December 14, 2020 - 11:13 am

Welcome, New 20Fathoms Members! (Dec. 2020)

By 20Fathoms

We have a few new faces around 20Fathoms this month! Say hello to Kelly Hanson, Jesse Gabor, Shannon Hoffman, and Barb Termaat.

Kelly Hanson

Shopify Partner, Theme Developer, and Owner at Swiftcurrent Web

Describe your professional background.

My professional background is pretty diverse. I’ve worked in foreign policy, been a barista, and worked as a stablehand while studying web development at NMC. Swiftcurrent Web is my third business: my first venture into entrepreneurship was selling homemade pies at the Missoula, Montana, farmers’ market while going to grad school. My second business was garden maintenance (essentially, pulling weeds) in York, PA.

Owning a business has always been a dream of mine. I started Swiftcurrent Web after I was laid off from my job as a WordPress web developer — fortunately, my business took off immediately as Shopify (e-commerce) development is in really high demand.

What inspired you to join our 20Fathoms community?

In my business, high speed internet is essential — my productivity (and profitability) is proportional to the speed of the internet connection. So, my primary reason for joining 20Fathoms was the lightning-fast internet.

Secondly, after working from home for a year I realized how much I benefit from leaving the house every day. Having a community of people to engage with on a daily basis is great — so much better than realizing I haven’t seen anyone but my husband and dog for a week.

Outside of work, what do you like to do for fun?

I love to read history books, as well as fiction. Some of my other hobbies are backpacking, skiing, camping, and kayaking. Right now, I’m obsessed with my Peloton for indoor cycling — it’s helped to keep me sane during the pandemic.

Jesse Gabor

Business Technology Specialist at Smatix Technologies

Describe your professional background.

For the past 10-plus years, I have worked in the technology industry. I specialize in bringing fiber optic internet to any business or apartment complex. I have the ability to design and configure WIFI networks for communities, assisted living facilities, apartments, businesses, etc. I also have plenty of experience and resources for VOIP phone systems, network design, and SD WAN. I own a technology firm that allows me to bid multiple companies (90-plus) and find the best fit for any of these businesses or communities, anywhere in the US.

What inspired you to join our 20Fathoms community?

I heard about 20Fathoms from a family member who had known a member here. I was looking for a reliable place to work with fast internet and a pleasant work environment. As soon as I visited 20Fathoms here on West Bay, I knew I had found my home. I wanted a place to network with other entrepreneurs and business types who may be growing and have a need for technology. I am a big advocate of networking and providing other businesses with contacts that I have, that may help their company grow.

Outside of work, what do you like to do for fun?

I enjoy snowboarding, hiking, bike riding, playing tennis, boating, and hanging out with my family. Also, there is nothing that beats a good beach day!

Shannon Hoffman

President at Studio H Chicago

Describe your professional background.

I have been in the women’s apparel industry for 15 years and have owned my own Chicago-based showroom for 10 years. We represent different clothing brands and sell to stores in the Midwest.

What inspired you to join our 20Fathoms community?

Since I have been working remotely from home, I was missing the sense of community and change of scenery that is present when you’re going into a work space. Creativity can get a bit stagnant being in the same space all day, every day. I’m loving the beautiful view and space at 20Fathoms!

Outside of work, what do you like to do for fun?

I love enjoying time with friends, spending time with my puppy, being outside in nature, eating good food, doing yoga, running, snowboarding, swimming, boating…any outdoor adventurous activities!

Barb Termaat

Executive Director at Newton’s Road

Describe your professional background.

My entire career has focused on making technical topics and systems more accessible to learners and end-users. I started out as a tech writer and entrepreneur, moving on to teach STEM subjects in Germany and California after earning my masters at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Back in the private sector, I led tech training for a WAN company before helping Cisco develop learning solutions for employees and learners globally.

Two years ago I switched to be hyperlocal, joining two founders of the nonprofit Newton’s Road, as well as other local business and education leaders, in ensuring that all children have the opportunity for a healthy livelihood fueled by STEM-based skills, so that they go on to help develop a local workforce seeking pathways to STEM-related careers. I became the Executive Director in January 2020 — right before COVID hit!

What inspired you to join our 20Fathoms community?

I learned so much as the first employee of a startup located in one of the first tech incubators in the country, housed in the old Winchester gun factory next to Yale University! I think 20Fathoms is a fantastic opportunity to inspire experienced professionals and young people in or from our region — that they can work on cutting-edge technologies in a like-minded community right here in the place they love. This is why I gladly served on the board for over two years and recently became a member.

Outside of work, what do you like to do for fun?

Mostly you’ll find me out in nature in the Elk Rapids area, where my family has vacationed and lived for 50 years. This year I’ve gotten back into doing puzzles as a mind break. I look forward to more dancing and InterPlaying in 2021 now that a vaccine is on the horizon!