People

KSM’s associates are multi-disciplinary professionals who excel at all phases of the software development life cycle, from project inception through construction and delivery. We pride ourselves on our professionalism, our technical chops, our delivery agility, and our ability to learn and master our clients’ business domains.

We are

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Andrew Albrecht

Born into a family with a rich background in computing, Andy was exposed to development and systems administration from an early age. After a brief stint studying Culinary Arts, Andy embraced his heritage and majored in Computer Science. He studied functional programming, language design, and software development en route to a BS in Computer Science at West Chester University. He completed two internships: one at the university itself and one at a small technology consulting company serving the pharmaceutical industry.  Andy graduated summa cum laude and almost immediately joined KSM.  He spent the past 2+ years building a complex market application for a independent power grid operator, and designing and building our Ernie open source report generation framework.

Adam Bemiller

A graduate of the University of Richmond, Adam was groomed in a leadership development program at a Fortune 500 company before earning an MS in Computer Science from Villanova University. As a student, he served as a teaching assistant for a class using Python, wrote an application in Java for Google Glass called Elephant, and contributed to a paper based on his research titled, “Using Google Glass and Machine Learning to Assist People with Memory Deficiencies,” published in 2015. After graduation, Adam taught an undergraduate programming course at Villanova University while expanding an application using Scala. Since that time, he has implemented a systems integration solution, developed a JBoss Fuse training course, mentored new employees, and built an application for a client in the utility industry. Outside of work, Adam enjoys hiking, fine art, and road trips.

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Heather Bernardin

Heather has over 20 years’ experience as an electrical engineer and IT professional. She has built solutions for defense and pharmaceuticals companies using C, C++, Java and Oracle. She is particularly adept at understanding the needs of the client and helping them to find a solution that meets their timeline and budget. Heather is an active member in the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), serving such roles as Mid-Atlantic Region Governor, Senator and Lieutenant Governor. Additionally she has served as President, Vice President, Secretary, Newsletter Editor, and Scholarship Chair of the SWE Philadelphia section. Heather earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from Lafayette College, and a MS in Computer Engineering from Villanova University.

Jeff Brower

Jeff’s coding experience stretches back into his grade school years, with over a decade of experience in object-oriented programming. As a recent Computer Science graduate of the University of Maryland, Jeff has studied programming languages, compilers, data structures, distributed computing, and many other technical topics. Jeff participated in the KSM internship program, and worked on improving the Scala bootcamp for future interns. So far, his work at KSM has involved developing Toffee, the hybrid automated and manual testing framework. Jeff’s interests include functional programming, web applications, data analysis, and physics.

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Steve Caggiano

Steve started his career as a rocket scientist with GE Aerospace, where his interests and expertise turned to relational database design and all things Oracle. After spending a handful of years with First Consulting Group, Steve co-founded KSM. With 25+ years’ experience in information technology, Steve excels at partnering with clients, understanding their business needs, and delivering the best technical solution. The epitome and champion of KSM’s emphasis on deep domain expertise, Steve has delivered solutions that target all phases of the pharmaceutical drug discovery and development pipeline. Steve received his undergraduate degree in Aerospace Engineering with Distinction from the University of Virginia in 1988. He completed a Masters in Systems Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 1994.

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Martin Cortez

Martin began his IT career the week after high school graduation, interning at AT&T/Lucent Technologies in Silicon Valley. Over the next five years, he applied the practical lessons learned from his internship to the lessons of theory taught at UC Berkeley, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. Today, Martin prides himself in being able to marry the theoretical and practical aspects of the solutions he crafts as a software architect. He has designed commercial software products, custom IT systems, public web services, internal and external websites, APIs, and plug-and-play architectures. His most recent work has been in the pharmaceutical industry, where he has gained extensive knowledge about 21 CFR Part 11 and, specifically, the ICH eCTD specification. In his spare time, Martin likes writing compilers and designing computer languages.

Jon Cronin

Jon Cronin has been a web developer since graduating from Swarthmore College in 2014. He has worked on projects for numerous Fortune 500 companies, as well as with smaller start-ups in the Philadelphia area. He specializes in front-end web technologies, using frameworks like Django and AngularJS to build modern, responsive applications. Off the computer, Jon is a musician, singing with a number of groups in Philadelphia and recently starting to study classical piano. He enjoys living in South Philly for the active community and the vibrant eating scene.

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Michael Harnish

Somewhere between an undergraduate degree in philosophy and a planned stint in graduate school, Mike’s professional interests turned to consulting, systems integration, and software development. After twelve years split between Accenture, First Consulting Group, and a high-tech start-up, Mike co-founded KSM as a vehicle to deliver high-value expertise-based consulting services to clients in the life sciences industries. In recent years, Mike led KSM into the utilities industry. An unrepentant generalist, Mike has delivered client/server solutions on Windows, web-based applications on a number of Java servers, and integration solutions from full-stack ESBs to minimalist REST frameworks. His current interests include the Scala programming language, cloud computing, and leveraging technology to build the agile company. Mike earned that BA in Philosophy with honors from Swarthmore College.

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Cheryl Hunt

As the KSM Operations Coordinator, Cheryl handles all of KSM’s bookkeeping functions and oversees our Lower Providence development facility. Cheryl is a gifted administrator, with over twenty years of experience ranging from non-profits to the hospitality industry. Her competence and persistence allows KSM’s management team to focus on delivering value to our customers. Cheryl is our on-staff event planner for our monthly staff Lunch & Learns, all-company Tech Exchanges, and company parties. Cheryl’s interior decorating skills make our office a pleasant work environment fit for hosting our customers, rather than the sordid jumble of whiteboard scrawl, flowcharts, obsolete programming tomes, and Star Trek action figures it would otherwise be.

Drew Jordan

Drew started his working life as a carpenter. After 10 years he found he had a knack for leading people through projects, and decided to branch out into more formal project management. Taking a job with a large company in the telecommunications industry, he earned a PMP certification and double-majored in Accounting and Information Systems with a focus on Software Engineering Management while managing several domestic and international projects. While learning how to code, Drew soon found that his combination of soft skills, formal PM training, and love of solving problems translated perfectly into software development, and has worked as a consultant for the last several years. A jack of all trades, Drew has worked on projects using C#, C++, Java, AngularJS, Visual Basic, from enterprise grade applications to small single-purpose apps to increase productivity.

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Jeff Kearney

Jeff has more than 20 years of international leadership experience in the content development, training and IT markets. He has started and turned around businesses in Europe and the U.S. He has lived in Germany and the U.K. Jeff founded XMoLogy, LLC and was the chief conceptor behind ETx, a tool that publishes wiring diagrams directly from engineering information. Jeff is active in the Boy Scouts of America and serves as Scoutmaster for local and regional youth leadership development courses. Jeff also serves as a volunteer operations director for a Chester County home repair ministry. Jeff has a BS in Physics and a Masters degree in Industrial Engineering. He is a member of the Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society.

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Steve Kirsch

Steve is a consultant with more than 20 years of experience in software development, design, and project management, primarily servicing the pharmaceutical industry. While the majority of his time has been in consulting, he has experience as a product manager for a software company in the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector. He is adept at all phases of the software development life cycle, with a special focus on the delivery of validated systems. Steve’s technical focus has been in the area of database technologies, but also has used Java, .Net, and PHP to build solutions. Steve graduated from Lehigh University with both a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering and a Masters in Business Administration. He enjoys golf, singing, and spending time with his two active sons.

Sam Krause

After a stint in the legal profession, Sam made a switch to software development. Sam currently works on KSM’s Toffee project, which is a testing orchestration platform. He cut his teeth programming by learning how to build Ruby on Rails web applications in New York Code and Design Academy’s web development intensive course. Sam earned a BA in Philosophy and Theology with honors from the University of Notre Dame and a JD from Georgetown University Law Center.

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Jeannette Lamb

Jeannette’s interest in IT began with a course in COBOL programming at Drexel University, whose co-op program launched her 20 year (and counting) career in pharmaceutical IT. Although she strayed away from programming, she has held positions in both hardware and software support, technical writing, testing, business analysis and project management. She’s been involved in a wide range of projects including laboratory automation, finance and clinical trials. Jeannette developed KSM’s Agile Quality Management System for software development and helped launch our first custom-off-the-shelf product for the pharmaceutical industry. She also led the team through a successful vendor audit. In her free time she loves spending time with her 3 daughters and enjoys beach vacations with family and friends.

Emil “Bud” Lefkof

Bud has a bold entrepreneurial streak, and a gift for elevating the play of his coworkers and clients. He has been a consultant and software developer for 20 years, and has delivered bespoke solutions in the drug discovery, manufacturing control, and drug safety domains. In recent years, Bud has focused on providing systems integration services to the utility industry. Bud enjoys building highly-scalable Java web application and web service solutions with the Spring framework and Apache Tomcat, Commons, and CXF. He built a mini-practice within KSM helping clients tame their build processes and achieve continuous integration with Hudson, Nexus, and Apache Maven. An accomplished mobile application developer, Bud published six iPhone applications to the Apple AppStore, and four to the Android Market. He graduated from Bloomsburg University with a degree in Computer and Information Science.

Brian Louden

Starting with the development of video game “mods” during high school, Brian has enjoyed working on and solving complex problems. With coursework focused on Real-Time Systems as well as Computer Graphics and Visualization, Brian graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a BS in Computer Science. Brian is now a consultant with 10 years of experience in software development. Over the past 5 years he has worked in the utilities industry, providing scalable, real-time systems that help regulate, optimize, and maintain the power grid. Brian is also an active member of the caving community which works to discover, explore, and survey cave systems around the world. He is currently serving on the Board of Directors for the Philly Grotto and YOUCave. His current interests include utilizing MapReduce implementations, creating simple REST APIs, and leveraging Javascript frameworks for simple UIs.

Kent Piland

Kent started his career as a mechanical engineer, but quickly realized that his true calling was in software development. His background led to developing host control systems for robots and cranes, and from there his career blossomed to a variety of other software areas. Over his 25+ year career, he has worked in the manufacturing, financial services, and utilities industries. The bulk of Kent’s experience, however, has been in the pharmaceutical industry, particularly in the area of enterprise document management systems. Prior to joining KSM, he was the primary architect of a new user interface for a mature, industry leading, document management product. He is a Java specialist with an additional focus on AJAX/JavaScript clients. Kent holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and a MSE in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan.

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Chris Piontkowski

Chris is a consultant with over 17 years of experience in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. After working for other people at other peoples’ companies for over a decade, he joined KSM as a partner to help build a solutions-focused company of the best and brightest. In recent years, Chris has been busy helping clients to refactor existing software packages in order to build more cost-effective corporate-wide solutions and to develop web services infrastructure using leading edge technologies. Chris has been providing his clients with JAVA/JEE solutions for over 13 years. His current interests include anything AJAX, JavaScript development tools, and the new technologies that are pushing entertainment onto the web. Chris earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Computer Science from Dickinson College where he learned slightly more than he has subsequently forgotten about Turing machines.

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Mike Richardson

Mike has more than 20 years of experience in software development, including over 15 years in consulting. Mike has used C, C++, Java, JEE, and Oracle to design and build solutions in defense, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, and transportation. He is experienced with object oriented design, automated testing, and all phases of the development lifecycle. Mike graduated with honors from Virginia Tech with a Bachelors of Science in Computer Engineering. He is a member of the Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society.

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Dean Zimmerman

Since his first high school programming class in Microsoft Basic, Dean has been forever fascinated by the challenge of software development. His professional career started as a software engineer in the pharmaceutical industry followed by a stint in real-time traffic information systems and more recently in electric grid high-availability software. His expertise and passion revolves around full cycle development of Java based applications using Spring and J2EE technology. Outside of work, he is an avid road cyclist and has recently competed in several triathlons. Dean graduated summa cum laude from Millersville University with a BS degree in computer science.

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