Jeff Burgess’ career has spanned nearly 40 years in various segments of the computer industry, getting his start as a company shipper and working his way up to Vice President of Sales seven years later, within that same organisation. He founded Burgess Computer Decisions, Inc., (BCD) in 1999, building high-availability servers for Fortune 500 companies. Burgess has been married for 33 years to Joanne, and has three children, one daughter-in-law, and two dogs.
How did you come to work in the security industry?
A fluke chance meeting in early 2008 led to the inception of BCDVideo via a customer-generated issue at a local GE site introduced me to the security industry. Another case of “good service wins the day”. We had already been established as an organisation trained to provide high-availability servers and even higher-availability customer service to Fortune 500 accounts. We simply flipped that model to the security integrators and it was, frankly, nothing they had ever seen before.
What is the best professional advice you have received?
“First get the deal, then worry about it”. I learned that from Judson Beamsley, then President of Tek-Aids Industries, the company I started with as a shipper. He had just won (from Illinois) a multi-million three-year State of Texas contract on product he did not sell. When questioned on not carrying the product, he replied “we will now!” Sure enough, that manufacturer beat a path to our door. It’s never failed me since.
|Favourite album||Close to the Edge, Yes|
|First job ||Warehouse/shipper at 16 for my Dad’s paper company|
|Sweet or savoury||Spicy!|
|Favourite film||Animal House|
|Dogs or cats||Dogs|
What's something few people know about you?
I met my best friend, Gary, in high school detention during sophomore year. Eleven years later, he fixed me up with my now-wife on a blind date that neither one of us wanted to go on. Joanne was his fiancé Monique’s sorority sister. We were engaged in six weeks and married in six months. 45 years later, the four of us are still best friends, and live three miles apart. Best (and only!) Roman candle I ever set off down a school hallway!!!
What's the most rewarding thing about what you do for a living?
At this point in my career, the ability to mentor young people within my company is one of my greatest rewards. We work with a local organisation which supports first generation and under-served college-bound students. We sponsor a number of these students as paid interns. Also within my company, we strongly encourage opportunities for both personal and professional growth and development. If no one had given me the opportunity, where would I be?
Jeff Burgess particularly enjoys grilling and barbecuing - and appreciates spicy food
What are your interests, hobbies and passions outside security?
My passion is my wife and our family. I enjoy being with them and we have a special bond. My wife and I play golf and travel the world together, enjoy good food and friends. Or just stay home together.
As for hobbies or interests, I really enjoy grilling and barbecuing (there IS a difference). I spent three years in Austin, Texas in the early ‘80’s and was tutored in this fine art. I have a beef brisket published at a spice house website, whose rub I use.
Where was your last vacation?
Our last vacation was Budapest, Berlin, and Copenhagen. I wrapped work meetings around the first and last stop, and had a wonderful work-free weekend in Berlin. We loved all of these new experiences. That tends to be the norm when we travel.
But more excited about our next vacation. Taking a Barcelona-to-Barcelona cruise in mid-July. Never have cruised before and never have totally shut work off for two weeks. Doing both. Joanne has always wanted to cruise and deserves my time after 20 years sharing me with the company - she’s getting both.