Paul Gilreath ’09, Technical Architect, Heartland Business Systems

Paul Gilreath ’09 CNSA

Read more about Heartland Business Systems.

Paul Gilreath ’09 (CNSA), a technical architect for data center engineering at Heartland Business Systems (HBS), interned there in 2008. Two weeks after graduating from Michigan Tech with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Network and System Administration (CNSA), he started a full-time position at HBS. He works out of company’s the northeast Wisconsin office, but he visits customer sites throughout the state of Wisconsin.

“Heartland is a full-support IT services company serving customers from the very small to the very large,” Gilreath says.

Gilreath’s focus is primarily on K-12 schools. “That means I’m building out the server and network infrastructures that support the things that students use to learn,” he says. “We’re an extension of the school to help drive successful educational outcomes.”

“A typical corporate IT professional might do a big systems refresh once every three to five years, but because we’re doing that frequently in many different sites, I constantly get to play with new stuff and learn new things,” Gilreath says. “Heartland encourages its staff members to learn as much as they want to learn. it’s a pretty good-sized fire hose here. If you want to continue learning your entire career, you absolutely can at Heartland.”

When he started Heartland, Gilreath says the company was a lot smaller.

“We’ve grown significantly in the 15 years that I’ve been here,” he explains. “I started out as a tier one engineer and now I’m a tier four engineer, running projects and helping newer employees, whom I task to do most of the leg work while I work on the architecture specifications.”

Gilreath is from Hubbell, Michigan, just a few miles from the Michigan Tech campus. His mother and father met at Tech, and his father worked in the University’s IT department for many years until 2012. Gilreath says one of the best things about going to Michigan Tech was being able to stay close to home.