Congratulations to Alan Buller of FEDC TechSTART, a Top 3 Statewide Finalist for a 2019 Colorado Technology Association APEX Award
When Alan and his wife moved from Austin, Texas, to Canon City, Colorado, they quickly plugged in and became a part of our community’s active volunteer life. Alan found a second home at FEDCs co-working facility for recovering tech people, TechSTART (https://techstart.fremontedc.com), and partnered with another volunteer, Bob Wellott, to lead our fledgling tech internship program for Canon City High School.
Whenever Alan says he came to Canon to “retire” it reminds me of the classic Inigo Montoya line from The Princess Bride, “You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means…”
As high school students started to select TechSTART for their internship, Alan would dedicate a work session to each one, and select a participating tech business to craft a custom program aligning with that student’s personal growth goals. When asked about managing the program with that kind of growing time commitment, Alan would say, “These kids deserve our best, and we have an opportunity to do something really special here.”
Larger community tech internship programs can often handle hundreds of students in a consistent, standardized classroom setting, but Alan was the first to realize that the small size of our local tech businesses was an advantage, allowing programs to be uniquely tailored to each student, while they work directly with a business owner or tech professional. Alan has now formalized programs with TechSTART businesses ranging from Second-61 (https://www.second-61.com), an outsource support center for the Army founded by Chris Koehn, to River Science (https://www.river.science), led by European Union award winning PhD, Luke Javernick, both Canon City natives.
Along with intern tech training, Alan focuses on the need for personal development and is currently designing a gameful approach to soft-skills training called The Quest for Future-Proof Superpowers.
In addition to acting as a volunteer intern coordinator for FEDC TechSTART, Alan serves on the Advisory Board of SXSW Edu (https://www.sxswedu.com), presented at the 2019 SXSW Edu conference, and participates as a local leadership team member for our PTECH (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/canon-city-high-school-awarded-fourth-pathways-early-college-rowland) grant award, allowing participating high school students to receive two free years of school at Pueblo Community College.
We could not be more appreciative of the time and passion Alan has brought to the table to support FEDC TechSTART, the Upper Arkansas Technology Sector Partnership (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/upper-arkansas-tech-sector-partnership-1-year-growing-brad-rowland), our community, and our students. In a state with such a vibrant and progressive tech community, we were delighted to learn that Alan had been recognized as a top 3 statewide finalist for a Colorado Technology Association APEX Award (https://coloradotechnology.org/apex-awards), and will attend the APEX Awards Banquet representing all of us at TechSTART.
Best of luck Alan, and thank you for all you do!
More About Alan
With an educational background in communication, Alan Buller spent 15 years working in the mental health field, advancing from direct care worker to Training Coordinator while pioneering new uses for video technology in the head injury rehabilitation setting. After returning to graduate school in instructional design, he worked at Texas’ largest state agency to develop and implement instructional systems and materials for over 20,000 employees statewide. He went on to explore interactive multimedia as an independent contractor, producing award-winning educational experiences for students from grade school through college, as well as teacher training for pre-K and special education.
Alan’s corporate training clients have included Dell Computers, USAA, Ernst-Young, Eli Lily, BASF, MasterCard, Sears Holding Company, and others. Throughout his career, Alan has been actively involved in professional associations, serving in leadership positions for the local chapter of the ITVA (International Television Association) and IICS (International Interactive Communicators Society) as well as leading the community access group, Austin Community Television. He has presented to conferences large and small on topics from team building to training evaluation to visual note taking and communication.