Dean Williams

Company: Softchoice Corp.
Title: Business solutions architect
Length of time in current position: 3 months
Total time at company: 6 years

Dean Williams never thought he would stay with computer hardware and software supplier Softchoice for as long as he has. When the 29-year-old joined the company, the thinking among his peers was to get hired, make an impact and use that as a stepping stone to a higher-paying job at another firm. Williams certainly could have done that based on his successes at Softchoice, such as an idea he had to partner with Microsoft to develop a piece of software that's now responsible for a significant chunk of the $600,000 in service revenue Softchoice has made over the past year and a half.

Williams officially works with computer programmers to hammer out IT strategies for the company, but his reach extends much further. “The creativity in me is definitely not starving,” he says. “It's one of the things that keeps me here.”

Williams studied philosophy and painting in college and always maintained computing as a hobby. He's used his artistic background to help with the design of ad and branding campaigns (even though it's not part of his job). He's also written white papers about technology that have been quoted in national media, and even composed the music callers to Softchoice hear when placed on hold. Williams thought the music the company used when he joined was atrocious, so he obtained permission to record a new song. “When you have an idea, regardless of your role, you're given the opportunity to drive that idea to completion,” he says.

His next task? New hold music. “It's time to do it again,” he says.