2022 Tech Exec of the Year: Brian Newgent

(Photo courtesy of IEA)

Senior Vice President, Information Technology, Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives Inc.

Major company achievements during tenure: Brian Newgent oversees all technology operations for IEA and all its wholly owned subsidiaries. During his time there, he’s been responsible for developing cloud architecture to move the company from on-premise server farms to a 100% Azure cloud server farm, developed the company’s internal cybersecurity operation platform and implemented a mobile device management solution to manage a fleet of mobile devices that grew from 300 to nearly 6,000.

Challenge faced: “Cybersecurity posture. The landscape is ever-changing, budget constraints are tight, and the need to be nimble is required now more than ever. IEA created a division within the IT group [whose] sole focus is to build our cyber platform through a ‘do no harm’ deployment approach and multi-pronged training program to educate employees.”

First computer: “Texas Instruments TI-99 (complete with tape deck)”

The road: He joined IEA in 2008 as a help-desk manager. The company was much smaller then, and the four-person IT team served about 200 employees. As the company grew, so did his responsibilities. In 2018—the same year IEA went public on NASDAQ—he was promoted to senior vice president. That year, the company acquired five additional companies, and he began to lead the long-term integration plan for all IEA operating entities.

Go-to apps: “Outlook for Android, of course!”

Favorite gadget: “I love all smart-home devices. From my garage doors to my water-supply control, I’ve never met a smart-home device I could live without!”

My job would be easier if … “IEA has grown to over 6,000 employees nationwide, and every department has a different set of unique challenges. I would say communication and insight to these needs is one of the biggest challenges we face. Gaining insight and partnering with department leaders is crucial, and when we are able to manage the technology needs, we are able to control and mitigate challenges for field deployment.”

Free time: His son took his own life in April 2021, and since then, Newgent has been focused on reaching at-risk youth through organizations like Make A Wish, Aspire House and the Starfish Initiative to honor his memory. “Additionally, I love to get away to the Smoky Mountains on my motorcycle where, coincidentally, there is no cell phone coverage.”•

Check out more Tech Exec of the Year honorees.

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