ALC’s aDifference Advisory Team recognized the efforts of our teammate, Howard Kuizenga, as their March aDifference in Action nominee. Howard is a great example of this initiative, as it was launched to recognize the work of deserving individuals, and Howard is well known for his endless ability to “focus on the one” while never missing the chance to be a great co-worker. You can read more about Howard here, along wit thoughts from his teammate Joe Petsche.
Nominated by Joe Petsche
Howard is an outstanding steward of technology. He can combine complex problems into a streamlined situation. Moreover, he is dedicated to educating people about the solution. He has the enthusiasm to talk through any issues and get to the root cause or best outcome.
I have great respect for his attention to technology. When there is a business problem to be solved, Howard can utilize available technologies and remix them into a solution. You need it faster? Howard will find a way. You need it better? Howard will find a way.
1. How did you join the ALC Team?
A former colleague of mine asked me to be a professional reference for him when interviewing at Red Rock/ALC and, in that conversation, I realized that I’d enjoy working for this company too! A few months after he got the job, he reached out asking if I knew anyone interested in joining and I enthusiastically replied, “Yeah, me!” Things fell in place rather quickly after that. Many of the more interesting aspects of my life have come from chance encounters and, joining Red Rock/ALC is certainly one of them!
2. How long have you been with ALC?
I joined Red Rock/ALC in October 2017 at the start of the “My Ride Manager” project. Some of the more significant endeavors I’ve been involved in have included moving Rhapsody (and several supporting systems) to a new technology platform, helping to separate the “Schools” and “MedGov” systems, then helping to move the school systems into the Microsoft Cloud. While all these projects were stressful in some regard, they’re also my favorite memories because they show what we can accomplish as a team.
3. What’s my favorite thing about working for Red Rock/ALC?
The answer is simply the team I work on. While it certainly needs to be stated that this is the most talented team I’ve worked on, the key difference for me is that members of this team legitimately care about each other and work towards the collective wellbeing of each other and those we serve. I’m a firm believer that technology is neither good nor bad, but that it does make good or bad things more efficient.
Applying technology to help children (who may already have the cards somewhat stacked against them in life) have an opportunity to learn, grow and realize their potential is a worthy endeavor for me. While the code I work on and the systems I monitor maybe a few degrees of separation away from the direct interaction with those kids, I like thinking about how that work makes those interactions possible. Not all technology does that (much seems to do the opposite), so I’m glad to be working on something that increases the net good in the world.
4. What advice would you give to your younger self?
In my own life, there are three main principles I’ve learned interacting with people. First, if I’m truly convinced someone is working for my wellbeing, trusting them, and working for their wellbeing will be easy. Second, if I’m truly convinced someone is working against my wellbeing, trusting them, and working for their wellbeing will be hard. Third, the dignity of everyone is that they get to make up their own mind and make their own decisions, with some ability to act contrary to natural inclinations. The advice then is to act for the wellbeing of others, which will make it easier for them to act for my wellbeing.
5. If you could do another job, just for one day, what would it be?
Astronaut. I can’t imagine anything more exhilarating than launching into space on a rocket, or more enlightening and humbling than trusting those who built the rocket to do so safely.