Randy Martinez considers himself “a patriot at heart” and a true believer in the American Dream. “Giving back” has guided him in all his endeavors, from volunteering with his local police force as a high schooler to joining the military. And when he experienced a rude awakening to the cavalier attitude with which his employers operated their IT, he became determined to start his own company.
“Doing the right thing,” he says, “is in my DNA.”
Randy credits this to his parents, both immigrants with impeccable work ethics, and to his participation with ROTC and police programs while in high school. A Los Angeles native, Randy grew up in the South Central neighborhood near the University of Southern California. South Central LA in the ’80s was a rough-and-tough area to grow up in, but Randy’s focus on education and his future helped him stay on the right track.
A certified gifted student in high school, he developed leadership skills from a school ROTC program, as well as the LAPD’s volunteer Explorer program, which allowed him the opportunity to train and work alongside police officers. He liked the sense of order and viewed joining the force someday as a way he could give back to his community.
Randy saw his parents, both salespeople, tirelessly pursue their own vision of the American Dream. “My father sold everything from cash registers and cars to musical instruments,” he says. His mother eventually left sales to raise their family.
Randy joined the military following high school. He volunteered or temporary duty in some of the world’s hot spots, including the Middle East and Central America. After eight years of active duty, he returned home, where he spent four years in the California National Guard. He got married and started a family. “Life got really busy,” he says with a laugh.
It had been his intention to return to police work, and he was accepted to the LAPD’s Sheriff’s Department. But he ended up declining the position at the behest of his wife (now deceased). “We had small children at the time,” he says, “and she said the position was too dangerous and that I had already risked my life in the military.”
Randy found his new calling after being hired as an administrative assistant with the Department of Justice, working out of the federal building in Las Vegas, commuting home to LA on weekends. “IT wasn’t prevalent,” he says. “They had computers, but no one was supporting them, even at the federal level. No one knew what to do with them. I ended up being the de facto technical person for the many departments in the building. I just had a knack for computers.”
Computers and technology were not a passion, Randy says, but he determined he “could make money with this.” On the military GI Bill, he attended college and earned a degree in information systems and business management. After two years, Randy sought a job in private industry.
Corporate Frustrations Fuel Mission To Do IT Better
Randy’s “do the right thing” gene kicked in when he subsequently went to work as an account manager for a managed services company. He found himself on a collision course with upper management when his IT recommendations clashed with the corporate line. “I worked directly with the clients,” he recalls. “I would go back to the company with recommendations that would make their clients happy and be more productive. My recommendations were always squashed.”
On such frustrations are entrepreneurs born. “If I find a solution, I need to implement it,” he says. “If I can’t, I need to go somewhere else. I worked for this company for roughly five years. I said to myself, ‘I know can do this better.’”
Randy started IT Pros Management in 2011. “Here we are a decade later still doing right by our customers,” he says.
The company began as a one-man operation, with Randy performing technical work. But the requisite long hours and hard work paid off, allowing him to build a select staff. An early client, the National Immigration Law Center, was a game changer, he says. “It was a large nonprofit with multiple locations and a growing staff.”
Military Leadership And Accountability Skills Keep IT Pros Management Moving Forward
Now in his third decade of IT, Randy is still focused on providing full-service and turnkey solutions to small to medium-sized businesses and nonprofits. The passion he feels now is for the company and its mission to help entrepreneurs harness technology.
“These businesses are at the core of the nation’s economy, providing to many others the same American Dream I have been blessed to have,” he says. “They know they need to embrace technology, but they don’t know how to do it or they can’t afford to hire an in-house person at the skill level or price they need.”
Randy is recognized as a leading cyber security expert. He is the co-author of the 2020 #1 Amazon best-seller On Thin Ice, an essential guide for businesses looking to prevent the upheaval caused by a cyber-attack. Cyber security, Randy emphasizes, “is a necessity, not a luxury.”
Randy has established a company culture of consistent quality service from people who are customer service–oriented. His years with the military taught him leadership and accountability skills. “You are trained to get your mission done and to take care of your troops,” he observes. “I bring that to everything I’ve done.”
“IT Is His Superpower”
IT Pros Management has become something of a family affair. Randy remarried, and his wife, Silvia Sevilla, is vice president, marketing and client relations. They have a blended family, including a stepdaughter who is also a full-time employee.
Randy is also a comic book fan and collector, a passion he developed when he was a young boy learning to read and was captivated by the artwork and heroic storylines. While Silvia despairs of the space his collection takes up in their home, she considers him something of a hero as well. “IT is his superpower,” she says.
IT Pros Management has emerged from the pandemic in “growth mode,” Randy says. In 2020, the company became an official member of The 20, the leading MSP business development group. Partnering with leading-edge organizations has allowed the company to stay ahead of the ever-evolving technological curve. “Tech for a law firm will be different than tech for a trucking company or medical facility,” he says. “Working with our partners allows us to understand those unique business models and how to apply technology to them.”
A decade later, Randy still loves what he does, which he describes as helping organizations be “as nimble as possible when it comes to their operations.” He cites a nonprofit organization that contacted them last year during the pandemic. “Their IT operations had been stagnant
for five years,” he recalls. “We were able to move their operations to fully cloud-based solutions. We are able to effect real change by bringing technology solutions and services to these businesses so they can grow, become more efficient and empower their staff. We want to make our clients the heroes.”
But Randy remains true to his lifelong ethos. “We customize solutions for every client, and if, for example, we need to eliminate a server, that eliminates some of our revenue,” he says, “but it’s the right thing to do for the customer.”
For more information on IT Pros Management, visit www.itprosmanagement.com