Senior Network Engineer
Nate is a Senior Network Engineer at Acronis. He has been in Telecommunications or Enterprise Networking for 24 years. Nate is a serial volunteer (means he can’t say no when asked to help), having started his volunteer career in the greater Rochester, NY area with the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) for their Autocross II program. After moving to Arizona in 2003 he redirected his volunteer work to efforts at his children’s school, and then their Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops, the latter of which he is currently Scoutmaster. He has been volunteering for FIRST for over 11 years, starting during the 2013 FRC season. He has since volunteered in multiple roles as an FRC Robot Inspector, FRC/FTC/FLL Judge, and FRC FTAA, but since 2016 is mostly known as Arizona's FRC FTA.
Nate's FIRST journey started with a nondescript phone call in January 2011 from his youngest brother. He needed help with some networking stuff that had a quick solution, but Nate wasn't told anything about the context. Fast forward a few months later and another phone call on a Friday afternoon in March, "You live near Hamilton HS, right?" Nate swung into the HS on the way home from work, walked into a wall of noise, and stuck his head in the gym to figure out what was going on. Found his brother and step-mom (Celeste Lucier, Woodie Flowers Finalist 2019) in Team 60's pit and as his brother was pulling him away to show what was going on, was stopped by the head mentor. His step-mom told the head mentor (George Williams, Woodie Flowers Finalist 2015), "Let them go. This will be a good thing."
Fast forward to the 2013 FRC season; there are problems with the field and networking at earlier season events and HQ put out a call asking for anyone who had network experience. Celeste contacted Nate and he offered to help, resulting in his first FTAA assignment at the Hamilton Regional. Two weeks later, Nate joined Team 60 for the Las Vegas Regional. Upon arriving outside before opening time, the team could see that the field had not been completed. The head mentor went in to check on the state of the field and ask if they needed any help. The reply was, "Do you know someone that has built this field?" "I sure do" and he was headed back outside to literally grab Nate by the collar for what is now his 2nd FTAA assignment. After this Nate was officially hooked and began regularly volunteering at FRC events as well as mentoring Team 60. Four years later Nate received the call from FIRST HQ that he was being asked to become a full FTA, which he joyfully accepted. He really does love being an FTA! In the years since, he has mentored additional teams and currently serves as mentor to FRC team 7755.
Every event Nate runs, he wants to learn something from the kids or mentors as well as be able to teach something that they might not have known. So far that has been a successful endeavor, even if the teaching moment was the origin of the Konami Code.