Welcome to the Interactive Resume
Thank you for taking the time to visit my interactive resume. I hope that you find it enlightening and entertaining as well. In this interactive resume, I will highlight my previously held positions and high points at those companies. This is not nor could it be all-inclusive.
How did I get here?
You got here because you visited my website (https://www.tonydegonia.com) and clicked on the Interactive Resume link on the home page.
The real answer to the question is…
I got here after years of hard work and hard-earned experience. I started this journey WAY back in 1990 in the U.S. Army. I joined the Army because I didn’t know what to do but knew I didn’t want to go to school. So, instead of putting my parents through the difficulties of paying for me to attend college, I took it all on myself. I joined the US Army on the Delayed Entry Program in 1989 and got a $64,000 scholarship through the GI Bill, which would allow me to go to college once I completed my military service (4 years). I actually spent 4.5 years in the Army, but that is a story for another time.
I trained in the US Army as a 36M or a Switching Systems Operator and Maintainer. Essentially, my job was to go out into the middle of the battlefield and set up a huge shelter on the back of a Humvee where I would pass out heavy-duty, tactical telephones to whoever needed them and run the telephone switch so they could make a phone call to, wherever they wanted to call. I have so many stories I could write a multi-volume book series, but we won’t get into all of that right now.
As I was saying, my story goes back decades: all technology, IT, and cybersecurity experience.
What are your business dreams, and have you ever fulfilled a business dream?
Fortunately, I have fulfilled one of my dreams.
An Entrepreneur and a Business Owner
I wanted to be an entrepreneur and business owner. In 2005, I started a company called AMI Technologies. In late 2006, I invited one of my best friends to come on board as a 49% owner and investor to accelerate the sales and marketing side of the house. An opportunity he promptly took advantage of. We were based in the Dallas market and accrued a decent customer base. In early 2007, we acquired a company out of San Antonio, Texas, which was a bit larger than us but whose owner wanted to get out of the business. We quickly grew to about $1M a year. We were an IT Managed Services and Cybersecurity company. We then took on some additional investors, but, unfortunately, we succumbed to the recession of 2008 like so many other small and fledgling companies did that year.
Perseverance in the Face of Failure
However, I apparently did something right because a couple of days after we shut our doors, I got a call from one of my customers. Fearful that they were going to call me and tell me they were going to sue, I cautiously answered the phone. To my surprise, it was the owner of one of the largest Pediatric Home Health Care companies in the State of Texas. They wanted to meet and discuss starting a new kind of computer company. On the next Sunday, we all met up at a Whataburger in a small town called Forney, TX, on the outskirts of Dallas, TX. That day, a new kind of IT Services company was born. We agreed in part to start an IT Services company whereby I would run the company’s business and technical operations, and they would put $250K towards the launch of the company in the first year. My dream was beginning to come true.
Conquering the Texas Dept of Public Safety and the FBI
I was able to retain most of my book of business from AMI as a start to our new endeavor. We partnered with Dell Services and became a Dell Certified Managed Services Company and launched a series of products and services around IT management and cybersecurity services. The first year flew by, and we picked up a few good customers. By year two, we had settled in on the Public Sector SLED segment and launched a series of solutions specifically for Law Enforcement and municipalities throughout the State of Texas. We were now a sizable player in that segment. In 2010, with 15 employees and 55+ MSSP customers across the State of Texas, we were taking off. With the advent of the cloud, we had new revenue possibilities coming from every direct. We worked with Dell, HP, Acronis, and VMWare to develop a cloud solution specifically for LE and municipalities that enabled PDs to have a high availability of data backup for their departments and their officers in the field. This allows them to maintain a higher level of connectivity to the PD and immediate failover to our data center with redundant data failover in the event of a catastrophic event at the local municipality. This attracted a lot of attention across the state. In case I forgot to mention it, the company went through the Criminal Justice Information Systems certification process just like all the LE departments throughout the State of Texas. Our facility in Tyler, Texas was certified as a secure facility by the State of Texas and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. We were CJIS and TLETS compliant. This included the background checks, fingerprints and mugshots of every employee on staff.
Well at this point I should let you continue looking at my Interactive Resume. Lots of stories, lots of stories…