Moving NYC Forward

YP Spotlights of the Month

July: Technology

This July, we are honoring Young Professionals working to improve New York through technology. Congratulations to our July Spotlights, Mike Bloomfield, Tekie Geek, and Rob Johnson, NYC Mesh!

Robert Johnson

Electrical Engineer, Install Leader, Community Organizer
NYC Mesh
How did you get to where you are today?

I’ve had a long journey through engineering school, public sector work, grad school, and the nonprofit/community organizing space. I try to find ways to make infrastructure more functional and people-centered, and that’s an ongoing process. Finding a niche hasn’t been easy, and I’m sure I still have a long way to go. I’ve benefited from infrastructure and public services my entire life. When I was young, it was Philly public schools and SEPTA, now that I’m older it’s the MTA, CUNY, Rent Stabilization, Medicaid, and others. I feel that I owe a tremendous debt to the people who set these things up and those who keep them running. I intend to do as much as I can professionally to make these services better and make sure they work for everyone.

What are you most proud of?

Earlier this month, my team at NYC Mesh finished a major project in a Brooklyn public housing development. Between 500 and 1000 unique devices are connecting to access points in the building courtyard every day now. We worked for over a year raising money, drawing up plans, and coordinating with various departments within the city to make this happen, and we pulled it off. It’s been a huge lift for our organization and it’s something I’m immensely proud of.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to work in your field?

In both technical and government work, I’ve met a lot of people who are hesitant to leave steady-but-uninspiring jobs. In nonprofit and community organising work people don’t seem to have that problem as much, but instead get burned out because the emotional components of the work weigh so heavily on them. My advice is to trust yourself and make sure your needs are met. You can grow a lot by leaving a job and trying something new, especially if it’s fulfilling and keeps you motivated.

When did you realise that you are a New Yorker?

It’s taken a while, but at this point I have a pretty solid grasp of the unwritten rules of unsanctioned sidewalk cookouts. It really improves my ability to entertain, and makes me feel like I’m a part of the neighbourhood!

Mike Bloomfield

President Geek
Tekie Geek
How did you get to where you are today?

This is an easy question to answer: HARD WORK! My parents made it clear to me at an early age that you can do anything you put your mind to if you work hard and are passionate about it. Luckily, I learned about my passion for IT at an early age. About 9 years ago, I decided that I wanted to open my own business. With lots of hard work by both myself and my best friend, wife, and business partner, we have been able to grow Tekie Geek into one of the most respected MSPs in the industry.

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of my beautiful family and their support for our business. On a professional level, I am most proud of the team that we have been able to build at Tekie Geek. We are not just co-workers, we are truly a family, and most importantly, we are superheroes to our clients!

What advice would you give to someone who wants to work in your field?

Always be learning and adapting to the latest technology and threats. In our industry, it is important that you don’t let your knowledge go stale and you must always keep up with the latest technology. More importantly, when working with business clients and protecting their IT infrastructure, it is very important to make sure that you are always keeping up with the latest security threats and what can be done to curb them to keep your clients protected.

When did you realise that you are a New Yorker?

I realize I am a New Yorker every time that I am out of New York and order Calamari or Mozzarella and the waitress/waiter gives me a look of confusion. Looking this over again, maybe that is a Staten Island thing, and we may be the only ones that call it “Galamad” and “Mutz.” I’ve also always been #NYTough!

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