It’s hard to believe it’s been five years since the NetApp A-Team was founded. We’ve come a long way from that very first reception at NetApp Insight 2013 in Las Vegas. Where has the time gone? We’ve grown from a small group of about 7 NetApp advocates to a team of 32 members from all over the world. From the beginning, it was clear that the A-Team was more than a group of technical experts gathering to discuss NetApp—it’s a community. Each member is dedicated to supporting one another in their professional growth and development, and they have become tight-knit friends.
Some of the members have been with us since the very beginning. In recognition of the A-Team’s fifth anniversary, I want to share a little bit about each of them.
Jesse Anderson (@sockeyes51), Independent Consultant, Anderson Consulting
Jesse is a hardcore “code monkey,” and the resident A-Team expert for all things DevOps. In addition to being a NetApp virtuoso, Jesse has spent the past few years becoming an app development guru, and he brings that unique perspective to the team. He’s also a Disney fanatic, and takes his family on several trips to Disney World each year. Being in close proximity to the Magic Kingdom is one of the reasons he’s so committed to staying in his home town of Tallahassee, FL.
Ryan Beaty (@rnbeaty), Infrastructure Practice Manager, NexusTek
In addition to being one of the most knowledgeable NetApp cloud experts on the West Coast, Ryan is a devoted Kung Fu practitioner (so don’t mess with him!). Always pushing himself to be the best, Ryan holds more NetApp certifications than anyone else on the A-Team. Ryan and fellow A-Team member Adam Bergh often debate which of them was the first member of the A-Team. I could put an end to the debate, but I enjoy the good-natured sparring far too much.
Adam Bergh (@ajbergh), Global Alliance Architect for NetApp Solutions, Veeam Software US
Adam is one of our distinguished Veeam professionals, and is a globally recognized expert when it comes to the NetApp and Veeam partnership. Articulate and poised in front of the camera, his skills as an interviewer and MC are always in high demand at events like NetApp Insight. Adam is one of NetApp’s most vocal evangelists.
Michael Cade (@MichaelCade1), Global Technologist, Product Strategy, Veeam Software UK
I like to think of Michael as my “son across the pond.” He’s been an integral part of our expansion in EMEA. He’s a prolific blogger and social media advocate for NetApp and Veeam, and he’s one of the premier experts in NetApp-Veeam integration. He’s also an avid rugby player, and never shies away from “taking one for the team.”
Sean Luce (@seanluce), Senior Technical Consultant, Open Systems Technologies
As a founding member, Sean set up the tools we depend on to communicate with each other and advocate publicly, including the A-Team Slack account and Twitter handle. Although he may be on the reticent side, Sean is never bashful about sharing his passion for all things NetApp with his customers and within OST. As our “chief of operations,” Sean is invaluable to the team.
Chris Maki (@ChrisMaki), Senior Solutions Architect, National NetApp Advisor, Scalar Decisions
Chris is our first—and, so far, only—Canadian member of the A-Team. As the National NetApp Advisor for Scalar Decisions, he’s well-respected throughout the country, and actually sold the first NetApp HCI system in Canada. Chris is very active in the A-Team community, and always makes himself available to his fellow team members. When he’s not at work, you’ll find him on his sail boat Fascination. Chris is the Commodore of the JIB SET Sailing Club in his home town of Vancouver, BC.
Melissa Palmer (@vmiss33), Product Strategy Technologist, Veeam Software US
Melissa has the honor of being the very first female NetApp Tech Advisor to the A-Team. With her move to Veeam as a Product Strategy Technologist, she became a full-fledged A-Team member. In addition to being a NetApp technical expert, she’s also a VMware vExpert, and has a myriad of certifications in virtualization, networking, and storage technologies, including the coveted VCDX (#236). And perhaps most importantly, she’s responsible for saving my feet at my very first Insight—a good shoe recommendation is worth its weight in gold when you do a lot of walking. Pro-tip: Sketchers aren’t just for kids.
I’m so proud of every member of this fabulous team, and I can’t wait to see what the next 5 years have in store!