THE BLOG

we have thoughts (sometimes) and write about them (sometimes).

Hi there!

Hi guys, I wanted to introduce myself since I will be taking over the blog for a few months. My name is Sami and I’ll be at The Second Floor on Monday and Wednesday afternoons! Some of you may remember me from working downstairs in the Cafe for about a year so please say hi, I may remember your drink order.

Currently you can see me at the lovely desk or at the Paramount Ballroom serving amazing cocktails and food! Let’s just say I can’t get enough of the Paramount! I will be leaving in June, unfortunately, to pursue a degree in forensic pathology at UW! Now that makes me sound really smart but rest-assured I still call my mom to figure out how to soft boil eggs!

I really love animals, and for those of you who don’t know (it’s kind of a big deal) I’m obsessed with cats. More specifically my cats, Butters, a one eyed flame point siamese, and Oliver, a tabby mix. As much as I love cats I also have two dogs, Castiel, a blue-heeler pit mix, and Olivia, a tri-color corgi. If you love animals too, I do enjoy showing pictures of my furbabies to anyone! Also for those who bring a dog to work, expect for me to attack them with happiness.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and I can’t wait to eventually meet all of you!

Member Spotlight – Justine Whitacre

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Let’s welcome our newest member to the Second Floor, Justine Whitacre! We’re excited to have her here and to share her story with all of you!

Justine was born and raised in Southern California. After joining the Navy in 1999, she moved away from Cali in 2000 and found herself residing in Virginia from 2000-2014. She left active duty for the reserves and took on the ever so fun job of EMS. Then in 2014 she was offered a position here in our great state of Wyoming.

So why leave the east coast for the good WYO? Well Justine says, “I took it because as a teenager I spent time in Wyoming during camping trips, and truly grew to love the state. I like living in Cheyenne because it’s a good mix of small town and big city. It provides a slower pace of life with all the amenities that someone who grew up in Southern California craves on the regular (with the exception of the beach and Disneyland).”

Let’s find out more about what Justine does and what she loves about it, shall we?

Currently, Justine is the Associate Director of Program Services for Overture. What is Overture you ask? Well, we have the answer for you and no, it has nothing to do with Beethoven and his music. Overture is a company operating out of Colorado since 1969; it serves the developmentally disabled, assists them in gaining everyday living skills, and becoming as independent as they are able. Justine came on board with Overture in October 2017 in order to help them expand their service’s region to southeast Wyoming. With the expansion into Wyoming, Overture hopes to serve as many people with disabilities in the community as they can. The company’s primary goals are to always help individuals live rewarding lives independently and with dignity.

“The best part of working for Overture is the positive atmosphere promoted by all staff members,” she says, “as well as the benefits of helping others live out their goals in life.”

How can the Second Floor help Overture and Justine reach their goals? Well let’s hear it from Justine herself, “we will be utilizing the Second Floor space primarily for an admin office for Wyoming operations of Overture. We also hope to meet new people, network, and be a part of a work environment that is fun, uplifting, and positive for all.”

Thanks Justine and Overture for letting us be a part of such a great company!

Member Spotlight – Amy Tachiquin

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I would like to introduce you to Amy Tachiquin. Amy is a recent addition to our coworking space. She moved to Cheyenne in September on a youthful whim from western Nebraska while looking for a larger town with a reasonable cost of living. Cheyenne has been a great fit for her needs! Amy especially loves spending time at the local library and exploring the night life.
Amy works for Helix Mobile Wellness and Research. They specialize in hormone therapy with a concierge aspect. They provide hormone balancing to patients in the comfort of their own home or office out in California. Amy works on the administrative side,  handling scheduling, billing, and customer service from the administrative office that is based out of Cheyenne. She loves assisting patients in reaching their health goals and being a part of a new, exciting start up.
Amy says “I’m so happy to be in the wonderful environment of The Second Floor. I do a lot of my work remotely from home but it is very nice to have a professional yet relaxed environment to come to when needed.”
We really enjoy having you around too Amy!

Member Spotlight – Matt Cook

 

Meet Matt Cook – another awesome addition to The Second Floor from Language I/O (and the last one from that company that works out of our office space)

Cook, Matt

 

Matt is not a man of many words, except when he is writing articles for the Wyoming Business Report (check out his article in the February 2018 addition). The lack of words means he did not give me a ton to go on to introduce you to him.

The basics are that he moved to Cheyenne about 3 months ago to reduce his commute from Laramie (and possible death from driving on I-80), which we completely understand. Matt is originally from La Grande, Oregon. I have no clue why he moved to Wyoming, but you should definitely ask him! His hobbies include reading, board/tabletop games, and riding my bike at a leisurely pace (no bike racing for him).

As state above, he works for Language I/O, but he started in Software Development by helping a post-graduate Botany researcher at the University of Wyoming to rewrite some simulation software. Matt really dug into developing software at Language I/O though. He enjoys working there because the laid-back, yet driven culture allows him to express some creativity in the way he writes code, while providing enough structure to keep him from wandering too far down the rabbit hole. The rabbit hole is fun Matt, you should go down it every once in a while!!

Matt didn’t tell me how he uses the coworking space, but from talking to him and observing his patterns, I believe it is primarily for our never-ending water machine & coffee. He stops by for hot water and cold water multiple times a day, and on occasion he stops by for coffee, beer, or ping pong. We like having him around though!

Make sure to say hi when you see him & maybe ask him what his favorite board game is or why he moved to Wyoming!

Member Spotlight – Alanna Larson

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Hey everyone! Meet Alanna Larson. Alanna is another one of the super cool people who work at Language I/O (this company just has a lot of cool people at it, you should check them out).

Alanna comes from Minnesota originally, but she moved to Laramie in 2010 (because our awesome schools are less expensive.) She loves the perfect summer weather here, and the lack of bugs – in Minnesota the mosquitos eat people alive the second they walk out the door! Alanna’s love of summer weather is probably what prompted her to live in a truck camper this past summer. (How cool is that?!)

In addition to perfect summer weather, Alanna also likes to draw, read sci-fi/fantasy, and play the ukulele. Her love for fantasy books as a kid prompted her desire to perform magic (don’t we all dream of that?). The difference between her and us is that she figured out how to perform magic as her career. Alanna describes programming as, “…the closest thing I could find [to magic] – you have all these weird incantations that make no sense at first, but if you say them correctly you can make just about anything happen; from talking to people across the world, to creating moving pictures, [or] even sending people into space. Of course if you say them incorrectly you break everything, but that can add to the excitement. It’s a really creative process and you get to spend your days solving puzzles, which is awesome.”  (See-magic!)
In the future she is looking forward to working on interdisciplinary problems – like how AI and linguistics can work together to help people communicate, for example. This is part of why she thinks working at Language I/O is so awesome – she has the perfect opportunity to delve into that area.
Alanna finds The Second Floor pretty cool because, “… if I need a change of scenery [from her private office space] there’s a bunch of cool nooks to spend time in, and you’re surrounded by people working on a variety of interesting projects. Plus I could probably live off of tea and popcorn, so having a bottomless supply of those is pretty exciting.”
Bottomless tea and popcorn is pretty exciting Alanna! We are super glad you joined our space. 

Member Spotlight – Craig Boal

Meet Craig Boal, one of our newest members here at The Second Floor:
Craig Blog
Craig grew up in Evanston, Wyoming – so right before the Utah border off I-80. After graduation he headed off to the University of Wyoming and obtained a degree in Computer Science. Once he was done with school, he moved to Cheyenne, WY to start his software development career. He went from OCI to Sierra Trading Post and landed at Language I/O as the Director of Software Development, where he is able to focus more on the coding aspect of his career, which seems to be his favorite part.
– We tend to think coding is pretty cool too Craig!
Craig says, “It is really exciting to be able to work for an innovative local startup that provides localization functionality in Customer Relation Management software such as Salesforce and Oracle Service Cloud. Language I/O provides easy integrated access to a vast network of human and machine translators so customer service agents can effectively communicate in their customers’ native language.”
 – So, if I am understanding correctly, you connect customer service software with linguists that translates content so that companies do not need to access a separate translator service and it seamlessly works within their current customer service software? Yup, I’m still a little confused too.
Besides coding he loves to wakeboard and snowboard. (It looks like he was pretty good too! Check him out here.) After he had his son, those hobbies took a back seat and were replaced with fly fishing (seems a little safer for you, Craig. We’d like to keep you around). He also enjoys board games and playing cards.
According to Craig, Cheyenne is a great place to raise a family. It is big enough for most anything his family needs but not so big as to drive someone crazy. It is also in a convenient location with relatively easy access to wakeboarding, snowboarding, fly fishing, an international airport, and it doesn’t have soul crushing traffic.
– We love the lack of traffic too.
Craig and Language I/O recently joined our wonderful space and we love having them around. It sounds like Craig likes it too, because when asked about how he utilizes our space, he said, “I am ecstatic with [the] vibe and fun features of the Second Floor at the Paramount. It is unlike any office space I have seen in Cheyenne, and it is perfect for the type of company that Language I/O is. The energy the space provides melds flawlessly with the goals and excitement we have working at Language I/O. I cannot wait to see what the future holds.”
We cannot wait to see what the future holds for the both of us!

Member Spotlight – Heather Shoemaker

Heather Blog

 

Heather Shoemaker is one of the managing partners of a local technology company here in Cheyenne. The company is headquartered in our sister building next door, The Majestic Building, and Heather, along with the rest of the team, has memberships here at The Second Floor at the Paramount. We asked her a few questions so we could get to know all of her awesomeness – here are her answers:

SF: Tell us a little bit about yourself – any general info will do, but here are some ideas: Where are you from originally? How long have you been in Cheyenne? Do you have any fun hobbies outside of work?

Heather: I was born and grew up in Alaska but I have lived in various places around the “lower 48” and Mexico including Seattle, Washington; Lansing, Michigan; Denver, Colorado; Mexico City – and now Cheyenne. I’m married and have two daughters, one is a sophomore at East High School and the other is a 4th grader at St. Mary’s. My daughters and I all like to rock climb together. This is where living only 20 minutes from Vedauwoo comes in really handy. BTW – I’m trying to get LCCC to re-start their spring rock climbing course so we can get access to that awesome climbing wall during the cold months so contact me if you are interested in taking a rock climbing course! We need at least 15 people before they’ll restart it. I’m vegan – for the animals – and I love to cook. I have a famous pesto cauliflower rice that I need to bring in sometime. (Yes, please!)  I’m an avid science fiction / fantasy reader.  I recommend “The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet” by Becky Chambers. The sequel is awesome too. Oh and I love to knit!

SF: Tell us a bit about your work – i.e. How did you get the idea for it/how did you get started in your particular field? What are your goals/aspirations for it over the next few years? What do you enjoy most about what you do?

Heather: I graduated from the other UW – University of Washington in Seattle with a degree in Latin American Studies and worked as a newspaper reporter for a while after graduation. I got sick of ambulance chasing + low pay and had been reading lots of William Gibson and Neal Stephenson, so computer science looked pretty promising. I enrolled as a grad student at the University of Colorado, Boulder, College of Engineering and I wound up loving my computer science classes. Post graduation I worked as a software developer at all kinds of companies including startups and huge corporations. In 2010, I found myself in a job I didn’t like – at a 30,000 person company. My dislike was mostly owed to the corporate politics and the fact that I had to drive to the Denver Tech Center one day a week. So, I said goodbye to the great pay in favor of quality of life and started a technology company here in Cheyenne – Cheyenne Technology. CT did great and was focused on software development contracting in Wyoming. During that time a colleague from a previous company and I got the idea to create a software product that enabled multilingual support within Client Relationship Management (CRM) platforms. We called our company/product Language I/O. It took off and I had to make a decision to focus on either Cheyenne Technology or Language I/O. I decided the software product model in LIO had more of a future so I sold Cheyenne Technology in 2017 and am now 100% focused on LIO. (Wow, that is an awesome resume and startup story!!)

SF: And, if you don’t mind, it would be great if you could elaborate on how you utilize our space here on The Second Floor. No pressure, though. We are perfectly happy posting just about you and your business.

Heather: We use the co-working space for meetings and a change of scenery from our office next door in the Majestic Building. Of the 10 employees, four of us work regularly out of these offices. The rest are scattered around the country. We’ve only been here a week but so far we love the energy, the space, the big windows … I could go on. The co-working space is awesome as well. (Lol, we are glad you are enjoying your office space and the coworking space. We are super happy to have you join us!!)

Member Spotlight – Lindsey Stutheit

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This week I would like you to meet Lindsey Stutheit. She is one of the great people on staff at Array School of Technology and Design. Whenever you see her around our coworking space, she always is smiling and has something positive to say. Here is her “interview”:

SF: I have been running a series of member spotlight blog posts on our blog, and I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions. (Prepare yourself for fame and fortune !!)

Lindsey: I am totally prepared. I prefer fortune over fame just so you know. I totally get if you can’t control the order. 😀  (I will do my best Lindsey!!)

SF: Tell us a little bit about yourself – any general info will do, but here are some ideas: where are you from originally? How long have you been in Cheyenne? Do you have any fun hobbies outside of work?

Lindsey: I am originally from Texas but have lived in Wyoming for close to ten years. I graduated from the University of Wyoming in Textiles and Merchandising and then with a master’s in Adult Education Administration. I love talking about education, connecting education with employment, and working with students to find their passions through career pathways.

When I’m not working, I enjoy being creative through writing, cooking, interior design, and other art projects. I enjoy hiking with my two pups, traveling with my husband, and spending the rest of my free time putting up with my jerk cat.

SF: Tell us a bit about your organization – i.e. how did you get involved with Array? What are your goals/aspirations for it over the next few years? What do you enjoy most about what you do?

Lindsey:  Array is an exciting place to work for someone like me. I love the opportunity to connect students to a career path in technology. I also really enjoy collaborating with industry partners, K-12, and other community members to make the education to workforce pipeline as smooth and beneficial as possible. It is really rewarding to help people connect to opportunities they care about. I hope the next year allows me more opportunities to do this, as well as refine our education systems as we continue to grow.

SF: And, if you don’t mind, it would be great if you could elaborate on how you utilize our space here on The Second Floor. 

Lindsey: I really enjoy working at The Second Floor as it allows so many different areas to work and connect with people. I love that I can be completely alone in the huddle room, down working on a couch, or up in my office. It is also really beneficial when we have guests at Array. The Second Floor provides such a welcoming environment, and I feel very proud to welcome to introduce people to our the atmosphere and culture. The Second Floor is such a great place to meet new people, to work, and to feel connected.

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