Blogger Sarah Brenner smallProfessional Summary
As a former certified WBE Business Owner, my background includes experience in State/Government Procurement, writing proposals and managing projects for the Department of Motor Vehicles, the State Department of Taxation, BWI and other government agencies. Throughout my career as an IT Professional, I’ve also had the opportunity to work with amazing organizations like Towson University, UPS, Coldwell Banker and Toys R Us.
Thriving in start-up environments and following industry trends, my additional expertise includes Loan Origination, Processing, Funding, Compliance, Day Trading, HR Online Assessment Administration and Interactive Training.

Then – The Early Years
I’ve always lived on the more alternative side of life. Sometimes I zig when everyone else zags.  It didn’t always make me the most popular girl growing up in a small East Coast town with nothing to do.

My parents were extremely strict and sheltering, and I wasn’t really allowed to go anywhere except for the library.  There, I spent most of my summers making friends in other worlds and solving mysteries with Nancy Drew and Hercule Poirot.

When I was about 14, my family decided to take a road trip to Vermont. After reading all of the books I brought, blurred lines of silver, green and brown made me dizzy through the van’s big windows as we made our way up I-95. Until I finally picked up a notepad and started writing down my own fantasies to help take me away from the droning hum of the highway. That’s when my passion for words started paving their way into my future.

My love for fiction and romance carried on into high school when I started working after class at the on-site library. During my senior year, I had the exciting opportunity to work half days in the engineering department at Johnson Controls. My very first assignment was to type up specifications for HVAC building plans designed in CAD and Visio. After that, I began learning about all the different boiler systems and valves, and eventually started creating the plans and specifications myself.  This was the true beginning of my writing career.

Real Estate and Recruiting
cb-logo-cbrb-lgI moved out of my parents house the night I graduated from high school.  Hellbent on making it on my own, I started working full-time, and a few months later I asked for a raise.  When it wasn’t enough, I left my internship in Engineering to work in the Recruiting industry.  First as an Office Manager for a small firm, then for Coldwell Banker as the Assistant Recruiting Director.  This was a fantastic opportunity to try my hand out at designing marketing materials, attend and operate trade show booths and make presentations to new Realtors.
Part of my responsibilities included maintaining a large ACT! Database. Working closely with the head of the IT department, I learned how to customize the software, and before I knew it, I was writing Visual Basic code (still not sure how that happened). This is what launched my career as an IT Professional. I was promoted to the IT department, and in addition to my many programming duties I developed training materials for in-house applications, assisted in training users, provided Intranet and website content as well as user documentation for various Intranet applications.

State and Government Procurement
Working as the Sr. Developer for a local University a few years later, I was responsible for responding to RFP’s and participating in JAD sessions for the State Department of Motor Vehicles, the State Department of Taxation and other local state and government agencies.  I also wrote detailed Project Plans, data-flow diagrams and designed storyboard presentations.

WBE Woman Owned Business Consultant
Late 2001, I was overseeing so many contracts that I decided to start my own IT Consulting firm. It was a dream come true, and although challenging at times, it was a great experience and a very exciting time in my life. My days were spent negotiating agreements and maintaining relationships with clients, developing proposals and bids for government agencies and other potential clients, designing marketing materials, and making calls to potential clients.
bwilogoMy greatest accomplishment was winning a contract with HMMH to develop a website for the BWI Part 150 Study. I was responsible for the entire SDLC Lifecyle from kickoff to completion.

The Dot Com and Mortgage Booms
In 2003, after working as a developer for several years and successfully owning my own IT consulting firm, I accepted a full time position with a start-up mortgage broker about to make it big.  Working close with the business owners I wore many hats, and had plenty of opportunities to hone in on my writing skills. My most notable accomplishment was developing the help files for our in-house Mortgage CRM application that tracks a customer from initial contact to the closing of their loan.
As a small company, we didn’t have a marketing department, so I was heavily involved overseeing the work of our graphic designer and assisting the owners with various marketing materials and online campaigns.
I was also responsible for writing Project Plans, Policies and Procedures Documents, Production Documentation, and website content.

Wallstreet and Finance
I’ve always held a fascination for finance, especially with my real estate and mortgage backgrounds.  Around 2006 I developed my very own automated trading system that connects to a data provider such as eSignal, IQFEED or Interactive Brokers to collect real time data for buy and sell signals, and downloads historical data for backtesting various strategies. I still enjoy day trading today.

Now – Reading, Writing and Blogging
Books and entertainment took the the back burner during those hectic years, except for the time I needed Anne Rice’s Lives of the Mayfair Witches to help me quit smoking (thank you Anne). Things have finally slowed down, giving me time to do what I love the most!





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