Highlighting individuals in the I.T. Community. The thoughts, stories, and facts about the industry.
Tammy Davicsin, IT Manager at TRMUA
This week we put the StarNet Spotlight on Tammy Davicsin, the IT Manager at the Toms River Municipal Utility Authority in Toms River, NJ. I have known Tammy for just about 2 years now. For those of you who know Tammy, you will get to know her a little better after this interview. For those of you who do not know her, you will find her to be an incredibly happy, witty, helpful and kind person! Thanks in advance to Tammy for allowing us to put her in the StarNet Spotlight!
StarNet Lou: What’s your current position/role at the Toms River MUA?
Tammy Davicsin: I am the IT Manager.
StarNet Lou: How long have you been working at the Toms River MUA?
Tammy Davicsin: March will be two years. Wow.
StarNet Lou: That much already? Holy ****! And how about IT in general?
Tammy Davicsin: In general? I've been doing this for 22 years.
StarNet Lou: 22 years? That’s fantastic. What do you like most about the IT field?
Tammy Davicsin: What do I like most?
StarNet Lou: Yes.
Tammy Davicsin: Problem solving. I love figuring things out. I love taking things apart, figuring out how they work and putting them back together. It’s a huge field, so my ideal day would be just ripping **** apart and putting it back together to figure out why it doesn't work.
StarNet Lou: I know you have skills in other problem-solving areas too. I imagine you are like that in IT because you're also very good mechanically, right…like with cars for one. And I mean, I'm assuming you could do more than cars. If you're mechanically skilled with cars, I'm assuming you could do other stuff too. You have that engineering quality about you, right?
Tammy Davicsin Yeah. An engineering spirit.
StarNet Lou: Spirit and quality. Okay, That's awesome. All right! So, Tammy, how did you learn about GMIS?
Tammy Davicsin: I was interviewing for a different position and the director there and I hit it off very well. She mentioned to me that even if I do not accept that role, that I should join GMIS because it's a great organization… and you can name her if you want.
StarNet Lou: Yeah, I was going to say, I'll throw Janice Zelnock’s name in there. Many people know her and respect her and her value to both the GMIS and the IT community. So you knew nothing about GMIS before that day?
Tammy Davicsin: No.
StarNet Lou: And that was…..
Tammy Davicsin: I’d never heard of it. Didn't know anything about it. And I'd been in government IT for seven years prior to that.
StarNet Lou: Seven years! And that meeting was two years ago, right before you took the Toms River MUA job? And you didn't know about GMIS before, and now you do. So, Tammy, now that you know about GMIS, what interested you most about GMIS to join? And please don't say to get into my class because I know that wasn't it (hearty laugh)? What made you want to go? What sparked you to eventually go?
Tammy Davicsin: I'd been in government for seven years and, you know, you go to these conventions and they're all private IT people from these huge corporations. There wasn't really a whole lot of like similar people, you know, where they can relate to the things I'm going through like OPRA requests and POs and, you know, it was kind of a new world for me going to the fire department and to find a whole community of other people with similar issues and interests and work. It was very appealing to me to join that and see what it was about.
StarNet Lou: Wow, I'm going to tell you, you just hit a home run with that comment, like, that's a home run because it's honest and it's really what it's about. I think one thing that makes this group different than other corporate style people in suits is that they want you to succeed. Others just want to get in that you know, that lane, do their thing, get the certificate or do their thing and then get out. GMIS is different. I see these people actually bond. They have very human relationships and they're personable people. They are not just, you know, a number,”#671, Joe Smith… go sit in that seat and listen”. They're very personable and they work together. So, what you just said is like, absolutely beautiful and on-point! That's exactly what people need to hear.
All right, so we only have two more questions. So now you've joined GMIS. Your first GMIS event was the GMIS International event in Florida in 2021. That was the first one. So you went to that one and have you gone to other GMIS events since then?
Tammy Davicsin: I have. I actually presented at the GMIS Int’l Philadelphia event last year.
StarNet Lou: Perfect. And did you go to the NJ GMIS one last year too?
Tammy Davicsin: I did.
StarNet Lou: Yes, yes, yes. I remember now.
Tammy Davicsin: And then I was up on stage (at NJ GMIS) not knowing how to use a calculator in front of the whole place. It was awesome (laughing).
StarNet Lou: Classic but that that's what makes it fun…. All right. So you did New Jersey GMIS and the second GMIS International was in Philly. You actually presented! So, basically you've actually changed from someone who I remember saying (and I'm going to put this in there) who said, “No, I don't really go into groups of people and speak.” to someone who actually now is really involved! You actually have a position in New Jersey GMIS if I remember correctly?
Tammy Davicsin: Yes, I am the board secretary.
StarNet Lou: Board Secretary!! Look at you!
Tammy Davicsin: I haven’t done much in that position yet. But that's what I am.
StarNet Lou: That's all right. But you do sit in various meetings, and you participate with a group of people discussing GMIS things, an organization you knew nothing about two years ago. And you've only been to three events, of which by your second international event, you were already presenting and teaching! And now you're involved in the organization with a position. That's fantastic. I mean, honestly, Tammy, you have a story to be told! And people know you now across the country. It's not like you see them every day but you have had an effect! That's like a huge impact!
Tammy Davicsin: Awesome thing to say. Thank you.
StarNet Lou: It is. Look at the impact you've made. Look at what you've done: You went from not knowing what it was to being very involved. I mean, you kind of jumped in feet first, you know what I mean? And you started doing all that good stuff, which is really good. It’s a place where people can share ideas and be corporate and so on, but it's also nice when people can actually get along personally. I said in a GMIS meeting, “Look, I'm a vendor and everybody treats me here like family.” I said, “I know it's not really a family, but they treat me like family. Even people I don't know, they're so nice and so polite and so helpful.” I can't imagine doing this elsewhere because I've been to other conferences and events and it's basically like robot world, you know what I mean? It's like it's just a bunch of androids running around not talking to each other. And here everybody shares their common problems and helps each other.
Tammy Davicsin: I have a whole crew of Kansas friends now.
StarNet Lou: Now. Yes. Yes, that's right. Yeah, You're very popular! So do you have any final thoughts about GMIS you would like to tell us?
Tammy Davicsin: I think if I could end with anything, it would be if you're on the fence about joining or whatever, that it's definitely worth it. It's more than just an I.T organization. It's where you go to network and get answers to questions you have that you might not have gotten elsewhere or Googled. You're getting real life, not responses, but like reviews and experiences. Well, really like, “Hey, what do you think of this software?” And you're going to get answers from across the country like “Yeah, it's crap or Yeah, it’s good.” I use it all the time and it's worth it. So I definitely feel like, you know, the value of it is immeasurable.
StarNet Lou: I love this last statement. You sure you didn't prepare for this? Just kidding.
Tammy Davicsin: No, I didn’t have the chance. You only gave me a day.
StarNet Lou: True. I wanted it to be raw and honest of course!
Tammy Davicsin: I remember at my first event, it's like, “Oh, hey, there's the Jersey group”, and I go over and start talking, and oh, by the way, it's the (GMIS) president.
StarNet Lou: Yeah, yeah.
Tammy Davicsin: You know.
StarNet Lou: But you're right. They're not walking around with a crown on their head and some big badge that says that. It’s very equal among members and staff.
Tammy Davicsin: It was just very comfortable. I'm not one that's comfortable right out of the box with a group of people that I don't know. But they made me feel welcome. They made me feel comfortable. You know, it was great.
StarNet Lou: It was.
Tammy Davicsin: Very.
StarNet Lou: Welcoming. I thought that was obvious. I thought that was obvious the first day. I remember. I'm like, all right, she's going to be shy and you could be shy and maybe you are in a sense, but if you are that shy and then people made you feel that welcome, then that's really a good thing. I mean, if you're like me and you're just obnoxious, you'll just talk to anybody. But if you're shy and somebody makes you come out right, they make you come out. I mean, that's a very welcoming, warm place to go. And that's where people are comfortable and that's where they want to be. They want to be among friends and people they can relate to, right? If you relate to someone, things work so much better than if you're trying to push an agenda or something on someone like that. All right. And I can use that picture that you sent me for your profile?
Tammy Davicsin: That's my LinkedIn.
StarNet Lou: Fantastic. Thank you, Tammy!
So my interview with Tammy came to an end. We laughed, we reminisced and we found a common ground of why GMIS is fantastic and how it actually changed Tammy (and myself) for the better and even helped us grow a little more. I can say without hesitation that Tammy is a really great person to know and that she commits herself fully to her IT role. She has been one to assist and share with others and has been one of those people that you are privileged to meet. We’re so happy to have been able to put the StarNet Spotlight on Tammy Davicsin!