The early years
Mark Satterfield has been involved with technology since the 1970s. He started his career in the successful TRS-80 realm, programming in TRSDOS and TRS-BASIC on the Model II, focused on creating solutions that included inventory management systems, accounting solutions, manufacturing resource planning, and customer relationship management systems.
Through the 1980s, Mark continued offering comprehensive technology solutions for small businesses primarily using TRS-80, IBM, and IBM compatible microcomputers like the Portable 30 pound Kaypro along with specialized software designed to run on larger Unix machines including the AT&T 3B2 & 3B15 minicomputers. Software solutions progressed from BASIC to Pascal, and finally C in TRSDOS, MSDOS, CP/M, Real Time OS/9, and several Unix varieties including AT&T System V and Berkeley Software Distribution/BSD. Interconnecting these disparate computing devices required some amount of ingenuity and a soldering gun when cables were not readily available.
Shrink Wrap in vogue
By the mid 1980s, computers and the systems around them were beginning to mature and more and more off-the-shelf shrink wrapped software was being designed for vertical industries. Mark took advantage of the installed hardware base and developed a number of packages for the “near shrink wrapped” market, creating solutions in the window covering and interior design verticals and selling consulting time for installation, training, and customization. He eventually worked as a technology buyer for an international computer solutions company while maintaining his consulting company.
University degree in Computer Engineering
In the late 1980s Mark retired “for awhile” to complete his university degree in Computer Engineering. Several significant industry changes took place in the three years it took to complete his degree. Microsoft took the industry by storm with a well received graphic Windows OS; Microcomputers where everywhere pushed by the IBM PC revolution; and the infamous 3.5″ floppy drive took over the world, replacing the 8″ and the 5.25″ floppies in its wake. Interconnecting computers became a standard affair, and both the government and university systems were nearly fully connected with dedicated lines around the world.
Just a few more things…
Eventually, Mark went back for his master’s degree in Computer Engineering with an emphasis in Artificial Intelligence and forecasting systems. He has a broad hands-on experience base that includes business operations, software development, systems test and integration, manufacturing engineering, and managing geographically distributed technical teams. He is a successful programs manager skilled at building complex solutions, and identifying and managing the cost, schedule, technical goals, and risks during all phases of the systems development life cycle.
In his spare time, Mark enjoys sailboat racing, playing guitar, the theater, and spending time with family and friends.
- Programs and Product Management – Successfully managed distributed teams of more than 40 engineers, and both small and large contracts ranging up to $50 Million with high value shared assets
- Technology – Developed secure software coding standards, refactored Information Operations/Computer Network Attack & Exploitation tools, applied tools to evaluate attack surfaces
- Security Clearances – Top Secret/SCI/SSBI/CI (Counterintelligence) polygraph, DOE-Q
Mark is a technical strategist, but more than that. He is a thespian, a pilot, a sailor, and a homelessness and child welfare advocate. Read on for more!
The birth of it all…
Mark Satterfield was born in the Western US, and raised in Miami, Florida — a place he still calls home. In the early 1980s, in days when his high school friends were mowing lawns to get a few dollars, Mark started a computer solutions company targeting small businesses that desired to automate their existing manual processes, focusing on manufacturing device control, inventory and resource planning, and office automation.
A time for university…
In the late 1980s, Mark sold the assets of the business and moved to Tampa, Florida to complete a degree in engineering.
Turn to Corporate America…
After completing his Bachelors degree in Computer Engineering at the University of South Florida, Mark moved to Clearwater, Florida, working for General Electric Neutron Devices as a software, systems, and network engineer. Soon after Mark started teaching at Saint Petersburgh Community College.
Up up and away!
Along the way, Mark took up flight training and obtained his single engine rating. Spin training had just been removed from the official FAA curricula — but fortunately for Mark, his flight instructor was the son of a barnstormer father and wing walker mother, so spin training was in!
Dot Dot COM! …
By the late 1990s, Mark joined a “dot-com,” focusing on structured manufacturing engineering solutions and software process control.
The value of education has never left me…
Mark continued his educational pursuits by focusing on a Master’s of Science in Computer Engineering with an emphasis in using artificial intelligence tools for forecasting. Mark’s first interest was in developing a patient focused software analysis tool for doctors specializing in HIV research. Unfortunately, HIPAA was enacted while he was gathering necessary patient data and this prevented the continued development of the software. His second thesis involved developing systems models of environmental processes that were governed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Mark completed his Master’s degree in 2000.
Reflections of the first sabbatical…
In the early 2000s, after watching the rise of the business and completing his educational plans, Mark decided it was time for his first sabbatical. During his year “off”, Mark started acting in local little theater, studied theology, learned to sailboat race, and was active in community affairs including a mentor program in the public school system. Mark was cast as an actor and director in several performances including political plays with the Great Arts Society, and acting in the rock opera “Tommy” by The Who, one of his favorite operas.
As the sabbatical came to a close, Mark joined with several other like minded entrepreneurs and started a software and network centric computer solutions company. Although the dot com bust was devastating for many companies, it was quite lucrative for others including those involved with “reverse EF&I”. Along with his partners, Mark was successful in deploying wireless access for higher end hotels (the early 2000s was the introduction of commodity laptops), and also creating specialized software solutions for heavy equipment manufacturing companies.
Today, Mark is still active in community affairs, building homes with Habitat for Humanities, working with the public school system in dropout and expulsion prevention, participating as a public advocate for homelessness and child welfare, and cleaning the beaches we see every day.