Jim grew up in Louisiana, at the young age of 17, he became fascinated with technology. After writing his first program on an Apple 2, his interest was piqued as he was exposed to the world of technology. Jim encountered technology again soon after when he went to take his Military Entrance Exam.
“I took a test that allowed you to see what your strengths were and mine showed I would thrive in something mechanical. After seeing my results, my recruiter told me I should go into computers, seeing as they were in need of more computer engineers in the army.” Though Jim never continued his path towards the army, this moment began his technology career.
Coming from a family of blue-collar workers, Jim knew the meaning of hard day’s work at a young age. Directly after finishing his schooling, Jim began his career working with Blue Cross of Louisiana as a mainframe telecommunications specialist. At the same time, he realized his talent for PC computer systems and started his first company, Baton Rouge Computer Services, building computers for individuals and small businesses. With his experience in both the health and the technical, he joined General Health as a PC/Network Coordinator and contributed to their networking team. After these experiences in corporate America, he joined the technology team at CPT of Baton Rouge, a small systems integrator; he worked closely with this team as part of implementation and services. Finally, the entrepreneur bug was firmly planted in him and he knew he wanted to own his own business.
“Growing up, my dad owned his own marine and boating shop. Watching him, I picked up a lot on how to treat customers and build long term relationships. My father was a great communicator and I saw how people responded to his authentic, generous spirit.”
Jim was young, 26, with two young children, but he took the leap with the help of his business partner and founded R & D Networking in 1992. In 1995 they co-founded PremierOne.com the first commercial Internet Provider in the State of Louisiana. The company grew quickly to 80 employees, until in 1997, Cohesive Networking Solutions offered to buy the company. Also in 1997 PremierOne.com was acquired by East Ascension Telephone. Jim remained a part of the Cohesive team, including the period of time when Exodus Communications, Inc., a NASDAQ 50 Company, acquired Cohesive to create a National Professional Services division. Exodus brought 22 internet data centers worldwide into the picture and captured the attention of big name clients such as: Sony Pictures, Hotmail and Yahoo. Jim remained with Exodus Communications, serving as VP of the South, Professional Services Division. He managed teams of technical professionals in Los Angeles, Austin, Louisiana and Atlanta.
“Working with Exodus was interesting because it combined traditional enterprise infrastructure skills and a deep understanding of internet applications. Tremendous energy and capital were being invested into making the Internet a corporate tool as well as a springboard for creating a whole new industry.”
With success in his path, Governor Murphy (Mike) Foster offered Jim the position of CIO for the State of Louisiana, the first in state history. Jim and Governor Foster paved a new direction for the Office of CIO and created a core support team, The Office of Information Technology.
“I deeply enjoyed and cherished the opportunity I was given, but I quickly learned that I was not suited for Public Service, instead I was an entrepreneur at heart. It was my first experience working for the public sector and I will be forever grateful to the Governor for the opportunity to implement a Master Plan and the Office of Information Technology. This plan was implemented by multiple CIO’s over the last 10 years and has seen Louisiana move into a well-respected position compared to other states of similar size.”
After taking a break from the working world, Jim headed up a few more startups around the country, mainly helping launch applications, before creating the first online course education system, PE Learn.com, which used video as the primary communications tool. The system allowed Professional Engineers the opportunity to receive continuing education credits via streaming video sessions taught by PhD instructors.
22 years, six children and seven successful companies later, Jim finds himself as a Partner and a member of the Transformyx Management Team. As Chief Technology Officer, all of Jim’s knowledge and experience is in full use.
“It’s not hard to get caught up in the world of technology. It’s constantly changing and evolving. When I started, it was paper automation. Then it was e-mail. Now, it’s text messages and social media, VoIP and Virtualization. Information travels so quickly now and the pace will continue to quicken as does our ability to process it at ever higher rates.”
Jim expects that technology will become more ubiquitous with more innovative ideas like the iPad and he will help guide Transformyx through this part of the evolution.
“I view this company in parts working for the whole on behalf of the customers we serve. We are divided into Infrastructure, Web, and Managed Services solutions focused on the business objectives of our clients. As technology changes, our capabilities will grow and develop with the industry. We will always be a source of solutions to our customers.”