STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — You can call Mike Bloomfield a geek. The truth is; he’ll love it if you do.
Bloomfield, a sci-fi, comic book and superhero aficionado, has always been passionate about technology and computers.
While Bloomfield breezed through Staten Island Technical High School, he found going to work was a better fit for him than continuing in college.
Bloomfield worked full time as the general manager and head mechanic at his father’s bowling center in Roselle, N.J., to help pay for tuition at the New Jersey Institute of Technology to major in computer engineering. After three years, he transferred to the College of Staten Island (CSI) to major in electrical engineering.
“While I was at CSI, I was offered a job in the field working for a company that makes red light cameras,” said the Eltingville resident. “I was with them for six years, so I never actually graduated college.”
“I felt the life experiences that I learned were worth a lot more than what college could offer me,” he said.
With his expertise, Bloomfield quickly ascended through the ranks. He was promoted, moved to Arizona, and was named manager of project engineering, placing him in charge of a team that designed red light cameras, speed cameras, and conducted HOV enforcement research and development.
A few months after getting engaged to his wife Nicole, he moved back to New York and found a job as the director of research and development and director of IT for one of the biggest photo booth manufacturers in the United States.
“But I always had the desire to do my own thing, work for myself, and make my own rules,” he said.
That entrepreneurial spirit started in the seventh grade at Totten Intermediate School (I.S. 34), when Bloomfield’s father said he should get a job to pay for things that he wanted to buy.
“I started a business in Tottenville, where I would walk around and clean the streets for established businesses,” recalled Bloomfield. “I went to their business, I estimated the job, and I made a contract with them. I would clean their sidewalks four to five times per week.”
“My dad reconfigured a garbage pail by adding wheels and areas to put a broom, shovel and garbage bags. I would head there before school, sweep the streets, and keep the whole neighborhood clean,” he added. “He ingrained in me to work hard, and I always wanted to work for myself.”
Bloomfield finally took that chance on New Year’s Day 2013, when he told his wife that he wanted to start his own IT support business. Tekie Geek was born.
“I had about two clients to start with, because I was already doing work with them on the side. That’s when I thought, ‘I’m already doing this work. Why not legitimize this?’” he recalled.
Bloomfield knew exactly how to start spreading the word about his new venture.
“I knew in order to grow a business, you have to network. I started my business in January, and I joined the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce in that first quarter. I started going to networking events, and I started talking to people. I realized that if you get one client, and you do the right thing by people, then others will find out,” he said. “In Staten Island, it’s all word of mouth. You can advertise until you’re blue in the face, but ultimately, it’s all about referrals and who you know. When you do the right thing, they’ll tell their friends.”
“We just continued to do the right thing, and we grew from there,” he added.
In just seven years, Tekie Geek has broken into a business IT division, providing managed IT services, business continuity solutions, network security, data security, IT infrastructure, and consulting, to small- and medium-sized businesses.
Bloomfield said he works hard to eliminate IT issues for his customers, because he understands downtime can be costly. Tekie Geek also has a home services division that handles home theater design, smart home solutions, security cameras, and whole house audio solutions, all with the goal to make a home safe and fun.
Tekie Geek has received the Cyber Security Award at the MSP Innovation Awards by Channel Partner Insight, and has also earned a spot on Channel Futures’ MSP 501 annual list.
This past fall, Tekie Geek held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new Great Kills headquarters. The departure from a home office was necessitated by the burgeoning business, which now boasts nine employees with room for future growth.
For his accomplishments, Bloomfield is being honored with a Louis R. Miller Business Leadership Award, which he will receive in the Established Businessperson category. The awards — which are presented by the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce and the Staten Island Advance — honor the memory of Louis R. Miller, a businessman and West Brighton resident who was also a community leader.
Bloomfield acknowledged that another advantage of ownership is the ability to help others. He serves on the board of directors for Meals on Wheels of Staten Island, the Staten Island Business Outreach Center, the Executive Club of Staten Island, and the South Shore Business Improvement District.
“It’s another way to give back to the community, and you’re also building relationships. The person who you’re helping may eventually need you,” said Bloomfield.
As a member of several committees at national IT associations, Bloomfield mentors others and shares his knowledge by writing articles and blogs for magazines and websites. He also travels around the country to speak about cybersecurity.
“I truly love my business. I have a passion for it,” said Bloomfield. “I truly love waking up and coming to work. It really is a dream.”
And part of that dream is creating bright futures for others.
“Maybe, in the beginning, I thought I was just creating a job for myself. Then, I realized I wanted more than that, and I wanted to create careers for other individuals,” said Bloomfield. “Plus, I have two daughters, and now I have to plan that they may want this business. Now, at some point, this could be a family business that you pass on from generation to generation.”
Recipients of the Louis R. Miller Awards are recognized as effective business leaders, and for their outstanding contributions to the local community. Awards are given out in four categories: Emerging, Established, Master, and Not-For-Profit. The honorees will be recognized during the annual Louis R. Miller Business Leadership Awards Breakfast on Thursday, Feb. 13 at LiGreci’s Staaten. For tickets, visit www.sichamber.com or call the Chamber at 718-727-1900.
Below, Bloomfield shares more about his goals, job, and life:
Current occupation and title: President geek of Tekie Geek, which is an award-winning Staten Island based Managed Service Provider, with a focus on business IT security and data protection.
Past occupations and titles: Former director of research and development/IT for Apple Industries Inc.; former manager of product engineering for American Traffic Solutions.
Community involvement: Member of Verrazano Kiwanis Club, Staten Island Chamber of Commerce, Staten Island Economic Development Corporation. Also sits on the board of directors for Meals on Wheels of Staten Island, Staten Island Business Outreach Center, Executive Club of Staten Island, and the South Shore BID.
Some of my life goals include: To raise my daughters in a way that they understand that they can be anything that they set their mind to. It would be amazing to watch one or both of them take over my business one day because they want to and, who knows, maybe I’ll get to witness them receiving a Lou Miller Award in a few decades.
The best part of my job: I have three favorite things about my job:
· On the Business IT side, it’s being able to tell a client that we have saved the day and their data is protected when they believed that disaster struck.
· On the Home Theater Design side, it’s watching the face of our clients when we demo their finished room. It never fails that they are always smiling from ear to ear!
· On my professional side, it’s watching my employees continue to grow and learn, as I really appreciate making my staff better each and every day — not only for my business, but also for themselves.
The most difficult part of my job: Being called into a prospective client after it is too late, because disaster struck, and he or she didn’t make the move quick enough. I hate the feeling of being the one to tell him or her that because he or she didn’t implement our proposed solution, he or she fell victim to such a disaster of ransomware. And that there is nothing to do at this time to get the data back.
My life philosophy: Treat everyone with respect and remember, the ones you see on the way up are the ones that you will see on the way down.
I am most proud of: My beautiful family; I have an amazing wife, two beautiful daughters, and an amazing Cavalier, King Charles.
Something that no one knows about me: This is probably the hardest of the questions, as to a fault, I am an open book.
The quality I like best about myself: I would have to say that I love the fact that I always see the positive in any situation and my ability to make others laugh out loud.
Personal interests and hobbies: I love watching movies and collecting collectibles to decorate our offices. I am a huge Star Wars and Marvel fan, so you can usually find me on opening night at the movies cheering at the screen.
I laugh at: I love to laugh at stupid comedies, such as American Pie, Road Trip, Euro Trip, Superbad, and Jay and Silent Bob. What can I say? I’m a teenager at heart!
I am really good at: I’m very good at keeping up with technology, including the latest trends and threats. This is what makes Tekie Geek very different from our competitors. We are always on the forefront of technology and find ourselves to be leaders in our industry with others following suit.
I admire: After being home for a few weeks helping after the birth of my second daughter, I’d absolutely have to say my wife and all the mothers out there. It is amazing how mothers just know what to do and the instinct they have for raising their children. It is exhausting, but she never shows it. I’d like to think that I have it tougher when I go to work — but that would be a lie.
Some important things I would like you to know about me: I love to talk (isn’t that obvious after reading my answers to these simple questions?). In all seriousness, I love my family, and without them, I wouldn’t be here today. If it wasn’t for my parents teaching me at an early age to not only be a hard worker but to help others while doing it, who knows where I would be today? My wife and children for understanding that I have to work long hours, and being supportive every step of the way of the business that we are growing together. Thank you to everyone who supports me and has helped me earn this amazing award. Thank you to other business owners in the community who have taken me under their wing, especially Jeff Henick of Stop & Stor, who is always willing to listen and give great advice when needed. I am honored and humbled!