September 15, 2011
Ian Service
Ian Service

Information technology manager

What is your job description at LO?

I’m Landscape Ontario’s Information Technology Manager. I’m responsible to keep the network and web sites humming along, as well as continued development of our all-knowing database.

What is your background before coming to LO, and when did you begin work at LO?

I’ve been at LO since I was 16 years old, when I started working part-time on the web sites and some special web projects during the summers. I’ve always needed to know how things work, or how to make things work. That craving forced me to get into programming on the web. I’ve been online since before there was much of a world wide web, so I’ve grown with the technology and now with web-based services taking charge of most people’s day-to-day life, I’m building tools to make life easy and convenient that are accessible around the world.

When not at work, where can you be found?

Often, I can be found running around Guelph. Something about the sedentary lifestyle of IT professionals pushed me into running to stay in shape, and then it turned into an obsession. I’ve now completed four full marathons, including one in Dublin, Ireland. If all goes as planned this year, I’ll do my fifth. I’ve entered the ballot to run the London 2012 marathon, so hopefully I’ll travel to England next April to compete in that one as well. When I’m not running around the globe, I’m running around the house after my 10-month old son, who has just started to walk.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A fire truck! Actually, I wanted to be like my dad. He was a senior research engineer at what was once Hydro Ontario. He definitely helped my love of computers and technology by bringing home cool stuff to tinker with, like the sewing machine-sized “portable computer” that once came to the cottage with us. I will never understand how he debugged code which was printed on paper. I’m pretty sure that if you asked him, he’d tell you that the apple didn’t fall too far.

What inspires you during your time at LO?

The team at LO is awesome to work with and always coming up with great new ideas and challenges for me to create into smooth and streamlined processes to make their work more efficient, so they can concentrate on advancing the industry.

Name your all-time favourite movie, musical group and TV show.

Since I can only pick one of each, it’s difficult because there are many close seconds.  Favourite movie would have to be Back to the Future, musical group is Weezer and TV show I’d have to say The IT Crowd (look it up, you won’t regret it).

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I’ve always wanted to go to France. This past spring, I did just that with the whole family. Germany sounds cool too, but I think the next “dream” trip will be Switzerland for some world-class skiing.

Tell us one thing about you that few of your colleagues know about you.

I’m not sure there is much that they don’t know about me. Perhaps, since it’s the green industry, I can admit that I have an extremely difficult time keeping plants alive. I can program your cell phone to ring when someone calls your office number, but if you need me to keep a weeping fig alive, we’re all doomed.