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AWARE Ink Newsletter

IT is the Backbone of AWARE

In the background of AWARE’s operations, a dedicated team of IT professionals works tirelessly to ensure our technology infrastructure runs smoothly. With nearly 800 staff members and over 5,000 individuals and families served each year, reliable and secure technology is critical to achieving our mission of helping people live independent lives.

Led by Operations Lead Steve Francisco, the 4-person IT team is responsible for managing AWARE's computer systems, networks, databases, and software applications across our numerous locations. From maintaining network security, email and file servers to deploying new hardware and software, troubleshooting issues, and protecting against cyber threats, these tech gurus do it all.

"Our IT team is the backbone that allows AWARE's programs and services to operate efficiently," said Steve. "They make sure our staff have the tools and connectivity needed to focus on what's most important - empowering our clients."

Let’s take a minute to recognize and thank the people that make up this hardworking team:

·         Wendall Smith, Systems Administrator

·         Chris Challinor, IT Support Specialist

·         Jennifer Richard, IT Support Specialist

·         Kuda Nyahuma, ECS IT Support Specialist

One of the team's biggest recent initiatives was upgrading AWARE’s equipment to allow for a more robust infrastructure, improving system reliability, security, remote access capabilities, and newly added cloud-based applications. This proved invaluable as our workforce leans toward remote work locations and maintains seamless connections to shared files and applications.

The team also plays an integral role in making sure employees have adequate access to AWARE’s electronic health care system which streamlines client data and reporting across AWARE's various programs.

“Just managing equipment needs and access for AWARE’s employees is a significant task across the organization,” said Steve. "The team is fully committed to making sure AWARE’s employees have what they need to do their jobs and I can't thank them enough for their hard work."

Beyond just keeping the lights on, the IT pros are always looking for innovative ways to leverage technology in pursuit of AWARE's mission. From exploring assistive technologies to improve accessibility, to support in the field, their efforts are an unseen yet vital part of our work.

"We take pride in solving problems that enable our colleagues' success," said Steve. "At the end of the day, empowering our staff with great technology empowers the people and communities we serve."

So while they may not be front-and-center, AWARE's IT team is a true force for independence behind the scenes. We salute their tireless efforts to keep our nonprofit operating at peak performance!

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