Stephanie Hurd

By: Stephanie Hurd on July 23rd, 2021

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Five Innovative Promotions

Life at Innovative

Today was what we call a big, freaking deal at Innovative. And for all the RIGHT reasons.

First off, it was our very first, post-COVID in-person, all-hands company meeting. 🙌That means real-life friends and company-sponsored breakfast goodies 🍩 that tasted way better than whatever day-old muffins we’ve scrounged up in our kitchens the past year and a half.

Secondly, our chief Innovator, Jason, announced not one, not two, but FIVE internal staff promotions! ❗

That’s right – this little two-person computer shop that started 20 years ago now how as a full-fledged management team of home-grown leaders. Pretty cool, huh? 😎

Innovative's Rising Stars

Our service coordinator, Josh Thomas, was promoted to service manager back in October. Today, he became part of a three-person service department leadership (SDL) team. The SDL divides responsibilities into the three priority areas of any service team, people, process, and technology. Josh is heading up the people piece of the SDL as customer service manager. Aaron Sipes is responsible for the process part as service operations manager, and Charlie Cousins is heading up the technology end as technical service manager.

Today’s other two promotions came from the project team and sales team, respectively. Innovative promoted Steve Akers from project administrator to project manager, and Steph Hurd (yeah – that’s me – bear with me as I write this in the third person) from marketing strategist to business development manager.

Steve’s Story

Steve Akers came onboard with Innovative in February 2016 as a field service technician. He worked on-site at client locations providing day-to-day support and troubleshooting. In 2018, Steve moved to the project team as a systems technician and later systems engineer. He implemented new technologies and engineered infrastructure projects for Innovative’s wide variety of business clients. He then took on the role of project administrator, coordinating project logistics and scheduling between the project team and clients.

Steve is a Microsoft Certified Professional and holds the CompTIA A+, Security+, and Network+ certifications. In his new role, he is responsible for all aspects of project management, including planning and scheduling, task execution and logistics, and communication with client contacts and other key stakeholders.

Chronicles of Charlie

Charlie Cousins joined Innovative’s team as a network engineer in March 2013. He is a Cisco Certified Network Associate with an Associate of Applied Science degree in computer networking, a Bachelor of Science in IT network administration, a Master of Science in information security assurance, and numerous other IT and cybersecurity certifications.

Charlie has been Innovative’s top-tier technician and go-to resource for escalated support, advanced troubleshooting, and critical security solutions for several years. In his new role, Charlie serves as the technical arm of the service department leadership. He is the lead technician and technical subject matter expert. He ensures the team implements sound technical strategies and maintains the necessary skill to provide the best technical expertise to Innovative clients.

The Scoop on Steph

Steph Hurd came onboard with Innovative in May 2018 as a technology strategist focused on acquiring new business in the Frederick County market. She transitioned to marketing strategist in 2019, supporting the entire sales team through digital marketing initiatives and other sales enablement functions. With a professional background in organizational development and workforce training, Steph helped Innovative develop a marketing strategy rooted in a mission to educate the business community on relevant technology trends and best practices.

Steph is a Certified Program Planner and Certified Contract Trainer with a Bachelor of Arts degree in letters, arts, and sciences. She is also a 2016 graduate of Leadership Frederick County and a 2020 graduate of Leadership Washington County. In her new role, Steph is responsible for digital content creation, lead generation, sales enablement, and new business acquisition.

Aaron's Adventure

Aaron Sipes first came to Innovative for a four-month internship in 2017 when he was in the cybersecurity program at Hagerstown Community College. He returned in 2018 for a full-time systems technician position. In this role, he’s done everything from providing day-to-day help desk support to field service. He most recently worked as a service coordinator, scheduling field service, monitoring the help desk queue, and ensuring the assignment of the right techs with the right skills to appropriate tickets.

Aaron has an Associate of Science degree in cybersecurity, an academic certificate in advanced network security, and several other professional IT and cybersecurity certifications. In his new role, he is the process arm of the service department leadership. He is responsible for the logistics of day-to-day service scheduling, ticket statuses, documentation and ensures the team is leveraging the right tools to deliver support efficiently and consistently.

Josh’s Journey

Josh Thomas came onboard with Innovative in August 2016 as a service technician and soon began working on-site at client locations as a field service technician. After working as a service coordinator, scheduling field service, and coordinating help desk logistics for the past few years, he was promoted to service manager in October 2020. He is a 2021 graduate of Leadership Washington County and studied psychology and IT at Hagerstown Community College.

Josh’s title is shifting to customer service manager to better align with his responsibility as the people arm of the service department leadership. He is responsible for client satisfaction and communication, as well as the day-to-day management of most service team members.

What’s Next?

According to Jason, “This announcement marks an exciting new chapter for Innovative.”

This new, expanded management team is the foundation for Innovative’s next stage of growth. Stick around. I have a feeling you're about to see more big things to come.