My entire working career has always encompassed the creation
of new entities, structures, production processes and standards.
For the last 9 years I've been doing this in the web venue.
Access Presto Online Productions - 2002 - present
Access Presto is the residual web production company that
has continued the maintenance of the web sites developed under
PRESTO! and continued to develop customized web sites for
small and medium sized businesses, creative individuals and
In all cases I am the Project manager. Work is some times
done in the R&D Lab and sometimes at the Client's site.
Additional team members are brought onto the project as needed
or I work with the client's in-house IT staff. Often I function
as the entire production team on these projects: Web Producer,
Architect, User Interface Designer, Web application developer,
Business Analyst for small businesses, special interest groups,
organizations and entertainers. Jobs range from using exsisting
servers, to setting up server facilities within the clients
network, to implementing sites on ISP servers chosen by the
client, to hosting sites on our own servers.
Sandia National Laboratories/CA - 1998 - 2002
Sandia National Laboratories/CA is the California Branch,
located across from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories
in Livermore, CA. The corporate headquarters is located in
Albuquerque, NM. It is composed of many research laboratories
clustered in Centers based on areas of specialization. The
administrative services for the facilities are grouped into
the Business Center. The California branch functions autonomously
in many areas, but does share some business service structures
and data bases with Albuquerque. There is an odd mixture of
independence from Albuquerque and being required to conform
with certain corporate standards.
I was originally hired to work with the Technical Communications
Department as the web design, web graphics, and multimedia
specialist. The parallel department in Albuquerque already
had a large established web production department, but the
California branch believed that they needed their own onsite
web production. The Technical Communications Department served
as an art department service bureau for all the Centers at
the site. Prior to my arrival at the site there was no cohesive
approach to web projects for the site.
As the post cold war and advent of the digital age progressed
this department had gone from being a large, 60+ person department
to one with essentially one person per skill set. It had been
changed to a charge-back business system, so we competed with
all available external vendors for our work. More than 5 years
ago a site-wide administrative decision was made that any
support staff positions would, from then on, be filled by
contractors. Classified photo work and printing was being
sent across the street to the Lawrence Livermore Laboratories.
As a result the department was rapidly transitioning, also,
from being staffed by "Sandian staff" to being staffed
by contractors with no previous history at Sandia.
- 1 cinematographer
- 1 video editor
- 1 photographer
- 1 photo technician
- 1 printer
- 1 desktop publisher
- 2 technical writers
- 1 technical illustrator
- 1 multimedia presentation author and webmaster
- 1 programmer
- and me, the web designer.
All of the team are expected to market their services actively
across the entire California site. Independent contractors
were brought in as needed to supplement staff as needed. We
worked as an integrated group and were committed to cross
training with one another and backing one another up when
workload required. At various points in time additional Techwriters
and Photographers and Video Editors were contracted in. The
department team functioned as the web production team under
the Web Project Manager in addition to their other project
During my first year and a half, I did a good deal of print
graphics work and multimedia work in addition to web work.
After that web work kept me too busy to do other work, with
some rare exceptions when it was crucial for me to help the
technical artist with overload.
The acting staff web master had transitioned from an unrelated
job to being the primary web producer and had taken a series
of workshops on web production and design. When I was hired
I was told that it was expected that I would bring my extensive
knowledge and experience to immediate application and foster
the growth of web services for the site.
My assignments grew quickly to be Web Project Management
as well as the person who was doing the execution of the sites.
I functioned as the User Interface and Human Factors specialist
for the site. In the initial years proof of effectiveness
was in the user performance.
Content was developed from the following resources:
Visuals used on the web were derived from a range of resources:
- clip art adapted to specific site needs
- photographs commissioned by the client
- digital photos and hard copy photos provided by the client
- digitized photographs from Corporate Archives
- digital images produced by research software
- graphic illustrations commissioned from the tech illustrators
by the client
- illustrations used in PowerPoint presentations
- original web graphics created by the web designer
I created, in addition to the above:
- animations, both 2D and 3D
- videos served as RealVideo or QuickTime
- MSWord Forms
- PDF documents to be served on the web
On many occasions I produced hypertext content based on the
- notes from interviews with the client
- print publications
- PowerPoint Presentations
In August 2000 the staff webmaster left the department for
another position and I was left with the responsibility for
all web projects, site wide.
During my tenure there the department went through 2 major
restructuring and major changes in personnel. We were constantly
reminded that at the end of each year "the board"
might decide to shut the department down. Regular meetings
were held to strategize how to promote to "the site"
the concept that it was advantageous to have our services
on site, rather than to use outside resources.
When the new manager took over in October 2000, 6 long tenured
staff left the department. The Public Relations Department
was merged with the then renamed Creative Communications Department.
These events left the team endeavoring to support one another
as the department was physically and structurally rearranged
3 different times. (It was about to begin the 4th just as
I left.) Our mutual professional respect, personal artistic
bonds and constant communication with one another are what
made it possible to continue to produce good product in a
timely manner during extremely adverse chaotic conditions.
As various administrative departments and the Center's began
to "come on line" with their web presences and supporting
web based applications, the web team grew to:
- 4 additional web designers (3 recruited by me, one assigned
from another department)
- 4 web interns
- 2 additional technical artists
- 2 additional tech writers
- a part time photographer were added to the staff
- Albuquerque assigned a metrics specialist to the CA site
Mentoring 4 entry level web designers and up to 4 student
interns simultaneously while production managing 3 Laboratory
Centers Site Projects in addition to numerous web based application
projects and smaller intra net and public site projects and
while doing hands-on website page building and web graphics
was corporate task assignment to a breaking point. I also
assumed, by default of knowledge, the responsibility for acquiring
hardware and software, moving and setting up work stations,
and scheduling technical assistance. I did my best to rise
to the circumstances, but this was no longer the job I had
signed on to do.
Knowing that I would reach "burnout", I made sure
that the talents of the web designers I recruited included
the range of all my skills, so that I could gradually be relieved
of my work load. When ever possible I invested time in cross
training other staff for my work. I left feeling comfortable
that the new staff had grown into the work, the production
structure had been set in motion and that the web program
that I had created would continue well without me.
Apple Computers - 1997 - 1998
WEBMASTER for Apple ComputerŐs Learn & Earn Channel Training
Established the production structure for online sales channel
training courses which ultimately completely replaced 'standup'
training. We were "building the plane while we were flying
it". It's a great story about how a couple inspired members
of the Channel Sales Training Team, on their own time, in
addition to their regularly assigned tasks, managed to create
a new program that was a key element in the turnaround of
the Apple Computer Company .
When I arrived there was no web production team or production
process in existence. When upper management formally adopted
the new online training program there immediately ensued a
major scramble among the staff to determine who would leave
the company and who would transition their job responsibilities
to the new format. While this was happening I was guiding
department management and staff through establishing the production
process as well as the structure. During my time the web production
- 1 technical programming specialist
- 1 graphic artist (we had access to all of Apple's graphic
departments for image resources)
- 4 tech writers
- 2 html writers (including myself)
When I left the staff had been restructured and production
management was taken over by one of them.
PRESTO! & URLy Sylke Productions - 1995 - 1997
Web Producer / Developer
Created new business concept: The web production company.
The team was headed by George Thornally, Mike Bailey and Kent
Fillmore (BTI Group, telecommunications specialists, early
Email gurus, part of founding group of AOL starting back when
it was a Commodore Users Group through creating the AOL forums
= AFL George, pioneers in eBusiness).
- Liaison with Producers
- Development of site architecture including site map and
- Design of Look and Feel
- Execution of the site: page design, html coding, CGI,
animations, video clips and implementation, multimedia design
- Content author.
I was the primary web designer and set the production standards.
Some producers executed their own web pages. At sometimes
there were 9 producers working on URLy Sylke in addition to
me. Additional graphic artists and programmers were jobbed
in as needed.
As Project Manager I:
- Created budgets
- Hired and supervised staff
- Created and set documentation standards
- Set production schedules
- Developed and defined production process, including online
documentation, that allowed large amounts of content to
be produced in a short period of time by content producers
and artists unfamiliar with web.
- Mentored producers and artists.
NOTE: as one of the pioneers in web content production, I
learned HTML coding, visuals and multimedia from scratch.
Converting an image file to GIF was accomplished using a DOS
executable. I had been creating hypertext based multimedia
interactive teaching modules since 1985.
Hollywood Hands-On Computer Learning Center - 1993
Board of Directors/Manager/Instructor
I facilitated, in concert with Casey Bernay, the founding
IATSE Unions retraining center, the national center for the
retooling of technicians and designers for CGI applications
in the TV and Film and stage industry and then eventually
ran it. I worked closely with the Board of Directors which
was made up of representatives from all the crafts unions
and the Producers, Writers, and Musicians Guilds, union administrators
and special committees from locals. I also worked with the
Contract Services Administration to develop a processing structure
through which union members could request a class and be cleared
for class fee funding in less than 1 month. The already established
"normal" process takes approximately a year between
the request to take a class and the funding being granted.
(This was no small feat. Many had said it couldn't be done.)
In addition to the day to day administration of the facility
and the class scheduling and staffing, I did consultation
with hardware and software developers, educators, working
professionals, labor unions, professional associations and
employers on the development of applications and of teaching
methodologies for this new industry. Also, I was the primary
liaison to all the union locals in the US and Canada, developed
an international traveling trainer program and facilitated
an unprecedented "showdown" of a international cross-locals
request to the newly elected IATSE President,t at the Miami
National Convention in July 1995, for the national office
to continue the support of HH-O that his predecessor had been
We developed instructional methodologies tailored to deliver
extremely time-efficient high-impact training to working professionals.
This included task specific use of applications specific to
each technical craft area, business processes, production
management, production processes, manufacturing of all crafts
areas, CGI, digital music and sound effects, previsualizations,
animations, special effects, editing, compositing. Additionally,
I project managed the development of custom task specific
applications, some of which are still in use today.