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Employee Profiles: To Have and to Hold, In Sickness and in Health, At Home and in the Office

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 implemented Advantage at more client sites than he can count. Ellen Davis, Karl’s wife, has a polar-opposite skill set from Karl. An English major, with a French minor, Ellen works three days a week in the documentation area. However, in her eight years here, she has been called on to perform such diverse tasks as recording the French version of the voice-mail system, working in the child-care center and providing impromptu grammatical advice and proofreading to would-be writers. Karl and Ellen have three grown children and recently welcomed their first grandchild. They live in Ann Arbor.

Kate Blaney, formerly Kate Nelson, started working here in 1997, following in the footsteps of her sister, Andrea, and brother-in-law, Tom, who had both been engineers here. (Andrea has since rejoined ACS and works part-time in the technical support area.)  With experience that included managing the automation of a construction company, Kate joined the implementations team as a product analyst. She served as the project manager on a number of Advantage installations. During that time, she met her future husband, Jim Blaney, via a Catholic online dating site and the two got to know each other. Even though Jim lived in Maryland, they decided to meet and then visited each other as often as they could. As luck would have it, two of Kate’s installation projects---which she visited frequently---were quite close to where Jim lived, and he was able to travel to Michigan in between her trips. They got engaged and Jim was looking to move west. Happily, Jim’s expertise was with software, hardware, and helping make these more accessible to users; in addition to holding a variety of developer positions, he contributed to the authorship of several operating system and network-related books. Jim interviewed at ACS and began working here in the systems area in 1999, shortly after he and Kate returned from their honeymoon. Kate continued working at ACS up until the birth of their first child in 2000.

Through the years, Kate has come back several times to perform training, writing, and other shorter-term projects. In 2014, she joined the QA department permanently, although on a part-time basis. She is able to plan her office hours around the school schedules of their four children, who range in age from 8 to 15. The Blaney family lives in Grass Lake, Michigan.

Kelly Vautour is the manager of the technical support team and has worked at AdvantageCS since she was in college, when she worked part-time as an intern. She met her husband, Daryl Vautour, while they were both attending the University of Michigan, although his major was political science while hers was engineering---industrial operations, to be precise. Daryl was born and raised in the Boston area---he remains a die-hard Red Sox fan---but the couple chose to settle in Michigan after they got married in 2005. Kelly joined ACS full-time as a software engineer, and Daryl began job-hunting in the area. He included ACS on his interview list, and subsequently accepted a position as a product analyst. That was 11 years ago, and Daryl is now the leader of an implementations team in the Client Services division.

Kelly and Daryl live in Ann Arbor with their two young sons, ages 8 and 6.

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