Matthew P Kemp

I am a technlogist who enjoys building things.

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”

- Douglas Adams

Live. Born in Chicago, Illinois, United States of America during the late ‘70s to a college administrator, who went on to be a faculty member as well as an associate dean, and an artist, who became a full-time homemaker that raised my two sisters and myself, I had always been fascinated with technology and engineering. While both of my parents were born in the US I relate to both families ancestries and traditions which originated in the Eastern European countries of Poland and Ukraine. English had always been the primary language spoken in our household and utilized on a daily basis yet through our extended nuclear family, and having my mother’s parents live with us through the 80s, we understood various Polish and Ukrainian phrases and often listened to my Grandmother’s conversations with relatives in both countries (though upon her death we’ve lost connection with them). Having my grandfather around during my elementary school years I developed many hands on skills from his prior experience as a carpenter and tradesman.

Create. During my father’s doctoral work, in the late 80s into the early 90s, he was attending a remote program in Florida while living in Chicago which required him to have a computer with a modem and internet access. Just over 10 years old, I was provided my first hands on experience with an 8088 and started my exploration of computing and trying to manipulate this intriguing device. Starting with BasicA I learned functional programming and the limitations of sand boxed languages. I continued exploring these limitations and learned many things along with various friends, typically from books we would read in book stores or elder siblings who had experience with programming. I went on to self-teach myself x86 assembler, while picking up Apple Basic and Pascal in high school courses. My curiosity lead me to learning about bulletin board systems (BBS) and lead to my experience creating ANSi artwork and writing code while being a systems operator (SysOp) of my own BBS The 7th Seal: Nuclear Sunrise in the 708 area code (through the expansion of the suburban Chicago areas we were migrated to the 630 area code during operations).

Educate. Having a great uncle who was a Chemistry Professor, a father who was a College Professor and a sister who was a special education teacher, I had been around the concept of continuous education and concept of enriching others my entire life. Becoming an adjunct instructor at Columbia College Chicago where I was teaching in the Interactive Arts & Media program, I taught an introduction to programming course aimed at art students in the program. I later went on to be an adjunct instructor at DePaul University where I was in the Finance Department of the business school teaching Management Information Systems. In 2021 I became involved with which we moved from being a side project to a non-profit organization which focuses on public education in understanding, discovering, maintaining, improving, and protecting the public Internet. I believe strongly in life-long learning and sharing knowledge along the way.

Explore. I am a curious traveler, adventurous eater and am utterly fascinated by cultures. I have traveled to each of the 50 US States (48 continental states as well as Alaska and Hawaii) as well as territories such as Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Countless cruises through the Caribbean (The Bahamas and Virgin Islands) as well as travel in Belize, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico. Weeks traveling via trains and cars in Austria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Monaco, Romania and Spain. Have explored China through several extended trips and spent a short amount of time in Japan. Further adventures await and I hope to touch each continent in my life.

Build. Starting my career as a network engineer at DePaul University (where I worked as an undergraduate while completing my BS in Computer Science), I helped create the Residence hall Network (ResNet), built out a metropolitan ethernet ring through our suburban campuses, developed network registration systems and various utilities that helped to maintain the network. As I finished my MBA in Leadership/Change Management and Entrepreneurship I had the pleasure of being part of the Project Management Office (PMO) of the Chicago Sun-Time as we undertook a digital transformation of the newspaper industry. I completed various projects ranging from the transformation of tear-sheets from a physical process to being an online proof of publication, to the combination of disparate advertising systems, to physical print size reductions, to physical office moves and closures as well as the movement towards cloud services. I experienced, from an IT management perspective, taking a company through the bankruptcy process and left before a private equity firm completed their purchase of the ever shrinking publisher. I bootstrapped a startup named ToonBee which was an ambitious attempt to bring online webcomic creation capabilities to market. Through my multiple roles, in a 4 person startup, learned many things that I still needed to personally learn. My next adventure was a short stint working for a seed based startup named Fanfueled, which was a multilevel marketing ticket sales platform. Took over the technical vision and worked with various organizations such as ÄKTA and Vokal Interactive on the future iterations of the platform. Hyper ambitious and as many small startups we were pulled in many directions by various forces, I decided the ultimate direction it was heading was not in my best interest. In my mid 30s I interviewed at Akamai Technologies, which I was aware of from my work at DePaul, and was hired as a Solutions Engineer. I’ve grown along with Akamai and am currently a leader in the Professional Services organization where my focus is on growing our team member’s careers as we expand our abilities to provide world class services to our clients.