In his own words: Chris Kissinger of Top Speed LLC
Name/title: Chris Kissinger /Senior network engineer, Top Speed, LLC
Number of years in this job? 11
Years in this profession? 17
Education: Self taught — universities can’t keep up with the speed of technology
Last book read? “Liberty and Tyranny” by Mark Levin
What’s on your iPod? People still have these?
Spouse, kids or pets? Wonderful wife; 6-year-old daughter; a cat that now channels our recently departed dog.
Northern Nevada Business Weekly: Tell us about your company and the duties of your position.
Chris Kissinger: Top Speed LLC has two divisions: Top Speed Computer Services and Top Speed Internet Services. Top Speed’s focus is on being the area’s local IT solutions expert specializing in business computer and network environments. Some of these services include providing off-site backup and hosting solutions, intrusion and security services, such as E-Discovery issues. We also offer locally built business computers and servers, as well as network, server and computer installation and maintenance and GenuineCare managed services. My role is senior network technician; I head up all major projects and installations, I handle the security, intrusion and E-Discovery clients, and otherwise oversee the other techs and the sales department.
NNBW: How did you get into this profession?
Kissinger: I started out in junior high school working on computers and found I had a real aptitude for it. When I started college I went to work for a local ISP and learned a great deal from the owner and his management style. A portion in particular really stuck with me: If you break something you better figure out how to fix it; and never bring me a problem unless you also come bearing a solution.
NNBW: What’s more important to you: the money, or the work?
Kissinger: It goes back to the old saying, “I work to live; I don’t live to work.” I love what I do, but what it really makes possible is the time I get to spend with my family.
NNBW: What have you done to improve your knowledge in your field in the past year?
Kissinger: Computer and network technology is constantly changing. Throughout the year I’m constantly running new virtual machines and obtaining demo equipment to test the latest technologies and versions.
NNBW: What was your first job?
Kissinger: Lifeguard and swim instructor.
NNBW: What’s your dream job. Why aren’t you working it?
Kissinger: If the economy were better, I’d say this is it.
NNBW: Is your job stressful? How do you handle pressure?
Kissinger: Absolutely high stress, as more and more people and businesses rely deeply on their technology. If something isn’t working properly you are under the microscope to get it working again and fast. With most people still relying on a “break-fix” model for their technology, the computer guy is only seen when something bad is happening.
NNBW: What are the main lessons you have you learned from past mistakes?
Kissinger: Don’t do it again!
NNBW: What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Kissinger: Never have a partner other than your spouse. This advice came too late, but it’s definitely one I’ll stick with in business.
NNBW: What are your favorite hobbies or pastimes? How do you spend your time away from work?
Kissinger: Water skiing, hiking, snowshoeing. Most of the time away from work is spent watching my daughter’s activities. Family is the most important thing in my life, and she’s growing up too fast to want to miss any of it.
NNBW: If you could live your life over again, what one thing would you change?
Kissinger: I would consider that a business partnership is as involved and emotional as a marriage and make different choices accordingly.
NNBW: What do you consider to be your biggest professional accomplishment?
Kissinger: Eleven years, so far, in business even through the worst economy since the Great Depression.
NNBW: What did you dream of becoming when you were a kid?
Kissinger: I wanted to be a chemist at one point, but as soon as I got my hands on computers and into gaming I never looked back.
NNBW: What can you do that someone else can’t?
Kissinger: The ability to keep up with technology to provide solutions for any environment. Not everyone has the budget or the need to have the latest and greatest, so I’ve developed an aptitude for troubleshooting and problem solving to quickly and effectively provide results that fall in line with what is trying to be done instead of just selling something new.
NNBW: If you had enough money to retire right now, would you? Why or why not?
Kissinger: I’d semi-retire. I love technology and would want to stay involved with building hardware for industries like radiology and architecture where hardware can make all the difference in how effective people are at their jobs.
NNBW: What’s your idea of the perfect vacation?
Kissinger: A week on a houseboat waterskiing and relaxing or a week at Disneyland with my daughter.
NNBW: Why did you choose a career in northern Nevada? What do you like most about working/living here?
Kissinger: I’ve been in the Reno-Sparks area since high school at Reed. Northern Nevada is a great mix of city life and outdoor activities with lakes and mountains within an hour’s drive. It’s hard to beat such a great combination!
Know someone whose perspective you would like to share with readers? Email reporter Rob Sabo at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 775-850-2146.
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