Derek’s interest in computers started when he began working on his neighbor’s computers at the age of 10, and then at a local college while he attended high school. He studied Civil Engineering at Iowa State University, then left for a technology job at Gateway Computers.
Afterward, Derek worked at Trilogy Networks and PowerUP, an organization that strives to “bridge the digital divide” within underserved communities. Since then, he’s installed almost 150 computer labs across the United States, including remote parts of Alaska. From there, Derek launched into the world of gaming as the Executive Manager of Technology and Gaming Compliance at Capri Gaming. He’s also served as the Global Operations Manager at Primus International and PCC Aerostructures.
While serving in IT management at Jones Soda, Derek was part of an effort to go “off the grid” for Earth Day, in which they became the first company where all servers, computers, lights, and business operations were powered by human bicycle energy. As a lead engineer at Avanade and Accenture, Derek was part of a six-person team that built Microsoft Power BI.
During his career, Derek has focused on leadership, integrity, and meeting project milestones. He enjoys teaching interns and new people “the ropes” in real work environments.
Working as an IT consultant for 501 Commons is part of his passion for giving back to the community and other people in the technology industry who are striving to get the same chance to do big things.
Fun Fact: Outside of work, Derek enjoys extreme adventure sports such as skydiving. He also likes paragliding, building Hot Rod cars by hand, motorcycle racing, biking, and traveling.