Daniel Jefferies

Founder of Newmind Group in Kalamazoo. Newmind helps businesses transition to cloud computing to provide help desk, backup, security, and new messaging and collaboration platforms. Jefferies has expanded the six–year–old company to 15 employees, including staffers in South Carolina, Minnesota, and California. Several years ago, Google noticed Newmind’s activity in the cloud computing space and invited the firm to join a pilot of Google’s partnership program that later became the Google Apps Authorized Reseller program. Newmind was named Google’s first authorized reseller in Michigan and one of the first resellers worldwide. Jefferies’ leadership of Newmind has led to several industry awards, including being named on the TC50 List of 50 Top Cloud Computing Consulting Firms Worldwide (2010) and on the MSPMentor 250 List of Top 250 Managed Technology Services Executives, Entrepreneurs, and Mentors (2010). Jefferies was also appointed to the State of Michigan 21st Century IT Advisory Council (2011). He regularly collaborates with Google at its exclusive annual conference, Google I/O, and as a consultant to Google’s certification programs. He was home schooled, completed most of a college degree, and has several IT certifications.

WHERE BORN: “Kalamazoo.”

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: “My mom and dad; they chose to home educate me, included me in philanthropic travel projects from an early age, and helped me find opportunities to explore technology and business early – like arranging programming internships when I was in seventh grade or making it possible for me to take college–level software–development courses in ninth grade.”

LAST BOOK READ: “I’m generally reading a couple at a time. One is Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman.”

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: “Outspoken, positive, risk taker, strategic, caring.”

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: “It’s definitely an exciting time to help IT departments be effective and take things to the next level. The main places the industry is headed are simplification and commoditization. A lot of things in technology departments were done very custom, building servers and data centers in house, and it is now much more effective to put those resources in a world–class data center. Like power that used to come from the windmill next to the sawmill, it’s a big cultural shift that has to happen. Big changes are coming in how much effort IT departments need to put into making people effective. If you’re not spending time on custom systems, it frees up a lot of time. People will increasingly focus on spending more time with users and more effort on people using these technologies more effectively. It’s more time working on change management, user adoption, and training – getting people to use the technologies effectively, which is what IT is supposed to do.”

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: “I just got a thermostat called Nest that you can control from your phone. I like that a lot. We’re a month away from having a robot at the office that you mount an iPad on, and it’s a telepresence robot. We have a lot of people who telecommute so the robot can go around the office and find the people you need to talk to.”

FAVORITE PLACE: “I enjoy time up on Lake Michigan. My wife’s great uncle has a cabin by Silver Lake – it’s beautiful and restful and a time to reflect.”

FAVORITE HOBBIES: “I love to travel and my favorite thing to do is travel with some sort of service component to it, like going to Haiti and working with an orphanage instead of sitting on a beach. My wife and I pick a service project every year, and it sometimes involves travel.”

FAVORITE FOOD: “Pizza – you can’t go wrong.”

MY HIDDEN TALENT: “I used to be in a band and can play guitar pretty well.”

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: “This question feels premature at this point in my life. I guess I hope I’m remembered as someone who made an impact and provided opportunities for others.”