Meet Softec’s Board of Directors

This page includes the backgrounds and connections to our Board Members. These volunteers make it possible for Softec to do what Softec does.  Without their time contributions, Softec simply would not exist.

Bob Dumouchel, President

Bob has been involved with Softec since 1996 and is serving for the 3rd time as President. He has been an active board member for over twenty years with a few years taken off to start new businesses. Bob is a serial entrepreneur with seven tech startups on his resume. As he puts it “four were successful and three I learned from.” Bob believes that the strength of our business community is directly related to the connections between people and has personally experienced several Softec Moments that have made seemingly impossible things happen.

Bob’s current business isWhat’s Next? a marketing agency that specializes in the marketing of tech innovations. He selected that niche not because it is easy, but because it is hard. It was the difficulty of the grand challenge that attracted him to this business. Bob has been a Program Administrator for the regional CEO Roundtables since 2005. He currently provides admin services to two tables in Santa Maria and for the first 15 years of the program, he served three additional tables in San Luis Obispo. Bob currently serves as the Vice President of Public Relations for the Nina Toastmasters group in Santa Maria. His goal in this is to improve his public speaking skills. You can email bob at

Steven Burgess, Vice President

Steve Burgess is the president of Burgess Consulting and Computer Forensics and a serial entrepreneur. He is a tech writer & speaker, startup mentor, Life and Business Coach, and an internationally recognized computer forensics consultant, as well as nanotechnology activist, recently President of the nonprofit, The Foresight Institute, in San Francisco. He has hosted numerous Tech Brews in Santa Maria and acted as a coach, judge, and participant in various Startup Weekends up and down the Central Coast.

A founder of the data recovery industry in 1984 and a pioneer of today’s burgeoning computer forensics and electronic discovery industry, Burgess is active as a digital forensic specialist and testifies widely as an expert witness in the field. Steve has reported on Japan’s space programs, contributed various Nanotech Glossaries, is the author of “The (Needed) New Economics of Abundance,” contributor to the text, “Scientific Evidence in Civil and Criminal Cases,” and regularly writes on cyberissues, tech tips, and CSI stories found at his website.

 Jeff Buckingham, VP of Connections

I’m a true believer in outstanding customer service – the foundation of our company’s mission. And I love telecommunications and technology. But when I was a kid, I always dreamed of being a dairy farmer. Luckily for me, running a business is a lot like running a farm: It takes patience and stamina, know the landscape well and help others find their way.

An avid tech enthusiast, I started my career in 1983 at Call America, just as the Bell System broke up. I started as the company’s first sales person and eventually became president. But my love of learning how things work started long before that. When I was 15 and my pickup truck got stuck in the mud, I decided to change the entire drive train to four-wheel drive in my parents’ backyard.

After a brief stint as a full-time rancher, I founded the “new” Call America in 2001 with my business partner, Cheryl Lovell. And we watched our company grow to 25 employees, serving more than 2,000 customers on the Central Coast.

Cheryl and I partnered again and co-founded Blue Rooster Telecom in 2009. In 2014 we merged Blue Rooster Telecom together with Norcast Telecom Networks to form a new “Blue” version of Norcast. In 2016 Norcast joined forces with Digital West, another great local company. In 2021 Digital West joined forces with Astound Broadband. Now, with the growing Astound fiber optic network, I’m able to work with our team to bring tremendous fiber investments to the Central Coast. This is the best of times “lighting up” our community with broadband.

My community is my home, and I’m a very social creature. I serve my community in a variety of ways that are meaningful and make a difference in my life and, I hope, also in the lives of others. I’m lucky to love what I do and do what I love – solve problems and provide great customer service.

Brian Schwarz, VP of Tech Reads

Since 2018, Brian Schwartz has been the ‘Brewmaster’ for our popular TechBrew networking event. He’s responsible for coordinating our guest speakers, setting up the events, and hosting the virtual TechBrew on Zoom. Brian graduated from Cal Poly in 1994 with a degree in Industrial Technology and worked for a variety of technology companies (including IBM) before launching his publishing consulting & author services firm in 2009. As a technologist, he has created two SAAS products ( and As an advocate for local authors, he writes a monthly column for SLO Life Magazine. Prior to returning to the central coast in 2013, Brian was living in Fort Collins, Colorado, where he wrote and published 50 Interviews: Entrepreneurs Thriving in Uncertain Times. You can reach Brian through his website at

 Tyler Skinner, VP of Women’s Issues

CEO & Founder Connected Communities and Women Making Waves

Tyler is a serial entrepreneur who has re-invented again and again to create and cultivate connections and community collaborations that enhance social & cultural shifts by bringing people together to believe in something bigger than themselves and to see the magic in motivation. She currently serves as Corporate Partner Chair for NAWBO-National Organization for Women Business Owners Central Coast Chapter. She is dedicated to leadership development and launching a platform Women Making Waves comprised of dedicated women who are committed to co-creating a future where they can personally & professionally emerge to lead in a new way.

 Jeremy LaDuque, Board Member, Secretary

Jeremy has been involved with Softec since 1999 and has been an entrepreneur, founder and advocate for technology startups throughout his career. Jeremy was a part of the Central Coast CEO Roundtables for ten years and was recognized by both the San Luis Obispo Tribune and Pacific Coast Business Times with their “Top 20 Under 40” awards for his commitment to the community. His passions are innovating and taking new technologies to market, helping secure financing for startups and growth-minded tech companies and helping companies build strong teams.

On the Central Coast Jeremy has been a part of five technology companies, including founding ElementsLocal, acquired by Bridgeline Digital (NA: BLIN) in 2013. Jeremy is an expert in digital marketing technology for multi-unit businesses and has worked with some of the largest and fastest growing franchises and multi-location businesses in the world including Sport Clips, Luxottica, The UPS Store, 7-Eleven, and CVS.

Jeremy is currently the EVP of TruPresence, a new division of Bridgeline Digital bringing a SaaS platform, including an AI-driven analytics platform, to multi-unit businesses. He’s also co-founder of Integrated Franchise Solutions, Inc. a franchise ownership and consultancy group.

 Shane Weddle, Board Member, BrewMaster

Starting 2023, Shane Weddle has served as the ‘Brewmaster’ for our popular TechBrew networking events. He is responsible for coordinating guest speakers, setting up events, and hosting the virtual TechBrew sessions on Zoom.

Shane has a broad history in IT, beginning in 1991. He holds a degree in Computer Science and Electronics and has worked for various technology companies, including DEC and Microsoft. His experience spans semiconductor manufacturing, electronics, and robotics to software development, network security, and AI.

In 2011, blessed with a wonderful wife and anticipating the arrival of their first of two beautiful daughters, Shane decided to step back from his professional activities to become the primary caregiver for his growing family. This shift allowed him to fully engage in the joys of fatherhood and support his wife’s career progression. In 2021 as his daughters grew more independent, Shane launched to address the expanding needs for IT services and AI technology. You can learn more about Shane and FDS AI at

As an advocate for community growth in technology, Shane has promoted a variety of meetups over the years, from Windows NT meetups in the 90s to hackathons, SLO Robotics classes, and now TechBrew. He also assists local schools with their innovation labs, encouraging children to delve into maker, engineering, and tech-related activities.

 Lenzi Erickson, Board Member, Coder Advocate

Lenzi is a front-end software engineer with 15 years of experience working on websites, web applications, desktop applications, and component libraries. Combining her development skills and UX expertise, she strives to make beautiful products that are intuitive to interact with.

Having relocated to SLO County in 2021, Lenzi started the SLO County Coders group, providing a valuable platform for local engineers to connect and inspire one another in a community where remote work and small offices are prevalent.

Beyond tech, Lenzi has an incredible partner and two wonderfully wild children that keep her busy. She also enjoys espresso, coffee roasting, beach exploring, hiking, and Ashtanga yoga.

 Tom Ross, Board Member