Alan Kaplan, Co-Founder
Alan is a 27-year industry veteran who’s definitely been there and done it. Prior to starting Netblaze, Alan co-founded RYNO Technology (the Citrix Partner of the Year for the United States prior to its sale to Vector ESP) where he was directly responsible for leading technology development and innovation efforts as well as depleting local sushi restaurants of their tasty fare. Known to rub his hands together in exaltation upon receiving yet another complex technical task – Alan is always up for a challenge of solving your most intricate IT problems. Before entrenching himself in the life of IT Alan experienced life by traveling and nearly dying of some local intestinal malaise in Africa, spending time in a spiritual community (known to the rest of us as a “cult group”) and working as an electrician in California Gold Country. Alan may also have a dubious distinction of being the only person who while in high school, worked at a meat-processing facility while remaining a committed vegetarian. Having done these and other things Alan now resides in Walnut Creek with his wife Casey, daughters Morgan and Audrey and a bizarre border terrier named Oliver. Alan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from UC Santa Barbara and has a normal cholesterol level. Alan also is never wrong.
Igor Akkerman, Co-Founder
Igor has more than 20 years of IT experience. After moving to California in 1999 he worked as a senior Citrix engineer at RYNO Technology, a Citrix consultant for Unisys UK in Bahrain and then spent three years as a Citrix- and Platform Architect at First Franklin Financial in San Jose. Igor is also Russian, which means he was once (and now again…) our enemy and will never be eligible to run for President of the United States. When he and his parents left the Motherland back in 1989, he could barely speak a lick of English; now he has a better command of English than I do. This is somewhat of a sore point for me, as my Russian is limited to but a few choice curse words.Igor has some amazing stories from his life in Russia. He grew up in a flat with two families, sharing the kitchen and a single bathroom. Everyone had his/her own personal toilet seat, however, so that was nice. One day, his neighbor was electrocuted while changing a light bulb. Another day, the three-story building next door collapsed as the streetcar rumbled by. At one point he was sent to work at a collective farm to prevent the gypsies from stealing the watermelon harvest. Ultimately, he learned how to make Communism work for him, as it was much simpler (and safer) to trade the gypsies watermelons in exchange for vodka. Another time, he had to traverse a giant field of dead, rotting, bloated pigs – literally hopping from one to the next – in order to speak with the Armenians on the other side. I could go on and on and on.The point is, there’s a lot to this guy, and he’s transformed himself from a lousy watermelon protector to a top-notch network engineer. Even if you don’t own a single computer, I recommend you hire him just to hear some of his hilarious stories. As the saying goes, you can take the man out of Russia, but you can’t take Russia out of the man.
Casey Kaplan, Controller
Casey Kaplan is Controller of Netblaze Systems. She is responsible for financial operations, marketing and human resource functions and activities. Prior to joining Netblaze Systems, Casey was a Capital Markets Analyst on the Syndicate Desk at Banc of America Securities and Montgomery Securities. She graduated with honors from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and studied at Bocconi University – School of Economics, Management and Law in Milan. Casey enjoys all things fun including hiking, running, dancing, traveling, laughing and playing with her family and friends in her free time.
Kent Arsedo, Senior Technician
Kent has an Associate of Applied Science degree from Heald College and certifications in CompTIA A+ AND CompTIA Network+. When asked how he got into the IT field, Kent replied “I was always the designated “IT Guy” among friends and family, so it only made sense.”Kent’s passions outside of work include Traveling, Concerts, San Francisco Giants games, and he collects San Francisco Giants bobbleheads (he currently owns 45 unique bobbleheads).
Nicholas Dahlman, Senior Technician
Nicholas Dahlman has been a technologist for over 20 years, starting with a job at a computer rental company when he was 12 years old. He grew up in Southern California, then went to the Pioneer Valley in Massachusetts for college, and stayed there to work in higher education IT for over a decade, working closely with faculty and students on keeping their computers healthy and special projects while managing computer labs across campus. He has been with Netblaze since 2012.
Nicholas builds networks, servers, virtual environments, and custom applications for various clients; he also works daily with engineers, attorneys, bankers, receptionists and executives to solve their computer problems and ensure they get as much out of their computers as possible.
Outside of work, Nicholas is an actor, dancer, and singer who regularly performs throughout the San Francisco Bay Area with the well-known Lamplighters theater company. He lives 2 blocks from Netblaze headquarters in Walnut Creek, which makes for a bearable commute. He also speaks passable Danish, mostly with his mother and sister.