This month we are shining the spotlight on Josh Folsom, Columbia’s Director of Information Systems, who celebrates 20 years with the company. Josh has always been passionate about computers. When he was in high school, he started his own computer repair company and while working at a computer store, Josh first met Columbia’s current Systems Administrator, Jim O’Connell.
What was your path to finding a career in the construction industry? After college, and having majored in Finance, I started working at Putnam Investments as a Portfolio Accounting Analyst. During my time at Putnam, I became involved in the Y2K compliance aspect of mutual funds and post Y2K was approached to transition to Putnam’s IT department. While in school and through my time at Putnam, I was also moonlighting at Columbia by providing IT and Marketing support for the company and helping Columbia employees with their home equipment needs. When Columbia started the process of soliciting candidates for its first IT Manager, I was asked to develop a list of qualifications for prospective candidates and provide a write-up of Columbia’s technology infrastructure and through that exercise was asked to join Columbia as the IT Director.
There are many; I can’t pick a single highlight… Working with Andrew Townshend (Columbia’s COO) on our customized web-based project management system, the Extranet, and seeing the first batch of user’s log-into the system we built. Being featured in ENR. Columbia’s first Annual Meeting. Working with Jim O’Connell, my second in command. Making the move to 100 Riverpark Drive, Columbia’s current home. Any number of Randy’s (Columbia’s Vice Chairman) side-projects. The Extranet 2.0 development and launch.
Special talent or most useful skill?
Special talent: I can juggle, and on occasion, and when not prompted, do a pretty passable impression of Ted Sirakian (Columbia’s VP of Operations).
Useful Skill: I can have full conversations by text and e-mail while I am sleeping.
Favorite summer or winter activity?
Favorite activity for any season is eating out.
Favorite vacation spot?
Best concert? Or favorite band?
Favorite bands: Genesis, Muse, Crowded House, The Police.
I’m not a huge fan of live concerts, but my favorite recorded concert is David Gilmour Live in Gdansk.
Two items on your desk?
Yellow pad and flush-cut electrician shears.
Morning person or night owl?
There’s a difference? I’m a day owl.
When not in the office, Josh will likely be remotely connected to the office, lending a helping hand. During these trying times, Josh has risen to the IT challenges many companies faced and worked non-stop to ensure every employee at Columbia could work more efficiently and safely from home. Josh has been one of Columbia’s “front line” workers, and we greatly appreciate all his efforts.