After five months of feeling physically ill and depressed, and after seeing many doctors and leaving with no answers, Erin Brown’s health took...
Job description: Gravity is mid-Missouri’s Apple Authorized Service Provider. We can fix any Mac made between 1980 and tomorrow. Whether in warranty or not, our goal is to get you up and running as quickly as possible. Additionally, we provide training, consultation and contracted support. My work revolves around making technology understandable, keeping it running and fixing it if it breaks down. In other words, when it comes to computers, my job is to make your life easier.
Years lived in Columbia/mid-Missouri: See age.
Original hometown: Columbia
Education: A lifelong Columbia resident, I went to Russell, Smithton (Kind of. It’s a long story. Ask Jack Jensen), West Junior and Hickman. I started at the University of Missouri, but job opportunities drew me away. I eventually returned to earn my bachelor’s degree in elementary music education.
Community involvement: Anyone who’s met me knows I’m actively involved in the community. I have served on countless city committees, commissions and task forces; led youth programs and choirs; and am an active member of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce. I am in my sixth year of serving as a member of the Columbia Public Schools Board of Education.
Professional background: I starting working for Apple as a campus representative while at MU, where I was part of the team that transitioned the MU School of Journalism to Apple computers. After working for Apple, I managed service and sales for an Apple reseller. I restarted school, and while still a student at MU, I opened Sessions Consulting, which grew into Tech 2 and has now expanded into Gravity.
A favorite recent project: I worked with three very bright students from West Middle School on a digital signage project for REDI. They designed, prototyped, tested and produced the hardware necessary for the project using 3-D printing. Then they spent a day onsite installing, configuring and testing their equipment. It was a great example of what CPS students can do. REDI ended up with a solid, easy-to-manage solution to its problem, and the students got firsthand experience solving problems and working with clients. And best of all, the kids got out of school for a day.
A Columbia businessperson I admire and why: I’m impressed by all the people who’ve started a business and chosen to stay here in Columbia because they are committed to this city. In particular, Jack Miller of True Media has made the decision to grow his business right here in Columbia — and also dedicate his time to fixing up a part of town that’s long been neglected.
Why I’m passionate about my job: This job lets me help people at a time when they need it most: when they’ve lost an important presentation for work, photos of their kids or their entire address book. I love solving problems, and this lets me use that talent to make someone’s life a little easier. And besides, there’s always something new to learn when you’re a techie.
If I weren’t doing this for a living, I would: Teach.
What people should know about this profession: Birthdays and pet names don’t make good passwords. Wi-Fi and the Internet are two different things. Real-life computers don’t work like the ones on TV. Banging on your keyboard rarely helps; turning a computer off and back on usually does.
What I do for fun: Tinker, fiddle, indulge the dog.
Family: Dr. Carrie Gartner and I play house in our central-city bungalow with the aforementioned beagle, Wyatt.
Favorite place in Columbia: Downtown. Wait, scratch that. The Loop.
Accomplishment I’m most proud of: I built and maintain the technology infrastructure for Newsy.com, the Columbia-based online news organization recently purchase by E.W. Scripps for $35 million.
Most people don’t know that I: Have a working PowerBook G3. It’s best used for infecting alien mother ships with viruses and writing sex columns while in New York City.