U.S. Navy Career: Setting Goals. Jason grew up in the small town of Corinth, Mississippi, but he had big dreams. He bought his first computer, an entry-level consumer brand sold at Walmart, when he was in high school – and it was love at first sight. After graduating from high school, Jason saw little opportunity at home, but he found it in the military. Jason joined the U.S. Navy and left for boot camp in 1996. It was in the Navy where Jason’s tech and security career began as a Radioman/Information Systems Technician from 1996 to 2000 where he held a Top Secret Security Clearance. He worked with military cryptography and encrypted message and communication circuits on a daily basis. He served two deployments to the Persian Gulf with a Mine Countermeasures (MCM) rotational crew, which uses technologies to find and clear mines from vital waterways.
The Navy also provided the setting where he learned to set goals, which was something new to him. On his first tour to the Persian Gulf, Jason’s Chief asked him, “What do you want to accomplish in your first four years in the Navy?” Without hesitation, Jason replied that he intended to reach four goals: To advance from E1 to E5 (an enlisted sailor’s rate), earn Sailor of the Quarter during his tenure, earn an Enlisted Surface Warfare pin, and lastly, to earn a Navy and Marine Corp Achievement Medal. These were very ambitious goals for a young sailor. Jason’s Chief laughed with a suggestion posed as a question, “How about you set some realistic goals?” Undeterred, this incident set a fire in Jason, who would achieve all four of his goals during only four years of service, including the honor of being the USS Pioneer’s Sailor of the Year in 1999. Although Jason’s old Chief was transferred by the time Jason had each his “impossible” goals, it was Jason who had “the last laugh.” In the end, Jason was grateful to the Chief for inspiring him to set goals and achieve them.
Education: Following Passion. In the military, Jason gained technical knowledge as well as experience in leadership, work ethic, and conduct which greatly influenced his career and character. After leaving the Navy, he carried with him the same fire and passion into civilian life: he set new, ambitious goals and then set out to achieve them. First, Jason attended technical schools to learn programming, network engineering, and other IT skills. As a college student, he earned a degree in Computer Network Engineering and also a Bachelors in Technology Management. While going to school, he worked various jobs in the IT industry from small business consulting up to enterprise support. Jason enjoyed helping small business owners with their technology needs, but thought he could do it better on his own terms. He set a new goal: to own his own IT consulting company.
Small Town to H-Town: Birth of an Entrepreneur. Although Jason was living in his native South, he desired to return to Texas, where he first stationed in the Navy, where he knew there was more opportunity. He moved to Houston in 2006 and started Elevated Technologies as soon as he unpacked. He realized moving from a small town to the fourth largest city in the country – where he had no friends, no family and no contacts – and starting a business where the competition was everywhere might seem crazy to others. But Jason was determined, no matter the odds.
While Elevated Technologies was in the infant stages, he also worked in a tech support role for a software company which was recognized in the Houston Business Journal’s Fast Tech 50 as one of the Bayou City’s fastest-growing tech companies. Jason thought then, “Someday, I will have Elevated Technologies on this list.” By 2009, Jason’s skills at acquiring and serving clients elevated his consulting business to the point that he could no longer do both jobs. Always driven to be his own boss, he went “all in” on Elevated Technologies. A year later, he hired his first employee who remains with the firm today. Once he fully committed all of his time and energy to Elevated Technologies, Jason experienced it as a great feeling but also felt the strain of longer hours, more stress, and the professional and personal challenges that come while running a business. Jason learned that perseverance is one of the important keys to success.
Elevated Technologies: Serving and Protecting the Valued Client. Through hard work, perseverance, and commitment to its employees and clients, Elevated Technologies rose to become an established, trusted provider of technology services to a vast array of clients in the Houston area. Growing strategically and confidently, Elevated Technologies was recognized in 2015 on the Houston’s Business Journal’s Fast Tech 25 list and also the Fast 100, which is the list of the fastest-growing companies in Houston in any industry. Jason had reached yet another goal, but it wouldn’t be the last time Elevated Technologies earned recognition on these lists and earn other industry accolades. But greater than the public recognitions, Jason will tell you the greatest rewards are his happy, growing list of clients who appreciate great service.
Jason is now focused on Cyber Security and has established two additional companies, Triad InfoSec (www.triadsecure.com) and Cyber Security Insurance Group (www.cysecinsurancegroup.com), to help small- and medium-sized business owners protect their businesses, their clients and their reputations. Jason has earned multiple certifications in Cyber Security and a Master’s degree in Information Assurance and Cyber Security. His book Cyber Security: Small Business – A Hacker’s Playground was released in mid-2019. The march towards reaching goals continues for both himself and his clients. What’s next? Stay tuned!