We are delighted to welcome our summer interns and look forward to meeting them face-to-face when the office fully opens.
College and major?
Undergrad: University of Michigan – Mathematics. Masters (ongoing): Eastern Michigan University – Mathematics.
What led you to choose your major?
I always liked math and I liked the small class sizes at UM’s math department.
What are you working on at ACS?
I’ll be helping out with the rewrite of the support page and switching Cider from Orchard to Orchard Core.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work/school?
I enjoy gardening (let me know if you want any basil or oregano plants!), cooking, and hiking.
What are you most looking forward to doing when the stay-at-home restrictions are …
We are happy to introduce Brad Hooser as the newest member of the Implementation Services group led by Daryl Vautour. Brad comes to AdvantageCS from Consumers Power where he worked on new business models for solar battery storage. Although he enjoyed doing that, Brad was interested in working with software and data in a position that provided more customer contact. The opportunity at AdvantageCS was just what he was looking for.
Brad earned a bachelor’s degree in economics, with a minor in econometrics, from the University of Michigan. He says that economics provided him with valuable experience in critical thinking. The answers to economic questions, Brad explains, are not obvious and it takes creative reasoning to uncover them. The process is similar in many ways to what is needed to …
We are pleased to welcome Andrea Carter as the newest member of the Program Services team led by Doug Moore. Andrea comes to AdvantageCS from Florida, her home state, where she worked most recently as a business analyst/developer at a home builder company.
Andrea grew up in north Florida, near St. Augustine, and attended the University of Florida, where she majored in sports management. She then moved to Michigan to be near her boyfriend who was attending the University of Michigan. Andrea decided to pursue her interest in business and earned an MBA in finance from Wayne State University, while also working at the U of M credit union. After graduation, she worked for Citibank and then Sterling Bank and Trust in the mortgage area, for a total of six years.
A family issue took Andrea …
We are very pleased to welcome Nicole Stark to the Advantage family. Nicole is not exactly a newcomer, as she was an intern here full-time last summer and part time during the school year. She officially joined AdvantageCS in May, after graduating from the University of Michigan with a BBA, including a minor in computer science. Nicole is hoping to return to school for a master’s degree in computer science.
Nicole is the newest member of the Program Services group led by Doug Moore. As an intern, she worked on revamping the support site for clients and some of that work continues today. However, she is also working on Cider implementation projects, helping clients with their setup, especially of promotions. The first Cider project where she served as the lead just had a successful go- …
We are pleased to welcome Nicole Mehmedovich to AdvantageCS. She comes to us with an exceptionally wide range of skills and experience.
Nicole spent 11 years at Computer Technologies Consultants, a provider of information technology services to commercial and Federal clients. Nicole worked for 7 years at the Department of State, Office of International Visitors in Washington, D.C. where she had a pivotal leadership role in developing the Student and Exchange Visitors Information Systems operation as a new division of the Bureau of International Affairs. She also worked with the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Labor.
From there, she followed a friend to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) where she worked as a senior systems analyst for 7 …
Summer is almost here. Time for ice cream, going to the beach, baseball, Frisbee and vacations at the lake. And it's time to welcome our latest summer interns and learn a little about them.
And they are, from left to right:
Kennett Square, PA
College and major?
University of Michigan and Computer Science.
What led you to choose your major?
I chose my major because I enjoy the math and problem-solving aspects of Computer Science.
What are you working on at ACS?
This summer, I will be working on redesigning the demographic fields to allow clients to add custom fields with fewer restrictions.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work/school?
I enjoy playing and watching sports.
What was the last book you read for fun?
The Devil …
Fortunately for AdvantageCS, Phil Montgomery didn’t like teaching high school. After graduating from the University of Michigan with a degree in math, Phil took a teaching job where he not only taught math, but economics and sociology as well. However, after a few years, he concluded that teaching was not for him and returned to the university to get his MBA.
Phil then worked at a CPA firm for a year and a half. He found that the software aspect of the business was more to his liking than straight accounting, and when the company needed someone who could speak the language of finance and was also comfortable dealing face-to-face with clients, Phil fit the bill.
Feeling that his future success might well be in software, Phil then moved to T & B Computing (forerunner of AdvantageCS). …
We are pleased to welcome Rachel Lipa as the newest member of the Product Development group led by Paul Sauter. Rachel joined AdvantageCS full-time in January, although she is not completely new to the company, as she was an intern here for the last two summers.
Rachel graduated with High Honors from the University of Michigan, with a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science, and a minor in statistics. Her elective coursework focused on web systems, computer security, artificial intelligence, database management systems, and accessible software design. She was named an EECS (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science) Scholar, meaning that she achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.9 or greater.
In addition to interning here at AdvantageCS, Rachel spent a summer as an intern at the …
Now in her seventh year at AdvantageCS, Stephanie Widrig is a member of the Program Services team. She began her AdvantageCS career in the implementations group and had a brief stint in support before joining Program Services over 4 years ago. Everyone who works with Stephanie comments on how speedily she responds, how well she communicates, and how she always knows the right answer or else finds it. These qualities make her a sought-after manager of upgrade---and other---projects.
“I enjoyed working with Stephanie on our latest upgrade,” says Christy Westcott of Unity World Headquarters. “She was consistently prompt in replying to any of our needs during the process. Her communication is always clear and concise. I look forward to working with her again.”
Although upgrades and …
In his 31 years at AdvantageCS, Tom Burbeck has left his mark on nearly every area of the company.
Tom began his career at AdvantageCS in 1982 when he was hired into the Product Services division of (then) T and B Computing. Although his title was product analyst, Tom actually developed side systems for clients, writing the specs, programming the software in INFO, and doing the documentation, the client training and support. This wide-ranging experience served him well throughout his career. A few years later, Tom left T and B and took a position at EDS as a Project /Account Manager for the GM Corporate Information Group.
With new business leadership and organizational skills acquired from his stint at EDS, he returned to TSM Computing Group in January of 1990 as Director of …
After 28 years at AdvantageCS, Bob Thornton is retiring August 31st of this year. But while most retirees plan to take time to relax, Bob will be even busier. He may be leaving the business world, but he is jumping full-time into the non-profit arena. He will be working on partnership development and fund-raising for University Christian Outreach, a ministry serving students and young staff members at the University of Michigan. Bob and his wife, Rosemary have been supporting UCO for many years. In fact, Rosemary has worked for UCO in various capacities since they were married, 31 years ago.
And if that’s not enough, Bob will be working on his Master’s degree in Theology, one class at a time, at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.
Bob began his AdvantageCS career in support and …
We are pleased to welcome Donal Cousino, the newest member of the Advantage Support Center, reporting to Scott Ghormley. Donal is no stranger to software support, as he worked for 4 ½ years at ParishSOFT in Ann Arbor. There, he spent time in support and also performed data conversions.
Before that, he was a bookkeeper for various companies. Donal earned a degree in economics at Hillsdale College, with a minor in French.
Donal gets great satisfaction from digging into a complex problem, figuring it out and solving it. That makes him a great match for software support. His fluency in French is also beneficial.
A native of Ypsilanti, Michigan, Donal is the middle of eleven children, ages 21 to 40. His parents and most of his siblings still live in the area. His father and one brother …
AdvantageCS has a permanent presence in France, in the person of Philippe van Mastrigt, our director of European Operations. In the past decade, Philippe has become THE key player in our European expansion strategy, and is now engaged in most of our client relationships in Europe. Philippe is involved in marketing, sales, project management, client services, account management, and business development. He wears many hats in a single day---sometimes in a single hour!
How did this come to be?
This July will mark the 10-year anniversary of the Advantage go-live at Bayard Presse in Paris. Philippe was the Bayard project director on that massive project. Prior to that, he led Bayard’s world-wide search for a new subscription system—which led him to Advantage and our first meeting with …
Thomas Paquin is the newest member of the Client Service Division at AdvantageCS. He is currently working in the support center, reporting to Scott Ghormley, but is slated to join the implementations team at some point.
A mathematics major at Eastern Michigan University, Thomas was planning to be a math teacher. During his last semester at college, however, he began working part-time at ParishSOFT, a developer of church management software. After an 18-month stint in the support center, he switched to the data services department. There, he became interested in databases, including data conversion, data integrity and other aspects of data management. He worked his way up to become the manager of the 7-member staff, and brings valuable experience to his position at AdvantageCS. …
Will Desrochers is the newest member of the support center staff, reporting to Scott Ghormley.
Software support is not new to Will, as he comes to ACS from the support center at ParishSOFT. There, he started as a support representative and worked his way up to become the manager of the 21-member support staff.
Will earned a Bachelor’s degree in business, with emphasis on management and economics, from Franciscan University in Ohio. His first post-university job was at ParishSOFT, and working in support appealed to him because he enjoys helping people and has an aptitude for technology. He also likes a good challenge and enjoys learning new things, and there is plenty of both in support, he says.
He appreciates the collaborative atmosphere of the Advantage support team and how helpful …
Here at AdvantageCS, not only are we family-friendly, we actively encourage employees to recommend relatives and friends for open positions. We have parents and children of employees, siblings, cousins, uncles and nephews, in-laws---even one grandchild---working here, including three sets of married couples.
None of the three couples met while working at AdvantageCS (although we do have at least two instances of that happening in our history) and in each case, the spouses work in entirely different areas.
Karl Davis has been at ACS for more than 30 years and is the Manager of Engineering Consulting and Implementations. He leads a team that manages the technical aspects of new client implementations and other projects. In his three decades, Karl has traveled all over the world and has …
In his nearly 35 years here at ACS, Jim Austin has worked on numerous projects with too many clients to count. Through it all, his sense of humor, patience and dedication to client satisfaction have remained intact.
Jose Garcia, VP of Technology at Health Communications, has worked with Jim for more than 20 years. “When I learned that Jim was finally going to hang up his ACS code skills, mouse and keyboard after almost 35 years, my first thought was ‘wait’---I thought he’d retired once before and ACS brought him back because they just couldn’t let him get away. Thank goodness he came back, because in the 20+ years I’ve known Jim, he’s gotten me out of more than one Advantage royalty problem. As a matter of fact, at HCI, Jim came to be known as ‘King James’ because of the many times he …
Maggie Voorheis recently joined the AdvantageCS administrative staff led by Becky Sharp. An Ann Arbor native, Maggie graduated last May from Eastern Michigan University where she studied early childhood education. Although that continues to be an interest for her, she has found that she prefers a mix of business duties in addition to working with children. Her position at ACS is ideal in that regard, as she helps out in the on-site child care center as needed.
Maggie’s smiling face is the first one visitors see when they walk in the ACS door, as she is our official receptionist. In addition to greeting visitors and making them feel comfortable, she operates the company phone system and message center, handles shipping and mailing, and employee communication.
Another area of …
Lani Davis has joined the AdvantageCS Special Services team, led by Scott Ghormley. Lani comes to ACS with a wide range of education and work experience. Most recently, she spent four years implementing time and attendance software at a software company in Livonia, Michigan. Although she enjoyed the job itself, Lani wanted a position that didn’t require her to travel an average of three out of four weeks a month. She heard about AdvantageCS from a former coworker, and joined ACS in June.
A business systems analyst in Special Services, Lani is getting her feet wet working on support tasks and performing QA, including regression testing. Down the road, she will manage projects for the group, where her implementation experience and fluent French will be valuable assets.
Lani has always …
Binoy Phillip is the newest member of the AdvantageCS implementation team led by Tim Zapawa. Binoy brings a rich and varied set of education and experience to his new position. Binoy grew up in India and received his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering at Bangalore University in Bengaluru, known as the “Silicon Valley” of India. After graduation, he spent three years at the Indian Institute of Science where he worked in their Combustion, Gasification and Propulsion Laboratory, dealing with rocket engines.
Binoy then came to the United States to attend graduate school, and earned a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan. While studying aerospace engineering, he found that his work in computational fluid dynamics, where he dealt extensively …