All Tech Field Day Events

Meet Field Day Delegate – Ben Story

  1. Meet Field Day Delegate – Chris Arceneaux
  2. Meet Field Day Delegate – David Ball
  3. Meet Field Day Delegate – Alex Neihaus
  4. Meet Field Day Delegate – Denny Cherry
  5. Meet Field Day Delegate – Keith Townsend
  6. Meet Field Day Delegate – Brian Gleason
  7. Meet Field Day Delegate – Adam Post
  8. Meet Field Day Delegate: Nico Stein
  9. Meet Field Day Delegate – Tricia Howard
  10. Meet Field Day Delegate – Evan Mintzer
  11. Meet Field Day Delegate – Stephanie Ihezukwu
  12. Meet Field Day Delegate – Wes Milliron
  13. Meet Field Day Delegate – Shaun Bender
  14. Meet Field Day Delegate – Michael Davis
  15. Meet Field Day Delegate – Matt Callaway
  16. Meet Field Day Delegate – Scott Driver
  17. Meet Field Day Delegate – Dave Benham
  18. Meet Field Day Delegate – Manon (“Mae”) Lessard
  19. Meet Field Day Delegate – Haydn Andrews
  20. Meet Field Day Delegate – Timothy Dennehy
  21. Meet Field Day Delegate – François Vergès
  22. Meet Field Day Delegate – Jennifer (“JJ”) Minella
  23. Meet Field Day Delegate – Wences Michel
  24. Meet Field Day Delegate – Josh Fidel
  25. Meet Field Day Delegate – Chris Williams
  26. Meet Field Day Delegate – Kati Lehmuskoski
  27. Meet Field Day Delegate – A.J. Murray
  28. Meet Field Day Delegate – Josh Warcop
  29. Meet Field Day Delegate – Jeremy Schulman
  30. Meet Field Day Delegate – Micheline Murphy
  31. Meet Field Day Delegate – Scott Morris
  32. Meet Field Day Delegate – Remington Loose
  33. Meet Field Day Delegate – Stefan Fouant
  34. Meet Field Day Delegate – Bart Heungens
  35. Meet Field Day Delegate – Markus Leinonen
  36. Meet Field Day Delegate – Greg Ferro
  37. Meet Field Day Delegate – Gina Rosenthal
  38. Meet Field Day Delegate – Vuong Pham
  39. Meet Field Day Delegate – Ruairi McBride
  40. Meet Field Day Delegate – David Samuel Penaloza Seijas
  41. Meet Field Day Delegate – Faisal Khan
  42. Meet Field Day Delegate – Mary Fasang
  43. Meet Field Day Delegate – Kim Pedersen
  44. Meet Field Day Delegate – Tony Efantis
  45. Meet Field Day Delegate – Robb Boyd
  46. Meet Field Day Delegate – Jason Beshara
  47. Meet Field Day Delegate – Glenda Canfield
  48. Meet Field Day Delegate – Ben Mason
  49. Meet Field Day Delegate – Pieter-Jan Nefkens
  50. Meet Field Day Delegate – Tony Bradley
  51. Meet Field Day Delegate – Jim Jones
  52. Meet Field Day Delegate – Neil Anderson
  53. Meet Field Day Delegate – John Deegan
  54. Meet Field Day Delegate – Andy Thurai
  55. Meet Field Day Delegate – Calvin Hendryx-Parker
  56. Meet Field Day Delegate – Lariana Luy
  57. Meet Field Day Delegate – Kyle Jenner
  58. Meet Field Day Delegate – Dr. Avril Salter
  59. Meet Field Day Delegate – Shala Denise
  60. Meet Field Day Delegate – Jerod Santo
  61. Meet Field Day Delegate – Ben Story
  62. Meet Field Day Delegate – Chris Hildebrandt

Ben Story is joining us for Networking Field Day 23! He is a network engineer and a firm believer in finding the solution to the problem instead of a workaround, even if that means learning another technology to better understand the problem. Connect with Ben at @ntwrk80 on Twitter, the web, or the Tech Field Day website.

How did you get into technology and IT?

I guess I started in 2nd grade being my teacher’s computer expert on the Apple in the classroom. My real IT start was as a summer intern for my school district. I got a chance to do a little bit of everything including networking, cabling, Novell servers, and desktop imaging. I also got to help them support their dial-up internet provider. We were pretty cool at the time being one of the few 56K options in the area.

What do you do now? Tell us a little about your current role.

Currently, I am a network engineer for a bi-state hospital system in Illinois and Wisconsin. I do a lot of work with the data center, WAN, and our security appliances. My goal is for our clinical staff to not know I exist. If they know I exist, something’s gone very wrong and patient care will be affected.

What are your biggest challenges?

Right now, my biggest challenges revolve around budgeting and getting the technologies we need while at the same time not breaking the bank. With the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are being asked to do even more with even less.

Where do you see IT going in the next 3-5 years?

I see IT reaching a better equilibrium between cloud and on-premises. I don’t see things going all cloud or saying all on-premises for most organizations. I think there will end up being a sweet spot using both technologies.

How do you manage your work/life balance?

I’ve struggled with this over my career. In my younger days I was the type to leave work and then come home and open my laptop up after dinner for another 3-4 hours while binging Netflix (at the time still on disc!). After my first job, it became clear to me that employers would exploit that and that I needed to draw a line. Since then I have been a firm proponent of closing the work laptop and leaving it closed unless there was an urgent deadline or an emergency at work. This has really helped me to keep things better balanced. I have also been blessed with managers that have helped to make this a reality.

If you weren’t working in IT, what would you be doing instead?

Well, when I was pondering this in high school, my choice was between IT and being a Music teacher. I decided that I needed more money for my geeky pursuits and could keep music as a hobby. Today, if I wasn’t in IT, I would probably enjoy teaching. I’ve done some computer classes and have enjoyed teaching.

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies?

My newest hobby, and sometimes aggravation, is 3D printing. After holding off for years, my wife finally convinced me to spend the money for my birthday this year. It came at a great time because I was able to use it to print PPE and ear savers for the medical community at the beginning of the pandemic. Since then I’ve been able to do some printing for fun. It is definitely not point-and-click though, there have been a lot of things to learn in troubleshooting prints and the printer.

What are you most excited about seeing at the event?

I’m looking forward to learning about new products and solutions. It’s always good to have solutions before you encounter the problem.

What is the coolest thing you’re working on right now?

I don’t have any cool new technology to play with, but my current project is bringing Mission Outreach under our IT umbrella. They are an organization that collects medical supplies that can’t be used in the US any longer, but that are perfectly good. They take these supplies and distribute them across the world to clinics in need. It has been fun to digitally enable them as their technology had not been refreshed for a long time.

Who inspires you?

My wife inspires me a lot. She is a teacher and has gotten the reputation of being good with challenging students. Her job is never dull and she does get some major challenges, but that never stops her from advocating for her kids. I pity the fool who tries to block her from getting help for one of her students.

As a child, what did you want to do when you “grew up”?

I was going to be a naval aviator so that I could be a pilot on the space shuttle for NASA. My eyesight killed that dream in 1st grade. Maybe someday soon though SpaceX will make it possible for me to go to space.

What super hero movie character would you like to be and why?

I identify with several of the Marvel characters, but I think it would be a lot of fun to be Deadpool. Not having to care what other people think about what you say would be so freeing at times. Besides, I like chimichangas.

What is your favorite thing about what you do?

My favorite thing is to fix people’s problems and make their life easier. Too many people fear technology, and I really try to make it more accessible whenever I can.

If you won the lottery and could retire, what would you do with your time?

My wife and I would start a dog rescue. Personally, I would pursue my pilot’s license and get myself either a Cirrus or a Cessna Mustang. After that, I would probably still work in IT on projects I wanted to do. Most of these would probably be in K12 schools helping their overstretched IT teams.

Thanks so much for sharing, Ben! We’re looking forward to seeing you at the event!

Remember to add Networking Field Day 23 to your calendars; September 29th – October 2nd!

About the author

Alissa Nivens

Alissa Nivens is the Project Specialist at Gestalt IT. She enjoys reading, taking OrangeTheory classes, snuggling with her dogs, hiking, and singing in her community choir. Follow her on Twitter at @AlissaNivens!

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