Meet Dan Miller
What is your role at MRE?
I am the IT Operations Manager here at MRE Consulting. I oversee the day-to-day operations and function of the Tech Division here at MRE Consulting. As a leader, I oversee the deployment of Tech Division strategic plans within the organization’s operations and the effective and efficient operation of processes for the team’s productivity, quality, customer service excellence, team member engagement and growth. My team makes sure that we’re setting the client up for success in everything we do. From IT support to projects, we want to make sure that we’re hearing the client’s needs and advocating for them. Being successful means having a great relationship with our clients!
What is your background prior to MRE?
Prior to MRE, I worked in the mortgage and financial services industry. I was the IT Director for a mortgage company and worked previously for two other mortgage and related companies. My focus was leading all initiatives related to technology, including strategy, and managing an internal service desk.
Was that in the Houston area? Are you originally from Houston?
Yes, I have lived and worked in Houston for the past 10 years. I am originally from Phoenix, AZ. Born and raised. For the last 10 years, I’ve been in leadership roles ranging from Help Desk Manager to IT Director and now IT Operations Manager here with MRE.
Have you been working within the mortgage industry this whole time?
Yes, I have been in the mortgage and related industries for the past 10 years. I attribute my approach and efforts in my role with MRE to the many years I spent in the mortgage industry. In my previous organization our big customers were all our different branches. We would go through cycles where we would acquire branches which would essentially be like small little companies. When adding a new branch we had onboarding procedures, trainings that we would hold and there was an entire strategy to get them up and running as quickly as possible.
It sounds like you were kind of operating as a Managed Service Provider, even though you weren’t technically an MSP?
Yes, exactly! I provided the same comparison to Shay and Dru in my interviews. My approach always felt similar to a consultant’s role with all the new acquisitions we would face. It could be a big avenue for MRE if we spun up a division that services mortgage and mortgage specific industries. The mortgage industry was underserved from a technical standpoint, and I had always thought that an MSP that targets mortgage companies and their related industries was a great idea.
You just started with MRE, how long has it been?
It’s officially been three months! I started March 6th. It’s gone by very quickly, but it has been great for me, and I am learning so much. The way the team designed my onboarding allowed me to adapt quickly by adding a bunch of client and internal meetings. I now feel fully absorbed into the team.
What do you say is unique about working at MRE so far versus the other places you worked at?
I think what’s unique to MRE is how hard we work to understand our clients. We have success calls with the client to talk about how to better their support with us and how to better their day-to-day. We sit in the client’s seat, from their perspective to see the challenges they face firsthand and true to the moment. Then, we bring all of that back and strategize internally to come up with successful ways to problem solve and move the needle for our clients.
What do you like about your team so far?
They are unique group. They all have different skillsets and strengths. The team collaboration is great. Often, you’ll hear people just huddling and having conversations and others overhear and contribute their ideas as well. “Oh, are you talking about this client?” or “are you talking about that project?” and just jump in and brainstorm with each other on the fly. All of this is outside of formal meetings, which is great. So, I love the uniqueness and collaborative spirit of the team.
What skills do you think someone needs to be successful in the type of role that you’re in?
Being very flexible, agile, curious, and wanting to grow and learn. Willing to pull the trigger and not wait. Having a bias for action, not being afraid to make decisions and act on them, even when you face uncertainty. Sometimes in the IT industry and especially for managed services, we need to react swiftly. As a leader you need to be willing to take risks and put yourself out there and not be afraid of failure.
What advice would you give someone who is just starting their career in IT or is trying to further their career?
There are many skillsets in the market that are essential in the IT industry. So do your due diligence and understand what’s your best approach or best avenue to grow your career in IT. A lot of guys get their foot in the door doing IT support. Which is a great way to give back, right? You’re helping people. But it’s also a great first step in the industry to learn the ins and outs from top to bottom of a tech department or company. It can give you direction on whether you want to go into management or if you want to do a deep dive on the technical side and be part of DevOps or be part of Cloud Solutioning or even Cyber Security. There are so many avenues.
What do you think is the most needed skill set right now?
Security is largely the highest growing and most sought-after type of position in today’s job market. There is a need for skilled IT professionals to assess and mitigate threats for all organizations either through outsourcing, projects, or advisory.
Is there anything in the industry you’re excited about right now?
Digital transformation! Migrating to the cloud is the future and I would say in today’s age, migrating away from legacy systems is absolutely essential. So, cloud migration, cloud adoption is a big one. I am also very excited about security and cyber security. IT security should be on the forefront of every client and every managed service provider’s mind. From phishing attacks to ransomware, there are a plethora of never-ending threats to the industry and its clients. So, make sure your environment and your networks are set up securely.
So far what’s your favorite part about working at MRE?
So far, the relationships that we have, the different skill sets, and the camaraderie of the team has been great. Some individuals have been here for a long time together and the knowledge that the team possesses is very exciting and inspiring.
The Bike MS ride they do as a company for the Texas MS150 every year is also very exciting. A lot goes into that. It takes a different kind of person to ride 150 miles. It shows a lot of commitment.
I am also really excited about working with the different leaders here at MRE, we just celebrated MRE’s 29th birthday. It’s no small feat to have a company still growing and doing well since the 90s, I mean, almost 30 years later is impressive!
In your free time, what do you do for fun?
I play music, write & record songs, and I am in a band. I play guitar, drums, and bass, but in the band, I play lead guitar.
I also enjoy spending time with my family. My wife and I just celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary last Sunday. We have two boys who are nine and six. My oldest son is a baseball player. Like many young boys in Houston, he’s in Select Baseball. So, we go out to the fields every other weekend and spend our weekends watching him do what he loves. My youngest son is into music like I am and regularly sings and plays piano. So, we have lots of fun!
What would you say is a random fact that people don’t know about you? Besides being super talented with music?
Thank you! Usually, playing music in a band is my random fact, but I was also in the United States Army for four years. In the late 90’s into the early 2000’s. I was deployed to Bosnia for about a year, and as a young man having real-world experiences for the first time was unparalleled. It was a great learning experience and a cultural one as well. It was exciting for me to be able to go to another country and learn more about them and help them out. By the time I got out of the Army, I was a leader in our troop as a Corporal. And I do believe it was those early experiences that set me up for success later in my career up to where I am today as a leader in the IT industry.