Article as printed in the Fall 2013 edition of Edmontonians magazine, written by Rena J Traxel.
Shant Chakmakian obviously believes in having the right credentials to support his business.
He's been described as a "three-time serial graduate of NAIT". He earned diplomas in Computer Network Administration in 2004 and Network Engineering in 2008, and his Honours Bachelor of Applied Information Systems Technology degree, majoring in network management, in 2012. He received his certification in 2011 as both as Cisco Design and Network Associate, enabling him to diagnose, restore, repair and replace critical Cisco networking and system devices. That year, Shant also started SC Systems, a full service IT management company that connects small and medium businesses to worry-free technology.
Just two years later, Shant has grown from one staff member to four, and currently has more than 20 vendors and numerous alliances with local companies. With four months still to go, SC Systems has already surpassed last year's revenues.
Shant believes in adhering to best practices. Fostering relationships between clients, staff and vendors are cornerstones of his business. "I work for my vision. I'm constantly measuring."
According to one client, "...he draws on his over 10 years of experience in the IT industry using knowledge he has gained from working with government, large corporations and numerous businesses such as ours."
"Shant was always cognizant we were a start-up business with limited financial resources and technical savvy, and worked diligently to introduce technology that made sense for our business, was not financially exhaustive and, importantly, that we could grasp. In a relatively short time, he turned around how we did our business and the results have been better than we ever could have anticipated!"
Gifted with energy, enthusiasm and leadership skills, Shant is dedicated to community service. At the age of 23, he was the youngest member ever to sit on the board of NAIT. Instrumental in creating its Student Senate, he was a member for three years. He also served on the Academic Council for two years. Shant recently received NAIT's Silver Student Leadership Award of Distinction for volunteering nearly 300 hours mentoring students last year.
At the age of 28, Shant was elected to the Board of Directors of the Junior Chamber International, Edmonton chapter as the Director of Strategic Partnerships. He says, at JCI, "I feel like part of the community." After his first year of service, he was recognized with the JCI 2012 Member of the Year National Award. He successfully brokered a two-year sponsorship with the Freewill Shakespeare Festival in which JCI will match funds. In one night, $2000 was raised for Freewill; "They saw a 1000-percent increase." Shant hopes to raise over $3000 in the coming year.
He helped provide Christmas hampers to more than 500 families. He cooked dinners for families at Ronald McDonald House. "It's fun to be able once a month to cook dinners for these families. They actually get to come home to a cooked meal." Shant, a regular blood donor, also has been involved in Fashion Week, Rotary fundraisers, the Northern Alberta Animal Shelter, <a href="http://edmontonsingingchristmastree.com/" target="_blank">The Singing Christmas Tree</a>, and many other organizations.
In addition, Shant was invited to present at Vitalize 2013 Conference, the province's largest non-profit conference, hosted by Alberta Culture. He spoke about ways to stretch budget, save time and leverage technology. He is especially committed to helping not-for-profits maximize their IT productivity.
Shant is always looking to improve and challenge himself. As good as he is at what he does, he will never stop trying to do better - to do more - to serve his community and his clients.