Here is a list of team bios for your enjoyment. For more information about the company, see our new About Us page.
Wim Kerkhoff is our CEO and Founder. His first Linux exposure was to Slackware (installed using a stack of floppy disks!) and Debian in the 1998 era. His career roadmap winds through fulltime Linux/Perl development, Windows/VB6/MSSQL development, ISP NOC support, and building a professional managed services team as founder and CEO of the company. He enjoys digging into tough problems and finding creative solutions, regardless of the technology area. He lives in Chilliwack with his wife and 6 young children. [LinkedIn]
Steve Pasiciel, Senior Vice-President and VP Service, is a Texan by birth and has lived in a variety of locations in Canada, Africa, Europe and the United States. Steve and his wife, Lisa, were married in 1993 and they have two boys, Liam (19) and Soren (17). They moved to BC in 2010 and call Abbotsford home. Steve’s professional career started in higher education; he has taught, coached and held administrative positions at public and private universities in Canada and the United States. He was also in a fundraising role with a global education non-profit and, most recently, he ran the operations of a franchise company based in Port Coquitlam. Steve is passionate about connecting with people, connecting people to each other, connecting people to opportunities that bring high value, and giving the Crafty Penguins team the opportunity to grow and be better organized. Steve loves good coffee and Cinnamon Buns (yes, that deserves to be capitalized). His hobbies are reading (business and science fiction), drawing, and playing the drums. His favorite family activity is traveling. [LinkedIn]
Joshua Smith, VP Operations, grew up in Christchurch, New Zealand and spent a lot of time in his High School years working with computers, both productively and sometimes not so productively. He attended university in New Zealand as well, getting a BSc with a double major in Computer Science and Psychology. His career since then has revolved around providing services and support to small to medium enterprise, specifically support retail, hospitality and wholesaling operations. Joshua creates and drives the operational processes necessary for the Crafty Penguins team to succeed in their daily work. Joshua enjoys spending time in the outdoors, fishing and taking photographs, and loves to travel. He has spent time on every continent except Antarctica, and is hoping to get there one day, too.
Richard Clark, Chief Architect and VP Technology has been involved with Linux since early 1994, and enjoys bringing the Linux/GNU based OS to as many companies and individuals as he can, including recent work to help setup Linux based computer labs for Students and Hospitals in Guinea, Africa. Through the 90’s Richard was focused on IT management. Through the early 2000’s he worked as Sr. Software Engineer on various embedded software projects. In 2011 Richard joined the company as a Systems Architect specializing in Linux systems. He labels himself as Jack of all trades and Master of whatever he has been working on for the last month.
Ralph Hardy, Project Manager fell in love with technology while studying Comp Sci at SFU back in the dark ages. One of his first jobs was designing software at Microtel Pacific Research for the first digital switch made by GTE (back in the dark ages). During his software career he has been involved in designing, building and implementing business systems. In the early 90’s he moved to the USA from the lower BC mainland to become a project manager with Applied Science Associates, managing large implementation projects with clients such as Shell Natural Gas, Enron and Amoco. In his mid-life, Ralph completed his M.Div at Trinity Western University and has served as a pastor in the area. More recently he has casually become involved in Life and Business coaching. Now, combining his passion for both technology and people, Ralph is working as a Project Manager with the Crafty Penguins team here at KTI.
Rob Hartzenberg, Senior Engineer started playing with Linux in ’95 by installing Redhat Linux 1.0 on a 386 via 5’1/4 floppy using the Rhode University LAN and FTP server. Cutting edge technology has always been a draw card for Rob, and as such the move from South Africa to Canada was an easy choice. His background is also software development, ISP support, and mobile network engineering. Rob joined the company in September 2014 as a penguin (Linux) and packet (Networks) wrangler.
Matt Fox is a Senior Engineer and VP Kanban. His Linux experience began with Ubuntu on a small VPS when cloud servers were still considered the next great thing. He brings expertise in Linux networking and software development, having created software for VPN tunneling, transparent proxies, distributed monitoring and metrics collection, and large-scale configuration management. Matt also has a strong background in systems orchestration, DevOps practices, and project management. He graduated from the University of the Fraser Valley with a Bachelor of Computer Information Systems in 2010, and since then has been involved with Crafty Penguins or related companies in a variety of capacities. He now lives near Victoria, BC with his wife and children.
Nicole MacFarlane, Linux Engineer, is a Computer Information Systems graduate of the University of the Fraser Valley. Nicole’s grandfather introduced her to Warcraft 2 and DOS as a young child. From there, she began compiling and running her own Quake servers at age 10. Her time was largely spent moving from game platform-to-platform, developing all kinds of addons, anti-cheat programs, game modes, forums, and chat programs. Since then, she has migrated to Linux because it’s better than Windows (especially with bad hardware).
Curtis Hildebrand, Linux Engineer, grew up playing and coding on his families Commodore 64. When his dad bought an IBM XT, he was fascinated by the CGA graphic games and determined to learn more. His first Linux installation was RedHat 5.2. Red Hat 6.0 wouldn’t install so he moved to MandrakeLinux. Eventually things continued to break and he learned how to fix them gaining skills with GNU/Linux. He’s on the cusp of finishing the Computer Information Systems degree at UFV with a major in his biggest interest, Computer Security. In his spare time, Curtis can be found with either his wife and three kids, working on a security CTF or somewhere on the mountains racing through the trails on his bike.