Today, we shine a spotlight on Joe Koza, who has been recognized for “Uphold Trust,” one of the ProgressPROUD core values we strive to embody every day.
A reliable IT team is a necessity for any company. At a global company where many employees work remotely, dependable IT support is especially critical.
With over 30 years of IT experience, Joe Koza is well-versed in dependability. After watching and learning how to repair and troubleshoot PCs at his first job, Joe soon moved into a full-time IT role and never looked back. Learn more about Joe in the interview below.
I started in June 2017, so six years. I’m in the End User Services group, and I support various things, from PC hardware, software applications and setting up new hires, to terminations, PC imaging, ordering equipment and setting up AV equipment in the meeting rooms. I also provide on-site assistance for anything needed in the Burlington, MA office.
The high school I attended is a trade school, and I was in the IT shop where at the time they were doing Cobol programming.
My first job was on the accounting side doing accounts payable, receivable, payroll and general ledger, as well as decals for vehicles and IT for a small school bus company called Bruce Transportation Group. The owner of the business wanted nothing to do with Windows or Macs, so I was tasked to fix, deploy and troubleshoot. As time went by, I would bring PCs to a local repair shop and would watch, learn and ask questions. Then the next time there was a problem, I was able to make repairs myself.
In 1999, our company was acquired by FirstGroup America, and they acquired a much larger company, Ryder, a month later. Ryder had an IT department and shortly after the IT guy heard about me handling all the IT stuff, the department offered me a full-time position just for IT and support offices in New England. I jumped at the opportunity.
In 2011, FirstGroup outsourced its IT department to CompuCom. I was hired by CompuCom and passed my certification requirements, and my role expanded even more. I was with CompuCom through May of 2017, when the last two IT positions were phased out. It was a sad day, and my 26-year run was over.
Ironically, it turned out to be one of my best days in the long run. My wife was talking to Dawn Pierce (Senior IT Systems Engineer at Progress), and she told her my sad story. As it turns out, the tech in the Progress Bedford office had given his notice on the same day. It must have been fate. I’m now at the six-year mark and at the principal level. I believe I have found my next long-term adventure with Progress.
The employees know they can trust and depend on me if an issue, question, emergency or general support need arises. If I’m tied up and unavailable for some reason, I can reach out to my team and I can rely on my coworkers to assist with the issue. My managers know they can trust in me with assigned tasks or projects, and I trust in myself and coworkers to complete any task.
I love the people I’m supporting; I take great pride in my support role and try to make whatever the problem my fellow Progressers are having better, which makes their day better as well as mine. I also like getting to assist or take ownership of various tech around the company, like digital signage, printers, AV meeting room equipment and events.
IT has also had an impact on my family. My daughter sees and hears how much I love my career, and she is attending the same high school I went to. She has gone into the IT shop and already has 18 different IT certifications in her first two years.
I like spending time with my family—my wife, kids and my two dogs. I can’t wait for football season (go Patriots). I need to forget the Bruins’ early exit in the playoffs, but I can’t wait until next year. I’m big on hockey and football. Also, my daughter and I started kayaking last year.
There are so many people here I have worked with over the years, so it’s hard to call out a single person and I would not want to miss mentioning anyone. So, I’ll list just a couple.
When I first started, I worked with Georgi “Joro” Simov, and he got me up to speed quickly. I really appreciated it. Then there’s Dawn Pierce. Without her, I might not have heard of the open position here, and we had lots of fun supporting those 40 meeting rooms in the Bedford office. Next is Wayne Jalbert. Not a day that goes by that we don’t talk, and we force each other when we can to go outside and go for a walk at lunchtime, just to take a break and have a nice conversation.
I’m most excited for the growth of Progress, which is ever expanding our roles within the support group through new technologies, applications, office locations, people and possibilities.
To get to know other Progressers like Joe, read more of our employee interviews here.
Jessica Kent is a writer and editor based in Boston. As a content specialist, she has the opportunity to write about the exciting things happening at Progress, as well as the amazing people behind it all. When she’s not working, you can find her reading, going for a run or attempting to learn the guitar.
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