New Crew Member: Shaun Huffman
Shaun and I knew each other from various community events, so when Ten Forward operations director Katrina told me we'd made him an offer for the position of executive coordinator, I was delighted.
Katrina said she had plans to meet up with him the next day for additional company wooing, and she promised to keep me posted.
However, that night, we were with a group of friends at a nearby park for an outdoor screening of "Jurassic Park" ... and who randomly appears with mutual friends to join us, but Shaun?!
Clearly, he was meant to be part of the #10fwcrew. ❤️
What brought you to Ten Forward?
I came here from another small startup. After some changes with the business, the owner, told me about a possible opportunity with Ten Forward. I had met [company president] Brian and [developer] Hilary before and loved them, and knew about Ten Forward so I was all in. After talking with [operations director] Katrina and Brian and meeting everyone, this has definitely been the best decision.
What are you looking forward to learning or doing in your new position?
I look forward to challenging myself and learning even more about this lucrative and amazing industry of IT and software development. I also look forward to making a positive impact and being a team player, and to hopefully create systems that will not only be useful but also efficient and effective.
You've lived a number of places - what attracted to you to Madison, and what's keeping you here?
I have been very fortunate to live in many beautiful and interesting places and met tons of intriguing people, however Madison has always had a place in my heart. It’s definitely the smallest city I’ve lived in, but it has a charm like no other, amazing food, great local culture and tons of FREE community events. I’ve grown to love this beautiful city between two lakes and what it has to offer as it continues to grow.
What two people - fictional or real - would you pick to describe yourself, and why? For example, I'd pick Willow Rosenberg (queer programmer witch) and Leslie Knope (earnest, optimistic activist).
Oooh, good question. I would most likely say President Obama (caring, charming, respectful leader who works hard with pride no matter what negativity comes his way) and Prince William (charitable, sense of humor, uses his position to help others, dresses well, loves horses and dogs).
What's your ideal Sunday afternoon look like?
In Tahiti drinking a tropical beverage from my yacht ... But I guess if we are talking about realistic situations, then going on a long hike through a state park with my significant other, followed by a winery visit and listening to chill music while watching the clouds roll by.
You did administration and event planning in the hospitality industry for a number of years; what prompted your switch to working for tech companies, instead?
I love the event and meeting planning industry, mainly for the ability to organize business structure and operations. I especially love the feeling of making a positive impact in people’s lives and being challenged. My brother (who works in software development) always told me I would do well in the IT world and should try it out. So when the opportunity presented itself to me, it was a new adventure I was excited to explore. I knew nothing about the industry and it was a challenge I wanted.
Fill in the blanks: "If I could only __ one __ for the rest of my life, it would be __."
If I could only eat one type of sandwich for the rest of my life, it would be PB&J.
What’s something about you that people might find surprising?
I worked on a farm for two summers: yes, I know how to milk cows, put up fences, and even operate a tractor. My father made all of my brothers and I work a hard labor job during our high school summers to appreciate hard work and discipline. I hated him then, but now I have the utmost respect for his decision and my future kids will be doing the same.
Favorite board game/video game, TV show/movie, band/musician, emoji.
Board games: Snakes and Ladders, Settlers of Catan, Splendor
Video games: Halo (always), FIFA World Cup, Mortal Kombat, MarioKart
Sports: Soccer, hockey
TV shows: Parks and Rec, The Office, Game of Thrones, American Horror Story
Movies: "Mr. and Mrs. Smith", "Boys"
Band / Musician: Kings of Leon, Black Keys, Beyoncé
Star Trek or Star Wars?
I know I should probably say Star Trek, which I deeply respect, but one of the first sci-fi movies I fell in love with and followed insanely - including Legos - is Star Wars. It is just so iconic and epic. It will always have my heart.