Jack Webb

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About

Professional

portrate of greg truby My college degree is in International Business and for twenty years that was the arena in which I worked.

My first professional job was as a Peace Corps Volunteer living and working in Costa Rica. I was attached to a Saving & Loan cooperative in Tilarán, Guanacaste, Costa Rica.  My primary responsibility was to administer a home improvement loan program designed to help low-income people that owned a humble home, but did not have access through normal credit channels to funds for improvements such as adding plumbing or electricity or a bedroom for their children or a septic tank to their homes. But even in the developing world, in a job that I did not think would involve any significant time working with computers or technology, my love of spreadsheets and databases soon became an integral part of my Volunteer experience. I quickly made good friends with the Savings & Loans chief accountant and its general manager.  Soon I was helping them develop a multi-user accounting system in Lotus 1-2-3, dBASE III and Clipper (a dBASE compiler).  Since I was leaving in two years, I also had to train them (in Spanish) on all the software I developed to a level where they could assume responsibility for maintaining the code base after I left.  I was very pleased when I returned to the coop to visit old friends seven or eight years later and I learned that they were still using the programs I had written in my days as a Volunteer. (If you or anyone you know is interested in maybe becoming a volunteer, check 'em out at www.peacecorp.gov!)

Upon returning to the US, I took a position as Export Sales Director with Osborne Industries, a small manufacturer in North Central Kansas. In less than seven years I grew their exports from under $70K to $1.2 million.  I opened up or grew markets in the Mexico, Central America, Brazil, Japan, Korea, the U.K., France, Germany, the Netherlands and several Eastern European countries. I performed all aspects of the export business: marketing, pricing, international financing (L/C's, FX hedging), logistics, tradeshow selection and participation.  And again my love of spreadsheets and databases would not be denied.  Using Quattro Pro (a great spreadsheet program in its day) and Paradox (another awesome bit of software) I developed tools that were integral to helping me prepare offers to my overseas customers.

I left Osborne to join Sony Electronics and take over the role of Export Manager for their World Repair Parts Center of the Americas [WRPC(AS)]. I spent about twelve years with Sony, working on nearly every aspect of international logistics: import compliance, export compliance, international customer service and logistics to name a few. WRPC(AS)'s exports were $32 million annually their last year of operations in Kansas City. While with Sony I oversaw the conversion of WRPC(AS) into a Foreign Trade Zone as well as completely restructuring the service parts distribution into Canada and into the Caribbean. The projects I led cut import lead times from Japan from three or four weeks to three or four days and reduced delivery times of parts to Sony customers in the Caribbean from a week to ten days down to two days on average.  And yet again my love of spreadsheets and databases played an important part of my time with Sony, this time with Excel and Access.  Over the course of twelve years I did too many projects to recount, but I've described a couple of them on the projects page.

In October of 2009, Sony transferred all service parts logistics operations out of the US and into Mexico, shuttering the WRPC(AS) operations in Kansas City. I viewed it as a wonderful opportunity to start a business that would allow me to combine my love of spreadsheets and databases with my varied business experience. So I forged a new career path helping businesses develop professional grade business solutions on Excel- or Access-based platforms, and I love it!

Personal

peace corp patch I would like the world to be a better place. (Who doesn't, right?) But I don't believe in just wishing for it. I believe in rolling up my sleeves and making it happen. That is why I joined the United States Peace Corps and spent two and a half years as a Volunteer. That is why when I returned I sought a job where I could provide jobs to folks in my home state of Kansas by promoting the exports of their work. And that is why I am also very active in our community. At present my activities in our community are linked to my son and my daughter. For several years I coached my son's soccer team. And for many years I have been very active in Scouting with my son, even taking on the role of Troop Treasurer for two years. When my son's soccer career came to a close, it was just in time for me to start coaching my daughter's soccer team for several more years. I remember reading words to this effect years ago:

Ask a person who won the Super Bowl when they were eleven years old and there's a good chance they won't be able to tell you. Ask folks who won the World Series when they were eleven and few can say. Then ask someone who his or her favorite teacher was when he or she were eleven and most could tell you. Ask them if they had a particularly good coach when they were growing up and they could tell you. We may idolize sports stars, but professional athletes seldom impact our lives on a personal level. If you want to have an impact on many people's lives be a mentor or a teacher or a coach.

Unknown

I have no idea who said these words, but they have always stuck with me and they continue to inspire me to have an active role in making our world a better place.

About the Company Name...

gabriel rappelling
Gabriel rappelling in CO

My wife, my son and my daughter are the three most important people in my life.  Their support for this endeavor of starting and building my own company was, is and will continue to be critical to my success. My wife's name is Jeannette, which is tough to use as part of a name for a company focused on technology.  Putting "ette" on the end of a company name automatically creates certain assumptions about a company'sfocus and/or ownership. 

ariana throw-in
Ariana putting the ball in play

My son's name is Gabriel and my daughter's name is Ariana; taken together they offer some good options.  The option I liked best was taking the first four letters of "Gabriel" and the first four letters of "Ariana" and concatenating them and voilà —— "GabrAria".   A unique name, plus www.gabraria.com was available as a domain name. (Have you ever tried to come up with a unique domain name? It's not that easy.)   And when "GabrAria" shows up on Google it only means my company. (Or a reference to a classification error that happened with some moth, Synnomos gabraria, back in 1860.)


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