Attention to providing outstanding client service is one of the key areas where Marathon strives to stand out from other IT consultants in the New York area. Andy Johns is our Senior Systems Consultant and the go-to guy on our service team for client issues that need special attention.

How did you find your job at Marathon? I was living in Memphis, working for another MSP and decided I wanted to spend some time on the East Coast. Moving to NYC in 2009 was a big jump with a minimal safety net. I spent the first few months in New York photographing the city and getting the lay of the land while I searched for jobs. I applied to a craigslist ad for a Systems Consultant at Marathon and was lucky to sign on with a great group of people. I’ve since moved to Denver, and have been very fortunate to continue my work with Marathon remotely.

What were you doing before joining Marathon? I’ve been in IT doing both technical software support and general consulting since 2005. Before IT, I was on the customer service side of the retail industry and that provided me with very important insights into working with people on a personal basis.

Describe your role for Marathon: My title is Senior Systems Consultant, but there really isn’t a good quick way to describe my role. The best analogy I’ve been able to come up with is somewhere in between an ER trauma surgeon and an oncologist. I deal with major technology emergencies, but also work to resolve long standing technology issues that may need extra care and patience. I also have an informal advisory role within the organization that allows me one-on-one time with other members of the service team so that we tackle service issues in the best way possible.

What kind of certifications and career experience do you have? I’m CompTIA A+ and Network+ certified for general computing and network level issues. I also hold the Microsoft Certified IT Professional certifications for Server Administrator and Enterprise Administrator for large networks. I’ve also held Cisco and 3com certifications for IP Telephony systems in the past.

What do you enjoy most about your role at Marathon? Working with people to make technology work for them. I find that most of my day-to-day work is a blend between people and technology. Finding that balance on a daily basis is both my biggest challenge and greatest reward.

What do you think sets Marathon apart? We’re all “people people.” We all enjoy working with people and have a talent for the technology side of business. We love making sure our clients aren’t just productive, but also happy with the technology in their lives.

What’s your favorite part about working at Marathon? Most of the Marathon staff are major creative geeks. I’ve been a photographer most of my life, as well as a few other team members. We have music creators, actors and actresses. It’s so important that people be able to come up with creative solutions to issues and it’s surprising just how much a hobby can influence your day-to-day approach to problem solving.

What do you like to do for fun? I’m also a photographer and the Co-founder of CO Smiles, Inc., a charity that provides for Coloradans who wouldn’t normally be able to afford professional portraits. We provide free portraits to the homeless to send to their families, confidence to victims of domestic violence and give hope those who are down on their luck. Living in Denver affords me easy access to the Rocky Mountains and camping in the middle of nowhere. As much as I enjoy working with technology, there really isn’t a better way to clear your mind than going camping for a long weekend in Yellowstone or Rocky Mountain National Park.

What is your dream vacation spot? Something different. It’s easy for me to say a warm beach, but really the most important thing to me about a vacation is just doing something different and getting away from normal for a few days.

Favorite sports team? The first major league game I can remember is when we were visiting family in Baltimore and caught a double header against the Twins. Cal Ripken Jr. hit a grand slam out of Camden Yards in the first game. That kind of thing sticks with you, so I guess in some sense I’ll always be an Orioles fan.

Favorite touristy NYC thing to do or recommend out-of-towners do? Top of the Rock a little bit before sunset. It’s easy to get to and you don’t have to fight the crowds for a view like the Empire State Building, plus you can get a photo of lower Manhattan with the Empire State Building in frame! Also, take the Staten Island Ferry, it’s free and you get a great tour of the harbor at the same time.

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