Meet the Team | David Steinbeck

David was born in Pittsburgh, PA.  His dad was a physical education teacher in the inner city school district and my mom is a real estate appraiser at a family owned business.  He has two older brother, Mike and Matt.  Because of his dad’s job working for the city schools of Pittsburgh, David’s family lived within the city limits in a town called Bellevue.  He attended a Christian School for pre-school and Kindergarten but then moved out to the suburbs where he eventually graduated high school.

Growing up, David played a lot of sports and had a lot of hobbies.  He always loved baseball but also wanted to be just like his brother Matt, so also played football and basketball. He quit football to focus on baseball because he was determined to play in college.  He also skateboarded and eventually got into snowboarding in high school.  David also likes to golf, play softball, hike, and mountain bike.  Those hobbies, along with snowboarding, are what drew me him to the Rocky Mountains.  The ski resort on the east coast David used to go to was called Seven Springs. After visiting the West a couple times, he couldn’t go to Seven Springs anymore. It wasn’t even close to his experiences in the Rockies.

David attended the University of Pittsburgh and got his bachelors in Business Administration and Communication.  He didn’t get to play baseball in college like he always wanted, but got the next best thing.  David was a student equipment manager for the Pitt Football team for four years and it was one of the greatest experiences of his life. 

“I got all the perks of being a college athlete but didn’t have to put my body physically on the line.  We did all of the behind the scenes jobs for the team, including laundry, gear and equipment distribution, working with the coaches to make practice run smoothly, and we also go to be apart of the games and travelling to the away games was the best part.  Getting to see different cities all across the country was an incredible experience.  I met some lifelong friends working that job and met some incredible coaches and players I will never forget.”  David recalls.

David and his brother got to go to Colorado for Matt’s senior year spring break and Lake Tahoe for David’s senior year spring break. Those two trips solidified David’s desire to move out West. In the Fall of 2018, David made the move to the Vail Valley where Matt had been living for over a year.  “I wanted to be close to the mountains I loved so much and my brother I always wanted to be just like.” David says.

David’s first job out of college was for a Fortune 500 telecommunications company that owned and operated cell phone towers.  He had little exposure to tech in that job but occasionally traveled to the cell sites. He found himself contacting his help desk because he didn’t know much about the computer or software he was working with. He learned a great deal from the job and will always be thankful for that opportunity.  His brother Matt sent him the All Mountain Tech job posting. He immediately applied. 

David admits, “I knew little about tech before I got hired by AMT.  I have learned more in the one month that I have worked here than I knew from my previous 24 years on this Earth.  Technology is a crazy industry not only because everything changes from year to year but because it has so much to offer from the cell phones we use every day, to running a multi-billion dollar corporation.  I am excited to see where this job and AMT take me.”

David is an Account Support Specialist at AMT. He works closely with our tech partners and vendors to present clients the best quotes. Whether it is hardware, software, or renewals, David specializes in bringing our clients the best prices and supporting them through the approval process. All Mountain Technologies is lucky to have David as part of the business side of things- another great addition to a great team!

Managed Services- Explained

You may have heard the term or asked the question, "what is a Managed Service Provider?". Well, I am here to hopefully answer any question of what an MSP is, when they began, how they have transformed, how All Mountain Technologies serves as our partner's Managed Service Provider, and why our service is of great value.

To begin, Managed Services are a way of outsourcing management for all IT systems of a company, taking over responsibilities and resources on behalf of the client in order to strategically improve their IT operations. Ultimately this cuts expenses, downtime, and allows the client to focus on their business. Managed Services are a direct alternative to the break/fix model that directly affects a business' ability to operate efficiently. The break/fix model was often extremely costly because it caused businesses to have excessive downtime, lost files, and the extra high expense of hiring IT help to bring the business back to an efficient working place. Managed Services is a subscription or partnership model where the client or company pays monthly for delivered managed services that provide on-going support of technological systems. Some of the systems that All Mountain Technologies supports as a Managed Service Provider are firewalls, the cloud, servers, Office365, domains & SSL's, file share, and VoIP.

The break/fix model was the first to rise as a service to IT systems in the early 1990's as businesses both small and large began to adopt more complicated computer and phone systems. By the late 90's to early 2000's, managed services began as a new model of service for business that gave rise to increased productivity and less downtime in the workplace.

Today, it is more important than ever to protect businesses with a team of IT professionals. As technology moves forward at an increasingly rapid rate, it is even more difficult to keep up without a team of experts providing support for a company's IT systems. Viruses, malware, and ransomware attacks increase in rate as technology moves forward making it imperative that environments are made secure. Reactive IT is much more painful and costly than remaining proactive in approach. 

Modern companies understand what it takes to keep their businesses running efficiently and it is becoming increasingly common and resourceful for even small companies to partner with Managed Service Providers. In fact, according to Garter, IT outsourcing is among the fastest growing security sectors. Companies are becoming unable to manage their IT systems in a cost-efficient and secure manner on their own. It is estimated that by 2020, that over 60% of organizations will have invested in managed services that focus on security such as data-loss prevention and encryption (Garter 2017). Currently, around 35% of companies are utilizing these tools to protect their environments. 

All Mountain Technologies is dedicated to empowering our partners to think differently about how they approach technology. This is a primary reason why we pride ourselves as a Managed Service Provider that partners with our client's companies to provide an optimized and secure IT environment. 

 

Wellness Wednesday: Emotional Intelligence

We've all heard the phrase Emotional Intelligence before.It seems to be a buzz word in the business world. So what is it exactly? Emotional intelligence (EI) or emotional quotient (EQ) is the capacity of individuals to recognize their own, and other people's emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior.

It is becoming increasingly more important as a leader to tap into EI and EQ. Emotional well-being in an office should be taken as seriously as health insurance or a 401k, especially in high stress jobs such as hospitality or healthcare. Here are the reasons why EQ will make you a better leader and create a healthy workplace environment. 

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EQ Helps You Better Understand Your Employees

You can’t be an effective leader if your employees are little more to you than cogs in a machine. Fortunately, by boosting your emotional intelligence, you can help get to know your employees on a personal level, better understanding how to motivate them in the process.

“Emotional intelligence improves your ability to see things from the other person’s perspective, including what other people may be thinking and feeling. Therefore, higher EQ enables you to better understand your employees actions and decisions, as well as their needs,” says Dr. Inna Khazan, PhD.

It Gives You More Confidence

Being a good leader means staying strong, even in the face of adversity. Luckily, when you’re emotionally intelligent, it’s easy to feel confident in your strengths and know how to effectively manage the strong emotions and opinions of those working below you—something that might otherwise throw you off your game.

It Increases Camaraderie

Being a good leader isn’t all about knowing how to boss people around. In fact, much of being a good, motivational leader comes from enjoying camaraderie with the people you work with, and making them feel comfortable and appreciated. And, naturally, being emotionally intelligent makes it far easier to make your appreciation of your employees’ individual skills known.

It Increases Your Productivity

Productivity and emotional intelligence go hand-in-hand for those in leadership positions. When you’re an emotionally intelligent leader, you understand the reasons why things need to get done and don’t let your ego get in the way, even if that means admitting your own errors.

“One of the most significant issues that reduce your productivity is avoidance of difficult or unpleasant emotions,” adds Dr. Khazan. “EQ helps you become more aware of such emotions, and enables you to cope with them in helpful ways, reducing avoidance and increasing productivity.”

It Makes You Kinder

A little kindness goes a surprisingly long way when you’re in a leadership role. “Because EQ helps you to better understand other people’s experience, it becomes easier to see and empathize with other people’s struggles and then to be kinder in your actions and responses,” says Dr. Khazan.

Fortunately, when you’re emotionally intelligent and respect the feelings of your employees, it’s easier to be kind to them. In turn, they’ll work harder for you—after all, when’s the last time you found yourself motivated by someone cruelly barking orders at you?

It Reduces Workplace Stress

Workplace stress can be significant for those in leadership roles, but a little emotional intelligence can help mitigate this often-detrimental side effect of a high-powered position. With a little work on your own emotional intelligence, things that would have otherwise stressed you out, like an employee who’s having a hard time or an ever-expanding to-do list, can be dealt with in a calm and collected manner.

It Opens Up Channels of Communication

A scary leader is rarely an effective one in the long term. The good news is that being emotionally intelligent can make you more understanding, and, as such, a leader your subordinates aren’t afraid to communicate with. This often creates a positive cycle in the workplace: with more communication, you become more effective, and have more feedback to give your employees.

It Helps You Retain Talent

If you’re eager to stop the endless turnover at your company, it wouldn’t hurt to brush up on your EQ skills. “People want to work with leaders who are more attuned to their needs, are able to communicate effectively, and respond to their employees with compassion and understanding,” explains Dr. Khazan.

In the long run, fostering these emotional connections with your employees will make them eager to stay in their positions instead of looking for a job that can nurture them both professionally and personally.

EQ Helps You Recognize Your Own Motivations

It’s no easy task to separate your personal feelings and the professional side of you that knows when things need to get done. Luckily, a little emotional intelligence can go a long way when it comes to recognizing why you’re doing things as a leader. Are you simply continuing what the boss before you did? Are you acting with anger? Are you bringing stress from outside the office into the workplace? Are you unclear about why something has to be done a certain way? Once you understand your own motivations, it’s easier to separate your feelings from the facts about what needs to be accomplished.

It Improves Your Problem-Solving Skills

Whether you’re dealing with a difficult employee, struggling to find ways to grow your new business, or just feeling emotionally exhausted, emotional intelligence can help. Emotional intelligence makes you more receptive to new ideas, helps you pick yourself up after a perceived failure, and helps keep your emotions in check when you’re frustrated, all of which can help you more effectively problem solve in the long run.

Some content recycled from msn.com

Meet the Team -Nathan Parrish-

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Nathan Parrish is quite the jack of all trades...

Valet, resort worker, DJ, electrician -you name it- Nathan has done it! After 15 years working as an electrician, Nathan switched careers to IT. With a natural love for science, technology was the perfect fit for him. Celebrating his 7th year with AMT this year, Nathan has gone from a Level 1 Help Desk Technician to a Systems Administrator. You might catch him on the slopes or hitting up Minturn's Thursday night concert with his family. 

 

Nathan Parrish grew up in Wheat Ridge, Colorado outside of Denver. He was always the kid that took stuff apart and tinkered with it. He took his first computer class the Summer after first grade on an Apple IIe. Nathan naturally gravitated towards science. As a child he enjoyed space and science fiction.

After high school, Nathan worked in several different industries. From a DJ to a casino valet, Nathan did it all. He worked at a resort and snowboarded 140-something days that year. His sister introduced him to her friend that was an electrician. He soon took a job with him as an electrical apprentice.

They worked on multi-million-dollar homes with complex audio video control and lighting systems. Nathan learned how to integrate the control systems. There was a need for this expertise when working on large, complex homes. Always a hobbyist, Nathan started to build computers mid to late 2000s. He remembers going to see the movie Hackers in the late 90s which renewed his interest.

In ’05 he started his own business as an electrician. After several successful years self-employed and the economic downturn of 2008, Nathan reevaluated the work he was doing. He was at a buddy’s house and heard All Mountain Technologies was looking for a Level 1 Help Desk Technician. In 2011 he switched careers, moved in with his girlfriend Kristi out of his beloved bachelor pad, and had a baby boy, Vaughn.

Nathan always knew he wanted to work in technology but did not want to be confined to the compartmentalized nature of corporate structure. He has found freedom and growth at AMT.

“No two days are the same,” he said, “it keeps me on my toes.” He organically transitioned from Help Desk to a Systems Administrator as the company grew. A Systems Administrator has oversight over different types of systems for several clients. Nathan manages and maintains the systems for a business’ overall health and functionality. He is constantly on the go, visiting clients, and keeping them up to date. Time management is essential.

When asked what he loves about IT, Nathan’s response was “Technology is constantly changing and evolving. There’s always more to learn. People don’t realize the level of backend work it takes to operate technology. Our goal is to upgrade systems, teach people how to use them, and make their work easier, more efficient, and profitable.”

Nathan celebrates his 7th anniversary with AMT this year. He currently lives in Minturn with his family. You may see him on the slopes or enjoying some free live music Thursday nights. Nathan truly embodies what AMT stands for and we are so blessed to have him on our team.

 

 

Be Prepared. Be Aware. The "Krack" Edition.

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When approaching the issue of the latest news of the new found vulnerability in the industry's WPA2 standard, I knew we'd need to interview one of amt's experts, a Technical Account Manager (TAM). Jon Van Cleve was more than willing to clarify the issue in the most straight forward and to-the-point manner. Below is a quick review of what to know, do, and prepare for when approaching the possible vulnerabilities within your network.

What is “KRACK”? – KRACK stands for Key Replacement AttaCK and is a flaw in the WPA2 wireless security standard. WPA2 has been the main method of securing wireless networks since 2005 or so, and is very common.

How can it affect my network? - It can allow someone who is connected to your network to see all non-https traffic on your network. This includes sites visited, passwords typed in, and any other information between you and the non-https site.

What can I do to protect myself and my work environment? - You can update all your devices, phones, laptops, PCs. Unfortunately, many devices won't see updates such as older devices and hardware. Apple and Windows automatically updated IF you are in-line with current updates and newer systems. Double check all carriers and devices to be sure they are covered and updated.

How is the WPA2 standard vulnerable and what is the "4-way handshake"?  – Part of WPA2 is built-in encryption, which is supposed to keep your data private. However due to a flaw in WPA2, someone already connected to the wireless network can get the encryption key during authentication, more specifically in phase 3 of the 4-way handshake. Once they have this key, all internet data is potentially vulnerable across all devices on the network.

What does it mean to be patched and how can I make this process happen? - The best process would be to research your device model and KRACK attack procedures. To be patched means having the latest updates of your manufacturing device/network and maintaining suggested standards of security. Microsoft, Apple, and others have release patches.

For more information you can check out this Wired article that does a good job at approaching the issue. If you're one of our clients, please contact us if you have further questions and concerns. 


Jon Van Cleve, Technical Account Manager & Kendra Smith, Marketing and Sales 

 

America Recycles Day with the Town of Vail

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All Mountain Tech is joining the Town of Vail on November 15th to celebrate America Recycles Day, "one day to celebrate an entire year to act". This event will be free to the town of Vail residents, property owners, and employees. The day will be dedicated to collecting e-waste items such as old computers, phones, TV's, and stereos as well as educating the public on how to properly dispose of electronics in the future. If you have excessive quantities of electronics charges may apply. 

As of 2013, the state of Colorado prohibits the disposal of electronics to Colorado landfills. If you are living in Eagle Country you can take your e-waste to the Eagle County Household Hazardous Waste Facility that is located near the landfill. The cost to recycle these materials is .20 cents a pound.

Why should we properly recycle electronics you ask? Well, there is a long list of reasons, but I'll give you the short answer. 

Electronics contain numerous harmful substances including mercury, lead, and lithium. When these items are thrown into local landfills their harmful toxins can seep into the ground and eventually into our ground water. Besides already being toxic to our natural environment, e-waste is very harmful to the human body when found in local water. This is why it is important to properly dispose of our household and business e-waste.

Whether you are local or remote, we look forward to you participating in America Recycles Day!