Meet Billy Caldwell, Information Systems Operations Manager, from our NexPort Solutions Division in Oklahoma City.
What exactly does it mean to wield that title? Billy is the unsung hero who slays our data management dragons. He is responsible for managing day-to-day network operations and problem solving for more than 50 employees nationwide. It’s a job that crosses multiple divisions and departments.
Billy began at AST in 2003 as an intern from Cameron University while working on a Bachelor of Science degree in Instructional Multimedia Design. Once his internship was completed, he began working part-time in customer service, and by 2004, he was a full-time AST employee. In 2007, Billy’s position shape-shifted into Network Administrator when the NexPort Solutions office was established in Oklahoma City. For the next twelve years, he was pretty much a one- man-show, responsible for being on call 24/7 to manage and update the servers and to identify and resolve any issue that prevented employees from functioning in their job.
One of his current responsibilities is to lead the weekly Tier 3 synchronization meetings, where he tracks Fogbugz cases and facilitates communication for Smart Horizons, SHCOE, Dialogex, and partners. His main goal is to run consistent meetings that stay focused on an agenda and the highest priorities.
One of the things I appreciate most about Billy is that he is such a great problem solver. Whatever pressing issue we have, I never question that he will take care of it. He takes whatever you throw at him then uses our nontechnical language and translates it into engineer-speak. - Jenness Hunter
Jenness Hunter from curriculum development at Smart Horizons says, “One of the things I appreciate most about Billy is that he is such a great problem solver. Whatever pressing issue we have, I never question that he will take care of it. He takes whatever you throw at him then uses our nontechnical language and translates it into engineer-speak.” Billy does something for Darwin Global that is vital to all operations—he provides a crucial conduit between key department contacts and engineering.
When not slaying dragons for Darwin Global, Billy’s favorite activity is competitive remote control car racing, a special interest that he has been involved with for 22 years. His most recent accomplishment is participating in Tulsa’s 2019 R/C Chili Bowl in three different classes: Midwest Modified, Outlaw Sprint, and Wingless Sprint. Billy progressed to finals in all three classes and finished 10th in the Wingless Sprint. Click to watch Billy’s victorious qualifier at the event: https://youtu.be/hsZAyk6ZvO4
Billy naturally gravitates toward activities where things can be built, fixed, or rebuilt. One such hobby is restoring vintage cars. He is currently working on a 1952 GMC truck. He inherited a love of cars and mechanical things from his late father, a drag racer who also enjoyed flying remote control airplanes.
Billy also enjoys spending time at gaming stores and events. For the past several years he has been a demo agent for Catalyst Game Labs at gaming conventions. His game of choice is BattleTech, a tabletop combat game set in the 31st century.
When asked what his “happy place” is, Billy says it’s when he completes a project, closes out an issue, or scratches off an item on his to-do list. Yet, a key lesson he has learned is there is such a thing as caring too much. It is important to recognize what tasks are urgent and what tasks can wait till the next day.
Thank you, Billy, for all your hard work and over 15 years of dedication. We dub thee, Dragonslayer, Realm of the Darwin Global.
About NexPort Solutions Group
NexPort Solutions Group is a division of Darwin Global, LLC, a systems and software engineering company that provides innovative, cost-effective training solutions and support for federal, state and local government, as well as the private sector.