welcomed by our technical teams because they’re able to maintain a laser focus on client projects with her at the helm… and she makes sure of it.
When Ashley isn’t coordinating every last detail of every last eTrepid project, she takes a softer approach but with the same high expectations for her young son who started school in the fall. As a self-described foodie, “I’m passionate about my son, learning new things… and eating!”
She enjoys the new challenges brought by the eTrepid customer who, through new technologies like AI and machine learning, is breaking new ground within their industries. “It’s changing the way business is done across the board, and it doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out or operating with established global infrastructure - artificial intelligence and the subsets within are taking eTrepid clients new places.” Ashley maintains that in this fast-paced, results-oriented environment, the ability to roll with the punches while running a tight ship is an art form. That’s why we call her The Maestro.
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
As eTrepid's digital marketing coordinator, Domonique brings more than a decade of relationship marketing experience to create the virtual environment and information portal our clients and prospects lean for technology solutions.
As a lifelong communicator, Domonique found a love for the written word through rewriting music video storylines, a pastime that led her to start a youth writing club while pursuing her bachelor's degree at Montgomery College. A grad student now, Domonique recalls the joy of watching a group that began with five people growing to over 30 members by the end of the first semester. "I loved bringing other students together to communicate about their goals, struggles and life in general, especially when many of those people would never have dreamt of writing before our group."
Domonique finds inspiration in introspective life questions and once engaged celebrities that garnered 150 big-name responses on Twitter. Customer engagement is her thing and she's known for her passion toward the projects in front of her. Our team understands that when she's dedicated to a task, she won't stop until it's done. Domonique credits her mom for this work ethic, noting that her mother is "a strong, hard-working woman that modeled ambition and showed me the value of consistency."
Today, Domonique is leveling up her tech prowess by diving into cybersecurity head first. When this coffee aficionado isn't studying for her first cybersecurity certification and chasing a graduate degree in crisis response management, Domonique is either drafting her next screenplay, crafting high-end jewelry or planning a trip to Dubai– which she'll probably write about.
"I never leave home without a notepad," she swears. "I literally have an endless amount of notebooks containing things that I've written along with short stories." On her bucket list, you'll find a two-week writer's retreat in Ireland, another excursion we're sure to read about once she returns.
“Without listening to one another, conversation would have no meaningful substance. In order to deliver exactly what our customers’ expectations, we listen.”
Mehar Malik came to eTrepid as an intern studying information systems in college where she also served as publicity director for a large student association and was responsible for the innovative marketing strategies that cut through the noise of university life.
During her tenure as an intern with the company, she was naturally drawn to the creative initiatives being discussed as eTrepid received CompTIA MSP Trustmark certification.
Mehar’s knack for videography comes through producing eTrepid’s instructional videos and capturing the eTrepid customer sentiment available through the eTrepid YouTube channel.
Capturing the emotion through her photography and videos has a place in her personal life, too. “I try to create videos that are fun and engaging and content that makes the audience feel something.” On her bucket list includes a trip to Switzerland for the stunning views she’s only seen through images and hope for the opportunity to create her own.
Mehar is big on empathy so understanding people to unveil their motivations and needs is important to her and shared by our team. “Everyone in the company wants you to succeed. We celebrate little achievements together, getting the number of tickets down feels a family tradition rather than a work environment. As an intern, Tom started things off by asking about my interests and what field I actually want to go into. I'm interested in the user experience and human-centered computing side of things so Tom cultivated those interests by putting those projects in front of me.”
"Throughout my career, my desire to listen and problem-solve is supported by always seeking to first understand the person and issue before I can have an opinion or a solution."
Clayton is an Information Security Analyst Level Two and analyzes cybersecurity compliance initiatives as part of this role. Working in IT for 15 years, Clayton began to focus on cybersecurity protections in order to diversify skill sets in a growing sector.
Clayton loves the camaraderie at eTrepid. Accustomed to "working for the government where everybody's like a robot, here at eTrepid, everyone works together.”
Starting as a determined technician, he transitioned to project management, to system administrator, then into his current capacity as a compliance analyst. "I handle security-based problems and make sure that our customers are 100% in compliance. That's my main mission."
A husband and father of three, Clayton is known for his strong communication. "You get your best information from talking to people, so with three kids and a lovely wife, I have to be an excellent communicator."
Since childhood, Clayton has been into race cars and remembers, "sitting in my living room recording racing on VHS. With three pairs of sneakers flipped over on the floor, one for the gas, one for the brake, one for the clutch, I would race with the drivers on TV for hours and hours."
On Clayton's bucket list: travelling to Dubai. "They have the largest collection of supercars and some supercars you've never even heard of, period."
John's 7 Habits Target - Begin with the end in mind
"I am always thinking about the effects of my work or actions. As a team player, I would hate to see my team struggle due to my output.”
Starting in the IT field as a help desk technician nearly a decade ago, John brings a meticulous dedication to eTrepid's cybersecurity team. As Information Assurance Auditor, helping clients manage risk from a preventative stance is all in a day's work.
While cybersecurity is one of the most talked-about business topics, it's a subject that hits close to home for John. Having been the victim of a data breach, John is "passionate about protecting personally identifiable information (PII) and making sure we have the right controls to protect that information."
John has achieved the CompTIA Security Plus Certification and CISM and is currently working on his CISA. Once he has those certifications under his belt, he'll pursue the CISP to continue adding to our cybersecurity arsenal.
To achieve and maintain all these certifications, John devours the latest cybersecurity news and developments because the field is "growing on both sides– the good guys and the bad. Cyber experts need to stay on top of current events and do a lot of reading. We attend webinars and seminars to learn about all the new and evolving risks."
Hailing from Philadelphia, John spends a lot of time with his family, especially his two daughters and two sons. A former NYC champion soccer player, he credits a grandmother he's never met to his strong family values. "Because of the many sacrifices she made many years ago, my siblings and cousins are who we are today."
“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.”
Randy’s 7 Habits Target - Be Proactive
“My version is being proactively honest in everything you do… we learn through our mistakes but with a clearer presence of mind, being proactive can catch trouble before it happens.”
You may think aquatics, piecing together corporate networks and professional figure skating have nothing to do with each other, but they do: Randy Tipton. With nearly 20 years of experience that includes building the network operations center (NOC) for one of the eight U.S. Navy data centers to run 365/24/7 and raising healthy African cichlids, he’s considered an expert. He’s a former professional figure-skater, too.
Passionate about customer satisfaction, Randy always looks for an opportunity to exceed customer expectations and bring a smile through his work. He enjoys the broad view of client networks which gives him the unique ability to isolate and solve issues quickly.
As a child, Randy’s father instilled in him humble but confident perseverance that he brings to the table on every project. From implementation through sustainment, Randy knows it's his job to understand a client’s entire network infrastructure to deliver service the eTrepid way.
“At eTrepid, we challenge each other to not only become better at our individual responsibilities but to cross-train with one another to develop enhanced team skills and become more well-rounded IT professionals.” When Randy isn’t holding down the networks, you can find him spending time with his family, working on cars or catching up on the latest Dean Koontz mystery novel.
"Being proactive means taking responsibility for your life and actions rather than just watching how things happen.”
Tausif brings an MBA in Information Technology, a BS in Technologies and 5 years experience in IT industry technical support and service desk. Solving technical issues related server exchange, email troubleshooting, ERP, CRM, QuickBooks and other third party applications, Tauif credits his abilities as a change manager to his ITIL V3, Microsoft Azure Administrator Associate and ASP.net certifications. Speed, accuracy and customer satisfaction are important to Tausif.
Always looking ahead, “I want to continue learning more in networking and security and the overall infrastructure of it.” When he steps away from technology, Tausif is a world traveler and loves a road trip.
“Being at eTrepid, I've already learned a lot of the firewall and networking issues that plague our market.” He describes his work as a journey and adding knowledge as a continual part of that journey.
"Every time you make a decision, it affects people around you. I believe those people should be in a winning situation just as you should be."
Having worked at Microsoft and other big tech companies, Suhail is eTrepid's Level One Engineer and known for his calm demeanor. In this role, Suhail directly coordinates client communication via call, chat, and email, providing technical support for all the tools that fall under managed services.
Suhail has been working in the IT field for nearly a decade with an undergraduate degree in computer science engineering and a Master's in business management.
It’s this background that allows Suhail to find problems and then focus teams and solutions on those problems. "When something is especially stressful, it pays to let calmness and peace prevail." A huge fan of soccer, Suhail has played the sport all his life and follows all things FIFA. But, "as someone usually so calm, my coworkers may be surprised by the passion I have for soccer, especially when play gets a bit aggressive."
Also a fan of Warren Buffet, Suhail admires how he was able to invest at such a young age and see huge successes as a result. If Suhail had Buffet's resources, he'd spend them on climate change and space exploration. "I care about climate change and how we are progressing to a future in space. What are we doing on the planet, to the planet, and if we'll ever need to find a new planet?"
"Fortune favors the brave”
Salman’s 7 Habits Target -Begin With the End in Mind.
"I always believe if you start something with the end in mind that would actually act as a goal for you and as you begin to achieve that goal you start making plans. Without the end in mind, we would not have a path to follow and get distracted or lost."
As a former system administrator at Hitachi, Salman Sayyed came to eTrepid expecting system administrator tasks. While hardware and software configurations are all part of managing client infrastructure, Salman will be the first to tell you, “We look into all kinds of technology issues that our customers face, whether those issues are directly related to a solution or not.”
When he’s not resolving user issues, Salman loves cricket, traveling and honing his software development skills. Salman’s team believes he’d take his laptop on a trip to Disneyland, to which he jokingly responds, “There is no limit to the technology we might face at eTrepid or when and where it may surface.” We recently learned of Salman’s SQL database administration expertise which came in clutch on a recent project.
Salman shares his passion for learning new things with the rest of our team, “Everyone helps everyone, we want to help each other and our customers succeed and be an integral part of each project. At eTrepid it is not only about work, it is also about having fun together while working, learning and keeping everyone’s mood high. When it’s time to get to business, we’re ready to go.”
“Sharpening the saw is always being open to learn and keep learning. Whatever the task at hand, be it a certification today or a video game when I’m 90”
As a Level 1 technician, Sean Brendan handles IT cybersecurity solutions for eTrepid’s DoD customers. On track to become a Level 2 and 3 technician, Sean continues to hone his skills. “I love working with DoD contractors and do everything in my power to make sure they’re well cared for.”
Studying for his Security Plus certification, Sean feels he has found his rhythm at eTrepid. With so many small businesses going to remote work structures, Sean knows telecommuting securely, email encryption and ___ are hot topics for the eTrepid customer.
Known for his dedication to seeing a job to and through successful outcomes, Sean has found an unexpected knack for cybersecurity. “I'm not going to lie, I wasn’t into cybersecurity,” he explains. “I even tried to stay away from it but always got pulled back to cyber. Now, if there's a cyber incident, I want to be involved, I want to know about it.”
Prior to joining our team, Sean worked in the music industry, producing concerts, festivals and traveling with well-known artists as a guitar and sound technician. Getting the IT itch while on the road led him to finish his education and find a home here. Making things work in concert is how he excels at eTrepid, “I joined eTrepid fresh out of school and have already learned so much. “When I think of a project, I imagine if this were a show, how would I do it? Break it down, start to finish. It's the journey, not the destination.” His patience and level-headedness comes from his father who he describes as an all-around great dude.
“I can play a mean guitar. I can play drums. I've played bass, violin and piano night.” Prove it we say.
"I really liked Habit 1, which talked about being proactive and taking responsibility for your life and your choices. I feel like once you realize that you have the power to change yourself for the better, nothing stands in the way between you and your goals in life."
This certified up-and-coming network pro has done a lot with his short time at eTrepid. Coming to us as an intern, whether he’s writing device configurations or checking your network onsite, Austin Abarca knows how to lock down the devices on your network, even if he has to do it all from his laptop.
Austin is driven by solving problems in real-world situations, which is how he became interested in IT at such an early age. After applying for and being granted acceptance to the Cisco Networking Academy in high school, Austin spent the next 4 years diving into intermediary devices, their purpose and how they send messages across the network. At the office, Austin is frequently complimented in his dedication to the task at hand and often spends time after hours to learn concepts from other members of the team. “learn everything that involves IT and networking. I'm learning more about cybersecurity and software maintenance and device management as well.”
Austin cares about the environment spreading awareness surrounding global warming and deforestation. At times frustrated by the lack of real solutions, “I want my children to be able to live the earth the same way I did.” He approaches each day ready to solve problems in front of him and appreciates working with his eTrepid team members, “From day one, the team put a lot of effort into understanding who I was. They were invested in me from the start, asking my goals, each person willing to share their field of expertise. No two days are alike, we’re on top of new things. We have great systems engineer and cybersecurity expertise and we understand how everything works.
"I believe whatever we do in the end it should be a win-win situation for everyone.”
Mohd Affan is a customer service pro meets expert help desk analyst. Passionate about technology for most of his life led him to Google and Amazon prior to joining eTrepid. Our team approach is what drives him to become better as he pursues Network and Cybersecurity certifications. Mohd points to his teammates as having achieved some of the skills he’s after, “Watching my team members grow and achieve their goals has given me a roadmap to do the same.”
Whether complicated technical issues or quick question issues, Mohd is often the first line of defense for eTrepid customers, but Mohd hasn’t always been on the technical career track. After college, he worked as an actor and starred in several series and even auditioned for a Netflix series. “It was exciting to be in a TV crime series as well as some theater roles.”
Having worked previously with companies where teamwork and transparency were corporate jargon, coming to eTrepid has been a welcomed opportunity. “There's so much we work on together and the way we come together as a team has been transforming for me.”
"Strive for a sustainable lifestyle that affords you time to recuperate, recharge and be effective in the long-term."
What is multi-skilled, multi-use and adaptable to nearly every task at hand? At the forefront of eTrepid operations is Lynn Erion. “Everybody loves Lynn,” can be heard repeatedly throughout the office, so when you're having any kind of problem and Lynn’s on the case, you’re in capable hands.
Having spent the past two decades immersed in all things IT and often referred to as a Swiss Army Knife with a lot of different uses - Lynn keeps you both prepared and protected. He carries with him deep industry knowledge and a nurturing dedication to the success of everyone around him, we can’t help but agree.
His work ethic was likely instilled in him as a boy scout and served him well as he led his sons through their own scout journey to make their Eagle Scout designation. Members of the eTrepid team appreciate how far he’s able to look ahead on projects and in the woods. “Once on a canoe trip, Lynn brought everything sealed in five-gallon buckets. When your canoe rolls, the buckets float, have easy handles and can become a seat. Need to take a break? Set one down for a chair, another for a table. He has a multi-faceted, well-thought-out approach to everything.”
“It doesn’t matter what the situation calls for, Lynn breaks out a solution that’s so simple. That's Lynn. His magnetic personality and willingness to share his knowledge is what makes those around him love to work with him. He breaks the most challenging concepts down into bite-sized, manageable pieces for everyone.”
"You’re putting in the work and effort now to save time and money by preparing for the unexpected problems now instead of at the last minute.”
Shadab is the tech support associate that often resolves your issues over chat. Having worked in IT for nearly 5 years as data analyst and auditor, Shadab is our internal IT support expert and recently achieved his CCNs certification.
“With so much of the world working remote, nowadays everyone is working from home. Many clients are trying to connect in new ways - we fix that.” Closing out support tasks and getting positive feedback is what Shadab loves about his work. “Consistently getting 5 stars as a team is a great feeling and makes us work hard to maintain that high-level of workmanship.”
Passionate about learning new IT technologies, especially in networking and cybersecurity areas, Shadab relaxes through his favorite sports teams, traveling and cricket. “I love the work culture here, everyone lends a hand when needed. We have something other teams don’t: trust, teamwork, support through challenges.”