BCD Founder and CEO Jeff Burgess has officially announced his retirement after a 44-year-long career in the IT industry.
Burgess began his computer career in 1979 after landing a warehouse job at Tek-Aids Industries, an IT computer distributor that carried brands such as Altos, Wyse and Okidata.
Within months, he was moved to the sales desk and within six years was named Vice President of Sales.
After leaving the company years later, he went to Elek-Tek, the Chicago mega-retailer, helping the kickstart their corporate sales division.
Burgess was responsible for Elek-Tek’s gaining a single-tier distribution agreement with Unisys Corporation, in order to sell their Goldstar OEM personal computers directly to Unisys’ mainframe customers.
After Elek-Tek, Burgess moved to Hartford Computer Group (Inverness, IL) and worked closely with IBM, leading the team helping to land the $200 million State Farm account for Hartford, along with multi-million-dollar accounts with General Electric and many of the GE Capital companies.
After 20 years of working for others, Burgess opened Burgess Computer Decisions, Inc. (BCD) in 1999 as an IT Value Added Distributor, working directly with Ingram Micro and Tech Data as inventory providers, blind-shipping goods directly to his customers.
Burgess also began building high-availability Hewlett Packard servers for his IT customers, among those the same GE Capital companies to whom he had worked with closely in the past.
In 2008, he recognized the opportunity for a customized IT server builder in the still-new video surveillance market and took the company along that path.
BCD says that Burgess leaves it as a leader in purpose-built video surveillance storage systems with over 175,000 recorders of all shapes and sizes, capturing video in 91 countries and countless vertical markets.
BCD highlights that philanthropy was an important part of Burgess’ tenure, offering employment to interns who became future employees from College Bound Opportunities (CBO) and supporting such causes as Folds of Honor, Wings (domestic violence), Orphans of the Storm (pet shelter), Girl Scouts and college scholarships for local community high school seniors, as well as in-house college reimbursement programs for all employees.
“It’s been a great run, especially considering where I was in my life before getting that warehouse job 43 years ago,” said Burgess.
“What I find most rewarding is that we were able to give so many people an opportunity, as was given to me all those decades ago. And especially considering my two sons not only work here but have earned key positions here. Plus, my daughter worked here in past summers as well.
“I leave having tremendous respect for all those team members committed to our purpose and knowing we all mutually made a positive difference in people’s lives, both inside and outside the organization.”
In addition to traveling and playing golf with his wife Joanne, Burgess says he plans to spend his time with their family, their dogs and their grand dogs.