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Obsidian Spotlight: Shawn Rene

Updated: Sep 14, 2021

Shawn Rene grew up in an Air Force family with the typical moving around, ending up in Colorado and loving it there. He went to Colorado State University and was among the first “Electrical Engineering with Computer Engineering Emphasis” (now simply “Computer Engineering”) graduates there.

During that time, Shawn worked through college as a software developer, network technician and pizza delivery driver. Upon graduating, he built military flight simulators as a lead Hardware and Software Integration engineer at Link Training and Simulation. Later, he transitioned to EDS working on programs for Motorola Iridium, Bell Helicopter, and Qwest Telecom before moving to the United Kingdom as the System Architect for UK Inland Revenue (HMRC) on the Internet Tax Filing program. Upon returning to the US, he was the CTO for NASD (FINRA) and the US Financial Services CTO and Enterprise Architect.

Leveraging that experience, he transitioned to Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) as a Public Sector Director of Solution Architecture and was the Associate VP and CTO for Sutherland Government Solutions, Inc., a business process outsourcing company.

  1. What is your role at Obsidian?

I am currently the Director of Solution Architecture, leading a team of highly-accomplished Solution Architects developing proposals and solutions primarily assigned to Verizon Federal.

  1. What do you enjoy most about your job?

Every client, system, proposal and solution is different. I am continuously learning from the subject matter experts to help craft comprehensive and compelling solutions.

  1. If you were not working in your current role, what would you want to do?

I’d like to be on the other side of outsourcing and procure outsourcing services to effect a business and technical vision I help create.

  1. What are your hobbies outside of your work with Obsidian?

Besides my kids, working my hobby farm, rebuilding trucks and tractors, and playing music.

  1. What was your job in highschool?

I worked at McDonalds when I was 15, walking to the opening shift on the weekends.

  1. What is the greatest bit of advice you've ever been given?

Keep the end in mind… whether that is a strategic architecture, business vision, personal goal, or just a meeting agenda.

  1. Who inspires you, personally and professionally?

Lex Fridman. Not only is he a brilliant AI researcher working on autonomous vehicles, human-robot interaction, and machine learning at MIT and beyond, but he is entirely relatable as a human. He puts himself alongside leaders and visionaries, while remaining accessible, compassionate, and empathetic.

  1. What three words best describe you?

Dependable / Giving / Impactful

  1. Where is your favorite travel destination?

For 2020, outside on my farm. Otherwise, Jamaica.

  1. What is something most people don't know about you?

I played in two bands (British Punk and Heavy Metal) while I was in the UK playing pubs and clubs across the country.

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