Michael A. Cook
Director of IT
It seems like I started my IT career when I was born! My parents joked that I was born with a keyboard and mouse in my hand. I guess that comes from having a father who worked his entire career in the IT industry. One of my favorite pastimes with my father was fixing computers. He was a good teacher and we shared the passion of hard drives, motherboards, bytes and BIOS. Even though each day I work with brilliant technicians, I still go to my father for technical advice. My father’s wisdom proves there is nothing like the experience of years, and I continue to be blessed with his insightful knowledge.
Naturally, with such a computer–focused childhood, I went to school for computer science and received my degree from West Texas A&M University. Early in my career, I co-founded a small website development company. But I could not pass up the offer to work for a global oil and gas company that gave me the opportunity to travel to Romania and Singapore to set up new offices from the ground up. I spent several months every year onsite in these countries where I hired and trained staff for these locations. And almost as much fun as working there was enjoying the sights and culture! But the oil and gas industry is famously known for economic ups and downs. With the huge drop in crude oil prices starting in 2014 and continuing for years, the layoffs started coming. I was fortunate to quickly shift to another global company that was less directly affected by the drop in crude oil, but it was eventually hit by the long-term fall in prices.
After experiencing the instability a career in the oil and gas industry could bring, I found myself happy to be working for a major Houston, Texas managed service provider, Truewater. Now instead of depending on a single industry, I could work with companies who needed excellent IT support in a variety of industries. Supporting the computer needs of companies in engineering, real-estate, legal, manufacturing and other industries lets me experience economic and technical diversification.
Because I am very metric–driven, I used my strengths to focus on client satisfaction and IT security at Truewater. My goal was to ensure a high level of accountability for all IT service-related matters. I wanted to improve the IT team, systems and operations for the security, and effectiveness and efficiency of business operations. I was very happy to find that as I demonstrated my skill and expertise at Truewater, I had the freedom to enhance processes and procedures. I was able to revamp our focus and improve operations in the helpdesk, network operations center and IT project department.
As much as I love information technology, working with people is paramount for me. In my role as IT Director, I can spend a large part of my time mentoring and guiding all the amazing technicians here at Truewater. We have weekly group training as well as daily breakouts for each department. Because the IT industry changes so rapidly, each of us is continually learning something new daily. A Microsoft software patch that appeared to be safe can end up breaking the system on hundreds of computers overnight. Truewater’s team works together so well that we can quickly recognize the threat and take actions immediately to minimize any issues. Much of our IT support happens in the background without customers ever noticing issues. This is the proactive IT service that our clients come to expect and could not function as well without.
This excellent IT support makes working with our clients so rewarding. Each client has their own unique set of challenges and I enjoy meeting with the owners and managers of these businesses to bring IT solutions to all their computer issues. While working for huge corporations can be exciting, I found that doing IT support for small to medium sized businesses can be just as challenging and more rewarding. It’s always satisfying when I see the great compliments our clients give our technicians for IT support done well.
My story would not be complete without bragging about my beautiful wife, who has been with me for over 7 years. In 2019, we welcomed our even more beautiful daughter into this world! When I am not working, I enjoy traveling with my family and exploring new locations!
– Michael Cook, Director of IT