Monday, September 10, 2018

U.S. News Ranks Agnes Scott College No. 1 Most Innovative School in the Country Among National Liberal Arts Colleges

*Originally published on Monday, September 10, 2018 by

Decatur, GA, September 10, 2018—Agnes Scott College is ranked No. 1 in the country among national liberal arts colleges on the Most Innovative Schools list in U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 edition of Best Colleges. The leadership at Agnes Scott attributes this recognition to SUMMIT, an innovative program that reinvents a liberal arts education for the 21st century by preparing every student to be an effective change agent in a global society.

“We are incredibly excited to be named the No. 1 Most Innovative School. With its focus on global learning and leadership development, SUMMIT has redefined a liberal arts education, offering students a unique academic experience that sets them on the path of success in their careers and in the world,” said President Leocadia I. Zak. “SUMMIT has been truly transformative for Agnes Scott, and as we continue to rise in the rankings, we are proud to be recognized as one of the premier institutions in the country.” 

The Most Innovative Schools ranking identifies “schools that the public should be watching because of the cutting-edge changes being made on their campuses.” It is based on a peer assessment survey in which college presidents, provosts and admissions deans nominate up to 15 colleges or universities “that are making the most innovative improvements in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities.”

Julia King '22 was immediately drawn to Agnes Scott’s SUMMIT curriculum, seeing it as the perfect way to prepare herself for the ever-changing world. “The biggest thing that helped me during my college search was finding schools that had programs that excited me—for me, that was SUMMIT,” she said.  “In every part of my journey through SUMMIT, my education will be given thought and care. As a conscientious learner, I appreciate this concept.”

Agnes Scott was also ranked second nationally for Best Undergraduate Teaching, which recognizes institutions where faculty have a strong commitment to undergraduate teaching.

“The students are why we are here, and no one understands this more than Agnes Scott’s faculty, who are models of teaching excellence,” said Zak. “They care deeply about their work and are invested in their role of shaping tomorrow’s leaders, thinkers and game changers. Their passion, creativity and dedication foster the inspired and effective teaching happening in our classrooms.”

Agnes Scott climbed in the U.S. News best national liberal arts colleges rankings, placing No. 51, ten spots higher than last year, while remaining among the top 25 best value colleges.

U.S. News publishes the Best Colleges guidebook annually. The 2019 rankings can be viewed on the U.S. News website.

Agnes Scott College educates women to think deeply, live honorably and engage the intellectual and social challenges of their times. Students are drawn to Agnes Scott by its excellent academic reputation, exceptional faculty and metropolitan Atlanta location—offering myriad social, cultural and experiential learning opportunities. This highly selective liberal arts college is known for its diverse and dynamic intellectual community. Through SUMMIT, it provides every student, regardless of major, with an individualized course of study and co-curricular experiences that develop leadership abilities and understanding of complex global dynamics. 

Media Contact:
Danita Knight
Vice President for Communications and Marketing
404.596.2939 (cell)

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Today is World Lung Cancer Day.

August 1 is celebrated as World Lung Cancer Day
Lung cancer matters, too. Nobody deserves it. And, you do not have to smoke to get it.

Lung cancer kills more people than breast, prostate, colon, liver, kidney, and melanoma cancers combined.

Yet, it receives a small fraction of the attention and research funding. We are fighting to change this.

Please consider a donation today:

Learn more:

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Looking for a new challenge...

Good day!

As an accomplished sales and marketing professional with 25 years of experience, including 20 years of success in IT and telecom, I am currently seeking my next challenge in the IT space as a channel sales manager or account executive. I have extensive solution selling and channel management experience with a track record of success.

If your company is looking to add a motivated and experienced direct or indirect sales professional, contact me today! You can find my resume here.

Feel free to connect with me via LinkedIn as well.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Some career highlights...

  • As a Software Sales Representative for IBM (2010 – 2016)
    • IBM Global Sales Leadership Award, Q2 2015
      • As presented by Judy Buchholz, General Manager IBM Worldwide Digital Sales: "Clients always come first. That is the mantra of Systems Middleware Digital Sales Rep Joe Gaeta. Joe goes the extra mile to turn around dissatisfied clients, even when there is no immediate business opportunity. During 2Q, he worked hard to resolve thorny issues at Kodak Alaris and Mercury Systems and eventually earned the client’s trust. Good things followed.
        • Assumed a challenging mission in a territory that had been “unloved” for a long time
          • Joe delivered, posting astounding 2Q business results (534% of target; Hit every monthly revenue target; Drove 11 key opportunities)
          • Embraces digital selling (is a Digital Champion in the Atlanta Center; sends digital selling updates to the team & provides links to good content; meets with reps 1 on 1 to help them complete Digital Mastery; is a valued advisor to reps & managers on how to use digital tools
          • Role model for IBM Practice, “Put the Client First” (At Kodak Alaris, he fixed a complicated license ownership issue and turned around a customer sat problem, which led to a 3Q MQ Series opportunity; At Mercury Systems, he addressed thorny issues around license maintenance costs which led to 42K of net new WebSphere Cast Iron licenses in 2Q)."
    • IBM Sales Eminence Award, FY 2014
    • IBM Business Unit Executive Award, Q2 2012

  • As a Channel Sales Manager for EarthLink (2006-2009)
    • Increased monthly subscribers from an outbound telemarketing partner over 400% within my first four months on the account
    • Increased monthly premium subscribers from an inbound telemarketing partner over 200% within the first two months of handling the account. 

  • As a Channel Sales Manager for SkyTel (2003 – 2006)
    • Responsible for 45% of all units in service through the indirect channel.

  • As a Program Manager for the Business Development Center (2001 - 2003)
    • Doubled the usage of IBM’s online inventory application in less than a year.
    • Exceeded deployment target of IBM Learning Service’s online purchasing tool by 20%. Created marketing materials and launched a successful sales contest despite funding constraints.
    • Completed IBM Sales Leadership Development Program (LDP). LDP was a year-long training and education program designed to cultivate formal leadership skills in selected employees. 

My complete resume can be found HERE.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Some GREAT insights on the future of the Channel...

Jay McBain, Forrester principal analyst, global channels, took to the Channel Partners Conference & Expo keynote stage on April 18, 2018, to offer attendees the very latest channel research and insights....

Thursday, January 11, 2018

A Thoughtful Gift

Though too late for Christmas 2017, I'd like to suggest a gift idea for special people in your life.

There's always a time for gift giving!

Local Atlanta artist, Tina Christina, can take a photo of your choice and - with oil and acrylic on a canvas - transform it into something truly unique that can be enjoyed for years!

  • The church where you said, "I do!"
  • Your childhood home.
  • A family pet.
  • An iconic building at your alma mater.
  • A special vacation spot.
  • Much more...
It's a gift that can really show how much you care.

Since she works from photographs, Tina's subject can be sent in from anywhere - clients outside of Atlanta are welcome!

Pricing is very reasonable and negotiable.  Tina can craft anything ranging from $300 to $500.  You can give her call directly or submit questions to her website HERE.

You can see some of her work and resent commissions HERE and HERE.

You can also follow her on Twitter @tinachristina77.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

GFI Prime

What is GFI Prime? 

GFI Prime is a customer loyalty program, designed to ensure that customers who continue to do business with GFI are generously rewarded. Through this program, our most loyal customers will gain special access to a selection of our solutions for free!

How does GFI Prime Work?

If you have been a GFI customer for more than 1 (one) year, you are eligible to become a part of the GFI program GFI Prime members will be able to access a select group of GFI products from our GFI software solutions for FREE. Yes, it’s that simple! No commitments and no fine print.

How to join GFI Prime

Many are already eligible! Customers who qualify are automatically GFI Prime members:

  • Customers who have owned a qualifying GFI Prime product* for more than 1 year are automatically GFI Prime members.
  • New business customers who wish to become members of this program immediately, may do so by purchasing a qualifying product with a multi-year license.
  • Customers who are still within the first 12 months of license will become eligible for GFI Prime immediately after they newnew their qualifying product.

GFI Prime products are valid for as long as customers continue to renew their qualifying products. Therefore, to remain a GFI Prime member, customers must continue to renew their product each year.

Learn more at

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

ALCF and ALCMI: Who They Are and What They Do

We are about halfway through Lung Cancer Awareness Month and I would like to offer some information about a fantastic organization. If you are reading this, you likely know about this group. But, even if you do, I encourage you to sit back with your favorite beverage and take a few minutes to watch the video at the end of this post.

When supporting any cause or charity with a financial gift, prudent questions are “Where does the money go?”“How effective is the organization?”“Is it worthy of my support?”, "What are they doing?", "What have they done?" I ask these questions myself before choosing to financially support any charitable cause.

This video, narrated by their Senior Director of Patient Services and Programs, Danielle Hicks, does an excellent job of answering these questions for The Bonnie J.  Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF).

I met the Addarios shortly after my mother died in 2007.  I was immediately struck by their sincerity, warmth - and tenacity.  But, I was also impressed by their team and how they were attacking the lung cancer problem with intelligence and professionalism.  In 2010, The Joan Gaeta Lung Cancer Fund proudly became an affiliate of ALCF.  And, since 2012, those of you in Georgia have been able to order Lung Cancer Awareness License Plates - a first in the United States.  85% of the annual tag fee goes to ALCF’s research institute.

You can also donate directly to ALCF via this link.  Please to watch the video and consider a donation during this important month.

Thank you.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Kerio Control for the Yacht and Vessel Industry - The Perfect Fit

There are unique internet connectivity challenges on a yacht:
  • You're moving....on water!
  • Necessity varies by role.
  • Speed and capacity vary.
On a yacht, no physical wiring provides a consistent connection. You are entirely reliant on wireless technologies. Furthermore, internet resources can be scare as your location becomes more remote. In terms of speed and connectivity type, you might be in port with WiFi access, along the coast with 3G/4G/LTE signals, or out on open sea with nothing but VSAT available to you. As you move, these connections may come and go arbitrarily - causing disruption in service. Looking at this another way:  not only to connections coma and go; but, when they do, the speed and bandwidth go with them!

The slower the connection, the more contention there typically is. That is often unacceptable to certain audiences. You typically have a varied audience onboard the ship at any given time. The more important the person or persons, the greater the need for availability and speed. Groups may include emergency equipment onboard, the owner(s), VIPs, officers, crew, guests, etc.

Kerio Control is the perfect solution for this industry.
  • Firewall, Router, IPS/IDS
  • Anti-Virus
  • Web & Content Filtering
  • QoS
  • Usage Reporting
  • Secure VPN
  • Flexible Deployment
  • Simple to use.
Kerio Control excels in:
  • User and Device Groupings
  • Load Balancing and Traffic Rules
    • Three Use-Case Scenarios (VIP on board)
    • Drawbacks
    • Alternatives
    • Rapid Configuration Changes (3rd-Party)
  • Bandwidth and Time Management
  • Reporting

User and Device Groupings
Using a group approach, everyone needs to identify themselves with a userid and password.  An IP Address approach allows you to set up a VLAN, for example, that owners my use at all times.  That way, there is easy identification.


Load Balancing and Traffic Rules
"Per Host" is preferable to "Per Connection" when you have multiple internet links.  Otherwise, it can look like you are executing a DoS attack. Destination websites and applications prefer to have client/visitor requests come from the same IP address.  If they see multiples (from all three interfaces), they may falsely assume there is an attack underway.  Maintain communication through a single link throughout the session using "Per Host" balancing.


Scenario 1:  In port with a VIP present.
With the initial load balancing scheme in Interfaces, the entire audience has five chances to end up on WiFi while at Port - one chance for 3G and one chance for V-SAT.  Ideally, you provide VIP’s with WiFi any time it’s present (and reliable) and then balance the load of remaining groups using the weighting scheme within Interfaces.


Scenario 2:  Coastal with VIP Present
When WiFi drops, the previous traffic rule still tries to push VIP traffic through the enabled WiFi VIP Traffic Rule.  The Weight of one for both 3G and V-SAT then results in a 50/50 distribution of VIP traffic (WiFi is down).  This is because the Traffic Rules are evaluated from top-down and our WiFi rule is a match, so no other rules are evaluated.  To force VIP’s through 3G, you have to disable the VIP WiFi rule in Traffic Rules.


Scenario 3:  Open Sea with VIP Present
When both the WiFi and 3G become unavailable, our 3G Traffic Rule is still enabled and tries to force VIP’s through 3G.  Interfaces determines that 3G is down and will automatically push VIP traffic to V-SAT (the only available link).  In other words, it makes no difference if the VIP WiFi or 3G Traffic Rules are enabled as only one Interface (V-SAT) is active.


Drawbacks to Scenarios 1 through 3
Because the weighting scheme is still in play for all other traffic (other than VIP’s), you end up with a somewhat undesirable situation where large amounts of Officer & Crew traffic is routed through the most desirable links/interfaces.  It may be desirable to fully reserve the desirable link/interface for the highest priority group (VIP’s for example).

Alternative Solution:  Tie Groups to Interfaces
This will push ALL traffic through V-SAT…unless there is a Traffic Rule that specifies otherwise.


Here, we’ve used Policy-Based-Routing to override the Interface load balancing scheme that routes all traffic through V-SAT and instructed Kerio Control to push VIP Traffic through WiFi (if available) or 3G (if available).  Officers, Crew, etc. will NEVER go through WiFi or 3G in this case.  Only through V-SAT.  VIP’s will ONLY go through V-SAT if the other links are down.  


Example:  Rapid Configuration Changes (3rd Party)
I mentioned that it is desirable to disable some traffic rules occasionally when they are forcing specific traffic through an interface which no longer has a reliable Internet connection.  

KNAVAL is an iPad app that was developed by a 3rd party (Freelands in Italy).  It allows you to rapidly turn interfaces and traffic rules on or off by swiping between up to 4 different modes.  Port, Coastline, Open Sea, and Custom.  You can see the app in action in the bottom right and the results on the Kerio Control server within the browser window on the left.  All configuration changes are initiated from the iPad.

Bandwidth and Time Management
Kerio Control offers other ways to limit or reserve bandwidth on multiple interfaces.  Here’s an example of some QoS rules.  Rules are evaluated top-down and applied if there’s a match.  If no match, the next rule is considered, and so on until the list is exhausted.

To configure this, define the speed of your interfaces, define the type/source of traffic that your rule will apply to, whether you are setting a minimum amount of bandwidth (reserve) or setting a maximum amount of bandwidth (limit) rule, what interfaces does it apply to (all, Wifi, 3G, VSAT, etc.), and during what time (if applicable).

Let’s look at the 2nd rule in detail.


If there is no traffic from Owners/VIP’s or Officers AND no VPN or Email traffic from any group – even during the Monday & Friday meeting times.  The Crew would *could* consume the full bandwidth just watching YouTube videos.

The reservation rules are only enforced if there is actually a contention/demand situation.


This is USER-based reporting rather than device-based.  It doesn’t matter if I use one device or 10 devices.  All of my traffic will be aggregated into my user profile statistics.


To learn more, contact me today!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Remember November

November is National Lung Cancer Awareness Month in the United States.
Learn more and please consider a donation.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

GFI Software strengthens email security for SMBs with the launch of GFI MailEssentials v. 21

The new version of GFI MailEssentials improves email security for small and medium-sized businesses.

Austin (TX), USA, October 5, 2017- GFI Software, the leading provider of security and communication solutions unveiled today new antivirus (AV) engines Cyren and Sophos for GFI MailEssentials v. 21, the award-winning email security gateway. The AV engines in the latest release bring improved ability to identify and contain intrusion through email messages, better protecting small and medium-sized businesses.

The software’s veteran AV Avira has also been updated and will become the default antivirus replacing  VIPRE AV. Cyren has been introduced as a new optional AV engine, while Sophos will replace McAfee.
“We are continually reviewing our antivirus and technology within our products, and we are making updates so that we are using best-in-class protection to keep our customer’s emails safeguarded and secure. With the addition of the new antivirus engines we are better able to prevent malicious system attacks,” said Heather Paunet, VP Product Marketing of GFI Software.

Despite the technology advances in GFI MailEssentials v. 21, GFI has managed to remain competitive with pricing; providing the three AV engines: Avira, Cyren and Sophos within the same pricing structure.
In addition to the new more powerful AV engines in the v. 21 launch,  licensing capabilities will be easier to manage by integrating all licensing in one location, including license key updates.

The updated GFI MailEssentials v. 21 will continue to offer a wide spectrum of anti-spam filters and a multi antivirus approach to security at a 99% protection rate with zero false positives; all of which are the key features GFI MailEssentials is known for. The new version of GFI MailEssentials will automatically upgrade antivirus for licenses under active subscription.

For product downloads and more information about the release, visit the GFI MailEssentials page.


About GFI Software

GFI Software, part of the ESW Capital group of companies, develops right-sized, smartly engineered IT solutions for businesses of all sizes. Our solutions enable IT administrators to easily and efficiently discover, manage and secure their business networks, systems, applications and communications, regardless of their location. GFI Software is a channel-focused company with a network of thousands of partners worldwide. We have received numerous awards and industry accolades, and are a long-time Microsoft® Gold ISV Partner. For more information about GFI Software, our products, and success stories of our customers from over 120 countries, please visit

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Should I deploy monitoring software on my servers?

by Casper Manes

NOTE:  This article was originally published by Casper Manes on GFI Software's "TechTalk" blog on Sep 21,2017.

How do you monitor what goes on within your infrastructure? Do you gather logs, use SNMP, query WMI, or do you deploy agents that report in? There are almost as many ways to monitor servers as there are things on servers to monitor, but in today’s post we are going to look at two main schools of thought to discuss the pros and cons of each. On the one hand, we’re consider the in-built monitoring capabilities of modern operating systems. On the other hand, we will look at what deploying agents or other third-party software can do for you. In the end, hopefully you will have enough to make a qualified decision on which way you want to go.

Why monitor?

It’s a valid question. Why should we monitor our servers? Won’t we notice when things go badly, before they become a problem? The answer to that is probably “not really, at least, not before it’s too late!” Admins who think they can just react when things fall down and go boom, or who feel they can check all their servers every day the good old fashioned way, by logging onto them, are either crazy, reckless, insomniacs, or they don’t have enough servers to actually be considered sysadmins. You need to monitor your servers for resources, performance, and errors, as well as monitoring the apps they provide. Consider a file server. What happens when it runs out of space? Or an email server that can no longer send emails because there’s a problem with a connector, or DNS? What about any server running at 100% CPU utilization? How responsive do you think it will be to your users? There’s more to monitoring though, as anyone who has had a disk fail can tell you. Most disks start to throw errors long before they go code brown. If only you had a way to notice those errors before it was too late!

What should we monitor?

For any server, running any operating system, I like to start with what I call the “big four.” That’s CPU utilization, available Memory, free Disk space, and Network utilization. C-M-D-N. Any server, providing any services or running any app, and no matter what operating system it is running, will need to have sufficient resources to meet both normal and peak loads, so monitoring those critical resources gives you a good snapshot of overall server health. Then of course, you need to monitor the application logs for whatever it is the server is providing. You also want to keep up with any patching and updates, as well as how antimalware software is doing. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you want to know how things are going from a security perspective, by keeping an eye on both the logon successes and failures, as well as privilege use. You can get much more granular, depending on the app, so you will want to consult the vendor guidance for whatever app or service you are running. Whether it’s included services like DHCP or IIS on Windows, or the SMB server in Linux, or complex ERP applications from third-parties, each will have recommendations on what to watch and to watch out for.

What’s there in the O/S?

Most operating systems have pretty solid built-in monitoring. Windows has it’s Event Logs, Performance Monitor, and Resource Monitor, and can take actions when certain triggers are hit. Windows also includes the ability to centralize data from the Event Logs using subscriptions, so that you can gather logs from multiple systems in one place. That way, you don’t actually have to log onto each of your servers. Rounding out Windows Event Logs is Log Parser which, while over a decade old, is still a pretty good tool for ripping through lots of logs in a hurry. Of course, Windows also offers a variety of APIs and ways to query the operating system and services including Windows Remote Management, WMI, and remote PowerShell. Whether you want to roll your own, or search online for scripts others have created, if you have some time and are willing to work through some debugging and tweaking, you can do a ton of monitoring without buying anything extra, or installing anything extra on your servers.

Linux has several CLI tools for monitoring, and the syslog facility for reporting/gathering logs from multiple systems. You can configure your Linux boxes to send syslog messages to a central Linux server running syslogd, and of course you can start up syslogd on a Linux box to receive those feeds, as well as syslog messages from routers, switches, firewalls, and more. It’s helpful to use some application to automate the review of all those logs, but even manually parsing them is an option. With them all in one place, it’s easier than connecting to each system one at a time.

And of course, both Windows and Linux support SNMP. While you will need some SNMP monitoring system to query systems and receive traps, all you have to do on both Linux and Windows to use SNMP is start it up and configure it. It’s an optional feature of both operating systems.

The biggest benefits to using what is already in the operating system is that, for the most part, it’s already there. You might have to configure it, but you don’t have to install it, nor will you need to patch it separate from patching the operating system itself.

Of course, you get what you pay for, and while the operating systems are great values, the bells and whistles in what is included for monitoring are not as much. They provide the basics, but will do little on their own to alert you to problems, forecast things for you before they become problems, and reporting? Forget about it. Unless your management likes to read text files, you will spend a lot of time taking all that great information and putting into formats the boss can understand.

What about agents?

There are lots of third-party tools out there that can install agents on both Windows and Linux systems and use a central system to query those agents to keep an eye on things. They can monitor the big four, check the status of running services, review logs, and check the health and performance of other software running on these systems. These agents typically are bundled with monitoring software…it’s not the agents you are paying for, but rather that automation in alerting and reporting that simply relies upon the agents. Those agents, in addition to needing to be installed, may need to be granted additional privileges or permissions to function fully on a system, and they will also need to be patched/updated as appropriate. With a good third-party patching solution like GFI LanGuard you can patch a lot of third-party apps, but those agents monitoring solutions require are typically not on that list. And as a general rule, those agents require more CPU cycles and more RAM, making their resource costs a factor.

Finally, while there are lots of applications that use agents for Windows systems, the same cannot be said for Linux. If you’re a Windows shop that may not be a consideration, but if you run a mix of Windows and Linux, you may need to consider this, and either narrow your choices, or have to monitor different systems in different ways.

Which way should we go?

Ultimately, you need to determine what will work best for you, and provide you with what you need. If you like to write or alter others’ scripts, and have the time to do that, what’s in-built to both Windows and Linux may be all that you need. Between remote PowerShell or WRM for Windows, and SSH into Linux, you can probably automate most of the queries you need, and then by tailing a log file, have a process that takes action like sending you an email alert if things look bad. Or, you may already have a SIEM or other monitoring application that, rather than relying upon agents, works with what is already in the operating system. To me, that’s the best possible approach. But if you are looking for more automation and reporting with less work required to set it up, and you need a complete solution running right now, purchasing a turn-key solution that relies upon agents may make sense to you. There’s only so many hours in a day, and work-life balance quickly disappears if you have to stay up all night trying to cobble together code. A solution that provides forecasting, reporting, alerting, and pretty reports for management may be well worth the extra RAM and CPU cycles, as well as the money, it will cost to get going.

Ultimately, you need to determine what, for you, is required, and from that you can start to look at options that meet those requirements. Evaluate them on their costs, resource requirements, ease of implementation and upkeep for you and your team, and pick what makes sense for you. Hopefully the above gives you more to consider and will help you with making the right decision for you.

Friday, September 15, 2017

GFI MailEssentials Overview and Latest Release - Live Webinar Tuesday, September 26th.

Join GFI's upcoming webinar on GFI MailEssentials.  

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017
1:00 pm to 2:00 pm Eastern

At the end of the webinar, there will be a Q&A session.
We look forward to having you!

Register HERE.