Brett is the founder and principal consultant of Impact Upgrade, a technology and operations consultancy that focuses on the unique needs of nonprofits. He is also the owner of 3RiverDev, an enterprise software engineering and open source development firm.
Brett’s wife Jenel is an amazing and passionate ER/Trauma RN. She’s so much cooler and more attractive than him. However, she did choose to marry Brett, which calls her standards into question, so there’s that.
Brett and Jenel play zone defense against a formidable yet adorable crew: Kylie, Evan, and Carson. The small humans are nice enough to let their parents feel like winners once in a while, but that’s all part of the game. (It’s also handy living with an ER nurse. Because reasons.)
In his free time, Brett is typically reading, playing piano/guitar, fishing, backpacking, volunteering, repairing and giving away anything with a small engine (Mower Mission), completely restoring a ’67 Chevy C-10 truck (if it’s done before my 4 year old daughter can legally drive it, we’ll call the project a success), acting like a dork with his kids while they still think it’s funny and not at all traumatically embarrassing, and being dominated at board games by his wife.
Past Career History
Twilio – Programmable Messaging – Engineering Manager
The Walt Disney Studios – MoviesAnywhere.com – Lead Backend Software Engineer
Office Depot HQ – Open Source Middleware Consultant
Apparatus (Eli Lilly) – Software Engineering Manager
Red Hat – Senior Software Engineer
Raytheon – R&D – Senior Software Engineer
NBCUniversal – Web Applications Developer
Master of Science, Applied Computer Science – Purdue University (Fort Wayne)
Bachelor of Science, Computer Science – Valparaiso University
The Impact Upgrade Team
We’re blessed to have a group of specialized software engineers, designers, system analysts, support engineers, problem solvers, and get-it-doners. Our composition and workflows are drastically different from other companies, by design!
Clients gain an entire team at their disposal, while I remain positioned as the principal and single point-of-contact. I love people, and building long-term-relationships with nonprofit staff is where I’ve been called to focus. Further, organizations are frustrated by the standard approach of other companies: separate and ever-changing account managers, project managers, engineering leads, and support teams. Instead, the deep relationship, long-term partnership with an individual, and consistency are major differentiators.
Our team is primarily composed of freelancers and other small business owners, rather than internal staff. The latter tends to organically force a “we only use X, Y, and Z” way of doing things, since the team is locked into a narrowed set of competencies. Instead, we highly value staying nimble with a motley crew of specialists. The loose composition enables us to execute with the right tools and right approaches, knowing those vary wildly between organizations and projects. This also has the benefit of not forcing us to be a sales-heavy company, instead able to accelerate and decelerate specific areas as needed.
We spend a lot of time discovering partners, building relationships with each, and ultimately retaining them. We’ve been blessed with many long-term pairings — some folks have been with us for almost a decade, which is unfortunately unheard of in the freelance realm.