Why You’re Here. Why We Exist

We don’t believe you should be slowed by wading through all of the questions that come with SQL Server or your cloud data platform – Licensing, many permutations of High Availability options, cloud vs on-premises vs hybrid, all those versions with upgrade questions, virtualization, uncontrolled sprawl, and performance frustrations. You should be free to focus on what makes you and your organization great.

Our Pledge is simple: Data matters. People matter. Relationships matter, and we will do right by each we are a part of. With everything we do, we ask “Is this better or as good for the other side than it is for us?” If it is, it’s a safe decision. Our team is empowered to make the right decision with your best interests in mind. In business life, clients and money can come and go – but relationships last. We’re passionate about data. We’re passionate about doing the right thing. We’re passionate about being advocates for you and your data as your business keeps pushing forward. Each client relationship is a blessing that we cherish.

We’re Straight Path Solutions. We can help. We’re passionate about what we do. Let us be passionate about keeping your data protected like it was our own! This is co-sourcing with a team that joins your team, not outsourcing to a faceless company.

We Can Help You!

 

Straight Path has been a great partner for us. We’re thrilled to have Tara as part of our extended team. Having an account rep who is also your main technical resource means our questions and issues are addressed quickly and efficiently. The fact that she is also a great mentor who helps us get better over time is an added bonus.

Michael Lockwood, Mattamy Home Builders

Meet the Team

mike walsh straight path sql

Mike Walsh

Founder | President

Mike loves mentoring clients on the right Systems or High Availability architectures because he enjoys those lightbulb moments and loves watching the right design and setup come together for a client. 

He started Straight Path in 2010 when he decided that after over a decade working with SQL Server in various roles, it was time to try and take his experience, passion, and knowledge to help clients of all shapes and sizes. Mike is a husband, father to four great children, and a Christian. He’s a volunteer Firefighter and EMT in his small town in New Hampshire, and when he isn’t playing with his family, solving SQL Server issues, or talking shop, it seems like he has plenty to do with his family running a small farm in NH raising Beef Cattle, Chickens, Pigs, Sheep, Goats, Honeybees and who knows what other animals have been added!

Mike loves working with SQL Server, He loves data and is a SQL Server Consultant. He speaks at regional and national conferences, and blogs about SQL Server in his free time (when he has any!). 8 times so far since 2011, Microsoft saw fit to recognize him as a Microsoft MVP for SQL Server, or now the Data Platform.

 

jack corbett straight path sql

Jack Corbett

Senior SQL Server Consultant

Jack loves teaching a client how to write better-performing database code because he gets to see folks develop a better understanding of how SQL works and watching their customers or users benefit from the improved experience and responsiveness as a result of those lessons being applied.

He began working with SQL Server, Access, and VB in 1999 when he served an apprenticeship with a good friend who was the software development manager at the local paper mill. He found his niche and has concentrated on SQL Server development and administration since late 2000. He has worked with SQL Server through version 2017 and was a Microsoft MVP for SQL Server from October 2011 to October 2016. Jack has presented at many user groups and SQLSaturday events. Jack joined Straight Path as a senior consultant helping focus on both the Database Administration practice and Database Development practice. His background and combination of skills made him a perfect “crossover” resource with strengths in both areas.

 

bruce welch straight path sql

Bruce Welch

Support Team Manager

Bruce considers problems as puzzles to be solved knowing the end result will improve the customers’ environments, taking away that unneeded stress.

He joined Straight Path in January 2017 as a Database Support Analyst after 28 years in the printing industry in technical support and technical analyst roles. He brings years of customer support and technical troubleshooting experience to the team. Bruce has been married to his wife Sheila for 28 years. They have two sons, a daughter-in-law, and two grandsons. In the fall Bruce spends his spare time hunting.

joseph fleming straight path sql

Joseph Fleming

Senior SQL Server Consultant

Joseph enjoys (no, seriously!) setting up replication and working to make sure users are aware of its current status given its finicky nature. This leads to peace and calm for all involved.

Since starting his SQL Server career in 1998, Joseph has developed experience with each new version of SQL Server and specializes in the operational aspects of the DBMS, including Replication, Clustering, Availability Groups, Backups, HA Design, Performance Tuning and Partitioning. While he prefers to rejoice in triumph, he’s seen his share of catastrophes and worked long nights learning lessons from them. He’s also developed a passion for sharing that joy and pain with others by leading a PASS user group, organizing and volunteering at SQLSaturdays, and presenting on SQL Server topics.

 

sheila welch straight path sql

Sheila Welch

Office Manager/Chief of Staff

Sheila enjoys walking new clients through our onboarding process, making it as simple and easy as possible for them. She gets a kick out of making other people smile.

Sheila is a mom to 2 grown sons and a daughter-in-law and Grammy to her birthday twin grandsons, Samuel, 5, and Levi, 3. When Sheila is not adulting, she can be found with her grandsons playing Legos, laying Hot Wheel tracks, or reading to them.

While working for a local school district’s crazy, busy Special Education Department, the processes she implemented over an 18 month time period allowed the team to work more efficiently and complete tasks within the state-mandated timelines. Sheila looks forward to doing the same at Straight Path Solutions, allowing the team to care for and service customers in a streamlined and cohesive manner.

Sheila believes part of the success of a company is a strong organized person taking care of the things that can hinder others from doing the job they are more skilled at. Her specialty is taking the hectic and crazy, and making an organized chaos out of it.

 

mike clark straight path sql

Mike Clark

Senior SQL Server Consultant

Mike gets great satisfaction in helping clients find and solve their performance pain points. Helping a client speed up their environment brings a smile to his face at the close of his day.

Mike joins Straight Path Solutions after 20+ years of working for Fortune 100 companies and Silicon Valley startups.  He was drawn to database early in his career as a way to get involved in key projects that solved critical business needs.  This has continued to grow and he enjoys working in cross-functional teams on high demand mission-critical systems.

Mike began working with SQL Server in 2001 after the company he was working at had acquired a company that used analysis services and the rest is history. He grew into database administration roles, database architect roles, and performance tuning roles.  He loves to help systems run faster and build business continuity solutions.  He has been a contributing member of the SQL Server Community since early 2004 and a PASS Virtual Chapter Leader since 2006.

When Mike isn’t helping folks with their databases – he can be found working with High at Risk young men aging out of the Foster Care System.

 

tara kizer straight path sql

Tara Kizer

Senior SQL Server Consultant

Tara loves working on performance problems. If users are complaining about the system being suddenly slow, she wants to troubleshoot it and save the day.

She started working on SQL Server in 1996 when she was a student worker in the DBA team at the County of San Diego. She was hired full time as a Junior DBA when she graduated from college. The rest is history as they say.

She was a Microsoft MVP for SQL Server from July 2007 to July 2017. She answered thousands of questions on SQLTeam.com, which led to her being awarded and renewed for 10 years.

When Tara isn’t working, she is spending time with her family or hiking.

 

tom wilwerth straight path sql

Tom Willwerth

Senior SQL Server Consultant

Tom enjoys implementing data migration projects, whether it’s between applications or moving to the cloud, he likes to see a project get delivered and pay off for all the customers involved.

Tom has been tinkering with computer technologies since childhood when he got a hand-me-down computer from his a relative and he’s been hooked ever since. He even bought Visual Basic at a computer show “back in the day” for his own learning!

Tom got his professional start in 2003 when he supported SQL Server in Point of Sale systems for a retail chain. Since then you might call him a hybrid as he’s always straddled the line between DBA and Developer. More recently his experience in SaaS companies allowed him to expand into Data Architecture and Data Engineering while always maintaining a focus on operational rigor. He loves to work smarter through the use of automation and scripting whenever possible.

In his personal time, you might find Tom hanging out by the pool with his family in the warm season and in colder months he’ll probably be indoors playing a video game or working on his next homebrew recipe. On occasion, you may see him checking in some code to help out with open source projects in the SQL community.  Check out his github also.

 

mike morrison straight path sql

Mike Morrison

SQL Server Support Technician

Mike enjoys finding solutions to problems and takes pride in helping others to achieve their goals.

He was brought on board with Straight Path in September 2019 as a Technical Support Specialist after meeting Mike Walsh, Jack Corbett, and Tom Willwerth at the local SQL Server User Group in New Hampshire. Mike served with the US Navy on submarine duty and developed a love for technical troubleshooting and problem solving during his time as a nuclear reactor operator. By joining the team here at Straight Path, Mike is looking forward to further developing these troubleshooting skills while furthering his education with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. In his off time, Mike enjoys kayaking, biking, and hiking throughout New England with his wife Samantha and daughter Ava.

Sandra Delany

Senior SQL Server DBA / Consultant

Sandra actually loves making documentation! She especially enjoys working with SQL Server High Availability Technologies.

Sandra started with Straight Path in April as a Senior SQL Server Consultant. She started her career supporting Local Area Networks, troubleshooting network, hardware and software problems. She decided to take classes learning Oracle and got certified. Around that same time, she had the opportunity to learn SQL Server and stayed with it ever since. She has many many years of SQL Server database experience as an application DBA/developer and production DBA in the private and public sector supporting multiple clients. She has experience with SQL Server 7.0-2019 (SSIS, SSRS, SSAS) and Visual Studio 2005/2008/2010. She recently received her Microsoft Certified Professional Cloud Platform certification. 

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Mike Lynn

Senior Consultant/DBA 

Mike got his start in computers in college after taking a class about Excel for an accounting major.  After that class, he started taking more computer science courses and decided to change majors.  After graduation, Mike took a job in Little Rock, AR as a Developer / DBA.  The job was working with a .net 1.1 application, a SQL Server 2000 backend, and Microsoft Access/SSRS as the reporting tools.  Mike quickly learned how much he enjoyed working with databases and has never looked back.  The parts he enjoys most are helping people solve their pain points with data, whether that is helping with a performance problem or designing a new system to solve a particular need.  He also enjoys automating work because it allows the person who was doing the work more time to focus on new business problems.  Mike has worked with every major version of SQL Server since 2000, with the majority of his time spent on the 2008 R2, 2014, and 2016 releases of SQL Server. 

When Mike is not working, he enjoys cooking, spending time with family, and being outdoors.  When the weather is good, he and his family spend as much time outside as possible; swimming, riding bikes, walking local nature trails, and spending time with friends. 

Daniel Pineau

Support Team 

Daniel joined Straight Path in September 2020. He is a graduate from the Peter T. Paul School of Business and Economics with a Bachelor’s of Science in Analytical Economics. He worked at Dead River Company and the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory as a Business Analyst Intern where he developed an interest in data analyst and programming languages such as R-Studio and SQL during the various projects he worked on. Daniel is passionate about learning and making sure that the customer is the most satisfied that they can be.

In Daniel’s spare time, he unwinds playing video games, watching sports, going for runs, and playing tennis. 

Bruce Campbell

Support Team 

Bruce originally went to school for Accounting but developed a friendship with some of the Computer Science teachers and realized that he wanted to try something new. He always loved taking things apart to see how they work so working in code or other CS-related fields allowed Bruce to do that and hopefully make a career out of it. He started working in Application Support roles but soon realized that he wanted to dig into the deeper end and see things from both the user side and developer side. He loves to analyze and see where the problem is and then work to understand it better before ultimately finding the solution.

When Bruce is not working, he likes to read and play video games and when it’s warm out he tries to stay active outside with walks and even taking his usual workouts outdoors to enjoy the sun. Bruce also tries to find time to learn new things, such as new software or a new programming language to see what he likes about it. He also is known to try new a new operating system occasionally when he finds one that he likes. His most recent one has been Pop!_OS, a Linux variant that he has really grown to love.

Benjamin Wiggin

Support Team 

Ben joined the support team in April of 2021. He has a Master’s in Computer Information Systems and comes to us with experience in systems analysis as well as a passion for technical problem-solving. He enjoys doing Spartan Races, longboarding, and working out and spends his spare time playing Beat Saber of which he is currently ranked in the top 1,000 in the United States. 

David Seis

Support Team 

David Seis is a Support Tech with Straight Path Solutions. His goal is to work in something he believes helps others and to do it to the best of his ability. From his willingness to help to his knack for solving problems, and his talent for making things easy for others to understand, he is lovingly known as a “Good helper” among friends and family. Outside of work, he has a growing passion for cybersecurity, specifically helping protect those who are most vulnerable to fraud, scams, and phishing. He looks forward to learning more about each of his clients as well as helping ensure that few problems are solved quickly.

John Corey

DBA 

John enjoys the process of determining the root cause of his client’s issues and providing expertise to address his client’s needs.

John is joining the support team in August 2021.  He started his career in SQL Server 10 years ago. First starting as a service desk technician and then moving his way into the DBA team.  John has experience working on and troubleshooting a broad range of SQL Server issues spanning SQL from Server 2000 through SQL Server 2019. John looks forward to gaining more knowledge and developing his skillset further as a support team member.  John is always excited to help his clients resolve troublesome issues and takes great pride in providing his customers with excellent customer support. John also enjoys teaching others and helping them to develop their skillsets better.  In his free time, John enjoys hiking with his wife Tara and Dog shadow.  He also enjoys spending the day at a cookout playing yard games with friends and family. 

Bing Liu

Support Team

Bing joined the support team in April of 2021. Bing served with the US Air Force as part of the logistic readiness squadron. Currently a computer science student at the University of New Hampshire, Bing is interested in all fields of computer science. Bing loved serving and managing large logistic systems while in the Air Force; working on databases is a natural evolution. Bing enjoys seeing each problem as a puzzle game and looking forward to helping our customer’s diverse issues.

In his off time, Bing enjoys cooking, weightlifting, and watching movies.

A bit more…

Some people like to know more about what makes us tick. We care more about what you need and how we can show you the experience of working with our team! We’ll oblige, though –

We started with just Mike Walsh, and our relationship-first mentality has seen steady growth ever since. We keep onboarding new clients and adding to the team slowly. Always adding new clients to our “Straight Path Family”, as we call it. We say “Hello” a lot, but rarely seem to have to say “Bye”.  When we grow, it’s careful…  Always aligned with our central values and principles. Customer first. Team first.

About Our Clients

We consider them all “Family” – and we mean that. We root for them. Most of them root for us! We don’t just press a button, tick a box and move on. We care deeply about their industries (and we serve many!), their teams and their success.

Our clients engage with us on a variety of projects, but they all have to do with data, and they all have to do with tapping into our expertise, our availability, or both. Our FlexDBA clients sometimes have their own DBAs and just need a second set of hands or eyes. Sometimes they have an “accidental” DBA (“Can you spell SQL? Congrats!! You’re the DBA!”) that need our help. Quite often they have great developers and systems folks, but no database soothsayer in the middle. That’s where we come in. Each of our clients will tell you that we’re a trusted partner and advisor who has their interests in mind. If they can’t? We’ve had a failure in our principles and that’s our fault!

Why “Straight Path”?

Straight Path’s name comes from the “straight path” that Mike was called to walk when he became a Christian and he was “attacked” by a grace he had no deserve for, and wasn’t searching for! Through Straight Path, he hopes to glorify God through our work, living out the truth of the verse he selected as a “company verse” and treating folks fairly. While Straight Path has this story in its founding, not all of our partners, employees, or consultants have that same background. One of the principles found in the Bible is this sense that “we are all in it together” – we are all created the same way, with the same traits.  We believe you can love people, treat humans fairly and deliver great service no matter who or what you pray to or don’t pray to.

“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” Col 3:23-24

Guiding Principles

The Bible speaks of the chief end of man being, “Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and love your neighbor as yourself” In fact, Jesus says it is on these two truths that all the commands in the Bible stand. To that end, that’s the core guiding principle of Straight Path – Is it honoring to God? Does it demonstrate a love for a neighbor so deep as Jesus described? If it does, then it’s probably the right track. If it doesn’t? Then something needs to change. And who is our neighbor? Everyone. Every client. Every partner. Every business associate. Even every competitor!

We try and “preach” core values internally – focused on the words below in particular. But they are all summed up in the sense of loving our neighbor. The team is empowered to do what’s right for the client. We treat our clients we’d want our families to be treated. There is no punishment for a quick action that is right for our customer, even if it is a short-term head scratcher for our company! Relationships matter.

We do have some key traits we try and model and try and hire around, though:

Flexible – We don’t watch the clock or adhere to strict rules first. We bend to help our clients. When someone is in need, they get help. We’re flexible to our customer needs and are willing to color outside of the edges where needed to best serve them; our staff has flexibility and trust to manage their workload.

Ethical – We would rather help you than bill you. When we reward our staff based on happy customers, long relationships and loving our neighbors, we create a transparent environment that allows ethics to flourish. Without a sales staff, we live or die by referrals and long relationships with clients who have joined our Straight Path family!

On-It – This is our reliability, stick-to-itiveness, persistence, and attentiveness to our client’s needs. This intentionality happens internally for the staff, but we also breathe this with our clients. We never say “Ooh! You have an issue! good luck!” We dig in, dig deep, understand the how and why and advise. We’re with a problem until it is solved. Even when a customer hasn’t engaged in the 24/7 piece, we don’t say “ooh sorry, it’s the end of the day, good luck!” When we are on it, we are on it. Even when it probably isn’t the database, but we can help? On it!

Trusted Partners – This gets at our trustworthiness and the fact that we are partners with our clients. We are there for you. For your best. And we’ll tell you when something is ugly. We have nothing to gain by hiding or sugarcoating. We don’t make money selling hardware, licenses or hosting and we don’t make more money when you have more problems. We’re there to be your advisor. And we seek to earn and keep that trust. Sometimes our love is expressed fighting the demons outside! Sometimes it’s sharing a hard truth about something inside!

Always Teaching –  Some of our clients just want us to solve an issue and move on and let them know “you are good!” and that’s fine – but the people of Straight Path love teaching and mentoring. We’re current, past or future MVPs. We take time off to go to training. We speak at and learn at the big conferences each year. We enjoy teaching folks to fish as much as we enjoy fishing for or with our clients. We want your team to succeed and with our FlexDBA clients, it’s a measure of success when one someday reduces their billing level because we’ve taught them to fish and solve some things on their own.

We Can Help You!