Norris Inc. prides itself on hiring the best people around. Norris has a nearly 40-year tradition of building a strong team that cares about country, community and giving of self to help others. In a new segment, Norris will take a look at the team members who make the Norris Difference!
Today’s Profile interview is with Parker Russell, a veteran of Maine.
NI: How old are you?
PR: 25 years old.
NI: Where are you from?
PR: I am originally from Western Massachusetts but now reside in Orland, Maine as of 2016. I was born in Ware, Massachusetts which is where I grew up. When my mother passed when I was 13 years old, I moved to Orange, Massachusetts to live with my father. You may be wondering to yourself if these are made up town names. Well, I can assure you that they are not! In fact, Orange is where they are currently filming Stephen King’s Castle Rock Hulu series.
NI: What were your aspirations when you were younger?
PR: When I was younger, I wanted to be a Police Officer. I decided this at a young age after seeing the impact that they had on my childhood while growing up. For that reason, First Responders will always have a place in my heart even if it is something that I no longer wish to pursue professionally.
NI: What did you study in school?
PR: I received dual Bachelor’s Degrees (Psychology/Criminal Justice) from Westfield State University. My main focus was on Criminal Psychology and animalistic behavior/evolution.
NI: You’re in the U.S. Military, correct?
PR: That’s correct.
NI: What branch of the military are you in?
PR: I am in the United States Air Force
NI: What do you do for the Military?
PR: Cyber Security for the Air National Guard Unit located in South Portland, Maine.
NI: When did you enlist?
PR: I enlisted on August 18th, 2015
NI: What have your deployments been (where, when, how long)?
PR: I have only deployed once so far and it was definitely an eye-opening experience. I left for Africa in January of this year and flew back into the States at the end of July (roughly six months). My favorite part of the whole experience was probably binge eating all of the amazing food in Italy on my way back home.
NI: When did you start at Norris?
PR: I technically started for Norris Inc. in January of 2018 when my then-employer (Vigilance Software), who I had worked for since April of 2017, merged together with Norris Inc. Already being part of the Norris Inc. family through a service contract that we provided, I gladly took the job offer.
NI: What made you decide to apply at Norris?
PR: When I moved to Maine in 2016, I decided that I wanted to get out of Law Enforcement and pursue a new found passion of mine. However, without any formal computer education, most employers passed on me without even looking at my resume. It wasn’t until I came across Jason Roberts (CEO of Norris Inc) and Josh Delano (CTO of Norris Inc), who were looking to expand their startup company (Vigilance Software), that I was ever given the chance to properly present myself. They were able to see past what other employers had not and took a chance on me. So to answer your question, I applied here to gain experience and have gladly stayed because of the people and the importance of the life safety that we provide.
NI: You recently took a break from Norris to go on a deployment. Where did you go and did you worry about your job being here when you got back?
PR: Unfortunately, I can’t disclose too much on the location, but with some research on Africa and the involvement of the United States Air Force, you’ll get a pretty good idea as to what we are doing over there. However, what I can tell you—with certainty and firsthand experience—is that we are making a difference over there. As for the guarantee of having my job when I returned, regardless of the legality behind holding an employee’s position while on Active Duty orders, I knew with 100% certainty that my employer would be there when I returned. The current CEO of Norris Inc is a Marine Veteran who values military service, as does Norris Inc.
NI: What do you do at Norris?
PR: Honestly, I don’t think that I have a specific title at Norris, and if I did, it wouldn’t accurately reflect what I do. First and foremost, I provide comedic relief and make coffee here which is important in such a fast-moving and growing company. All kidding aside, I was initially hired to provide customer support (system administration, break/fix, and managed services, etc.) to many of our clients. That role is still the same just with a few additional duties added along the way that I have been able to acquire through my own desire to learn and willingness to help where I can. Some of these include; programming our company website(s), updating backend SQL databases, managing billing accounts, advertisement/blog writing, sales.
NI: What are your plans for the future?
PR: I’m not entirely sure anymore, to be honest, and I am 100% alright with that. Ideally, I would like to work remotely doing cybersecurity, but it may be 100 years before my home gets decent Internet for that dream to become reality. I have recently come to terms with the fact that there are more important things in life than just my career; such as family and friends. As long as I am making enough money to support those that I care about, and am passionate about what I am doing, I don’t need much more than that!
What is Norris all about?
Norris, Inc.—a South Portland, Maine-based life-safety and security systems integrator with satellite offices in Bangor, Maine; Lee, New Hampshire; and Burlington, Vermont—was founded nearly 40 years ago by two brothers, Brad and Harty Norris. The brothers remain on the board of directors today and continue to help steer the enterprise toward its goal of advancing life-safety, security, and communications while striving to grow in its status as Northern New England’s leading systems integrator. Norris provides fully integrated life-safety and security solutions, comprising disparate systems including fire alarm, intrusion detection, access control, video surveillance, emergency notification, and communications.