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BWGreat People – June Consultant Profile

Meet Kathy Chavez!

– What do you enjoy most about the project you are currently supporting with BWB?
Its always great when working on a project to know that your efforts will in some way support some business or entrepreneurial effort (entreprenuers hold a special place in my heart, being one myself…). Often my work is important to the financial well being of others, and ultimately their family. So its very important to me. This particular job will serve those who serve us. Agree or not with the effort, you must agree that servicemen, women and families who make the ultimate sacrifice deserve our respect and affirmation of their courage. The project I am working on, I am told, will “help save lives.”  Gives me shivers. And I am honored to be a part of it.

– What do you think the singular most important thing is for other contract or job-seeking technical resources to be doing in order to set themselves apart?
The education never stops. I used to say that my skill set lasts about 6 months and I need to constantly be learning new technologies. Well, that was the “good ‘ol days”, when things were easier, lol. Now it lasts about 3 months. The kicker is there is no “list” of things you need to learn. So you gotta keep your ear to the ground – read blogs, hang out on twitter, visit IRC for areas you have interest, sign up for a lot of newsletters, and communicate with others in your industry. Everyone is movin’ and groovin’. They’ll be happy to let you know what is going on. But if your sittin’ on yer duff, not trying to figure it out, they will pass you by.

– What technologies do see as being most vital to have in your consultant toolbox?   Or that you rely on most?  What’s your forte?
Currently, Drupal is berry berry goot to me (some may not get the ancient SNL reference…). But I loved Drupal before it was THE thing to know. I am very fortunate that it happens to be the flavor-of-the-month at the moment. But it is a very strong and powerful system, so don’t go away with the feeling that its a fly by night thing, or gimmicky. Its just that its finally getting the notoriety it deserves. I also have experience with WordPress, which at one time was my strongest suit. My next direction is toward Flex apps & javascript and integration with Drupal. While knowing all the different processes, apps, etc. is good and well, I’d have to say my forte is the ability to learn, learn on the fly and learn quickly – I guess that’s long winded for flexible and adaptable.

– What’s your experience been like in working with BWB?
Working with BWB has been an awesome experience.  Also, BWB has been accommodating and flexible when it came to requests I may have had. Dave is personable and a hoot – very friendly. He keeps in touch, but not in a nagging way. And he gets back to me so quickly on email, it scary!  The number one reason on my top ten is I never have an issue gettin’ paid. And when its early, me, the phone company, the car dudes, and my kids rejoice and sing and dance ancient ritual dances of praise!

– What organization did you choose for BWGiving and why?

I am supporting River’s Promise, http://www.riverspromise.com/ . River’s Promise supports an orphanage in Rwanda. The organization raises funds to purchase beds, pay for tuition (about a $150 for a year), purchase land for agricultural projects, and more. The organization was started as a real promise, to a real kid named River, who had been abandoned in a ditch and left for dead until he was found and taken to the orphanage. I know River, and his parents, Jimmy & Carrie Lakey, personally. River now lives in Colorado having been adopted by Jimmy & Carrie. Unlike so many other times when you wonder whether your donations will actually reach someone in need, I know for a fact that in this case it does – River’s old school mates.

– What are your hobbies/interests?
Now this is going to sound funny, but I always say my work is my  hobby and my hobby is my work – so I’m always either working or playing. I truly love being geeky – learning new stuff, playing around with what I know, seeing what’s out there. I also like to play WoW, I’m a Human Warrior on the Winterhoof realm,  and Rockband. I’m killer on the drums and I’ve been on a long quest to be able to play …And Justice for All on Expert at 98% or better (saw a YouTube video of some guy who did it and been aiming for i ever since!). I also listen to books. A lot. I listen 4-6 books a month on a variety of topics. Audible.com loves me. Once in a while I venture from my cubby and like to go out for walks or take the boat out and yank my kids around the lake on a flimsy piece of rubber. And for super kicks I take Rita out and we cruise the highways with the tunes blasting and the wind in our hair! (Rita is my 1988 VW Cabriolet convertible that I’m in the process of pimpin’ out Ed Hardy style!)

– Wonder Woman or Catwoman?  Why?
Wonderfully Catty…First of all, let me explain by saying that I was born on May 21st (the year is of no matter). Right on the cusp of Gemini & Taurus. (I always say you get twice the bull you bargained for from me!).  With that in mind there is no one persona that encapsulates the person that I am.  I love Wonder Woman for her super-human strength, stamina, speed – and especially those fine bracelets! I’m a single mom, you gotta have all that! Alas, I am no Amazon.  And Catwoman is stealth, sleek, and cunning. I am not a thief, and I do no harm, but we all have our “dark side.” {{wink wink, nudge nudge }}

– What place in the world is the most inspiring place you have ever been?    Why?
The delivery room at Rose Hospital on May 1st, 1993. The second being the same place 1 year, 1 month, 1 day later. That’s when and where I had my two girls. They have been the inspiration for everything I do, the reason for preserving through every challenge I’ve faced (and I’ve had more than my share, as we all feel we have), and they are responsible for the greatest moments of joy in my life. They have been a blessing to me, and it is my duty to return the favor!  The greatest gift a parent can give her kids is a good example, and my kids keep me in line! LOL


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