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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 products.

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 assignments.

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 following sources:

  • 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 Site

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 team included:

  • 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 navigational format
  • Design of Look and Feel
  • Execution of the site: page design, html coding, CGI, Javascripts, forms, graphics design, interactive design, animations, video clips and implementation, multimedia design and implementation
  • 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 - 1995
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 providing.

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.


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