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Meet the Geeks

The staff here at Geek Easy are all obviously geeks. We take pride in our work, and are constantly improving and striving to maintain our knowledge of our given fields. Not only are we a team, but as we’ve worked together for years, we complement each other well, and are often involved in each others tasks. Having multiple sets of eyes and minds to tackle the more difficult jobs is what makes it easy for us Geeks. You’ll quite often find us enjoying coffee and company together at our favorite coffee shops after hours as well. Enough about us, now its learn a little bit about what makes each of us tick.

Silvano Vanegas,

Co-Owner and Project Manager

Silvano started his computer education as a young child. Spending many hours at the library providing free support and training on computers when they were first being implemented for patrons use. His fascination with hardware and fixing computers was brought on by his inability to obtain one as a child.

Bringing home side of the road treasures, and making them work was a favorite hobby of his. The age of PC gaming further fueled his interest in understanding the inner workings of computers, and with that knowledge, came the thirst for more power. Building gaming machines for friends and family, squeezing performance out of every component, and maximizing budget bang for buck was his hobby.

After graduating highschool in South Haven, MI, the pressure to work slowed his ability to learn greatly, but he slowly put himself through nightschool at Lake Michigan College working toward a degree in Information Technology. After moving to Kalamazoo years ago, he completed his official education at KVCC, but has since taken even more classes to keep up to date and learn new skills. He’ll tell you different, but that education was what helped him succeed as a PC Technician at Applied Intellect.

After learning that Applied Intellect would be closing, he approached the owner and offered to purchase the business, but wasn’t able to get all of the necessary bases covered before it closed, and decided to partner up with a former coworker to build Geek Easy Computers, and offer the same great service, support, and friendly faces to our clients.

Nathan Welling,

Co-Owner and Apple Product Specialist

Nate has lived in the Kalamazoo area his entire life. He graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School, holds an associate’s degree from Kalamazoo Valley Community College and has gone on to Western Michigan University. Since Nathan’s family brought home their first computer, he has been a technology hobbyist. He spent entire summer vacations glued to computer screens. Like many computer enthusiasts, the next logical step was to begin repairing and building them himself.

Nathan took many of the computer classes offered throughout his education, and he received his CompTIA Network+ certification during his junior year of high school. He also holds CompTIA A+ and Server+ certifications and is preparing for Microsoft’s server certifications in his spare time. He has worked in computer repair professionally for almost seven years.

When the opportunity came to be a part of Geek Easy with other former employees of Applied Intellect, Nathan jumped at the chance. He enjoys working in a field that has always come naturally to him with people he’s known for years.

 

Jon Ballentine,

PC Service and Repair Manager

Jon never used computers much as a small child. By the time he received one it was just another toy to be enjoyed in Kalamazoo suburbia. But you see, he was a curious child and would regularly dismantle and reassemble electronic toys, much to the displeasure of his parents. They were soon relieved when he spent more time making his own creations out of any mechanical material he could scavenge.His desire to analyze then create started him down a path of sculpting that ended a associates degree from Kendall College of Art. However, his desire to build, improve and explore the workings of electronics carried on into his professional education.
Disgusted with formal education methods he decided to pursue Microsoft certifications on his own time. He currently holds his Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician and  HDI Support Center Analyst certifications in addition to CompTIA A+ certification.During his deep study period he worked at Applied Intellect while preparing to take the The Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator test. With the birth of a beautiful baby girl much of his study time was replaced with helping her explore her new world, he continues to study for Microsoft server certifications when the princess allows. He has officially worked in the Information Technology profession as a contractor for four years. The most notable business being Bronson, Metro health hospital and Western Michigan University.When his previous coworkers approached him with an opportunity to join the ranks at Geek Easy It was an easy answer.

Adonis Pointer,

Sales Manager, Social Media Mogul, and Mobile Maestro

Ingrained in the computer industry in one form or another since 1984, from his first “job” as an intern for Defense Logistics Service Center, to managing one store of a regional chain, Softwarehouse and being a sales manager for IBM, Symantec, HP, and Sony, to a hardware sales management position and big box stores such as CompUSA and Best Buy.
His variety of experience (16 years technology sales, 14+ years customer service, 6+ years PC Support) makes him ideally suited to analyze our clients needs and provide them with a solution that works! His eclectic & vast skill-set means he can quickly get to the bottom of your needs, and help come up with a cost effective solution that works.

“Being a part of Geek Easy allows me to play to those strengths, utilizing my skills and experience. Looking forward to growing with the company!” – Adonis

Allen Bernstein,

Level 2 Technician

Allen Bernstein

Allen was lucky enough to be around computers from a very young age thanks to his family all being involved in what would eventually become what we know as the Information Technology field. In high school he became the go to person to fix simple issues with office computers and even joined one of the first accredited online classes ever offered. This led to building his first computer for himself. With his first computer he then sought out how to use many types of systems, components, and programs. He tried anything he could get his hands on from web design to basic programming.

Shortly after high school he was offered his first job in computers as the Network Administrator of a local printing company. He has also taught computer skills to the visually impaired. He has worked in both large and small business settings. In every instance, he was always trying to educate those he worked with and try to remove the mystery behind technology. His wide knowledge base makes him very good at breaking down complex systems into relatable concepts that can be understood by all.

It is not just computers that Allen works on. He has helped restore historical homes in Kalamazoo. He has rebuilt engines, maintained and modified Jeeps to explore the great outdoors. He teaches and demonstrates medieval historical combat all over the great lakes. He also knows leatherworking and chainmail, and has recently started learning blacksmithing and metallurgy. Oh, and he may or not be a professional pirate.

Allen’s favorite quote sums him up. “A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.”

Nik Reist,

System Engineer/Developer

Nik has been an IT solution provider for well over a decade in several different scopes ranging from Retail to Enterprise level, and has been a friend to Geek Easy since before the company was founded.. His inclination for electronics comes from two generations of self employed family members in the electronics repair industry. At an early age he was fascinated by video and computer games which would later increase his interest in computer related technologies as well as programming and game development.

After graduating from Comstock High School in 1995, he worked for two electronics manufacturers in the area, increased his skills as a musician, experimented with home and car audio, played console and computer games, and learned to build his first 486 PC. As technology progressed he began exploring the Open Source community and several alternative operating systems including GNU/Linux and FreeBSD. Armed with previous experience and ambition he continued to increase his awareness of new technology and still does today.

Shortly after acquiring an A+ Certification, he worked for two of the more well known computer retail stores in the Kalamazoo area during the early 2000’s. Later he would become Dell DCSE Certified, IBM Consumer Warranty Certified, Microsoft Certified Professional in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, Security+ certified, and obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from DeVry University in 2010 while working full time as a contractor for the Department of Defense (Level I, II, and III IT support). nik-reist

His true passions are games and game theory, and solving problems. He believes technology and game theory type simulations enable a very natural framework to solving even complex problems while considering risks and rewards. There are also several genres of movies, books and music that he has an affinity for.

“I have a strong belief in the brand and mission here, and I feel privileged to finally be a member of the team.”

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