Meet the Team

Maren Mahoney

Technical Instructor
Cisco Systems

Favorite Place I’ve Traveled:
Italy (especially Florence & the Sistine Chapel)

Best Concert I've Been To:
I was never a concert goer, but I’ve been to TED and TEDx sessions and I’d do that again in a heartbeat!

Favorite Sports Team:
GO VIKINGS!
CCIE

Maren Mahoney has been in the information system industry for more than 20 years with roles in employee development, technical support & help desk administration, network administration, management and engineering, networking courseware development and instruction.Before joining Sunset Learning Institute (SLI), Maren worked for Cisco Systems as a Network Consulting Engineer. She also worked for several Cisco Reseller Partners in engineering and technical instructor roles. She has experience in a range of Cisco product lines but specializes in Unified Communications. 

Maren joined SLI in 2008 as a technical instructor focusing on the unified communications curriculum. In addition to a CCSI, Maren holds current Route/Switch and Data Center certifications and was awarded the CCIE Collaboration certificationin 2015. Maren is also a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE).

EXPERIENCE/CERTIFICATIONS:

  • CCIE Collaboration #50569
  • CCSI
  • CCNA-Route/Switch
  • CCDA
  • CCNP-Data Center
  • Microsoft MCSE
  • Cisco Designated VIP 

STUDENT COMMENTS ABOUT MAREN MAHONEY

“Maren was extremely knowledgeable about the content of the class. She also asked what we really wanted to know about, and tailored the class on the fly which was very beneficial.” Steve, IT Architect

“One of the best instructors I have ever had. She makes very difficult concepts quite easy to understand.” Marsha, Telecom Engineer

“Maren was possibly the most enthusiastic instructor I have ever encountered in all my training. She seemed to be very comfortable with training this subject.” Roger, Network Engineer

It was an absolute pleasure having Maren as my instructor. I came into the course hoping to gain a better understanding of Cisco Call Manager and how it worked with the VOIP system as a whole and at the end of the course I absolutely felt that I had achieved that.” David, Help Desk Technician

“The class was great. I thought Maren did a great job. I’ll definitely be going to you guys for more training in the future.” Tom, Network Engineer

Mike Keutzer

Technical Instructor
Cisco Systems

Hobbies Outside of Work?
Working on cars, keeping bees, tractor-time

Favorite Movie of all Time?
Blazing Saddles

Best Concert I've Been To?
Grateful Dead
Rainbow Theater, London
1981

Mike Keutzer has been involved in information systems for almost 30 years. His IT career started in the Marine Corps where he spent 8 years as a computer technician working on radar defense systems. He carried that experience to 20+ years of work in the private sector. After leaving the military Mike spent time working as a technician maintaining computers and printers, managing and supporting Mainframe, AS/400, Novell, UNIX, Mac, and Windows networks – mostly within the world of Contact (Call) Center environments. 

Mike joined SLI, formerly CCTI, in 1997 as a technical instructor teaching classes in the Microsoft curriculum. He then earned his designation as a Certified Cisco Systems Instructor and began teaching courses on Cisco advanced routing and switching, with an early exposure to the voice world of Cisco. Mike also assisted in the design, implementation and operation of SLI’s voice and data networks. 

In 1999 Mike took a leave of absence from SLI to work as a network engineer at McMurdo Station in Antarctica. His duties included upkeep of the network infrastructure for McMurdo Station and the South Pole station, maintenance of satellite connectivity back to the U.S., and maintenance and security for Unix Domain machines (DHCP, DNS, SMTP) for mcmurdo.gov. Working in “the real world” again provided the much needed experience necessary in the classroom environment. 

Upon returning to SLI, Mike was afforded the opportunity to become one of the first instructors certified to teach the ICM product (ICR at the time, formerly Geotel). Mike also continued to augment his education of the Cisco Voice world with courseware and implementation of early CallManager and Unity systems, as well as IOS based Voice classes and implementation. Back in these early days, UCCE or IPCCE hadn’t been formally ‘invented’ – ICM at the time was mostly integrated with the Legacy Voice systems of the world. Being fortunate, Mike was able to see the current Contact Center Enterprise environment (which includes ICM as a core component) from birth to its current state of maturation, and is now where he spends most of his instructional duties. His expertise in the various components of the UCCE solution(s), as well as his data/application/voice background allows him to tailor each delivery to meet the needs of his students. He has authored several contact center training materials, including the current UCCE courseware (AUCCE1, AUCCE2, DUCCE) for Cisco, as well as efforts at bringing Enterprise Chat & Email (ECE) to the table.  Previous development efforts included Customer Voice Portal Implementation (CVPI 3.X, 7.X), as well as various on-line courses including UCCE Design and Support (7.X), and UCCE Design, Implementation and Support (8.X). He is also the author of several Custom courses offered by SLI, including UCCE with CVP, UCCE with IP IVR, ACCE-CVP, DBUCCE-CVP, CCCEF and VFCC. 

Starting in April 2018, Mike has been involved in the Broadsoft/CC-One/CJP effort by becoming a CJP-Expert and a CJP instructor.

EXPERIENCE/CERTIFICATIONS:

  • CCSI 
  • CCNA 
  • CCNP 
  • CCVP 
  • Microsoft MCSE 
  • Microsoft MCT 
  • Microsoft MCP+ (Internet) 
  • CJP Expert/Instructor

STUDENT COMMENTS ABOUT MIKE KEUTZER

“This is the second class I have attended with Mike Keutzer and as always, he shows compassion to ensure the students get a full understanding of the course. He will ask questions; explain questions asked by students to help them analyze the material. Mike has great communication skills and is always very professional, I really enjoyed the class.” Peri, IT Specialist 

“Mike clearly has an excellent grasp on the material and presents it in a matter that is engaging.” Matt, Developer 

“I especially enjoyed Mike’s writing style in the manuals, the down-to-earth comments and humor helped keep my attention up and stress down. He obviously is an expert in this product. On of the finest instructors I have ever had.”  Sandra, Systems Engineer 

“Mike was outstanding… his level of knowledge in general and how it might relate to our particular deployment was crucial to this being usable in the future.” David, Operations Engineer 

“I have been taking courses of this nature for over 30 years. Mike has by far been the most concise and communicative instructor I’ve ever had. He had the ability to break things down to a level that not only explained it but also connected it to my actual job. I wish all my instructors were of his ability.” Steve, Independent Consultant 

“The class was incredible. Mike is the best instructor I have had to this day. He really broke the material down so you could get the whole picture. He was also sure to bring your environment into the training so you could see how it all applied to your day to day life. I appreciate the opportunity to come and learn and I am for sure this will help launch my career.”  Nicholas, Network Operations 

John Meersma

Technical Instructor
Cisco Systems

Favorite Hobby Outside of Work:
Chess

Favorite Movie of all Time:
Top Gun

Favorite Sports Team:
Dallas Cowboys

John Meersma has nearly twenty years of experience working in the IT industry. His areas of focus are Collaboration; voice, video, and SIP, in addition to routing and switching. John has put his enthusiasm for data networking and his love of working with people to work as an instructor. Over the past two decades, he has taught a wide variety of IT courses to diverse audiences.John’s past employment includes: monitoring the global WAN for a large pharmaceutical company, spending over five years as a university professor of Cisco and Microsoft curriculum, training engineers for Fortune 50 companies, and independent consultation for small and mid-sized organizations. John has also created and delivered custom courses for Dell Computers. He was also co-owner of an IT consulting firm serving non-profit organizations throughout southwest Michigan. He designed and implemented secure data storage solutions for local hospitals and installed Voice over IP infrastructure for area school districts.

During the nine years while living in Denver, John worked with area medical centers to upgrade their network and VoIP infrastructure. John currently consults for southwest Michigan area businesses on ways to improve their self-sufficiency in maintaining their converged networks. He is finishing his exams for the latest Cisco Voice over IP certification as well as preparing for the Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert exam.

EXPERIENCE/CERTIFICATIONS:

  • CCSI
  • CCAI
  • CCNA
  • CCNP COLLABORATION
  • CCNP ROUTE/SWITCH

STUDENT COMMENTS ABOUT JOHN MEERSMA

John is probably the best instructors I have seen over my 20 years in IT training. He is very knowledgeable and passionate about his job. Two thumbs up!!!!” Tad, Systems Admin

“John was upbeat, helpful, and helped me a lot. I take away from this class many things I will use in the real world of my job. I work on out phone system every day, but didn’t have any training. This has made a huge difference.” Amy, Network Engineer

“John  is  a  great  instructor!  He  made  the  material  fun  to  listen  to  and  easy  to  grasp  with  real  examples.  He  is extremely knowledgeable in this topic, and that came through with the many real world examples he was able to bring to the table. I would most certainly take a class with John again!!” Dan, Technical Support Specialist 

“John  was  great  instructor.  He  was  efficient  and  knowledgeable,  able  to  relay  information  through  practical applications. He was very thorough and took an interest in ensuring that the class was not only taught how to execute procedures, but more importantly, why these procedures are necessary and how to identify when they are needed.” Adam, Communications Specialist

Tuan Nguyen

Technical Instructor
Cisco Systems

Favorite Place I've Been:
Rome, Italy

Biggest Accomplishment:
Getting my CCIE in 1996

Favorite Sports Team:
Denver Broncos
CCIE

Tuan Nguyen has over 20 years of experience as a consultant, systems engineer, and Certified Cisco Systems Instructor. He specializes in Cisco routers and Cisco Internetworking Operating Systems (IOS). Mr. Nguyen also has extensive knowledge in all aspects of Local Area Network (LAN), and Wide Area Network (WAN) technologies, including design, implementation and support of Cisco IP Unified Communication, IP Multicasting, Multiprotocol Label Switching(MPLS), Frame Relay, Routing and Switching, Cisco Internetwork Service Provider (ISP), and Cisco Security. He is also proficient in interconnectivity, data communications, network and analyzing, base lining and troubleshooting, router configuration, Multi-Protocol routing, protocol analysis, security and firewall configuration.

Prior to joining SLI, Tuan was the Senior Internetwork Engineer and Cisco technical instructor at TBN Consulting, providing technical design and configuration services including OSPF, HSRP protocols, Frame Relay, Multicasting and QoS for large financial institutions, and SPAWAR Systems Center. Tuan also worked as a Senior Network Engineer at the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) designing, developing, testing and evaluating Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI) and ATM backbone networks using Cisco routers and switches, Cabletron switches and hubs. He provided technical expertise making modifications to existing networks and conducted engineering studies that evaluated various alternatives to solving problems in both existing and new backbone network systems.

Tuan teaches courses across the routing and switching, security, service provider, Data Center, and voice curricula. Tuan infuses best practices from his experience into what he teaches and relates the material to the tasks students perform on the job.

 EXPERIENCE/CERTIFICATIONS:

  • CCIE
  • CCSI
  • CCDA
  • CCDP
  • CCNA
  • CCNP
  • CCIP
  • CCSP
  • CCVP
  • CNX

STUDENT COMMENTS ABOUT TUAN NGUYEN

“Tuan is an effective and engaging instructor. He clearly knows what he is talking about and is able to disseminate the information in an interesting and engaging manner.”
JL, Operations Engineer

“Tuan did an awesome job with the time we had. There is a lot of information to cover in a short time and he was great at sticking with the lessons and keeping us on track and assisting with any questions we had in class.”
Jerry, Systems Engineer

“Tuan is AWESOME! My favorite instructor thus far!”
Jim, Project Engineer

Yasmin Lara

Technical Instructor
Juniper Networks

Favorite Hobbies:
Tae Kwon Do
-
I’m a third
-
degree black belt
Tae Kwon Do

Biggest Accomplishment:
Getting my CCIP while being a stay-at-home mom with two boys under 3 years old.

Favorite Sports Team:
Washington Nationals, Colorado Rockies, Boston Red Sox
QuadJNCIE

Yasmin Lara has been in the IT industry for over 20 years with roles including Network and Database Designer and Administrator, Technical Support Engineer, Senior Network Engineer, and Technical Instructor for both Cisco Systems and Juniper Networks. She has several years of experience with implementation, technical support, network traffic analysis and troubleshooting, and creating test plans for new networking projects.

Before joining Sunset Learning Institute, Yasmin worked as a Senior Resident Engineer for Juniper Networks for six years, providing on-site customer support for Juniper routing, switching, and security products at a large service provider.

She is currently the Senior Instructor and Director of Juniper Training at Sunset Learning and is delivering classes in the areas of Routing, Switching and Security for the Juniper Service Provider, Enterprise, and Security Certification tracks.

 EXPERIENCE/CERTIFICATIONS:

  • JNCIE-SP
  • JNCIE-SEC
  • JNCIE-ENT
  • JNCIE-DC
  • JNCIA-CLOUD
  • JNCDS-DC
  • JNCIA
  • CCDP
  • CCNP

STUDENT COMMENTS ABOUT YASMIN LARA

“I wanted to THANK you for all your time and effort teaching the PIX/ASA class this past week. For what it’s worth, I want to let you know that I’ve taken at least 4 IT related classes over the last 5 or 6 years and I rate this class as the best I’ve ever taken. I attribute this to your professionalism and genuine concern for your job and students. This all shows in the way you conduct class, and the way you interact with the students. Again, I truly thank you for a job well done. I hope I can have the privilege of attending another class with you in the future.” – Student

“Yasmin was the first Cisco instructor that not only made complete sense but also made things almost simple. She has been instrumental in my professional development, as an instructor and as a fellow engineer.” Gavin Alleyne, IT Managing Director

“Yasmin is a highly technical and thoroughly engaging instructor and consistently receives rave reviews from her students. She is also a skilled technical writer and has developed IPv6 and Certification prep content for us over the years.” – James Sonderegger WW Education Services at Juniper Networks

Andrew Stibbards

Technical Instructor
Cisco Systems

If I won the lottery, what would I do? Go back to work on Monday, it takes time to setup trusts and accounts, can’t stop working right away.

Favorite Concert:
TYR

Favorite Movie:
Blazing Saddles or
Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Andrew Stibbards studied at Northern Virginia Community College from 2007-2011, where he studied Computer Science and English. Afterwards, he worked in the DC-Metro area providing network and user support to over 30 companies. He was responsible for user support, maintenance, design, and implementation.

 After being hired by Sunset Learning in early 2013, he received his training under the supervision of the SLI instructors. He has experience with installation, configuring, operating and troubleshooting medium-sized route and switched networks.

Andrew teaches all courses in the CCNA and CCNP Routing and Switching track, as well as the CCNA Wireless and Security. He also teaches on deployment tactics for basic and advanced wireless networks.

 

EXPERIENCE/CERTIFICATIONS:

  • CCSI
  • CCNA Routing & Switching
  • CCNA Wireless
  • CCNA Security
  • CCNA CyberOps
  • CCNP Routing & Switching

 

STUDENT COMMENTS ABOUT ANDREW STIBBARDS

“Andrew was very confident in his teaching and knowledgeable. Could understand what he was talking about and it made it very easy to grasp what was being taught.” Lester – Systems Engineer

“Andrew is very knowledgeable in subject matter and also emerging technologies. Easygoing person, very patient with everyone’s questions and treats everyone with respect.” Greg – Field Engineer

“Andrew is one of the best instructors I’ve ever had. His knowledge of the course was great; he explained every little thing in detail without skipping making sure that we understand the concept of everything instead of just completing the course. He answered all of our questions in detail and made sure that we understood everything. Thanks Andrew!” Sharjeel – Field Engineer

Rick Williams

Technical Instructor
Cisco Systems

Favorite Place I've Been:
Tae Kwon Do
-
I’m a third
-
degree black belt
Costa Rica

Favorite Part About Working for SLI?
The People - Past & Present!

Favorite Sports Team:
The Underdogs In Any Playoffs

Rick is a well experienced IT consultant, engineer and technical educator. His exposure, dedication towards quality and focus on practical application of technology provide an IT professional that brings unique insights and understanding with the SLI educational products he delivers.

As a production engineer and consultant, he has provided support and technology integration for a wide variety and sizes of businesses, mostly based along the Colorado front range and some with international scope. Applied skills and technologies include client/server, servers/storage, network, security, virtualization, operations, help desk, and basic application development. This is combined with a healthy understanding of business operations including management, sales, financial, logistical and political.

Rick also has an excellent background as an educator, providing both informal training and professional instruction. Informally, education and communication has always facilitated success as a consultant and an engineer. In 1999, Rick became and has maintained a Cisco Certified Systems Instructor (CCSI) certification. Rick has led Cisco classes on route/switch, voice/collaboration, security, advanced design, content routing, IPv6 and others. Rick has also developed and delivered custom training products for several SLI customers. Since 2007, he has become a specialist at providing remote-access lab solutions for all SLI provided labs, creating many satisfied learners and instructors.

Currently, Rick continues to create satisfied customers by focusing his time on delivering training classes and creating educational products on security and specializing in Cisco Security products and technologies. By bringing his solid route/switch and production background into the classroom, he leads Cisco product training classes such as ASA, ISE, Firepower, IINS, and the CCNA Security certification class. These classes include training on VPN, PKI, NGFW, NGIPS, Trustsec and 802.1x security technologies among many others. Rick has also created sessions for SLI’s neXT LIVE 365 Community demonstrating solutions such as Stealthwatch and Rapid Threat Containment. 

Russell Hughes

Technical Instructor
Cisco Systems & Juniper Networks

Best Concert I've Been To?
Prince or Pink Floyd

Favorite Place I've been?
Galway, Ireland

Favorite Sports Team?
Nebraska Huskers

Russell  has  over  20  years  of  experience  in  the  field  of  networking. He  has  delivered  courses  for  SLI,  formerly CCTI,  for  fourteen  years, specializing in   security,   content   networking,   and   Voice   over   IP solutions.

 

Russell   started   his   career   in   the   IT   industry   as   a   systems administrator,  where  he  was  in  charge  ofdaily  maintenance  of Windows  servers,  backup  solutions,  and  e-mail.  He  helped  design and  build  a  remote  classroom  lab  solution  that  allowed  CCTI/SLI  to deliver Cisco courses anywhere in the world without the need to ship Cisco equipment.Russell  teaches all of  the  courses in  the  CCNA,  CCNP  certification  track,  CCNP  Voice  certification  track,  content networking, IPv6, BGP, and Data Center courses. Russell’s industry certifications include Cisco Systems CCSI, CCNA, CCNP, and CCSP.As of 2018, Russell also teaches courses in our Juniper offerings including IJOS and JEX. 

EXPERIENCE/CERTIFICATIONS:

  • CCSI
  • CCNA
  • CCNP
  • CCSP
  • IPv6
  • BGP

STUDENT COMMENTS ABOUT RUSSELL HUGHES

“It is obvious that Russell has a passion for what he does. He is a fantastic instructor.” Ray, Network Engineer

“I think that Russell is an excellent instructor. He more than demonstrated an understanding of the technology and also it application to real world implementations.” Kevin, Network Engineer

“Russell was very well versed in networking knowledge even with off-topic questions asked in the class relating to networking.” Mervyn, Network Manager

“One of the most worthwhile classes I have ever taken. Russell was extremely knowledgeable on the subject matter and various other technologies” Ron, Senior Technical Architect

“Russell is a great instructor. He involved the class throughout the course and never hesitated to provide deeper explanations whenever there were questions. He also did a great job showing feeling and excitement, keeping the class interested, rather than just dictating a course from a script.” Brett, Systems Engineer

 

Bruce Wilkinson

Technical Instructor
Cisco Systems

Favorite Place I've Been:
Tae Kwon Do
-
I’m a third
-
degree black belt
Austrailia

Favorite Part About Working for SLI?
Workmates

If you won the lottery tomorrow, what would you do?
Go home first class

Bruce Wilkinson has a broad range of experience in working with Cisco technology for over 20 years. He has been specializing in Cisco training, consulting, and deployment projects associated with the following technologies and products; Cisco Unified Contact Center Express and Enterprise, Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal, Cisco Unified Communication Manager and Unified Communications Manager Express, and Unity.

As a consultant and business owner in Australia, Bruce spent years designing and deploying numerous large Cisco Contact Center Express and Enterprise systems for many of Australia’s largest and most notable companies.

Bruce is considered an industry expert and in the early 2000’s was asked by Cisco to help develop course curriculum and educational lab using Cisco Contact Center products. He developed, upgraded, and taught classes such as Cisco PPDIOO, ICM Multichannel Training, IPCCE Advanced Deployment, ICM Troubleshooting, and Call Center 101.

He was also responsible for Cisco Contact Center teaching lab design and instillation for Cisco Systems in Sydney Australia, Singapore, India, New Zealand, and Beijing.

Since joining Sunset Learning Institute in 2013, Bruce has taught all Contact Center Enterprise courses offered by Sunset Learning and consistently maintains high student ratings. Bruce co-authored and developed the current UCCE v10 authorized Cisco curriculum. Classes include; Administering Unified Contact Center Enterprise Part 1 (AUCCE 1), Administering Unified Contact Center Enterprise Part 2 (AUCCE 2), and Deploying Unified Contact Center Enterprise (DUCCE), Administering Packaged Contact Center Enterprise (APCCE). Deploying Cisco unified Intelligence center (DCUIC) Unified Contact Center Express Deployment (UCCXD) and Advanced UXXC Scripting Lab (AUCCXSL) Bruce is able to combine his extensive telephony and data background with a solid understanding of the latest in VoIP technologies to develop customer solutions which are both unique and practical.


STUDENT COMMENTS ABOUT BRUCE WILKINSON
“Bruce was very knowledgeable and made the class interesting”Eilene, Network Engineer

“The class was MUCH more than I thought it would be. Great course, fantastic instructor, and I loved the way the labs were written in a human aspect. The instructor, Bruce, was wonderful and extremely helpful.”Christine, Systems Engineer

“Bruce is great. Effective communicator and very patient with his students” Levi, Systems Engineer

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