We are a family owned and operated business. We stand by our work so much that we aren’t afraid to put our name on the door. Also, we couldn’t agree on any other company name after many long hours debating them. Sawyer Solutions was started in 2011 to develop an integrated inspection software system. We partnered with some old friends from PiRod/Valmont to form Blue Sky Innovations, LLC to market that product to the structural and telecommunications industry. We subsequently expanded Sawyer Solutions to offer complete managed IT services and consulting that can be found on the Services page.
Young (at heart) Whipper Snapper
I’ve always been a programmer at heart – sort of. I took my first programming class in high school from the Alabama School of Math and Science (ASMS) in 1996. Originally, I was not interested in this as a career, as I was going to be a Physicist. After graduating from ASMS in 1997 I went to the University of Alabama to pursue, so I thought, one of many degrees in Physics. My advisor urged me to take more programming courses as being able to program as a physicist is a big leg up. My senior year I realized I didn’t want to do Physics anymore, and that I actually wanted to make a career of IT. At that time I was working part-time with my father for PiRod upgrading an aged Fortran program to VB6. Looking around I realized the fastest way to graduate was to get a degree in Philosophy, another passion of mine. In Philosophy you could take all the classes you needed simultaneously. So after two semesters of reading and writing more than I ever have in my life I graduated with a BA from UA. I continued to work for PiRod until shortly after it was acquired by Valmont and I was downsized.
Next I moved to Memphis to work, first and briefly for ServiceMaster Clean as a mid-level programmer, where I also met my (future) wife. I then went to work for Brother International in their Internet Group. The department consisted of myself, my boss, a designer, and one other programmer. Over the next 9 years we built the team into 10 programmers, 2 designers, 4 project managers, and 2 email marketing specialists. During this time, I was promoted to Senior Developer. I was in charge of architecting the solutions, mentoring the developers, choosing coding standards and guidelines, implementing new technology adoption, as well as coding.
In addition my work at Brother, during that time I also managed to marry a wonderful woman, earned a Master’s Degree in Engineering Technology from the University of Memphis, and have 4 wonderful children. I also spent many fun hours on camp outs with Boy Scouts as an Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 206.
Ken Sawyer - MEng, MEd, CISSP, PMP, MCSD, CSM
Chief Elder Person
Growing up in Alabama, I knew that I wanted to be an engineer. I loved to take things apart so I could understand how they work. I was even able to put some of them back together and get to work again!
My undergraduate education at Samford University introduced me to some new ideas. I became involved in the campus radio station and began a long career in the telecommunications industry as a broadcast engineer. I graduated with a degree in Human Relations but the most important thing I discovered in college was my wonderful wife, Liz, whom I met in the Samford University Band.
Right after college I was hired to build a television studio at the University of Montevallo where I acquired a Master of Education degree and taught briefly. Then Liz and I started our first business together – Avionics. There we learned a lot about business in a hurry. After that, I returned to the broadcast world and ended up as president of a company – Southern Broadcast Services – that built and maintained telecommunication facilities and structures around the country. It was here that I found my passion for integrating ideas, people and technology. I started writing software and developing solutions to help our business grow and operate more efficiently. We were also blessed with two sons.
The next phase of my career led my family to Plymouth, IN. I went to work for PiRod, Inc. (later acquired by Valmont Industries) which is a manufacturer of communication towers. I was hired as a product manager but my penchant for building technology solutions soon won out and I became focused on building great IT solutions for the business.
Indiana was nice but Alabama is home so after 5 years we moved back and started Sawyer Systems. In addition to continued consulting for PiRod/Valmont we expanded our services. We produced solutions for manufacturing, service and non-profit organizations including structural analysis, accounting, supply chain and others. Along the way I acquired a Master or Engineering degree and several certifications including Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD), Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).
Primary Technical Support Answer Finder
Jason has always been the “go to” guy for his friends and family when they needed something fixed. He has a knack for problem solving and figuring out how to make things work. Early in his career he worked as an Occupational Therapist, then the company he worked for noticed his aptitude for technology and transitioned him into a technology position. For 15 years he helped provide design, development of technology infrastructure, as well as help desk support for a therapy staff of more than 2000 in four different states. At Sawyer Solutions Jason is responsible not only for client support, but putting his problem solving skills to work in developing technology systems for clients and maintaining them.
Lead Sales Go-Getter
A native of the Birmingham area, Gary has spent the majority of his career in the coin operated amusement and vending industry. He has extensive (20 years) business management and sales experience and a B.S. in Business from the University of Tampa. Gary will be helping Sawyer Solutions grow its client base. He is married, has two grown daughters, four grandkids, and when he’s not hanging out with them he enjoys golf, cycling and working out.