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Jeremy Likness is an experienced entrepreneur and technology executive who has successfully helped ship commercial enterprise software for 20 years. He specializes in catalyzing growth, developing ideas and creating value through delivering software in technical enterprises. His roles as business owner, technology executive and hands-on developer provided unique opportunities to directly impact the bottom line of multiple businesses by helping them grow and increase their organizational capacity while improving operational efficiency. He has worked with several initially small companies like Manhattan Associates and AirWatch before they grew large and experienced their transition from good to great while helping direct vision and strategy to embrace changing technology and markets. Jeremy is capable of quickly adapting to new paradigms and helps technology teams endure change by providing strong leadership, working with team members “in the trenches” and mentoring them in the soft skills that are key for engineers to bridge the gap between business and technology.
Jeremy has always focused on working smarter with a focus on efficiency. As a night shift operator of large printers early in his career at Bankers Insurance Company, Jeremy quickly realized much of the shift was spent replacing ink cartridges for various “print runs” that were queued in batches for evening processing. He taught himself RPG/400 to write software that organized the queues based on ink color and reduced a process that took most of the evening down to just a few hours. After joining the IT organization he led the modernization of their month-end system and helped migrate from the procedural RPG/400 to the more object-oriented RPG/ILE while integrating T-SQL on top of DB/2 for their AS/400 machines. This enabled the month-end process to accomplish in hours what previously had taken days.
Jeremy was hired by HolaDoctor (then called Dr. Tango) CEO Roberto Estrada to direct their (then) fledgling IT department. The company had recently down-sized after a previous merge and was interested in Jeremy because of his passion for health and wellness (he was a Certified Fitness Trainer and Specialist in Performance Nutrition through the International Sports Sciences Association), his technology experience, and his ability to speak fluent Spanish. At HolaDoctor Jeremy worked directly with Roberto and EVP Dr. Dirk Schroeder and started by renegotiating the current phone system contracts to save the company thousands in monthly costs with a plan that included unlimited calls to the Central American countries where translation services were provided. He then negotiated reduced rates for their online service providers. He led the expansion of the local network infrastructure and extended the office network into new offices as the result of growth. He built and led a team of developers to migrate the company’s flagship product from a classic ASP application with data logic directly in the web pages to a multi-tier, multi-lingual, multi-tenant product ready to scale across white labeled customers and resellers. Jeremy served as architect and lead developer on the project, writing code for key modules and working shoulder-to-shoulder with the team (and sitting chair-by-chair with his team when they celebrated by watching the premiere of the Fellowship of the Ring).
Jeremy left HolaDoctor to start his own online health and fitness business. During the following three years he learned how to sell and market his product. He authored and published a best-selling and well-reviewed fitness book (Lose Fat, Not Faith), conducted seminars across the country and released a product line of informative and motivational CDs. He pioneered the use of quality, syndicated online content to drive organic online traffic to his website that was ranked in the top 1% by Alexa.com. He taught himself PHP and used MySQL to build a website from scratch on which he mastered online advertising and generated substantial revenue for his business through Google AdSense while retaining a large base of loyal customers that persists to the present day. He was heavily involved in social marketing before the advent of Twitter and when Facebook was in its early stages by actively participating in forums, hosting online chats, and providing some of the first online podcasts and interviews.
After three years of running his business from the Black Hills of South Dakota and later from St. Pete Beach, Florida, Jeremy was invited by former Manhattan Associates CEO Alan Dabbiere to partner with him and founder John Marshall build a new technology company. As the third employee, Jeremy was responsible for building AirWatch (then called Wandering WiFi) from a small WiFi provisioning operation to a nationally recognized provider of mobile enterprise management. He assembled his own desk on his first day at the office, helped take out the trash and locked the doors before sleeping in the sales office while in the process of moving his family back to Atlanta from Florida. He transitioned the company from aging Java technology to the .NET Framework, migrated them from MySQL to SQL 2005 (and later 2008) and scaled the application infrastructure. The original app required several servers to support hundreds of clients, compared to the revamped architecture that scaled to thousands of clients on a single server. Jeremy helped hire and train the first support team and then turned the process over to develop as a separate department. He configured and set up the first network, helped bring the company’s Exchange server online and built out the first data centers before hiring a data center manager to take over. He served as database architect for the database systems until he was able to hire a full-time SQL architect to grow a dedicated database team. He built a development team of a dozen developers spread across multiple projects working on Android, Blackberry, iPhone, and Microsoft technology stacks. Throughout this process he focused on creating repeatable scaled business processes that helped empower the company to become the international corporation with thousands of employees it is today.
Jeremy left AirWatch to pursue his desire to reach more developers and become more involved with mentoring through public speaking, open source projects, and book authoring. Jeremy was hired by the internationally respected consulting firm Wintellect in 2009. He quickly advanced from Senior Consultant to Project Manager then Principal Consultant. At Wintellect he has provided solutions to Fortune 500 Companies, engaged in detailed architecture assessments, helped pilot exciting new technologies as they emerged, trained teams across the country, authored thousands of lines of code for enterprise web applications an managed teams from a single to a dozen developers. While working at Wintellect he authored three books (Designing Silverlight Business Applications, Building Windows 8 Apps with C# and XAML, and the soon-to-be released Windows Runtime by Example), coordinated several open source projects (an MVVM framework named Jounce and a Silverlight database engine called Sterling as well as a NuGet package for installing AngularJS components), and recorded several on-demand video training demonstrations. He has spoken every year at conferences around the United States from Microsoft’s World Partner Conference in Los Angeles to DevLink in Chattanooga. Jeremy was given Microsoft’s prestigious Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award in 2010, was named MVP of the year for his product group that first year, and has continued to receive that award for five years in row.