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Employee Profile

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    Welcome New Employee Chris Long

    The newest member of the AdvantageCS development team led by John Moore, is Chris Long. Chris recently graduated from the University of Michigan, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science. Chris began his college career in the biomedical area, but found that the amount of research work involved was more than he was interested in doing. Programming was much more to his liking and so he switched majors.

    In his brief stint at AdvantageCS, Chris has gotten involved in improving the functionality of the AdvantageCS internal website. He enjoys breaking a large task into smaller pieces and working through each one. The collaborative atmosphere of the AdvantageCS engineering division appeals to Chris---he works well in a group and appreciates having lots of others around …

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    Welcome New Employee David Zick

    David Zick has joined AdvantageCS as a member of the development team led by Paul Sauter. David is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan, but he isn’t a stranger to AdvantageCS---he worked here as an intern last summer, and we’re delighted to have him back as a full-time employee.

    Following in the footsteps of more than one member of his family, David earned a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science engineering. His father is a software developer, his older sister earned a degree in industrial operations engineering, and his uncle, Ray Zick, has been a fixture of the engineering department here at AdvantageCS for more than 30 years. 

    Aided by his intern experience, David has hit the ground running. His team employs an agile development method in which tasks are …

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    John Hughes: un 'bon gars' in any language


    John Hughes is indeed a good guy. He’s a member of the Special Services team led by Bill Pinard, within the Client Services Division of ACS. Other CSD teams specialize in implementations or upgrades or support, but this group steps in wherever they are needed. They provide resources to other teams and tackle one-of-a-kind projects that don’t fit neatly into an existing category.  

    John’s job definitely qualifies as one of a kind. When he joined AdvantageCS almost five years ago, his French speaking ability was a huge plus, and he has put it to use more and more each year since then. Today, he is the “go-to” guy for support and anything else required by Advantage’s French clients. This may involve technical support issues, training, or helping with software upgrades and other …

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    Scott Ghormley Appointed AdvantageCS Support Center Manager

    Scott Ghormley will take over as manager of the support center on May 1st, replacing Evelyn Acton, who is retiring.  Scott’s personality, knowledge of Advantage, and diverse history with ACS and many of our clients make him uniquely qualified to manage the Advantage Support Center team.  

    Scott’s ACS career began before ACS even existed.  As a sophomore in high school, he worked at Infomatics, one of the precursors to T & B Computing, later re-named AdvantageCS.  He was an intern at T & B during college and joined full-time upon graduation from Eastern Michigan University with a degree in Operations Research and Information Systems.  Although he left for almost ten years, working at Domino’s Pizza and other firms, he returned to ACS in 1997.

    If Scott doesn’t hold the record for the …

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    Congratulations to Ev Acton: Soon-to-Be Retiree

    Evelyn Acton leaves an impressive legacy here at ACS.  She was hired in 1998 to be the first manager of the newly established Advantage Support Center and has spent the past 16 years enhancing and fine-tuning that department.  She has provided leadership and trained more than a dozen support analysts and personally provided support--and friendship--to nearly every Advantage client over those years.

    Nikki Lorenz of Kalmbach Publishing has known Ev since the beginning.  “Back when Ev started with ACS, there really was no 'Support Center,'” explains Nikki.  “While ACS did an adequate job of supporting clients then, Ev has built a well-oiled support organization from the ground up. I don’t think she quite attained the 'perfect world' she strives for, but she has certainly championed an …

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    Matt Varblow: Wizard of the Web

      Matt Varblow has been working at ACS almost before he was of legal age.  He started working here during the summers when he was 14 and 15, helping out with configuration control.  Even at that time, Matt was an old hand at computer programming, having taught himself to program in BASIC around age 10.  His favorite thing then was creating text-based adventure games and he’s still proud that he was able to sell a game that he created while in high school. Throughout high school and college, Matt worked at ACS full-time during the summers and part-time during the school year.  He helped in the development of multi-currency capability and worked in the IT department.  Matt went on his first client visit while still in high school and the client had to pick …

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    Alan Cherney: Programmer Artiste

    To Alan Cherney, programming is an art and he happily bears the title of artist.  Programming satisfies his creative urge because, as he says, "you're building something and it involves design and structure."  Alan has always been interested in art and computer graphics, and throughout high school he built a portfolio intending to apply to art school.  When he began using his computer graphics in simple web programming, he found he had a real knack in that area and changed his focus to computer science, with emphasis on art and design.  During his last several years in high school and all through college, Alan was able to earn money and gain experience doing freelance computer graphics. Alan became an intern at ACS while still attending the …

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    Daryl Vautour: Keep Calm and Carry On

      Not much ruffles Daryl Vautour.  His easy-going nature and sense of humor help him to be successful in the highly dynamic world of client support.  Support center manager EvActon describes him this way:  "Daryl is an incredible ‘can do, will do' guy!  He helps everyone everywhere whenever he can.  You don't even have to ask him. He's just the best." In his five years at ACS, Daryl has worked on documentation, served in the support center, performed on-site support and in his current assignment on the project team, helped manage upgrade and implementation projects. Although he enjoyed working in support, Daryl likes the experience of working with clients face-to-face.  And they like working with him as well. After some months of providing telephone support to …

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    John Moore; Engineer and Fire Fighter

    In his five years at ACS, John Moore has made his mark on the software and in client support.  He was part of a team that rewrote MSTDAT/FAST and also worked on converting INVDAT into the new user interface style, which included implementing scripts there.  Although John has always been a member of the software development team led by Howie Brooks, he was tapped three years ago to enter the upgrade and support world in engineering.  John is a key member of the team that works with Agora, Inc. He describes his role as alternating between fire fighter putting out fires, superhero solving issues, and whipping boy (although that happens very rarely). Agora's Daryl Berver has this to say about working with John: "John is great. He has been able to not …

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    Angie Markel: Superior Support Service

     Angie Markel applies the same energy and motivation to her job in the Advantage Support Center as she does to running a marathon, which she has done 4 times (including the Boston Marathon, for which one must qualify).  She is detail-oriented, quick to grasp new concepts and adept at building relationships with the clients with whom she works . Her supervisor, Ev Acton puts it this way:  "Angie is an excellent analyst who works well with all of our clients.  Angie makes sure she understands the customer's needs and ensures that the solutions ACS provides meet those needs.  Angie is a very effective communicator and does a great job of sending alerts to the user community as needed.  In addition, Angie always has a smile on her face and has a …

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