From an early age, George excelled in math. Benson High School was the first school in the State of Arizona to introduce computer programming as an elective class and it happened to be in 1973, the year that George was a senior. George immediately took to it, learning Basic programming on a teletype machine. This caught his attention. It was during the 1970s where the adoption curve for businesses utilizing computers was still very early. George saw the opportunity to build his career by becoming one of the people on the planet that accelerated the effective use of technology, particularly within businesses.
After moving to Scottsdale, Arizona to attend Scottsdale Community College, George selected Business Data Processing (now known as Computer Information Systems) as his major. During college, George learned many other computer languages including RPG, Fortran, Cobol and Assembler and his knowledge level and abilities continued to grow. As one of the top students, George often made additional money by tutoring the other students.
Having obtained his first job even before finishing college, George soon found himself at the helm of an IBM-360 at a small life insurance company in Phoenix. Equipped with a card reader, magnetic tapes and disk drive platters that were the size of a large hat box, George learned to manage this giant piece of equipment to make it do what he intended. In today’s standards, most of us carry around more computing power on our smart phone than this computer that filled an entire 30’ by 30’ room in 1976. His work in that first job opened the door of imagination as George began to develop himself into a systems engineer.
After several positions in systems design and development positions, George landed a systems engineer position with ITT Courier. This company was one of the leading businesses that manufactured and sold “dumb” monitors. It was 1980, which was before the personal computer era so the demand for monitors was high as it was the primary way for humans to interact with computers.
It was during his time as an employee at ITT Courier that George first enrolled in The Hunger Project and began volunteering as the Phoenix Community Leader. As a single dad, full-time employee and full-time volunteer, something had to change so George called the headquarters for The Hunger Project in San Francisco and asked if they were looking for someone to set up their computer systems. They invited George to intern for two weeks so that they could collectively determine if it was a good fit.
Having agreed to join the staff of The Hunger Project, George began to develop himself as a leader and manager. He was given the responsibility of managing all the records and administration of The Hunger Project’s six million enrollees, donors and volunteers. This was not the job for one person so George had to develop his skills in enrolling and managing volunteers. Ultimately, George designed and built an entire records management system for the six million plus participants on donated computers with several staff partners and many volunteers that came from the local technology schools.
After 6 and ½ years as a staff member of The Hunger Project, George and his wife Jolie returned to the Greater Phoenix area to be close to his son. George landed a position with Ramada hotels as a systems engineer. After Ramada was acquired by Hospitality Franchise Systems (now Cendant Corporation), the company outsourced their Information Technology to Electronic Data Systems (EDS). EDS was one of the major consulting and technology companies in the world and George’s abilities were put to good use as he helped land several clients in the travel industry including Ryder Truck Rental.
After the toppling of the World Trade Centers, which shut down all activities in the travel industry for months, eCorridor got traction in the criminal justice and law enforcement industry as they became technology consultants for Maricopa County. The job was to build an entirely integrated system that managed the process from the point of an arrest until the final disposition was determined for each charge. George worked with management and staff from Phoenix Police Department, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, Maricopa Superior and Justice Courts, Maricopa County Public Defenders and the Arizona Department of Public Safety, while managing a team of engineers to build multiple systems and many data integration points. Ultimately, millions of dollars of tax payer money were saved by the efficiencies gained from the fully integrated network of systems created by eCorridor. Many of these systems are still in operation today.
George has participated with many technology revolutions over the years from personal computers, the internet to smart phone technology. One of the bigger waves that is currently underway is the avalanche of connected devices. Our vehicles connected to roadways, autonomous vehicles, smart cities, smart buildings. We are entering a time where anything that can be connected will be connected. This is referred to as IoT or Internet of Things. Several businesses that George is currently developing are engaged in building and implementing devices that are part of the IoT wave.