Systems Analyst Kevin Fugate Keeps Our Technology Running Smoothly - May 2018

As part of our ongoing effort to acknowledge, thank, and highlight a few of the many hardworking and loyal employees that embody WSI’s vision of absolute reliability to the customer, enthusiastic service to the community, and dedication to the balance between work and life, we would like to recognize Kevin Fugate.

Kevin Fugate works as a systems analyst for WSI. In this role, Kevin works with the backend servers, storage, and databases for the 360data transportation management system (TMS), and our warehouse management system (WMS), the Oracle-powered EnterpriseOne from J.D. Edwards. Kevin specializes in Unix and Linux operating systems, which those solutions run on. With the exception of a short gap between 2005 and 2008, Kevin has been with WSI’s IT department since 1999.

Before Kevin began his career with WSI, Kevin served in the United States Air Force as a Communications and Systems Switching Analyst for more than a decade. His diverse range of assignments included North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), South Korea’s Osan Air Base, and the Joint Intelligence Center at Pearl Harbor.

“The military is known for making old technology work for a long time, and these locations weren’t any different,” Kevin says. “Luckily, I was there for the upgrades at each location. This allowed me to get my hands on equipment made from the 70s up to the bleeding edge in 2000—something I wouldn’t have been able to do in the private sector. After leaving the military, I was hired at WSI to administrate the back-end systems for our previous ERP system, Foursite.”

Kevin enjoys many things about his job, but the team he gets to work with every day is at the top of the list. Between his co-workers and the requirements of the job, there’s rarely a dull moment.

“This is one of the best groups I’ve worked with,” Kevin says. “We’re a mature group that works well together; a team that’s willing to do what it takes to please our customers. We have a great range of skills and are always looking for new technologies to help push WSI. In our department, there aren’t any sandboxes. Our developers work directly with our database administrator, and you’ll see systems guys brainstorming with the network team. It’s an open environment, and if you want to learn more about another area in IT, you’re encouraged to do so.”  You can’t say our IT department is stressful or stress-free, as that’s what you allow it to be, but there is always plenty to do. The management team in IT knows this, and does its best to promote balance and recognizes that family life, personal goals, and health are all equally important.”

Currently, Kevin is working to build a disaster recovery/high-availability environment with near real-time failover capability. This means that backup equipment would automatically take over in the event of a system failure almost immediately, limiting downtime generated by such an event. He’s also invested in integrating the latest and greatest new technologies into WSI’s operation, and hopes to get out to the company’s warehouses and other facilities to meet the people he regularly works with face-to-face

When he’s not exploring new technology solutions or building fail-safes into WSI’s equipment, Kevin enjoys learning new things. This could mean taking classes, reading a book, or watching videos on YouTube. This passion for learning culminated in a Master’s degree, which he received in May 2017. With the completion of his graduate studies, he’s using his new free time to restore a 1958 Ford tractor and upgrade his 1978 Yamaha XS650 motorcycle.

 

“Hunting is also a passion, both gun and bow, with turkey and deer seasons being my favorite. When time schedules permit, I like doing the simple things with my family – going to movies or out to eat,” Kevin says.

Kevin’s family includes a wife, two daughters, a son, and a dog named Duke. His eldest daughter lives in Chicago, while his younger daughter lives at home and attends the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay. His son lives at home as well (and so does Duke). 

Here at WSI, we’re awed every day by employees like Kevin Fugate, whose service to his country, dedication to our company and customers, many active hobbies, and loving family life inspire all of us. Thank you, Kevin, for being part of the WSI family.