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The IT Man

After 15 years, Juan Fernandez is still guiding our corporate infrastructure into the future

When he was in the 6th grade, Juan Fernandez heard that the local library was offering free training on computer programming. 

And that was his favorite kind of fun. So that summer, he’d walk 3 miles from his California home to the public library, where he immersed himself in all-things BASIC programming. Along the way,  he turned those long walks into a highly successful career journey he’s still on today.

“It was at that point, and during that adventure, that I knew what brought me joy,” he remembers. “They also did origami and that was pretty fun, too.”

Everyone at The GBS Group is very glad that Juan was more interested in digital data than fancy paper folding. Today, he’s our VP of IT Infrastructure & Support, ensuring that our company stays a step-ahead of the ever-changing world of information technology.

Born in Costa Rica and raised in Southern California from the age of 7, Juan joined the U.S. Navy when he was 23, volunteering for any and all IT-related tasks and absorbing every bit of new knowledge he could find. His first job after the Navy really got him rolling, introducing him to complicated Microsoft Access development, database design, data quality assurance and most importantly, TSIMS, or Total Ship Information Management System. 

His work and experience in TSIMS is what eventually caught the eye of The GBS Group in 2007, and as an East Coast subject matter expert, helped GBS guide the development of TSIMS data updating tools and procedures for many years.

And when the chance came to help GBS with a little IT support on the side, he’d jump at it. As the company grew, leaders looked to Juan to build our IT Services department and corporate infrastructure from the ground up. 

“The sum of my tenure has been producing this living Infrastructure that we work in today,” he said. “I feel like that’s my greatest accomplishment here. It is the changes we implement to this living Infrastructure that allow us to function as a whole, and to continue to progress without fear of being held back as a company due to any technological bottlenecks.”

Juan now has set his sights on continuing to migrate and improve the company’s policies and practices to earn a Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification. That, he said, “will be a major milestone for myself and the company.”

It’s the “untethered personal growth” and opportunity to apply the professional knowledge you’ve gained to your work that has always made Juan love working at GBS, he said.

“Technology is constantly changing and evolving,” he said. “Being able to work with technology, keep what works, keep up with changes, and be fluid enough to spread into the newest technologies if it’s the right choice – that’s what improves our ability for growth. Knowing that we can make those discoveries and decisions as a team to determine the best path forward for the company is what makes my job most rewarding.”