Darren Spurgeon

Chief Technology Officer

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Professional Profile

A collaborative executive leader with a strong understanding of both business and technology. I have a keen sense for how to apply practical solutions to complex problems, and to find ways to overcome obstacles and move a business forward. My broad industry experience and diplomatic approach to conflict often puts me at the center of major strategic decisions and involved in many external relationships. My deep and varied skillset allows me to advise at all levels and comfortably contribute to front-line activities.

  • Software engineering & architecture
  • Strategic assessment & planning
  • Product development & management
  • Partner relationships
  • Regulatory & risk compliance
  • User experience design
  • SaaS & digital solutions
  • Process improvement
  • Modeling, budgeting, and forecasting

Leadership Effectiveness

  • Designed and developed reimagined SaaS product line for FinTech company in under six months, hosted on GCP.
  • Designed and relaunched new corporate and product branding as part of company turnaround strategy.
  • Executed new GDPR and SOC 2 compliance programs in the same year.
  • Launched digital consumer experience across multiple brand channels that drove self-service adoption and reduced operational costs.
  • Migrated legacy API to cloud-based SaaS platform (AWS), putting in place highly-scalable and performant architecture, increasing security, and eliminating dependency on physical hardware capital, without interruption to business.
  • Created client portal that provided industry-competitive self-service capabilities to agents in the field, increasing agent efficiency, and reducing in-bound call center support costs.
  • Internet of Things (IoT) platform to support new partnerships and launch of a new connected home business channel.
  • Developed direct-to-consumer portal platform, launching new channel business in less than three months.
  • Introduced UX design methodology into development process across both internal and external application teams.
  • Managemed anti-fraud solution that remediated charge back crisis, allowing business to scale into new affiliate channels.
  • Designed flat-rate shipping algorithm and marketing strategy that improved customer satisfaction while maintaining revenue.
  • Built three separate development teams from the ground up and transformed a fourth legacy team to service multiple platforms and industries; developed change control processes in three companies.

Work Experience

Chief Technology & Operating Officer

Jan 2017 - Present
Truth Technologies, Coral Springs, FL

Management Yes
Technical Yes
Industry FinTech

Directly reporting to the CEO, I was responsible for all product, technology, and operations functions, including developing new products as well as maintaining existing systems. Operationally, I was responsible for the customer service and account management areas of the business while also managing vendor relationships.

Key Results

  • Met 100-day plan to implement key initiatives and cultural & organizational change for company upon entry.
  • Led architecture, UX design, and development (incl. coding) of new platform for company's primary product line on Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
  • Designed, developed, and relaunched new company & product brand.
  • Revitalized & negotiated key partner relationships as part of corporate stabilization efforts.
  • Successfully saved several high-profile customers by re-establishing relationships & completing long-outstanding projects.
  • Created new sales and marketing portfolio that included branding, presentations, trade show booth, and other associated material.
  • Drafted new SaaS go-to-market strategy & led adoption, which including market assessment and competitive analysis, new pricing model, marketing, and product feature roadmap.
  • Brought company into compliance for GDPR and SOC 2.
  • Created and implemented company's first business continuity plan (BCP).
  • Implemented standard SDLC/ALM processes to properly manage technology functions, and complete overdue security audits.
  • Executed cost control measures to bring IT & support costs in line with operational needs and moved from physical to cloud (AWS).
  • Led e-discovery for litigation in major case for the company.
Node.js JavaScript ES6 Vue.js Webpack SQL Elasticsearch HTML/CSS Google Cloud Platform Amazon Web Services Python Git Sketch Java JBoss Oracle DB Salesforce

Director of IT, Software Applications

Apr 2011 - Jan 2017
Cross Country Home Services, Sunrise, FL

Management Yes
Technical Yes
Industry Service

Directly reporting to the CIO, I was responsible for all aspects of application lifecycle management, development, and delivery. This included in-house software engineering as well as direct oversight of our software partners, with a combined team totaling over 100 associates & contractors at its peak. From strategy setting to process implementation, budgeting & forecasting to vendor relationships, and business proposal to project planning, I was directly involved in the majority of technology initiatives for our company.

Key Results

  • Significantly transformed legacy software group into high-performing, multi-technology team through upgrades of skills, streamlining process, and in-house promotion, all while enjoying low voluntary turnover during high-stress project initiatives.
  • Designed and developed key resource planning and budgetary model used to manage and forecast a multi-year Oracle E-Business Suite ERP project, encompassing 100+ people, a dozen key vendors, and $15M.
  • Partnered with executives to win approval for an e-commerce platform to support company's new direct-to-consumer channel.
  • Implemented pure agile and hybrid methodologies and tools company-wide on both small and multi-year, multi-team projects.
  • Delivered client portal to broker and agents in the field on a year-long timeline, coming in on time and on budget.
  • Acted as senior technology lead for multiple key initiatives, frequently authoring and presenting proposals alongside business partners to gain support and funding from executive team.
  • Early architecture for Internet of Things (IoT) platform to support new partnerships & launch of connected home business channel.
  • Routinely participated in high visibility executive meetings, offering technical and strategic advice on new business initiatives.
  • Continuous improvement through internal and cross-department retrospectives.
Java GWT AngularJS HTML/CSS SQL PL/SQL Oracle DB Oracle E-Business Suite SVN Tomcat Amazon Web Services

Director of IT

Sep 2006 - Feb 2011
Boca Java, Deerfield Beach, FL

Management Yes
Technical Yes
Industry Ecommerce

As part of the executive team, I helped define the strategic business & technical direction of the company, with overall responsibility for e-commerce and office software & hardware. This included direct approval for technology purchases & vendor relationships and a budget of over $1 million. Other areas of responsibility included defining and executing project plans for both technical and business initiatives; compiling and presenting key analytics for all parts of business; and marketing & financial data analysis. Furthermore, I acted as liaison to our parent company's Technology Steering Committee and contributed to policy making and execution at that level.

Key Results

  • Migrated our e-commerce infrastructure to a VM platform, resulting in a 55% annual savings.
  • Migrated our corporate mail system to a cloud-based service, resulting in an 85% annual savings.
  • Implemented from conception to production a flat rate shipping program that improved customer satisfaction and expanded our marketing options while maintaining the same level of revenue.
  • Managed and delivered major initiatives including a complete redesign of our e-commerce website, move to an outsourced bulk email marketing platform, functional redesign of inventory management system, and redesign of online product catalog.
  • Implemented a broad-based reporting and analytics platform using commercial open source tools; authored many of these reports.
  • Instituted a change control system and processes for both IT and creative departments, resulting in improved delivery and controls.
  • Implemented a full life-cycle process for the development team, including QA and test environments.
  • Created a process for combating fraud using a collection of off-the-shelf & customized tools, resulting in lower charge backs rates.
  • Directly improved e-commerce application performance over 60% using a mixture of configuration, code, and database changes.
Java HTML/CSS SQL MySQL Tomcat SVN

Manager, Enterprise Applications Architect

Sep 2003 - Sep 2006
World Fuel Services, Miami, FL

Management Yes
Technical Yes
Industry Finance

As a direct report to the CIO, I managed a team of developers and analysts on several key projects, including an Oracle 11i Financials implementation, AP & AR web-based applications, security/user management, and taxes & fees APIs and components. I was one of two principal architects in the department, developing an internal IT road map and customer service process workflow automation.

Key Results

  • Delivered several key Java web applications to internal customers on a compressed timeline.
  • Built a top-notch team of Java developers from the ground up.
  • Authored prototypes and functional & technical specifications
  • Created an IT road map for both development and infrastructure teams.
Java J2EE/JSP/Servlets Struts Spring HTML/CSS SQL PL/SQL Oracle DB Tomcat SVN

Sr. Programmer Analyst

Jul 2000 - Aug 2003
Kemper National Services / Broadspire, Plantation, FL

Management No
Technical Yes
Industry Insurance

My primary responsibility was in the design & development of internal applications. One large project involved the design of the API and front end for a web-based disability claim intake system. Others included a reporting automation & workflow tool, web-based survey framework, and an XML-based online help system. This led me to authoring and managing initiatives to standardize XML-based communication between applications across the department. I also directed user acceptance testing.

Key Results

  • Delivered a web-based online claim intake system on time and budget with complete architectural responsibility.
  • Developed several extendable API packages for web-based applications.
  • Collaborated with a separate app development team to build an interoperable API between web and mainframe applications.
  • Co-founder of IT Advisory Council, a team of advisors to C-level executives. Personally authored & implemented a cross-functional hands-on learning exchange program (called "Adopt-a-Geek") with company-wide participation of IT and business staff alike.
ASP Java JSP/Servlets Struts HTML/CSS XML SQL Tomcat PVCS

Engineer Technician

Aug 1997 - Jun 2000
Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

Management No
Technical Yes
Industry Academic & Govt

As part of a team of scientists and engineers, I co-authored numerous technical and policy reports, published through the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. This involved compiling statistical data models for beach erosion studies, and engineered software to assist in the modeling of real-world coastal geological processes.

Key Results

  • Converted several key legacy applications from FORTRAN to object-oriented C/C++, and improved scientific algorithmic models.
  • Primary author on published reports.
  • Conducted field studies and evaluated data that resulted in direct publication.
FORTRAN C/C++ ASP HTML/CSS Dreamweaver SQL

Expertise

Management responsibility and direct involvement in the following processes, technologies, and tools.

Business & Operational

Current

Account management, budgeting/forecasting & modeling, change management, CRM, customer service, data analytics, email campaign management, contract negotiations, GDPR & SOC2 compliance, litigation & e-discovery, marketing, project management, project/IT resource & capacity planning, risk & regulatory compliance, SaaS/IaaS & cloud computing, sales, search engine optimization (SEO), security & anti-fraud, strategic planning, vendor management

Prior

Business intelligence (BI), capacity planning, direct mail marketing, discrete manufacturing, e-commerce, field service management (FSM), inventory management, IoT

Technical & Tools

Current

Node.js, JavaScript (ES6), Vue.js, Webpack, SQL/PostgreSQL, Elasticsearch, XML/HTML/CSS, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Amazon Web Services (AWS), Python, Git, Visual Studio Code (VSCode), Sketch, Atlassian JIRA, Confluence, Java/JEE, Oracle DB, Wordpress, LeadForensics, MailChimp, Salesforce, Google Analytics, G Suite

Prior

AngularJS, Apache HTTP, Docker, Kubernetes, Maven, MySQL, Noetix Views, Oracle CRM OnDemand, Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) R11/R12, Oracle OBIEE, Pentaho, PL/SQL, R, SharePoint, Spring, Tomcat, UltiPro

Education & Certifications

Formal Education

Master of Business Administration, University of Phoenix, 2002
Master of Science, University of South Florida, 1997
Bachelor of Science, University of Florida, 1995

Certifications

Google Cloud Certified Professional - Cloud Architect, 2018
Data Science, Johns Hopkins University, 2016
Disciplined Agilist, Yellow Belt, 2011