03 Dec PM Profiles: Meet Gregg Buckler
Criterion’s program managers play a critical role in helping our Federal government customers meet their mission objectives. Each brings a unique perspective and background to their jobs, a combination of technical expertise and problem-solving capacity that helps Criterion develop and implement creative solutions to the challenges our teams face every day.
Today, we would like to profile Gregg Buckler, Criterion’s program manager supporting one of Criterion’s DOE task orders. Gregg has more than 22 years of experience managing IT and cybersecurity operations across the federal enterprise. He has in-depth experience in data center design, implementation, and operations integrated with experience with servers, storage, disaster recovery, LAN/WAN, IT security, Exchange, and Active Directory. Gregg has an M.S., Information Resources Management from University of Maryland University College, and a B.S., Criminology, from University of Maryland. Gregg completed the CIO Certificate Program offered by the National Defense University and holds multiple IT-related certifications.
- What would you consider is your key subject matter expertise?
Data Center Operations
- What is an important lesson learned in that area that you apply frequently to add value to your customers?
“Change is inevitable.” I’ve often had unplanned changes to a project. The trick is to not be surprised by change, but to anticipate it. How you handle change is a mindset. I strive to absorb change while still moving toward a goal and realizing that with each change your goal may change as well.
- Do you have a particular approach to solving problems?
I love puzzles or other games which make you figure out the best approach to solving a problem. So, I take the time to observe and gather data/information to better understand the problem at hand, then incorporate that knowledge into determining possible resolutions. I take those possible resolutions and then envision the results and outcomes. Sometimes solving one problem may cause even more future problems, so I strive to find a solution that resolves the initial problem but doesn’t create new ones.
- What drives you? What is the key to your success?
Since I was a kid, I have always seen things that needed “fixing,” and often handle those situations myself. I’m fairly handy around the house and have helped neighbors and friends with anything from fixing electrical problems to building decks and finishing basements. My father used to say, “It’s not going to fix itself, so get off your butt and take care of it.”
- What do you feel is your greatest achievement in your role here at Criterion?
It’s been great to take my experience and apply it to supporting and building my team on a project that has been ground-breaking for our company. I’ve learned so much in the last two years about my customer, the mission, and the great people I work with every day.
- What is the funniest thing that ever happened to you on the job?
In 1999, I was working for the U.S. Secret Service, and responsible for moving its data center to the new Headquarters building. Years before that, the funding for the building had been secured by President George H. W. Bush before his term was over, and he happened to be in town and wanted to tour the nearly-finished building. It was an unannounced visit, so we didn’t know he was in the building. And, since the building wasn’t officially occupied, there were only a small number of us there each day. One day, I took an elevator to the lobby and had my head down studying a wiring diagram when the doors opened, and I started out. Not expecting anyone to be in the lobby, I accidentally bumped into President Bush in my rush to get to where I was going. Just as I realized what had happened, one of the agents in his protection detail grabbed me, twisted my arm behind my back, and slammed me into a wall. It was an agent friend of mine. His reaction was a trained response, but he quickly realized who I was, and said into my ear, “Gregg, you know you’re not supposed to get inside the diamond!” I turned my head and said, “John, you’re not supposed to LET me get inside the diamond!” Everyone started laughing, including President Bush.
- What is the craziest job you ever worked? Something that may surprise your co-workers?
As an IT Specialist for the U.S. Secret Service, I often traveled and had to set up IT and radio services for special events. One year, I was part of a team installing radio equipment and antennae in New York City for the annual U.N. General Assembly. We had switched from analog to digital radios and needed to place a new antenna on top of one of the World Trade Center towers. The two guys I was working with at the time had already had the experience, so they allowed me to climb the radio tower on top of this 100+ story building. I climbed about 40 feet up that tower and beheld a wondrous sight. It was a bright clear morning in August, and at that elevation, I could see all of New York City, across the river into New Jersey, and far into the Atlantic Ocean. I took a few minutes to just take it all in, and eventually installed the antenna. The experience of that view is something I’ll never forget.