October Employee Spotlight: Michael Chernay
Sierra has been proud to be named one of the Best Places to Work in PA every year since inception. One of the biggest reasons that Sierra is a great place to work, is our outstanding team. We’ve been very lucky to have multi-talented team members like this month’s featured employee, Michael Chernay, Server and Network Operations Manager at Sierra Experts.
Michael Chernay has been with the Sierra team for 9 years. Since Sierra Experts has been in business for 10 years now, Michael has seen the company evolve from the very beginning.
Before joining the Sierra team, Mike attended school at Penn State. There, he began working toward a degree in electrical engineering. He notes of that time period, that he really enjoyed audio equipment, and considered turning the hobby into a career. After starting related studies, though, he switched direction. He says that he spent some time doing IT work as a consultant, and found himself more interested in IT than electrical engineering.
During his time in school, giving back to his community was a high priority. He spent time helping Habitat for Humanity, and he was also involved with a youth mentoring program.
Michael mentions that his role at Sierra is 1/3 engineering, 1/3 project management, and 1/3 sales engineering and design. Having such a wide variety of responsibilities demands an equally wide variety of skills. At Sierra, Michael says that he loves the flexibility of the job, along with the challenging work.
During his day-to-day, he guides the direction of his team, including design objectives and service delivery. His favorite part of his work is design and engineering. He loves working with customers to understand their requirements, and putting together plans to perfectly match customers’ specifications. He plays a special role, in listening and giving honest, unbiased advice. That makes him both a great teacher to the other team members, but an asset to customers.
When asked about any interesting stories from his time at Sierra, Michael replied,
“One Friday afternoon, I receive a call from a customer. They wanted me to provide high-level firewall design for their network. I worked on it that day, but the next morning, Saturday, I received another call from them. Now, they noted that they wanted the project completed and implemented within 16 hours. I knew it was going to be a long weekend, but I was up for the challenge. I had to work for the full 16 hours, nonstop, but it was finished on time. I really felt proud to be able to come through for them, and they were also really happy. It’s a great feeling, being able to ‘do the impossible’ sometimes.”
When he’s not at work, Michael enjoys hiking, craft beer, and music. He says he likes being outdoors, and when he’s hiking, he’s usually either at Ohiopyle State Park, or Moraine State Park. He plays guitar and saxophone, and also collects albums. Michael contributes to the local community by helping to plant trees twice annually.
Mike says that family comes first, explaining that he grew up with a large extended family, and now lives with his fiancée and daughter. Asked about long-term goals, Michael says that someday he would like being either CIO or CTO, involved more heavily in system design and architecture.
If your company works with Sierra on any networking projects, or ongoing maintenance, chances are good that Michael Chernay has some involvement. You can rest assured that with Mike, you will receive honest, quality advice and common-sense solutions. Sierra Experts is very proud to have him on our team.
Sierra Experts is an IT Managed Service and Support provider, specializing in remote monitoring and remote management of computing systems, cloud/virtual systems hosting, VoIP/SIP PBX trunks and solutions, physical server hosting, software development and hardware and software reselling. For more, check out www.SierraExperts.com