Meet Mike: Our Woodturning Historian

Mike is an open book. If you’ve been lucky enough to have met him, either out at a historical tour through Leakin Park, or at your office implementing a new phone system, you will learn at least one interesting fact. Mike brings a treasure of wisdom to all of us here at Howard Tech and we just love being in his presence. Learn more about Mike here.

I’ve been in the IT industry since…

1996 as a UPS field tech for buildings in Salisbury, Harrington, and Easton with DOS machines and Novell Servers. Is that aging me? [Laughter] My brother who works for NASA was taking his Masters in Computer Science while I was deciding what to do with my life. He saw my similar analytical mind and helped me to pick out my first computer. A Packard Bell 286 with a 28.8 dial up modem that I would use to search BBS sites and a dot matrix printer that I would print banners and signs from PrintShop. A year or so later, I was working part-time for UPS and a job was posted for a computer tech. While I did not have any technical experience, I was trained as a clerk on UPS scanning and computer systems for the preload shift so I applied and was selected for the job.

Prior to joining Howard Tech, I was one of the first 64 people hired to help open the Amazon Distribution center in Baltimore. After 5 months and 2500 employees later, I received a call from a friend who knew HTA was looking for a Project Manager and thought it would be a great fit. I met with Ananta and Patrick, and found the common desire to serve the community at HTA very appealing.

The most exciting part of my job…

Is taking a concept or idea, and executing it to create a new, fully-functioning infrastructure.

I am most proud of…

Professionally, I take great pride in the success of my employees in my 30+ year career. I have been able to work through some rock bottom situations with people and helped them climb to the top of their mountain. Personally, as a board member of the Baltimore Herb Festival for the last 13 years, I was a part of the committee that raised funds to preserve Wigan’s Chapel at Leakin Park. We met our funding goal ahead of our 2-year plan and start repairs this Spring ahead of the next BHF on May 26th, 2018.

Outside of the office, some of my hobbies are…

Woodturner, chainsaw enthusiast, gardener, cook, Big Green Egg smoker, hiking and biking, neighborhood historian, and volunteering. I’m from Bawlmor, Hon, so definitely an Orioles and Colts, I mean Ravens fan. Amy and I have been together for over 30 years, and no, we’re not getting married. But we do have 3 cats – Matilda, Eddie, and Fatty.

These are a few of my favorite things…

Amy bought me an Instant Pot for Christmas and I was a skeptic at first. Now, it is my favorite cooking gadget! So far my favorite recipe is Moroccan Chicken Tangine. My favorite TV show is the Big Bang Theory, favorite book is Anything by Pat Conroy, and an avid fan of the Original Star Wars Trilogy. As for music, my favorite musician is John Denver. “Take me home down country roads…

A funny family story…

When I was in elementary school, I think 4th grade, my dad thought it was time for me to learn how to split firewood. He gave me the maul and I practiced a few times, then he held the Wedge and told me to hit it. I hit it alright…his hand that is. I dropped the maul and went running for the woods. I waited until the mail was delivered to retrieve the letters and take my medicine. Dad never held the Wedge for me again.

Three things on my desk are…

My iPad standing desk. It’s a prototype from Walnut and Cherry wood. There is also a smiling Buddha-on-a-spring and a picture of our cats.

People who continue to inspire me include…

My Grandfathers: Pop and Gandy. Both men had their own companies in Baltimore – Steiners Construction Company and Blair Brothers Painting. They believed in me and encouraged me to be the best person I could be.

My Parents: They taught me right from wrong, to follow the Golden Rule, and to be kind to others.

Ken Freeman: Ken taught me that you can be a good person and a strong leader. Ken helped me to find purpose in my work life. He provided me with the direction and opportunity to go from a part-time package car loader to a District IT Manager responsible for 22 facilities in Maryland, DC, Delaware, and Northern Virginia.

Something that most people do not know about me…

I love to act and perform. Every year during my neighborhood’s 4th of July celebration, we put on a play and a parade. At last year’s play, I was Teddy Roosevelt. During the parade, the Dickeyville Poker Club (DPC) performed a synchronized skit of Hamilton’s “The Story of Tonight” with Poker Club references.

 

 

About The Author

Michelle Pelszynski

Michelle Pelszynski

Born and raised in Howard County, Michelle is an upbeat wordsmith, with a passion for giving back to her community. She enjoys live music - from bluegrass to hip hop, having fun with her husband and daughter, traveling, running, practicing yoga, reading, and baking. She also has the pleasure of coaching a group of amazing young ladies in the Heart & Sole and Girls On the Run after school program.


This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 20th, 2018 at 9:30 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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