Meet the Ascedian: Chad Donnick

chad donnick director of technology

What makes Ascedia special? Our people! Every week, we'll introduce you to a member of our team so you can get to know us a little better.

NAME AND TITLE

Chad Donnick -- Director of Technology

MY TYPICAL WORKDAY

There was a time when my day was 100% programming, but now as a Director I’m much more involved in bigger picture strategy for the back-end developers and the company as a whole. I tend to wear many hats – developer, leader, business analyst, coach, therapist, jester. You may find me quoting potential projects, working on technical strategy for an RFP response, participating in large project strategic planning, working with fellow Ascedians on process improvements, mentoring the development team, pitching in on development where I can, maintaining and answering questions about many of our legacy projects, helping with site & server upgrades, offering advice, emailing, meeting and answering surveys.

HOW I CHOSE MY CAREER PATH

I went to college with the intention of becoming an accountant, because that’s just how much of a rip-roarin’ fun guy I was! After my first semester, I found that I was terribly bored by business classes, but loved the programming class I was taking. I loved being able to leverage math skills, problem solving and the touch of creativity I have to create code structure, databases and some pretty great websites (well, in hindsight they were terrible). I love the challenge that this constantly evolving field provides, even if it makes me want to bang my head against the wall from time to time.

MY FAVORITE THING ABOUT WORKING AT ASCEDIA

I was really attracted by the prospect of growing my career by being able to work on a variety of projects with more modern technology compared to what I had been using. I interviewed at Ascedia in 2005, but wasn’t hired at that time. A year later, just as I was starting to look for a new opportunity again, I got a call from the Development Manager to come back for another interview. I was offered a position and the rest is history!  

The people and opportunity are my favorite things about Ascedia. We have such a talented and hard-working yet laid back team. I love Ascedia's focus on growing careers. We strive to be more than a place where you just “go through the motions” each day and provide real opportunity for all employees to provide their thoughts on how to constantly improve themselves and the company.

EDUCATION

Whitnall High School Class of ’97 – Played tennis for 1 year, hated speech class
Carroll College (University) Class of ’01 – Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, commuter student

HIGH SCHOOL MASCOT

Falcon

FIRST JOB

Cousins Subs on Hwy 100 in Hales Corners. It’s where I first became a leader of a team. It taught me so much about work ethic and my hands smelled like onions all the time.

BEST PIECE OF CAREER/PROFESSIONAL ADVICE I'VE RECEIVED

“A strong work ethic will get you far.” This is something my parents instilled in me and I give them so much credit for my successes because of it. 

PERSONAL HERO

To be honest, I’ve never been one to have a hero that I look up to. There are certainly people whom I admire, but I’ve always felt that I want to be my own hero. I want to take what I’ve learned from those whom I admire and pair it with everything I’ve learned on my own or strive to learn to make the most that I can out of life. If I can look back upon my life when I’m 90 and say that I lived the hell out of it – then I’ll be my own hero.

FAVORITE MILWAUKEE HANGOUT

CafĂ© Lulu and Beans & Barley are standard “must stops” for me when I get back to Milwaukee. A run along the lakefront from the art museum up Lake Drive to Fox Point is one of my favorite long routes anywhere…but can somebody pick me up when I get to Fox Point so I don’t have to run back?

LAST BOOK READ

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. It was my second time reading it and it was even more amazing than the first.

PERSON I'D MOST LIKE TO MEET (LIVING OR DEAD)

Alexander Hamilton. He made something of himself from nothing, was a tremendous wordsmith and stuck to his principles. I think I’d actually be able to have a conversation with him, unlike a movie star or athlete.

FAMILY

Married for 12 years to college sweetheart. Black cat. Livin’ the dream in Brooklyn, NY since 2010. Parents live in Waterford, WI. 3 sisters & 1 brother. Baby of the family.

WHAT I DO IN MY SPARE TIME

I’m a committee chair and very active in my local food co-op. I’m part of a workout group called The Rise NYC, which I participate in a couple mornings a week and create and run some group workouts myself. Half marathons. Lots of TV, balanced with lots of reading. Exploring New York, America and one of these days…the world.

SECRET TALENT

I’m a pretty good cook when it comes to vegan fare.

MOST MEANINGFUL ACCOMPLISHMENT

Taking the leap and moving to New York City for no other reason than to go on life’s next great adventure. It was scary and uncertain, but I did it anyway and in six years I’ve never once regretted the decision. I’ve been able to experience so much and meet so many amazing people all while working for a company I really believe in. I count myself fortunate.

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