designDATA is supported by over sixty full-time employees, all of which reside in our Maryland office, just north of Washington, DC. designDATA is led by the following team:
Dennis Ruck, President & CEO
Matt Ruck, Vice President
TJ Rainsford, CIO
Paul Little, CTO
Catherine Zaic, Vice President, Association Consulting
Dennis H Ruck,
President & CEO
As CEO of designDATA, Dennis provides the strategic vision and operating framework for one of Washington, DC's premier technology consulting firms.
Dennis has over 38 years of IT experience; beginning his career as the Data Processing Manager for National Savings and Trust company. Major accomplishments included the development and deployment of complete online banking systems with integrated ATM and ACH Batch Filing - which were pioneering solutions for the time period.
Dennis founded designDATA in 1979 for the purpose of delivering turnkey membership management solutions to the Association and non-profit marketplace. To that end, in 1988, Dennis spearheaded the acquisition of a large engineering firm, Data Consultant Services. DCS was acquired to provide hardware maintenance and engineering services to our membership management software clients. Just like today, clients enjoyed the accountability a single vendor solution brings to the table.
Throughout the 1980's, Dennis reputation and trust in the industry helped designDATA win prestigious engineering accounts such as the Executive Office of the President, Bell Atlantic (now Verizon), Brigham and Women's Hospital, Department of Labor, Department of Justice, NOAA and DOD. Dennis also negotiated the rights to the continued support of the Rolm series of milspec computer systems from Lockheed Martin, as well as a controller business from Zetaco Corporation.
Dennis received a B.S. in Information Systems Management with a minor in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Maryland in 1972. He served as an Officer in the Naval Reserve after graduation. Currently he is a Certified Network Engineer and has vendor certifications from Microsoft, Cisco and VMware, and has taught Unix courses at the collegiate level.
Over the past 15 years, Matt has worked to continuously enhance and improve the suite of services in designDATA's managed IT services platform. Matt oversaw the implementations of designDATA's network operations center (NOC) in 1999, and the original datacenter build-out occurring in 2006. His areas of expertise include data center initiatives, cloud computing, converged networking, VoIP telephony, contingency planning, and telecommunications.
Matt has served a number of roles within the company, including the management of the network engineering group and NOC. Matt currently spends his time meeting with c-level executives evangelizing designDATA's consulting and datacenter services, and consulting on overall IT strategy.
Matt holds a B.S. in Information Assurance from the University of Maryland, as well as Microsoft's MCSE certification, and VMware's VCP4. Matt also serves on the technology council for the American Society for Association Executives in Washington, DC.
In his role as CIO, TJ is responsible for developing designDATA's strategy for next generation services; improving IT and business process alignment and serving as an evangelist and advisor on technology integration and information management planning. Over the past 15 years, TJ has held senior IT management positions in several non-profit organizations and associations as well as serving as a technology consulting to various business sectors including healthcare and mental health services; education; human rights; banking; and engineering.
TJ is a frequent author and speaker on technology issues especially in the non-profit sector. He is a former member of ASAE's technology council and has served on several technology standards committees including the OASIS Election and Voter Services Technical Committee.
TJ holds a bachelor's degree in history and philosophy from Mount Saint Mary's College and a master's degree in history from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania. He is currently a member of the College of Liberal Arts Advisory Committee at Mount Saint Mary's where he has also served as an adjunct professor of history.
Catherine M. Zaic
Vice President of Association Consulting
Catherine began her association career in 1987 as the Membership Manager at a large, engineering-related professional association. Since that time, she has worked on all sides of the association market, with executive level experience at three associations, two association management software (AMS) companies, and as an independent technology and business process consultant. This understanding of all facets of the industry along with her work with hundreds of clients has provided her with the unique ability to understand at a very granular level the best practices for managing an association, to design and implement strategic technology initiatives, and to translate the business of an association into the vernacular of enterprise management software, websites, and electronic networking tools.
As an undergraduate, Catherine attended Georgetown University, the University of Madrid, and the University of Maryland, with a dual major in Spanish and Linguistics. She earned her M.A. from the University of Maryland in 1984.