leafTeam

Meet our team

We’re a growing team of IT experts and thought leaders — full of personality minus the ego. We are dedicated to helping our customers lead, innovate, and disrupt.

Chris McAree

Rick Brooke

Nate Becker

Jacob Baughn

Shannon Milair

Jay Eklund

Lee Neely

Alia Davis

Scott Keller

Lucas Reeves

Nick Faber

Michael Cardenas

Tricia Hennessy

Give us a ring, we're happy to help.

Our team knows the ins and outs of IT, it's all we do, and we love what we do. Lucky for you, our team is FRIENDLY and WE CARE about your business and success. Crazy right? Try it out - give us a call.

Chris McAree

Title – Founder / Chief Executive Officer – 2007

IT Experience – 20 Years

Certifications – MSCE, Fortinet NSE 1, Dell US – Solution Provider

Education – BSc – Computer Science

 

Background

Our founder and CEO, Chris McAree, B.Sc. & MCSE, started consulting with a single customer in January 2006. Chris’ professional experience in IT includes more than 18 years with more than 15 years in IT consulting and management.  Chris started in application development shortly after graduating from the University of Western Ontario in London Canada in 2001 and quickly realized his talents were more suited for IT consultancy. From business development and networking, to sales, project planning, vendor management, day to day operations and much more, Chris wears many hats each and every day at LeafTech – and absolutely loves it! Chris learned early on that in order to really succeed in business, (and sleep well at night) put people first – employees, customers and vendors alike – and LeafTech’s success is assured.

For Fun

The writer should recuse herself when writing about Chris McAree.  What can we say about our fearless leader?  He’s lived all over the world, would like to call London, England home (went to High School there) – he’s Canadian, he plays/coaches/lives/breathes/eats Hockey, he has a dog named Edmonton (after the Edmonton Oilers hockey team), family, goes on super-cool vacays and basically has the American Dream.  But although we’re partial, Chris has literally pulled a few all-nighters, worked on Halloween in a basement of a creepy 19th-century house in Pittsburgh, PA and usually has a positive attitude about life and how it’s not just about IT – it’s about making people happy, and he’s very serious about that.  Strangely, he’s a dog dude, but cats literally follow him around from Reykjavik, Iceland to the beaches of Mexico (Mexican Beach Cats – it’s a thing.) If he weren’t so allergic to cats, we’d think he’s a cat person.  And little does he know it, but we respect him and he makes amazing Roast Beast on Christmas. He would also love to speak to Winston Churchill who Chris has quoted: “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

Rick Brooke

Title – Senior Network Engineer – 2009

IT Experience – 25 Years

Certifications – Allworx Certified Technician, Fortinet Technician Level 2 Certification

 

Background

In August 2008, Chris formed a business relationship with Rick Brooke, Cisco (CCNA), Allworx, ShoreTel, Zultys ZCSE and Netware 4.x, and 5.x Certified Network Engineer, to assist with the growth of the business and to bring a whole new set of services – IP Telephony & Carrier services – to the table. Rick’s experience includes over 24 years in IT and 10 years as an IT manager for a large (over $100M) multisite civil construction company in the Denver area. IP Telephony, an extremely exciting and dynamic industry and Rick’s experience in both the sales and services of IP Telephony brings a new dimension to the organization. In January 2009, Rick became a full partner in the firm ensuring we continue to provide top level IT & IP Telephony services to new and existing customers for many years to come.

For Fun

“Games, Guitar and Good Rye” – Rick Brooke, summing himself up, and that’s pretty much our resident IT-poet.  He’s no softy, he’s donned an asbestos suit to help a client, and likes cats! His favorite place is the spectacular deck of his Colorado home.  Colorado has been his home for 24 years, the same amount of time he’s spent in IT.  Rick reads non-fiction, lives for the “four days of Spring” we have here, and although he has worn an asbestos suit, he probably wouldn’t be caught dead in the “typical” IT- guy outfit (the man’s a bit of a fashion plate.)  He’s also one of our founding partners, and continues to keep us sane during the other 361 days of non-Spring in Colorado!

Nate Becker

Title – Chief Operating Officer – 2020

Business and Financial Operations Experience – 15 Years

Certifications – Lean Six Sigma (LBBP), Project Management Essentials, Morris Certificate of Accounting

Education – MA – Sports Administration, BA – Sport Management

 

Background

Nate Becker joins LeafTech with 15 years of experience in Operations and Management. Nate’s focus on our clients’ experience as LeafTech’s Chief Operating Officer drives him to search for ways to improve customer service and client satisfaction every day. He takes this challenge to obtain perfection head-on each day, knowing that perfection is impossible but hoping to catch excellence along the way. When Nate is not passionately innovating on behalf of LeafTech or motivating our team, he keeps calm and carries on in nature. Our resident Huntsman, Nate joins video calls with trophies on the wall behind him and hasn’t bought ground meat at the grocery store in over ten years! Providing for his family and caring for his community are Nate’s driving forces. His commitment as a wrestling coach to 200 youths ages 4 to 18 more than prepared him to motivate our team and lead the way to a brighter LeafTech!

For Fun

Nate Becker is a dog person and wants you to know about your hidden superpower! Check out this blog he put together to spread the word about helping your community effortlessly.

Jacob Baughn

Title – Director of Technical Services – 2015

IT Experience – 6 years

Certifications – Certified Wireless Networking Professional (CWNP)

 

Background

Born on a mountaintop in Tennessee, Jacob Baughn, loves high places and feels most at home overlooking a nice pastoral scene.  But he also loves technology, always and forever.  All joking aside, Jacob has been in IT for over five years, and he loves getting into the meat of a problem and solving it from the inside-out – he’s also spent over 72 hours on the same problem and won’t give up on LeafTech’s clients.  We love how Jacob feels that the problems and issues he confronts at LeafTech are never boring to him.  He knows that Winter is Coming, as it’s his favorite season, grew his first gray hair at 17, centers himself with Martial Arts and in true Jacob fashion loves dogs and explains it as “it’s exciting to be around a creature who so obviously finds you exciting” – true Baughn style.

For Fun

Jacob loves Martial Arts, dogs, and nature landscapes!

Shannon Milair

Title – Customer Service Manager 2019

IT Experience – 25 Years

Certifications – Microsoft Specialist, Microsoft Certified Professional, IT Systems Certification

Education – Information Systems Vocational Training

 

Background

Thank goodness Shannon joined LeafTech, bringing with her 23 years of experience in the IT industry. Shannon joins the team remotely from Florida, and describes the Florida winter as her favorite season, but she actually loves fall everywhere that is not tropical! Described as having actual superhuman powers by multiple sources, Shannon has already saved the day multiple times in her first month at LeafTech. Shannon once even drove a 6 hour round trip to assist a client for 10 minutes swapping a hard drive to make sure her client was comfortable. Shannon’s drive stems for pure love of learning – and when she first got her hands on a TRS-80 in school (age test!) her curiosity piqued, and Shannon’s path toward IT was set. When Shannon is not acting as our own LeafTech superhero – she is listening to her eclectic jams, or spending time with family, and enjoys taking her 4 children and 1 grandchild to Disney World on the regular (we are all jealous), or vacationing in Blue Ridge, GA.

For Fun

Shannon is a Dog person, but currently has 2 cats because her youngest daughter is a cat person. Sometimes the apple rolls away
from the tree just a bit…

Jay Eklund

Title – Senior Network Engineer – 2009

IT Experience – 25 Years

Certifications – Certified Network Associate

 

Background

Jay Eklund, don’t let his mild-manner appearance fool you, the man is a 5th-generation building mover!  When he’s not moving buildings, he’s fixing a fully redundant server cluster, making your email flow, gaming, traveling the world (he’s been to Bora Bora and 49 out of 50 states, but calls his birthplace of Colorado home), and has 23 years of experience in the IT Industry.  Got a seemingly insurmountable computer issue, Jay’s your guy to find that 15-minute, or 3 week fix – and he’ll tell you about it calmly and dryly.  Jay’s a dog guy with strong opinions on weather questions (don’t ask) and thinks technology is fun and challenging.  He’s a LeafTech mainstay, been here since 2010, and our server rack loves him. And if he could speak with anyone (living or dead) it would be Sam Kinison, hmmm….

For Fun

Jay loves dogs, traveling & gaming.

Lee Neely

Title – Level III Technical Support Analyst – 2015

IT Experience – 5 Years

Education – Associates in General Studies

 

Background

Lee comes to us with over 3 and a half years of IT experience and ALSO has a passion for flying and aviation (maybe there’s a theme here?) Born and raised in Denver, he loves Banff, British Columbia, Canada and standing on the deck of the USS Midway in San Diego (that’s a pretty cool place, but we digress.)  He too, has pulled a 24-hour day to get a client’s data back and we love Lee as he is the first to admit that when he’s knee-deep in a “complex” problem it’s usually the simple answer that he overlooked 23 hours before (and that Jay probably pointed out!) We’ll forgive him for liking cats because “they’re so darn cute” because he loves the Autumn in Colorado and hopes that IT continues to flourish in Colorado, and maybe he’ll spread the IT word around the state as he’s racing up Mt. Evans in his Honda CRX – mild manner IT-Guy Lee is not!

For Fun

Lee has a passion for flying.  Oh…something you might not know but Lee Neely and Jacob Baughn are very good friends – have known each other for more than 20 years, they’ve worked together at Garbanzos in a previous life, and we’re VERY happy that Jacob recommended Lee to us!

Alia Davis

Title – Executive Assistant – 2018

Administration Experience – 5 Years

 

Background

Alia Davis is our resident sanity-keeper. Alia keeps the office running efficiently while keeping things upbeat and positive – no matter the IT storms we are dealing with.  Alia even knows when to bring the hammer – mostly when Chris gets off task! Alia is the happy face you’ll see when you walk in, the warm voice you’ll hear when you call in and we love her love of all living creatures and how she sums up her fantastic personality: “I love doing the work that makes everyone’s life easier, better, more efficient.”  Plus, she comes to us with many years of experience managing a doggie daycare, she’s even taken it upon herself to bring a dog to the Vet after hours and saved his life.  And that’s why we need her at LeafTech, we need Alia to be one that keeps us on task, productive and efficient for our clients, our vendors, and each other.

For Fun

Fan of Van Gogh, creative to the core, and centers herself with art, Alia is our much-needed right-hand woman!

Scott Keller

Title – Level II Technical Analyst – Team Lead – 2019

IT Experience – 10 Years

Certifications – Apple Certified Macintosh Technician (ACMT)

Military Service – 8 Years Petty Officer, United States Navy, 2nd Class Boatswain’s Mate

 

Background

Scott started his IT career with Apple and has 8 years of experience as an Apple Genius. LeafTech is excited to have an Apple Certified Macintosh Technician joining the team, and share some of the secret Apple Voodoo. Born in Manhattan, but raised in New Jersey, Scott never quite fit in and was always told he seemed like he was from California or out west. Something finally called Scott’s fun-loving spirit out to Colorado to see what it was all about 4 years ago – and he never left! Scott is familiar with hard work too, as he spent time in Afghanistan with the Navy before switching careers into IT. Our former Petty Officer 2nd Class and Boatswain’s mate loves to talk about the time he got to take the Helm of the USS Eisenhower, ask about it and you’ll get to see how big Scott’s smile can get! At the end of the day, Scott went into the Navy and is now in the IT industry because he wants to help others and despite his vast knowledge of Apple products – THAT is what will make him a valuable part of the LeafTeam!

For Fun

Scott loves hiking and video games and thinks both are improved with the presence of dogs. If Scott could have a conversation with anyone from history he would like to talk with Sigmund Freud about sleep and dreams, but Scott seems like the kind of guy to know when a Cigar is Just a Cigar.

Lucas Reeves

Title – Implementation Specialist – 2019

IT Experience – 2 Years

Certifications – CompTIA A+, Net+

 

Background

Lucas comes to LeafTech as a Greenhorn in the IT world, though he has always been interested in Computers and learning about the growing field of Cyber Security. This Littleton native is comfortable in the tech cave where he maintains our Client’s hardware, but Lucas is also happy relaxing next to a babbling brook or hiking among snow-capped peaks. His previous position as hospital security taught him a great deal about helping others going through hardships. “Doing little things for people who are going through a tough time can make a big difference,” is the mantra he lives by. Lucas is most proud of the time he was able to help the wife and son of a man going through a high-risk surgery by finding them a spare room to spend the night at the hospital. Being close to family is important to Lucas, and the entire team is happy to have him as a part of ours.

For Fun

Lucas is one of the rare cat people we have around, and we love him for it! His reasoning being that cats have more personality and are less maintenance. If Lucas could time travel he would conduct a patriotic research mission to go back to consult the founding fathers about the changes in our country.

Nick Faber

Title – Level II Technical Support Analyst

IT Experience – 2 Years

Certifications – CompTIA Network+

Education – Data Center Technician Program (Blue Mountain Community College)

 

Background

Nick Faber joined the LeafTeam is a buzz of activity and the hum of airplane engines. Our second employee residing outside of Colorado, Nick, came aboard at first as a contractor for LeafTech – traveling to execute office acquisition and IT network transitions – during a global pandemic! This Hero of an essential worker helped our company, country, and economy by traveling for work during hard times, and all of LeafTech thanks him for it! From the start, Nick’s dedication to his work, clients, and the support of his co-workers made him a natural part of the team, even at a distance, and we are lucky to have Nick full-time today! Originally from Oregon, Nick currently resides in Arizona and expands regular LeafTech operations to three states. His big passion outside of technology is enjoying his life with his significant other and family – cooking, reading, and playing games compose the wholesome sustenance that fuels Nick.

For Fun

If you want to know Nick’s secret to joy and success – take a sip of water – because he says that’s his best way to combat stress, with hydration.

Michael Cardenas

Title – Level II Technical Support Analyst

IT Experience – 8 Years

Certifications – Bachelor of Computer Science, Westwood College

 

Background

Michael, a Colorado Native, brings his passion for technology and serious expertise to LeafTech with his eight years of IT Help Desk experience and over 20 years of customer service experience. His outstanding education and experience don’t stop him from continuing to learn and grow. Michael says he looks forward to discovering more technology to be excited about supporting LeafTech’s diverse client base. When serving clients, Michael’s motto is to “Shoot for above and beyond,” and we can testify that he will JUMP to get in a car and drive to assist with an emergency laptop battery replacement at the word HELP! That might be because Michael finds his zen with cars, but we love that it helps him help people! In his spare time, Michael loves building cars and cruising around town. This Gear Head Dad says besides his family, automobiles and technology are his life – and we are happy to share in his passion as a team.

For Fun

Michael is definitely a dog person and has the canine equivalent of the Odd Couple at home – a 120 lb Rottweiler and a 20 lb Rescue Mutt!

Tricia Hennessy

Title – Level II Technical Support Analyst

IT Experience – 18 Years

Certifications – BA in History, MA in Education (Secondary Social Studies), Ohio State University

 

Background

Tricia grew up in Columbus, Ohio, but at this point, she’s a naturalized Coloradan of 27 years. We love that Tricia put down her roots in Colorado and IT! In fact, her first job here in Denver was only supposed to be a summer job helping out the IT Guy. Tricia excelled at learning new things and helping people use technology to be better at their jobs and ended up working in that IT department for 18 years! She taught herself SQL and has worked a few 36 hour days to repair downed servers during her time in the industry, and she knows how important prompt and knowledgeable IT help is to every business. Tricia fits right into our team with her love of History, Science Fiction, and Fantasy – and finds her peace watching nerdy TV – like Dr. Who and Fantasy Netflix series. We are grateful to have found Tricia and look forward to another long tenure with her on the LeafTeam.

For Fun

I wasn’t kidding when I said Tricia loves reading – she’s read The Foundation Series by Asimov four times!