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Work experience

Apr 2007Present

Windows IT Infrastructure Architect

Avatar Consultants

As an independent consultant, I specialize in designing and implementing the infrastructure components required for today’s Information Technology needs. Focusing on business requirements to identify the best solution for an organization regardless of its size, and with attention on the value it brings to the business. With experience in remote access, disaster recovery, business continuity planning, research & development environment management, systems & operations management, and complete end-to-end client side management, I provide proven solutions to these common problems facing every business. Additionally, I supply project management skills, teambuilding, coaching & mentoring, and 18 years of IT experience to bring projects to successful conclusion.

Jun 2008Present

Infrastructure Architect & Consultant

TEK Systems

Another consulting contract with TEK Systems. This time providing security infrastructure design, testing, and implementation services for a major retail organization based in Minneapolis, MN. The technologies and skills required cover PKI, cryptology, certificate authority services, and authentication systems. The full scope of this project is being developed and this entry will be updated as the details evolve.

Position Timeline


Best Buy, Inc.

  • Implementation, cross training, and handoff of the Protegrity Defiance DPS database encryption environment at Best Buy, Inc. (
  • Assisted in the development of the Cryptographic Management team.
  • Participate in the PCI compliance of Best Buy, through the application of cryptographic and secure signing technologies within the Best Buy Technology Group.

Allianz Life

  • Tactical disaster recovery imaging script to solve issue of inability of desktop team to image client systems during a disaster. This solution will be replaced when Allianz migrates to the System Center Configuration Manager 2007 product
  • Develop project plan, and identify milestones for SMS 2003 to SCCM 2007 migration
  • Develop and implement cross-training solution for desktop to SMS administrator
  • Train incoming SMS administrator and perform transition to IBM Global Services for ongoing support


Allianz Life

  • Identifying & documenting the current state of the operating system deployment environment at Allianz Life, consisting of
  • Systems Management Server 2003 SP3
  • Business Desktop Deployment 2007
  • Windows Deployment Services
  • Windows PE 2.0
  • Custom VBScripting & HTA scripts
Dec 2004Present

Blogger/Writer, Social Media Consultant

This is my personal blog, where I present interpretation of new technologies, ideas, and events along with personal perspectives. I work on bringing an enterprise perspective to the social web & new media; exploring how they can be used to build stronger relationships with customers & employees alike. With a growing trend in social media, and personal branding, I write about these topics, and how they can be leveraged for one’s career and for corporate to consumer communications. Additional information on this blog and myself can be found at

Oct 2007May 2008

Windows Deployment Consultant

TEK Systems

As a consultant with TEK Systems, I provide experienced systems management, operating system and software deployment advice and services. With over a decade of Microsoft Windows deployments with nearly every version of Windows, I advise, recommend, develop, implement and manage projects utilizing Systems Management Server and System Center Configuration Manager. Additionally, I leverage Microsoft’s Windows Deployment Services, Business Desktop Deployment, and SMS Operating System Deployment solutions to automate the entire client computer and server provisioning process.

Feb 2006Apr 2007

Sr. Technologies Analyst

Michael Foods, Inc.

As the Sr. Client Technologies Analyst for Michael Foods (a $1.3bln U.S. food company), I perform visionary IT duties, looking at emerging and future technologies, planning how they would be integrated into the enterprise. In the exercise of this effort I plan and implement technology that requires an understanding of IT from the physical network layer all the way to the customer (end user) expectations of an application and everything in between. I utilize Project Management & Leadership skills to successfully implement these technologies in a progressive team environment that strives for continuous improvement through cross training, coaching and mentoring.

Position Timeline


  • Ongoing enhancement of Project Management skills via in-house and external training
  • Ongoing enhancement of Project Lead skills, including mentoring & coaching in a team environment
  • Design & implementation of mobile client device (Windows CE 5.0) for an SAP Warehouse Management solution. This included not just the “truck mount” devices, but the management system (Wavelink Avalanche), and the EAP-TLS authentication protocol implementation using an in-house certificate strategy.


  • Ongoing enhancement of Project Management skills via in-house and external training
  • Ongoing enhancement of Project Lead skills, including mentoring & coaching in a team environment
  • Planned & deployed the BlackBerry Enterprise Server policies and device management services for the entire environment. With a focus on manageability & security of data & devices.
  • Managed the “Non-Production Environment” (Testing Facility) from inception to creation to daily use. Protocols, methods and change control
  • Managed resources, time and staff availability to support multiple projects
  • As a member of the “Project Management Methodology Team” at Michael Foods, I participated in advancing and improving the organization’s competency in project management
  • Developed new testing methodology for in-house Disaster Recovery testing exercises
  • Managed CheckPoint Integrity Server and Client software upgrades
Jul 2000Jan 2006

Technologies Analyst

Michael Foods, inc.

Starting in July 2000, I was hired direct by Michael Foods to lead up their client standardization efforts. In addition to standardizing their Windows NT client images, I laid the ground work for the Windows XP & Office XP image that would be managed via Active Directory and Systems Management Server. The base XP image that my first major IT project developed in 2002 is still used in production today, with an estimated lifecycle to last through 2009 (assuming maintenance with Service Packs, security patches, and other required maintenance to remain under Microsoft support standards). In addition to client standards development, my duties expanded to include planning, mentoring and cross training the server and client teams to work more efficiently, supplying common tools, concepts, and methods for each.

Position Timeline


  • Ongoing enhancement of Project Management skills via in-house and external training
  • Ongoing enhancement of Project Lead skills, including mentoring & coaching in a team environment
  • Managed the project that created the “Non-Production Environment” testing environment at Michael Foods. Used to support the entire IT department, this consisted of designing, and implementing the environment for multiple projects which had hardware, software, staff, and time interdependencies.
  • Wrote the project plan for an enterprise class “Non-Production Environment” to support multiple business critical applications. This involved identifying the required costs, skills, personnel, hardware/software, and supporting systems to plan a multi-year build-out of a non production environment. This environment spans three distinct testing areas and offers a standardized baseline, testing, and change management methodology.
  • Managed the project to implement a global, secure, enterprise-class, Virtual Private Networking (VPN) system (featuring CheckPoint Integrity endpoint security, Cisco, RSA SecureID Authentication, Microsoft Certificate Authority certificates, and iPassConnect client)
  • Implemented deployment of client security components (Client Firewall, AntiVirus, AntiSpyware/Malware)
  • Developed new Disaster Recovery procedures for Windows Server 2003, CheckPoint Integrity, Cisco VPN Concentrator, RSA Authentication Manager, Windows Certificate Server, iPass Roam Server, tested these restore procedures in-house and then twice that year at a remote IBM Business Continuity facility
  • Managed ongoing systems patch management


  • Ongoing enhancement of Project Management skills via in-house and external training
  • Ongoing enhancement of Project Lead skills, including mentoring & coaching in a team environment
  • Wrote the project plan for the Virtual Private Networking (VPN) system.
  • Managed the design & implementation of Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003 (w/SP1) enterprise-wide in the US & Canada. The system is designed for software deployment, hardware/software inventory, and patch management.
  • Development, planning and implementation of multiple Microsoft Active Directory Group Policies for the enterprise
  • Microsoft Active Directory design & implementation during the deployment of Windows Server 2003
  • Participated in a three person team to quickly define, write, and implement the specification for change management for Michael Foods. Initially for the “Windows Server 2003 & Active Directory” project, it was later expanded to include all Windows, Unix, Linux, and SAP systems (the entire IT culture) at Michael Foods.
  • Disaster Recovery planning & testing, including Active Directory and Windows Server 2003 for the first time
  • Managed ongoing systems patch management


  • Ongoing enhancement of Project Management skills via in-house and external training
  • Ongoing enhancement of Project Lead skills, including mentoring & coaching in a team environment
  • Started recommending the concept of change management methodologies with associates and IT management
  • Defined & wrote standardized testing procedures, along with supporting documentation and framework flowcharts
  • Participated in the planning & testing for Disaster Recovery
  • Managed ongoing systems patch management


  • Ongoing enhancement of Project Management skills via in-house and external training
  • Ongoing enhancement of Project Lead skills, including mentoring & coaching in a team environment
  • Managed the project (from concept to implementation) to develop a single standardized Microsoft Windows XP based client computer “image” (featuring SAP Frontend “GUI” & Microsoft Office 2003) for 10 separate hardware platforms supported in one single image.
  • Managed deployment of new XP based image to 1050+ machines in 3 mos. in 15 locations across the country with traveling team
  • Devised and managed automated ongoing systems patch management


  • Was brought into the project leadership/management training programs
  • Planned and implemented the Systems Management Server 2.0 upgrade, removal and upgrade of client on 800 systems across the country
  • Maintained the Windows NT images with current patches, services packs and drivers for 12 platforms - there were 12 images.
  • Windows NT Administration, Scripting


  • Oversaw the initial Systems Management Server 1.2 architecture implementation, and administration
  • Client computer customization and installation (early “imaging” with Windows NT)
  • Designed standard Windows NT client images and deployment methods, managed the rollout to 750+ systems in 8 mos. in 14 locations across the country with traveling team
  • Windows NT Administration, Scripting
Mar 1998Jun 2000

Novell NetWare & NDS Administrator

Michael Foods, Inc., (via Hayden & Associates, Inc.)

Placed at Michael Foods, Inc. for an initial 3 month contract, my duties where for Novell NetWare administration, and management of their Kohler Mix Specialties facility network in White Bear Lake, MN. As you can tell from the above entries, that initial contract has turned into a nearly decade long commitment to Michael Foods. Additional duties at this time were for client support, onsite network support, implementation of training facilities onsite, and engineering the Novell Directory Services implementation for the entire organization.

Position Timeline


  • Novell NetWare & NDS Administration
  • Planning and implementing migration of NetWare 4.x file and print services along with user accounts and file security to Windows NT
  • Client computer customization and installation (early “imaging” with Windows 95 and Windows NT)
  • Windows NT Administration


  • Novell NetWare & NDS Administration
  • Client computer customization and installation (early “imaging” with Windows 95 and Windows NT)
  • Windows NT Administration


  • Novell NetWare & NDS Administration
  • Client computer customization and installation (early “imaging” with Windows 95 and Windows NT)
  • Windows NT Administration

Novell Administrator, Network Engineer, Server & Network Consultant

Independent Consultant

As an independent consultant, I provided server administration for Novell and Windows NT, client image creation for Windows 3.x, 95, 98, and NT, worked on directory services implementations (Novell Directory Services). Systems management using ManageWise and Systems Management Server, systems backup, and messaging systems using Novell GroupWise and Microsoft Mail among many projects additional projects. During this time I worked with Professional Computer Services in Eden Prairie, LANWorks, Inc. and Syslan on several contract services.

Position Timeline


  • Managed multiple implementations for Barr Engineering including Novell NetWare NDS, GroupWise and ManageWise products, along with documentation and training of permanent staff
  • Windows NT Administration
  • Client computer customization and installation (early “imaging” with Windows 95 and Windows NT)


  • Site to site wireless planning and implementation using line-of-sight spread spectrum systems delivering 2mb, 4mb, and 10mb bandwidth at multiple locations
  • Windows NT Administration
  • Client computer customization and installation (early “imaging” with Windows 95 and Windows NT)


  • Planning & deployment of the router infrastructure in a Distance Learning environment in Montana. This involved use of several router configurations for differing size connections & user counts.
  • Windows NT Administration
  • Novell Administration
  • Client computer customization and installation (early “imaging” with Windows for Workgroups, Windows 95)


  • Development of an order-inventory-shipping database application. This was accomplished using Microsoft Access & Visual Basic, and delivered a system that tracked inventory, costs, and created invoicing & shipping documentation.
  • Novell Administration
  • Client computer customization and installation (early “imaging” with Windows for Workgroups 3.11)



Welcome to my Social Media Resume where I invite you to explore my online resources & profiles, and contact me directly if you have any questions.

Thank you,

Rick A. Mahn


To bring 20 years of Communications & Information Technology experience to enhance your business by enabling communication & team work using new techniques and technology that reaches and engages your customers.

Brief Biography:

I’ve been fortunate to have an exciting & vibrant, robust & diverse career in the Communications & Information Technology fields. Starting in the late 1980’s during college I got into the low-voltage cabling industry. In 1990 this opened up opportunities with computer departments and exposure to Novell NetWare.

Becoming a NetWare 3.x guru in the early 1990’s I spent several years in server administration, systems & operations management, mainframe integration, routed networking, and client provisioning. Starting in 1998, I took a “short” 3 month contract at Michael Foods, Inc. Two years later, I was brought on as a permanent employee as a Technologies Analyst.

With exposure to many career expanding opportunities in systems & operations management, disaster recover planning, remote access solutions, mobile device & messaging, systems integration, and architecture planning, I thrived. In addition to technical skills enhancement, I had been managing & leading projects and teams to answer business requirements and problems. This included designing, implementing & managing an enterprise-class testing environment with all required hardware, software, space, documentation and most importantly, testing methodologies to replicate all existing systems and help successfully implement any project the business required.

In April 2007 I resigned from the Sr. Technologies Analyst position and struck out on my own as an independent consultant. Currently I provide consulting services through my firm, and contract services companies, that have expanded to include new media/social media exploration in addition to existing traditional Information Technology offerings.


Currently, you can find my written work on several websites (The Mobile Lifestyle, & Snowmoblog) and the Social Media Explorer column in Personal Branding Magazine a great new digital publication covering everything related to personal branding. Additional articles can be found on my personal blog, and of course, you can also follow my daily interactions and observations on Twitter. Watch for more soon.

Write Ups:

While blogging, I’ve generated some interest by members of the press. Here are a few links to some articles that I’ve been interviewed for and/or contributed information.


Ongoing Professional Experience
  • Project Leadership, leading mixed IT Applications, IT Infrastructure, IT Support and business team members and focusing on empowering and coaching the project team throughout the project lifecycle
  • Information Technology Architecture & Design (Novell, Windows, Wireless & Wired network, remote access VPN & Dialup, Terminal Services, Windows CE)
  • Windows Deployment expert using Systems Management Server, Windows Deployment Services, Business Desktop Deployment and Operating System Deployment solutions from Microsoft. Have deployed nearly ever version of Microsoft Windows during my career.
  • Remote Access systems such as VPN, Dialup (and supporting systems) with focus on security of these remote connections. Leveraging in-house certificate-based authentication for devices/computers, and RSA token-based authentication for users
  • Management of various IT systems (as a “system owner”), requiring vendor contract negotiations, budget planning of future upgrade projects, a “visionary” view of the system and its future directions
  • As an IT visionary, to project into the future, the relevance of divergent technologies applicable to the business
  • Creation & implementation of several blogs on the Internet. The blogs range from my personal blog ( to mobile experiences & news ( to my favorite hobby, snowmobiling (
  • Blogging Consultant leveraging web-based systems for Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery communication opportunities.
  • Software development with Microsoft Visual Basic, scripting with Visual Basic Scripting and several proprietary scripting languages (product specific)
Technical Skills & Length of Experience
  • Microsoft Windows (17 years)
  • Microsoft Systems Management Server (9 years)
  • Microsoft Remote Installation Services (4 years)
  • Microsoft Windows Deployment Services (2 years)
  • Microsoft Active Directory Design (5 years)
  • Microsoft Active Directory Group Policy (6 years)
  • Microsoft Active Directory Security (5 years)
  • Microsoft Exchange Server (4 years)
  • Symantec AntiVirus Enterprise Edition (10 years)
  • Microsoft Certificate Authority planning, implementation, and management (5 years)
  • Mobile email solutions via BlackBerry, Exchange, and 3rd party solutions (5 years)
  • BlackBerry Enterprise Server Policies (2 years)
  • Microsoft Visual Basic Programming (5 years [intermediate])
  • Visual Basic Scripting (6 years)
  • Change Management (5 years)
  • Windows Mobile devices including Pocket PC and Smartphone (8 years)
  • Windows CE client devices (2 years)
  • Novell NDS (4 years)
  • Novell NetWare (5 years)
  • Check Point Integrity (4 years)
  • Cisco ACS (TACACS+, RADIUS) (4 years)
  • Cisco VPN (4 years)
  • iPass connectivity solution including iPassConnect & Roam Server (4 years)
  • RSA Authentication Manager (4 years)
  • Wireless Networking (5 years)
  • EAP-TLS Wireless Authentication (2 years)
  • Project Management (5 years)
  • Project Leadership (10 years)
  • Team Mentoring & Coaching (10 years)
  • VPN Design & Implementation (5 years)
  • Disaster Recovery Planning & Exercise Execution (7 years)
  • IT Non-Production Environment Design, Procurement, Implementation & Management (7 years)
  • Software Licensing Negotiation (12 years)
  • Service & Support Negotiation (12 years)
  • Computing Equipment Selection & Approval (15 years)
  • Internet Domain Name management (for my own sites) (4 years)
  • WordPress Blogging Software (2 years)
  • Beta Testing of operating systems, business software, online services, mobile connectivity technologies, mobile software, mobile phones, online storage solutions, blogging platforms, messaging & IM solutions, backup, and security software (17 years)
  • Client Image creation using Microsoft & 3rd party tools (15 years)
  • Wavelink Avalanche Management Console (1 year)
  • Adobe PhotoShop & basic graphic design/manipulation (1 year - basic skills)
  • 3Com & Cisco Network Routers & Switches (2 years)
  • Microsoft Office Suite (inc. OneNote, Visio, Project, Publisher) (15 years)
  • Professional documentation creation using Microsoft Word (15 years)
  • Understanding and proficiency of use of HTML, XHTML, XML, CSS, and some PHP (3 years)
  • Exploration of Ubuntu and Fedora Linux distributions in concert with OpenOffice as a corporate desktop platform (1 year)