RISING STAR

Pablo Vilaboa: Supporting first responders after the Haiti earthquake

Name Pablo Vilaboa (pronounced PAH-blo vil-la-BO-a)

Age: 26

Organization: Lockheed Martin Information Systems and Global Solutions, contracted with the Southern Command's Army Signal Activity

Title: Help Desk and Tech Support Team lead

Nominated for: Making sure the help desk hit its marks providing technical support to first responders pouring into the Southern Command in response to the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti. During the first two weeks of the crisis, Vilaboa often worked around the clock, only taking occasional rests on a cot under a stairwell. Eventually, he agreed to move into a nearby hotel where he could get some sleep without spending time on his normal commute home.

First IT mentor: My father; he introduced me to computing. My father bought me a PC at the age of 10, which I immediately took completely apart and put back together the first day. He always motivated me to experiment and learn more in the IT environment. More importantly, he always discussed the importance of commitment and a strong work ethic in order to be a team leader and help others deliver results.

Latest accomplishment on the job: What I am most proud of is the support [we gave] HQ U.S. Southern Command during the Haiti [earthquake] crisis. My team was stressed not only with 24-hour-per-day/seven-day-per-week support but we also had to provide services to an additional 700 augmentees. We felt that our efforts were an essential element of providing the command with the ability and flexibility to build up as the mission required.

Career highlight: Promotion to section lead for both Tier 1 (help desk) and Tier 2 (technical support). I had started out at the help desk and then moved to tech support. Just before the transition of my last supervisor, I was involved in combining the two organizational elements under one supervisor, as this would be more effective in meeting objectives. I was later honored with the responsibility as lead for both sections, most likely due to my experience in both areas and ability to integrate them as a team.

Favorite job-related bookmark: Gizmodo.com — best IT geek site to stay posted with what’s new and up-and-coming.

Favorite app: N/A

Dream non-IT-related job: Tennis coach — fun job all day out in the sun playing my favorite sport and teaching people something they enjoy.

Read more on Pablo Vilaboa: When it comes to tech support, sleep is optional


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