Mitch Buckland Celebrates 10 Years
...and another major milestone!
An entire career can be compared to a beautiful, intricate tapestry, where each job, project, and experience is a thread that adds to the overall story. And just like a tapestry, the combination of all these threads creates a rich and compelling picture of our professional life. Whether we have had a long and successful career or one with ups and downs, each thread has played a role in shaping the person we are today and the legacy we leave behind. Mitch Buckland’s career as a PICK Programmer is woven like a tapestry. One thread, or experience, leading right into the next, never a break in the thread and never a pause in the story.
On the heels of high school, and after working at Burger King and as an office cleaner in the 1980’s, Mitch began his career in programming immediately upon completion of a 12-month course at the Northern Technical School of Business in Bloomington, Minnesota. While completing the course, and while still in his internship, Mitch was recruited by Professional Processing Inc. (not the same PPI that John Hill came from) after impressively completing a DEC computer to PC conversion in record time. The PC, which operated on four 5.25 floppies, required that Mitch write some routines to “speed up the search capabilities” which was a cutting-edge solution for the time.
PPI became involved in PICK when it acquired a McDonnell Douglas PICK computer dealership. Not long after the acquisition, one of the employees left the company to form MDSI, taking Mitch with him. While at MDSI, Mitch met a young Luke Bucklin (Zumasys’ first Sales Manager), who unbeknownst to him at the time, would be his future boss. While at MDSI, Mitch was responsible for supporting 20 customers who used a PICK-based metal-stamping application. After a few years, Mitch went to Hadley, a company that owned outdoor art stores, where he began to work for John Riley (also retired former Zumasys employee). After working there for about five years, Mitch went to work for Southwest Data. Little did he know however, was that Southwest Data had just acquired Luke Bucklin’s company and a line of software for the auto-glass industry. Mitch began supporting the “glass package” customers (several of which he still supports today via Zumasys!). When the founder of Southwest Data suddenly passed away, Luke and some partners bought back the glass package and the customers and turned that into the Sierra Bravo. Mitch went to work for Japs Olson before going to work for Sierra Bravo (aka The Nerdery). He went back to Japs Olson one more time, and then back to the Nerdery before Zumasys and Luke struck a deal.
In 2013, when Zumasys acquired the PICK division from The Nerdery, Mitch was one of two employees who joined Zumasys as part of that transaction: the other being John Riley – Mitch’s former boss!
Bringing this story full circle, today, as part of Zumasys, Mitch still services Japs Olson and is onsite at the customer’s offices nearly five days each week. Japs Olson is an over 100-year-old company that is an industry leader in direct mail production and printing. Their PICK system (PRIMAC) has been central to the business’ operation for over 20 years thanks to Mitch’s expertise. The system is so efficient that Mitch has had to programmatically “throttle down” the speed at which information flows from the PICK system into other non-PICK systems because they cannot handle it!
When reflecting on his career at Zumasys, Mitch is quick to share his many adventures as a Zumasys President’s Club qualifier and as a traveler courtesy of the Zumasys International Travel Incentive. As a President’s Club attendee, Mitch and his wife Sue had an adventure of a lifetime in Costa Rica and enjoyed a week in a beautiful rainforest. For his international trip, Mitch went to Spain and visited Romania where he spent time with the team from Firm Foundations Romania, a Zumasys Happyness program beneficiary.
When Mitch is not working, you can find him pursuing his newer hobby of being a woodturner! He has crafted bowls and most recently made beautiful table legs for their “puzzle table”.
To bring this this story to a close, we must go back nearly to the beginning. That is because Mitch and his lovely wife Sue will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary this July. And guess where they met? At Burger King!!
Congratulations Mitch on an amazing career and a long and happy marriage. Cheers!