I was born in 1989 on Long Island and grew up in Oyster Bay Cove, NY. As a kid, I had the opportunities explore a variety of interests that I had including ice hockey, golf, baseball, and karate. For high school, I attended Portledge School in Locust Valley, where I met some of my closest friends I still have to this day. I have two supportive and wonderful parents and an amazing older sister.
In the Fall of 2007 I moved to Washington, DC to attend The George Washington University to pursue my interest in computer science. I had no prior experience or knowledge in the field, but had always been interested in it. Neither of my parents were technically savvy, but I understood one thing — if you knew how to program, you can build anything you want. Your only limits would be what you could not understand. The idea that I could build anything was a powerful thought, no matter how naive.
I struggled in the early years at GWU in my computer science classes. I was not fully grasping the concepts and was getting increasingly frustrated since most of my peers had all arrived at school with prior experience and classes from high school. Everyone seemed to know how to complete these assignments except for me. A great professor and adviser told me that every student like me has a point in which the tables turn and things suddenly “click”. This happened in the first semester of junior year and shortly after I found myself helping my peers much like they helped me before. I finally felt like I belonged in what was an exceptional class of 2011.
I finished my undergraduate career completing my senior design project, Metatext, which used Twitter to detect social trends. The project won me the Bard Prize for entrepreneurship in computer science.
During my senior year I met my future business partners who recruited me to join the consulting web design startup, vOfficeware/nonprofitCMS. At the same time, I stayed at GWU to complete my Masters degree in computer science part-time in the evenings. At the company, I was primarily a developer and became proficient in C# / ASP.NET, helping to build custom web applications and websites for nonprofits and associations. With a strong desire to exit consulting work and create a product company, we built our own suite of association-related software platforms. The platform that took off happened to be a very specific niche — Awards Software — a platform that helps organizations run the administrative aspects of awards programs. We decided to go all-in on awards and re-branded as OpenWater. Over the years, as our staff and company have grown substantially due to the success of the awards software, my responsibilities at the company have changed as well. I am now the general manager and have been involved in every sector of the business ranging from sales and marketing to programming and product development. I enjoy being innovative and thinking of new ways to expand and improve the business.
Outside of work, I continue to explore my other interests. I have become an avid reader of non-fiction. I maintain a strong level of fitness by lifting at the gym, regular runs around the national mall, and the occasional hike. I love TV shows and Milano cookies, preferably together. Most of all, I enjoy spending time with family and friends.