eCommerce Development Manager at

In June of 2004, I was promoted to eCommerce Development Manager at Gardener’s Supply.  As part of this promotion, I took on management responsibilities for the eCommerce development team.  In addition, I also stepped into a more strategic role of defining the road map for the future of eCommerce technology at Gardner’s Supply. had been running on the same homegrown platform for a long time.  It was really starting to show its age, and we knew that we needed to consider alternatives and migrate to a new platform.  In 2004, we started considering the different options and started holding meetings with potential vendors.  During this review process, I also received a cold call from Mary Ann Charlton “Mac” at Demandware. At the time, Demandware was a very small company with only a handful of clients.  I was impressed with the initial conversation we had and so we added them to the RFP. 

After a long and exhaustive evaluation process, we ended up selecting Demandware to be the new eCommerce platform for the site.  It was a leap of faith for us at the time but we believed in the technology and team behind it.  Gardner’s Supply was the first big client win for Demandware and over the next 10 years they went on to become one of the most dominant eCommerce platforms in the industry. In February of 2004 Salesforce acquired Demandware for $2.8B and it is now part of the “Commerce Cloud” offering. is still running Demandware/Salesforce 15 years later!

We spent most of 2005 working on the build out and implementation of the new site with Demandware.  It was a great project but unfortunately I would not get to see the new site launch as an event that summer would have a significant impact on my career path.

While I was working full time at, I was also a competitive cyclist who had aspirations of becoming a professional cyclist.  In July of 2005, I had a cycling accident where I broke my arm, that ended my racing season.  It was after that accident that I started to reevaluate my career path, and made two difficult decisions.  The first, was that I abandoned the idea of becoming a professional cyclist! Second, I decided that for my career to continue to progress at the trajectory that I wanted I would have to leave Vermont.

In September of 2005 I made the extremely difficult decision to leave Gardner’s Supply and Vermont to join The Home Depot as the User Experience Manager for in Atlanta. Georgia.    As I write this 15 years later, this decision still ranks as the most difficult decision I have had to make in my career!

Next: User Experience Manager, The Home Depot

Previous: eCommerce Web Developer, Gardener’s Supply


eCommerce Web Developer at

Previous: Web Developer, Burton Snowboards

In June of 2003 I joined Gardener’s Supply as an eCommerce Web Developer.  Gardener’s Supply was established in 1983 by Will Rapp in Burlington Vermont.  It was a classic catalog company, that was transforming its business model to adapt to the growth of eCommerce.  While the majority of revenue came from the catalog, the eCommerce portion was the fastest growing part of the company and everybody could see it was the future of the business.

The eCommerce development team was part of the IT organization at Gardener’s Supply, which was pretty typical back in 2003. It was a small team of about eight of us and I reported to Chris Thompson the CTO.  There was only one other eCommerce developer so it was a really small development team!  I worked closely with my IT colleagues on all the back end plumbing but I also spent a lot of time with the eCommerce marketing team that was led by Max Harris.  Max was a great mentor to me and had a pivotal influence on my career.  I credit most of my early eCommerce marketing knowledge to Max!

Gardener’s Supply was a Microsoft shop like Burton so all my development work was in Classic ASP and Visual Basic.  Since we were a small team, I got involved in all aspects of the eCommerce business.  This was an incredible opportunity at such an early point in my career.  I was only 25 years old and I was owning large portions of development for a $50m+ business!  Coming from Burton, which was very “front end” heavy, I leaned more in that direction while the other developer focused more on the “back end” order processing side of the business.  I worked closely with Roland Ludlam the lead designer and together we worked on almost every major site initiative in 2003 and 2004 for  We were a great team and built things like “Plant Finder” and “Cushion Finder” that allowed customers to easily shop the site. Homepage 6/24/2003

Next: eCommerce Development Manager, Gardener’s Supply