|SPOTlight On: Fulcrum Group’s New Virtual CIO, Jerry Craven |
This month, we’d like to introduce you to Jerry Craven. Jerry takes the cake for elaborating so nicely on the questions we ask, so we feel sharing his complete answers will really help you get to know our newest team member!
- What’s your title (and job description, in your own words)?
My title of Virtual CIO means that I have the privilege of being a part of the Fulcrum team, while also acting as customer advocate for our clients. The concept of going to the customer-side of the table to understand their challenges and opportunities is the only way to go, so it’s exciting to join an organization that lives by that as part of its values.
- Favorite part of your job?
I’ve heard people say that business should not be personal. I believe that is the furthest thing from the truth. Business is personal, otherwise, there would be no point in conducting it! It seems like Steve and David emphasize that it is the people that make it all work. And it seems like we as a team share that value. That is hugely important to me.
I suppose being away from the office on customer appointments might mean I miss some of Justin’s high fives.
- Any certifications you feel will really stand out as an important help to our customers?
Most of my certifications have expired in the last few years, as my more recent focus has been in business development, account management, etc. However, between 2000 and 2012, I was heavily focused on the engineering side of Network Infrastructure, Voice and Voice over IP, and Unified Collaboration design and deployment, so at one time or another I have held:
Cisco Certified Network Professional
Cisco Certified Voice Professional (now more commonly CCNP-Voice)
Cisco Certified Design Associate
Certified Novell Engineer 3 and CNE 5 (showing my vintage here)
By all means, those skills may be trumped by the top-notch talent we have here at Fulcrum, but I do feel that it gives me a solid background to understand the technical side of things, while maintaining my primary focus of being a true advocate for our customer and developing and maintaining our business relationships.
- What kinds of things do you like to do in your free time?
Family is the most important thing to me, so spending time and having fun with Isaac, 8, and Nathaniel, 4, is the best part of life. My maturity level is somewhere between Isaac and Nate, so building Legos, playing Minecraft, exploring the neighborhood, riding bikes…As long as I am with them and my wife, Rebecca. They even humor me and come golfing with me sometimes.
And speaking of my wife, bless her heart, she is outnumbered. We’re all boys! Our oldest is my Stepson, Thurston (18), then Isaac, 8, then Nate, 4.
- Any recent personal news you’d like to share with your coworkers, our customers and contacts?
My Stepson Thurston (I claim him, poor fella!) Just started College at University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR). He has declared as Pre-Med. He is wicked smart and a great young man, so the whole family is super proud!
Isaac is a pretty gifted Little Leaguer! He makes us proud by not necessarily being the longest hitter you have ever seen, but: CLUTCH! He has been Mr. Reliable as both a leadoff hitter, and late in the order, cleaning up by almost always knocking out singles and doubles to bring runners in – ESPECIALLY with the pressure is really on. He’s got ice water in his veins!
Nate is the charmer. When you meet him, I challenge you to try to stump him with trivia related to the topics of Firefighters or Ghostbusters. He’s got it down cold. Feel free to ask him to recreate the ‘He Slimed Me’ scene. You might be asked to provide props such as the walkie-talkies or a proton pack.
- What’s a “fun” or interesting (and shareable) fact about yourself?
The Fulcrum Band might be coming along nicely: I used to play guitar a little back my day. I guess we need a drummer…?
- What personal qualities do you feel you bring to the table in working with your colleagues – and customers?
My parents are great, and when faced with the formidable challenge of raising me right, they emphasized being considerate of others and walking a mile in their shoes, so to speak. I hope that I do that. I have been known to be somewhat relentless and detailed about getting critical projects completed properly and on time, so I believe I bring something to the team there.
If you get the pleasure of working with Jerry, there’s sure to be very few awkward silences!