Meet the Team of Groff Networks
Lauren Groff started the company with a mission to help small and medium sized businesses with IT services. It wasn’t long before Jack Garrett joined Lauren and together, one client at a time, earned trust and expanded the business. As CEO, Lauren directs and grows the business. Jack Garrett serves as a CIO for many of Groff’s clients, overseeing technical direction, strategy, and budgeting needs for several of Groff Clients. One of Jack’s top talents is making IT issues and strategy practical and understandable to users and executives alike.
Kathleen (Kat) Carmichael – Account Manager/vCIO
Kat graduated from SUNY Potsdam in 2004 with a BS degree in Business Administration and a minor in Information Technology. Kat worked as a technical support specialist for SaQus IT Solutions from 2004 until 2012. She supported the IT networks of small businesses in the Capital Region. Kat has been working at Groff Networks since January 2012. She started as a Network Administration and a service desk team member. Kat is currently a vCIO at Groff Networks and a project manager. She is responsible for holding technical strategy meetings, technical solutions, developing and upholding Groff’s best practices, planning, quoting, implementing and billing IT projects.
BEN DICKSON – Tier II Support
10+ Years in IT
Ben has worked in IT support for over ten years, assisting clients with desktop and server issues. Ben, a certified IT technician, has extensive experience identifying issues for both PC and Mac environments, including older legacy systems. He also has extensive experience resolving issues related to mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. Ben is an Air Force Security Forces veteran.
MIKE GOODE – Tier I Support
2 years in IT
Mike started working in the IT field in 2015, after returning to school in 2014 to pursue an Associate’s degree in Information Technology. His first experience came while he was still in school at Mildred Elley, becoming a Help Desk Work Study, addressing the IT needs for the Albany, New York City, and Pittsfield, MA campuses. In conjunction with the school, he attained an internship at Groff Networks in November 2015, and upon graduation in March of 2016, was offered a full-time position. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology/Cyber-Security from the Sage Colleges of Albany as well. He has knowledge in a wide variety of software, Windows/Linux/Apple OS, and programming languages such as C#, C++, and Visual Basic. Before joining the IT field, Mike had primarily worked in Restaurant Management for over ten years. He was also a member of the US Army Reserves, having been honorably discharged in June of 2004.
JOE MCKEE – COO
20+ years in IT
Joe has worked in desktop/server technologies since 1996, beginning with WAN client/server support as a Regional Technology Specialist for Kinko’s in Chicago, supporting over 50 branches’ networks and served as the Chicago-area project manager for the first nationwide VoIP telephone rollout with Lucent Technologies, along the way picking up software development in Visual Basic, C# and the early versions of Java. In 2000, Joe left Kinko’s to become a technology writer for Oracle Magazine and CRN, serving as the Java Standards Editor for both publications for several years. In 2004, Joe joined the Wall Street firm OTR Global as an Internet Technology analyst covering major software technologies such as Oracle, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Salesforce.com. Joe left OTR Global to consult for global investment firms assisting businesses in Africa, South America, and Asia. Five years ago, Joe returned his career focus to the US and has worked with several Upstate NY businesses as an operations and technology advisor, including Groff NetWorks and officially joined the firm in 2016 as its Chief Operations Officer. Joe overseas staff, finances, and internal systems for Groff NetWorks.
JACK GARRETT- vCIO
12 Years in IT.
Jack originally took a position with Groff NetWorks while pursuing industry certifications after graduating from RPI. He’s been with the company since. During his tenure with the company, he has fulfilled duties across all of our service delivery areas: service desk, network administration, project design and execution, and technology strategy advisement. While his A+, Network+, Security +, and MCSA certifications have long since been awarded, he continues to develop our internal technology standards and actively consults for over 30 local businesses. His experience includes (but is not limited to) Exchange server administration and migrations, Active Directory and Windows server administration, the ESXi VMWare and Hyper-V virtualization platforms, including high availability clustering, storage area networks and hardware, perimeter security and networking, industry standard security controls and audit compliance, and security risk assessment and mitigation work.
MIKE LAKER – Network Administrator
20+ years in IT
Michael has worked in desktop/server support since 1996, starting with desktop support for Eli-Lilly & Co in Indianapolis, IN. Michael then supported various clients such as Carrier Corporation, Thomson Consumer Electronics, Indiana University Libraries. Michael went on to further his carrier in networking with the Keihin Corporation for 12 years. Michael returned to contracting with numerous client with WOWLinx supporting small to medium business which lead him to where he is now as Network Administrator with Groff Networks supporting clients in and around the Capital District.
LOUIS SORACE – Network Administrator
4 years in IT
Louis is a second generation technician who got his start in 2013 working for Amazon Web Services in Technical Operations as a System Engineer deploying and maintaining hardware and software solutions to manage one of the largest global networks of data center infrastructure. After a year with AWS Louis aimed to bring his knowledge of centralized management and automation to the small business market, Joining ACI in 2014 a Bethlehem, PA based managed services provider as a System Administrator. Here he applied his skills to centralize managing all endpoints, successfully improving efficiencies and diversifying his skillset by learning Active Directory, Group Policy and Server Management, while managing a wide array of line of business applications and customer needs across various industries. In 2015 Louis moved on from ACI to help White Wolf Computer as a Sr. System Engineer and Project Manager to aid in the transition from a break fix business model to becoming a true MSP, leveraging everything he learned to sell and deploy truly managed services in an effort to bring down cost while increasing the ability to proactively take care of customers. In 2016 Louis Joined Groff Networks as a Network Administrator and ensures clients are in alignment with industry standard best practices by maintaining their hardware and software infrastructure and working with our VCIO’s to deliver the right solutions based on client needs.
JONATHAN GOYETTE – Senior Network Technician
– 10 years in the IT field
Technology has been Jonathan’s career focus since graduating school in 2007 with a 4.0 GPA and was inducted into the National Technical Honor Society. During his time in school, he participated in an internship at Coxsackie School District that provided an environment and real-world working experience that built the foundational skills and understanding of complex networks. Out of school, Jon worked with ICOM Tech Services and served as head of the company’s technical support branch called “Hitman Services” which provided IT support to local area businesses. Jonathan joined Groff NetWorks in September of 2008. There he has worked in service desk and project management. Presently, Jon provides tier-three support and is head of Groff’s network operations center providing monitoring and improvement services to clients’ networks and backup systems.