Matthew P Kemp
I am a technologist 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
Build Starting my career as a network engineer at DePaul University (while earning my BS Computer Science). 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-Times as we faced the digital transformation of the newspaper industry. Here 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. My next adventure was a short stint working for a seed based startup named Fanfueled, which was akin to a multilevel marketing ticket sales platform. Responsible for the technical vision, I worked with various organizations such as ÄKTA and Vokal Interactive. In my mid-30s I interviewed at Akamai Technologies, which I was aware of from my work in networking at DePaul. I was hired as a Solutions Engineer. I grew along with Akamai and became a leader in the Professional Services organization. Just under 11 years later my interest was piqued by an opportunity to join Forter with an aim at building the trust platform for digital commerce. My focus is on streamlining implementations while growing team member’s careers as we expand our abilities to provide world class services to our clients.
Live I was Born in Chicago, Illinois, USA during the late ‘70s. My father was a college administrator, tenured faculty member and dean at DePaul University. My mother was an artist and full-time homemaker that raised my two sisters and me. I am infatuated with technology, engineering and design. While I am the third generation of my family born in the USA, I found myself relating to my family’s traditions which originated in Poland and Ukraine. English had always been the primary language spoken at home, but having my mother’s parents live with us through the 80s we understood basic Polish and Ukrainian phrases. We often listened to my Grandmother’s phone conversations with relatives. Through my grandfather 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 Zenith Data Systems 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 from elder siblings who had experience with programming. I went on to self-teach myself x86 assembly, while picking up Apple Basic and Turbo 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 grandmother who took accounting classes during the Great Depression, a father who was a College Professor and a sister who was previously a special education teacher, I had been around the concept of continuous education and enriching others my entire life. Becoming an adjunct instructor at Columbia College Chicago where I was teaching in the Interactive Arts and Media program, I taught an introduction to programming course for art students. I later went on to be an adjunct instructor at DePaul University where I was teaching Management Information Systems. In 2021 I became involved with Dataplane.org 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 contiguous states, Alaska and Hawaii) as well as territories such as Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Countless cruises through the Caribbean (The Bahamas and other Virgin Islands) along with Belize, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico. Weeks traveling via trains and cars in Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, 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.