Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Ceremity, the consultancy, and its client: UPS

Ian Shirley, rightmost below, and I both started at Ceremity (pronounced Sir Remedy) as developers on May 17, 2017. We were never much at Ceremity's Katy office, but were instead deployed to a client, UPS (Universal Plant Services), in Deer Park on the other side of Houston. Some documentation of the adventure follows.


Amer Ismail (at Ian's right above) had worked at Ceremity in a similar situation for fifteen months before becoming a full time UPS employee. Ceremity was the first consultancy I had encountered that allowed its own to be hired by its clients eventually. Anyhow, June 20, 2017 was the first day Amer was a UPS employee and the photo here is from a lunch outing at Tony's Fish Gallery in Deer Park. At the head of the table is Tim Baldwin, also a Ceremity-to-UPS convert, and at Tim's right is Johnny Lopez of Ceremity. James Stacey of UPS sits leftmost in the photo above.


This photo (taken at the token Chipotle in Deer Park, Texas on 9/20/2017) shows from left to right: Amer Ismail of UPS, Brittany Stacey of UPS, Stephanie Grizzle of UPS, Paul Rice or Ceremity, and Ian Shirley of Ceremity. Brittany was both my immediate UPS-side boss and the wife of James Stacey. Stephanie and I went to college together at T.S.T.C and though I had not been in the same room with her for eighteen years when I interviewed, she was my in for this opportunity. Paul Rice was Ceremity's CTO and he and Tim Baldwin went to the same Houston area high school (Cy Falls) and for a while I assumed that they knew each other in high school. I later found out that Tim was many years ahead of Paul though they did share a common computer science teacher. There were three different girls named Brittany at work and White Brittany here was not to be confused with Black Brittany (Britni Jackson) or Latin Brittany (Brittany Diaz).


My superior at Ceremity was a guy named Jermaine Gonzalez who is at the right here. Nikol Nikonchuk, also with Ceremity, stands in the middle. On October 18th of 2017, a Wednesday, we got together at Revelry on Richmond, a random Houston sports bar deep in the city, for a happy hour (though I don't drink) to celebrate the 44th birthday of Ceremity's Kent Masden who is at the left.


The woman at the lower left is an Amy Collak who worked at Ceremity here and there doing odd tasks such as maintaining the Facebook page and procuring swag, but more interestingly she was the wife of the CEO, a Vlad Collack, and, yes, that is Vlad sitting beside her. This picture was taken on the last day of November of 2017 at the company holiday party at Batanga, a bar/restaurant in the heart of Houston. Gayle Irwin of human resources sits across from Vlad and Stephanie Dowty, who approved expense reports, is at her left in the lower right of the photo.


James Wang of Ceremity flaunts the tacky sweater here while Amer Ismail of UPS is the better-dressed party. This photo was taken on 12/16/2017 at the UPS Christmas party at Goode Company Barbeque in Houston. I'm going to say this is the best job I have had in spite of the photos growing progressively darker. Don't read too much into that. It was also good to work with Eboni Hampton, Laura Wickliff, Bhashwar Bhattarai, Shawn Strickland, Pete Webb Jr., Rob Schaffner, Shane Clarke, Cara Smith, Ian Morrison, Noe Vasquez, Chris Speight, and Lan Cui. It was NOT good to work with Brandi Wilborn.

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