Dave Morgan

Dave Morgan, Director, Technology and Information Services, Graceworks Lutheran Services

1.      What was your first job? 

    • My first job earning money was a paperboy delivering the Dayton Daily News, however my first Data Processing job was keypunch operator in the morning and 402 operator in the afternoon.  After doing poorly as a freshman at Wright State attending with all my high school friends I decided to seek full time employment and attend school full time at night.  I fortunately found a job in my field of study, it just happen to be using some relatively old technology, punched cards, sorters and tabulating equipment. 

2.      Did you always want to work in IT?

    • Actually was opposed to Data Processing, because that is what my Father did.  All through high school I wanted to be an Architect, studying drafting and Architectural drawing, up until my Senior year when I signed up to take a programming course in Basic.  I enjoyed the class so much I decided that I didn’t want to go through all the extra years of college and have to get licensed when I could have a lot more fun working with computers. 

3.      Tell us about your career path.

    • As I mentioned I got started in operations punching cards and operating the system, but my career probably started much earlier in life, given my Father was in Data Processing, as it was called back then.  When I was 6 years old, I could remember going into work with my Dad on a Saturday and playing tic tac toe against the computer by feeding in my move with a punched card.  The computer would print a new page with my move and the computer’s move printed on it and ask for my next move.  The program couldn’t be beat.  You could tie it, but never win.  Jumping back to my career, I learned to program the 402 by wiring the program boards.  I moved on from there to Computer Operator on what I thought was a huge step forward in technology, running a IBM 370/125 for the Peter Kuntz Company.  Still processing cards and storing data on large disk platers that reminded me of the Star Trek Enterprise spaceship body.  I finished my Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Wright State University.  With degree in hand I changed jobs when I got a chance to program COBOL and then got a call from Good Samaritan Hospital for a programming position, programming in COBOL on the same IBM 370/125 that I used to operate on.  Peter Kuntz leased computer time on Good Samaritan’s computer during an off shift.  While at Good Samaritan, I moved up the career ladder to Programmer Analyst and got the chance to supervise a new programmer as the department grew.  I changed gears for a while and became the Systems Programmer, handling all the operating system configurations and changes along with debugging the problems that took a deeper dive into what was going on.  I gained more responsibilities and had more staff reporting to me and moved up to a Project Leader.  I went back to UD to earn my MBA, to further my career in management and later became the MIS Director at Good Samaritan Hospital.  Feeling like I had reached a plateau at Good Samaritan, I ventured into the manufacturing industry as a Director at a small company in Monroe, OH.  Due to an acquisition, I moved back into healthcare as the Director of IS at Middletown Regional Hospital.  After several years, the Vice President of Systems at The Cincinnati Enquirer opened up and I was selected.  Being a part of a large for-profit, quarterly driven, organization of Gannett, taught me that I was much more comfortable in a smaller organization.  Middletown Regional Hospital called me back and it was an offer that I couldn’t refuse even if it meant losing my VP title.  Middletown Regional Hospital became Atrium Medical Center and joined Premier Health and I was back in a much larger organization, again.  The opening at Graceworks Lutheran Services opened up and the opportunity to be in an organization that was the right size for me was too good to pass up.  And here I am, within a few years of retirement! 

4.      What advice would you give to aspiring IT leaders? 

    • Integrity, perform you job with integrity.  You’ll earn the respect of those that work for you and those that you work for.  For me integrity is knowing your business, business being the IT side and the business your company is in, knowing it well enough that you can match up the right technology for the right purpose.  And then not overselling the technology or your team or yourself, but providing realistic expectations, goals and timeframes.  And finally making it happen, achieve what you said and set out to achieve.  That would be living out integrity in the IT world.  No hype, no smoke and mirrors, no vaporware.  And the second piece of advice would be to surround yourself with people that are smarter and better than you are.  Build your team to compliment your weaknesses and accentuate you strengths. 

5.      What has been your greatest career achievement? 

    • I like to think that even though I have come and gone from several organizations I never left on bad terms, tried not to burn a bridge, remained in contact with and on good terms with the people I worked for and worked with, even after leaving, which hopefully speaks to my integrity.  From a project perspective, I like to think that implementing an Electronic Health Record system at Middletown Regional Hospital early on was one of my career highlights.  Hearing the nurses claim they would quit before using a computer and then afterwards complain when you had to take the system down for maintenance because they couldn’t work without it was rewarding.  The experience repeated itself when I came to Graceworks Lutheran Services as I got the opportunity to assist in leading a long-term care organization through the same process.  The other project that was personally satisfying to me was the design and building of the technology in Atrium Medical Center.  It appealed to my technology passion at the same time appealed to my high school training in Architecture.    

6.      Looking back with 20:20 hindsight, what would you have done differently? 

    • I don’t know that I would have done anything differently.  I have often looked back and thought what if I’d stayed here, or there.  Would things have been different, and I am sure they would have.  I lost a lot of perks and opportunities when I stepped down from The Cincinnati Enquirer position for example, but it was the right decision for me personally, especially at that time in my life. 

 

 

1.      What was your first job? 

    • My first job earning money was a paperboy delivering the Dayton Daily News, however my first Data Processing job was keypunch operator in the morning and 402 operator in the afternoon.  After doing poorly as a freshman at Wright State attending with all my high school friends I decided to seek full time employment and attend school full time at night.  I fortunately found a job in my field of study, it just happen to be using some relatively old technology, punched cards, sorters and tabulating equipment. 

2.      Did you always want to work in IT?

    • Actually was opposed to Data Processing, because that is what my Father did.  All through high school I wanted to be an Architect, studying drafting and Architectural drawing, up until my Senior year when I signed up to take a programming course in Basic.  I enjoyed the class so much I decided that I didn’t want to go through all the extra years of college and have to get licensed when I could have a lot more fun working with computers. 

3.      Tell us about your career path.

    • As I mentioned I got started in operations punching cards and operating the system, but my career probably started much earlier in life, given my Father was in Data Processing, as it was called back then.  When I was 6 years old, I could remember going into work with my Dad on a Saturday and playing tic tac toe against the computer by feeding in my move with a punched card.  The computer would print a new page with my move and the computer’s move printed on it and ask for my next move.  The program couldn’t be beat.  You could tie it, but never win.  Jumping back to my career, I learned to program the 402 by wiring the program boards.  I moved on from there to Computer Operator on what I thought was a huge step forward in technology, running a IBM 370/125 for the Peter Kuntz Company.  Still processing cards and storing data on large disk platers that reminded me of the Star Trek Enterprise spaceship body.  I finished my Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Wright State University.  With degree in hand I changed jobs when I got a chance to program COBOL and then got a call from Good Samaritan Hospital for a programming position, programming in COBOL on the same IBM 370/125 that I used to operate on.  Peter Kuntz leased computer time on Good Samaritan’s computer during an off shift.  While at Good Samaritan, I moved up the career ladder to Programmer Analyst and got the chance to supervise a new programmer as the department grew.  I changed gears for a while and became the Systems Programmer, handling all the operating system configurations and changes along with debugging the problems that took a deeper dive into what was going on.  I gained more responsibilities and had more staff reporting to me and moved up to a Project Leader.  I went back to UD to earn my MBA, to further my career in management and later became the MIS Director at Good Samaritan Hospital.  Feeling like I had reached a plateau at Good Samaritan, I ventured into the manufacturing industry as a Director at a small company in Monroe, OH.  Due to an acquisition, I moved back into healthcare as the Director of IS at Middletown Regional Hospital.  After several years, the Vice President of Systems at The Cincinnati Enquirer opened up and I was selected.  Being a part of a large for-profit, quarterly driven, organization of Gannett, taught me that I was much more comfortable in a smaller organization.  Middletown Regional Hospital called me back and it was an offer that I couldn’t refuse even if it meant losing my VP title.  Middletown Regional Hospital became Atrium Medical Center and joined Premier Health and I was back in a much larger organization, again.  The opening at Graceworks Lutheran Services opened up and the opportunity to be in an organization that was the right size for me was too good to pass up.  And here I am, within a few years of retirement! 

4.      What advice would you give to aspiring IT leaders? 

    • Integrity, perform you job with integrity.  You’ll earn the respect of those that work for you and those that you work for.  For me integrity is knowing your business, business being the IT side and the business your company is in, knowing it well enough that you can match up the right technology for the right purpose.  And then not overselling the technology or your team or yourself, but providing realistic expectations, goals and timeframes.  And finally making it happen, achieve what you said and set out to achieve.  That would be living out integrity in the IT world.  No hype, no smoke and mirrors, no vaporware.  And the second piece of advice would be to surround yourself with people that are smarter and better than you are.  Build your team to compliment your weaknesses and accentuate you strengths. 

5.      What has been your greatest career achievement? 

    • I like to think that even though I have come and gone from several organizations I never left on bad terms, tried not to burn a bridge, remained in contact with and on good terms with the people I worked for and worked with, even after leaving, which hopefully speaks to my integrity.  From a project perspective, I like to think that implementing an Electronic Health Record system at Middletown Regional Hospital early on was one of my career highlights.  Hearing the nurses claim they would quit before using a computer and then afterwards complain when you had to take the system down for maintenance because they couldn’t work without it was rewarding.  The experience repeated itself when I came to Graceworks Lutheran Services as I got the opportunity to assist in leading a long-term care organization through the same process.  The other project that was personally satisfying to me was the design and building of the technology in Atrium Medical Center.  It appealed to my technology passion at the same time appealed to my high school training in Architecture.    

6.      Looking back with 20:20 hindsight, what would you have done differently? 

    • I don’t know that I would have done anything differently.  I have often looked back and thought what if I’d stayed here, or there.  Would things have been different, and I am sure they would have.  I lost a lot of perks and opportunities when I stepped down from The Cincinnati Enquirer position for example, but it was the right decision for me personally, especially at that time in my life. 

 

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