Personal Info

Personal Background

Family
My wife, Lola, is from Russia, and works as a Controller for a school in the Berkeley hills. She has an identical twin sister named Leila, who lives in London. I have an incredibly cool son named Sergei, who keeps getting more fun and interesting with every passing day.

I was born in New York, grew up in Mexico City, and have lived in the US since college. I come from a large family, with siblings scattered around the US, Canada, and Mexico. I moved to California in 1994, and consider living here to be a major upgrade.

Interests

Business and Technology

  1. IoT – This technology (like most), seemed to pop up out of nowhere and suddenly it’s everywhere. Given that I work in technology, this is another example of being in the right job at the right time. IoT is essentially a subset of mobility (a thing not directly tethered to a network), and is something I’ve worked with directly and indirectly since its inception. Check out the blogs for more details.
  2. Analytics—I have worked with multiple analytics companies, focusing on data (ITSM and ITOM) and predictive analytics, pattern recognition, epidemiological forecasting, social media, and the development of hypercube constructs as a recommendation/visualization engine for analytic solutions. I do a lot of consulting work in this area, mostly because I find it really interesting.
  3. Mobile Technology—This is still a hot topical area, and as far as I can tell, will continue to be so for quite a while; mobile technology at the application level continues to expand (in spite of the massive adoption numbers to date). This market is rapidly evolving, and I have a great deal of experience with all facets of mobility, so this is an area that gets a lot of my attention.

Art

  1. Painting and Sculpture—I have worked off and on for the last several years at painting and sculpting. The works are modern abstracts, every now and then I sell a piece, but I do this because I enjoy it, the money is incidental.
  2. Surrealist Art—my father was an art collector, and I began building out a serious collection early in my career. I have always focused on Surrealist Art, specifically Latin American surrealists.
  3. Mexican Dance Masks—this is another area I’ve focused on for an extended period of time. I have a collection of over thirty museum-grade Mexican dance masks, and slowly add to it as I find more, although they are becoming very difficult to find.

Hobbies

  1. Tae Kwon Do–I started taking classes a few years back (as did Sergei). Lost 20 pounds the first month, and it’s stayed off. This has been a great father/son bonding experience; most dads with teen sons drift apart as their interests diverge. This is something we’re learning together, and we go to class 3 times per week for ninety minutes, so we al so get to spend a lot of time together. This is a great deal no matter how you look at it.
  2. Snowboarding–I believe the correct term for snowboarders in my demographic is “greys on trays”, but we still go to Tahoe several times per season. Sergei is now a hard-core snowboarder, so I’ve got a built-in boarding buddy.
  3. Trail running–we live one block from Tilden Park, so at 6:00 am every morning I am running through redwood groves and fog-shrouded forests. It’s a great way to start the day; I run for one hour and never see anyone.
  4. Piano—I started taking lessons at the same time Sergei did, mostly to keep up with him. He’s picked it up WAY faster than me (which is good), but this has turned out to be another great shared hobby, we have three pianos at home, so we will spend 20-30 minutes per night jamming together. There are also multiple videos of Sergei playing the piano posted to YouTube, just do a search on “Sergei Ortega”, it’s a real treat to hear him play.