Turning Tragedy Into Technology
By Stephen Delp
My Journey to Kaseware
Over the last year, the Kaseware team has implemented our technologies with multiple Fortune 500 organizations, Fusion Centers, Insider Threat Groups, Fraud Investigation Teams, Intelligence Analyst Teams and Foreign Law Enforcement Agencies. On this team, I’ve had the opportunity to travel the world to meet with inspiring C-Level Executives, Elected Officials, and their staffs. I’m honored that nearly everyday I’m able to use technology to help people.
To say I’m excited to get to work every single day is an understatement. It’s worth noting that finding my place on this team has been a journey many years in the making. It started nearly a decade ago when I first used technology to help people.
October 2010 Tragedy
In October of 2010 my older brother Andrew Delp became very ill, and within seven months, he would be dead. He was a hero of mine and frankly speaking, I idolized him. At the time he was working on his Masters Degree in Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, he owned his own business, had traveled the world and was always the most fun, admired, and adored person in the room. The last seven months of his life were not pretty. His care, daily needs, and never-ending decline came at a great cost to the well-being of my parents and family.
When Andrew died, hundreds of people visited our family to offer condolences and help in any way that they could. During this time, one of the greatest sources of comfort we experienced was when people shared their stories about my brother. I remember hours of sitting on the porch with his friends listening to them share their memories. With each story, a little bit of him came back to life and for a brief moment, my parents would laugh and smile again. I knew Andrew’s friends couldn’t sit on my parents’ porch telling stories forever, so I started thinking of ways to continue these brief moments of relief.
A New Path Forward
It was in those weeks that I unknowingly set in motion a new path that would be focused on using technology to do good things for others. Soon after Andrew’s death, I secretly started building a website to collect, centralize, and document as many memories of Andrew as possible, and www.irememberandrew.com was born. At the time, I had no idea what SSL, Java, SQL, PHP, UX or UI meant, but I quickly saw that technology could make the collection of memories possible in more effective ways than any analog solution could.
I spent months gathering stories, memories, photos and videos of Andrew, and then sent my parents the URL on Christmas morning. The positive effects on their morale, mental health, and well-being were immediate and worth every ounce of effort I put into the site. It was exactly what they needed, and it helped everyone (especially me) heal a little bit more. Since then, I have nurtured a passion and a focused effort to ensure technology helps others in their moment of need. This has led me to many great opportunities, and ultimately to Kaseware.
Using Technology to Help Others
I love that my Kaseware colleagues share the same passion for helping others. When I interviewed with the company, I asked the CEO how the technology is used. His first example was about the number of people Kaseware has helped rescue from human trafficking rings! I was blown away. Recently another founder shared a story with me about how he personally set out to build software systems that could ensure another John Walker could never betray and harm the nation in the way he did. Additionally, two of my other colleagues, a former Intelligence Officer and a retired police officer, recently set out to find a way to use our technology to prevent attacks on schools in the US. I’m proud to say we are quickly launching our first implementations for this purpose and the results are already impressive.
Always Willing to Help
Every now and then I receive a new submission of a memory, photo or video of Andrew. One of my personal favorites from a few years ago is a series of short video clips of him attempting to give high-fives to complete strangers in the Tokyo subway after spending several hours at a bar. When he landed a good high five, he let out a contagious laugh and celebratory cheer of “Yeahhh!!!” Those videos are the only recording of his voice that I have access to, and I listen to it often. Every time I learn about Kaseware’s technology or team helping others to identify, stop, and catch evil actors, I make a point to repeat Andrew’s same celebratory “Yeahhh!!”
He was always willing to help other people, even strangers, and he always did so with a smile on his face. The Kaseware team is the same way, so his legacy fits right in here.
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