About

The blog has been my day-to-day diary and institutional memory for a couple of years now. In it I’ll write about interesting places I’ve gone, musical experiences past and present, computer programming techno-geek stuff, family and friends.

Besides family and friends, my personal interests largely circle around music. There’s plenty on that throughout the pages. But I’ve also got a career history.

I play trumpet in a couple of symphony orchestras in the NY Metro area. The Broadway Bach Ensemble (where I serve on the board and handle the web site), the Livingston (NJ) Symphony, and the Brooklyn Symphony. I’ve also been doing opera lately, mostly with the Amore Opera company on the lower east side, and the startup Opera Theatre of Montclair.

After graduating college, I migrated out to New York in hopes of becoming a musician. It didn’t work out as a living, but it’s a good hobby.

Work

In a paper resume, the rule is as space permits. After a certain point it gets a little tight, stuff gets deleted that you wish could stay in, and something is lost. On the other hand, the only purpose of the resume is to get you in for the interview, where presumably you can make your case.

SHU

Since the beginning of 2008 I’ve been working at the Teaching, Learning & Technology Center at Seton Hall University. Most of what I do is behind the firewall, but a few examples include custom scoring systems, calendars and schedulers, photo galleries, many wikis and blogs (both Movable Type and WordPress). One big project was a dSpace implementation. This was a Tomcat/Java/Oracle application, which we installed from scratch. Using XSLT and the “Manakin” platform, I customized the look-and-feel to sort of match the overall SHU design standards.

Freelancing

A couple of stints, including a good one at Merrill, Lynch, where I did a lot of very cool Javascript/DOM/CSS coding. After that, a brief period at Pearson Publishing, where I did a design analysis of their many, many online services.

The Financial Sector

A couple of years of freelancing later, I found myself at the Public Securities Association (later The Bond Market Association); soon to probably be something else as they are merging with the SIA). TBMA is the trade association of dealers and brokers in bonds, and its members include all the biggest banks and brokerages in the world. The first few years of my 12 1/2-year stay were doing print production for their publications, conference mailings, speeches and investor materials. Around 1995 I jumped on the internet project and made it my own.

After a few reorganizations I was supervising a good graphics group and expanding the web presence of the organization as we moved 90% of what had been formerly printed over to the Web. In the process, we worked with some of the members and other data providers to build a best-of-class investor web site, with the unique (still) feature of offering free real-time bond transaction prices over the web to individuals.

A lot of people worked on this long-term project. Every year the format, frequency or quantity of data changed, and vendors came and went. But it earned awards from Forbes and Money, and got great press on financial pages across the country. The best for me was when a tax-equivalent calculator I designed and programmed, working with our tax counsel to get the calculations right, was highlighted on the front page of The Wall Street Journal.

But no matter what you do, sic transit gloria mundi. A couple of reorganizations later, my position was eliminated. And shortly after, the entire company was folded into a merger and became a (small) part of SIFMA. Many good people were lost along the way.

Agency Days

I landed my first real “day job” shortly thereafter at Ogilvy & Mather Direct Response (later Ogilvy & Mather Direct, still later Ogilvy One).

There I moved from typing copy, to one of the old word processing systems, to print forwarding, to traffic. I spent the biggest chunk of my time there working on the American Express account, but also worked on TWA and Vanguard.

After four years there I moved over to Levine, Huntley, Schmidt & Beaver advertising, a hot creative shop at the time. In seven-plus years there I did traffic and learned the ropes of production; specifically, preparing black-and-white and color ads from photography and mechanicals through release to publications.

LHS&B was a classic example of sic transit gloria mundi. For two years running we were Advertising Age’s “Agency of the Year”. The third year, we were out of business. In the way of agencies back then, the big account walked out the door, and that was all she wrote.

A more resume-ish resume is also available.

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