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Spotlight: Robert Freeman Twitter Facebook Print E-mail
Written by Cassie McDaniel   
Thursday, 14 August 2008

QuestionRobert Freeman: Employee Spotlight

What is your current position at the Church and what are your responsibilities?


My current position is principal engineer and DBA team manager in David Wright’s Enterprise Information Management (EIM) team. My responsibilities are to manage my people’s work, mentor them, help them solve problems, and assist the entire EIM team with Oracle-related issues. I work to keep current on Oracle technologies so I can provide insights, recommendations, and vision with respect to database projects. Additionally I keep David Wright in line, and if you don’t think that’s a chore, it is! I keep thinking that such work should have its own billing code, but no one will listen to me.


What is one of the exciting projects that you are currently working on?


Our team is constantly working on projects that have major impacts on the Church and its members. From Physical Facilities projects, which can be very exciting, to Supply Chain and Other Operations portfolio projects, this team sees a wide range of opportunities to serve. The portfolios are constantly presenting new opportunities that are fun and exciting to work on. Currently the 10g Upgrade project is near and dear to my heart.


What is your educational background and/or work experience?


I hail from Oklahoma. Work is in and of itself an education, and I’ve worked in one form or another since I was probably eight or so. During the summers my father would drag me kicking and screaming to his International Truck business. Mowing the lawn in 110-degree Oklahoma heat and having to clean bathrooms makes I.T. such an attractive alternative.

I remember the first desktop-type computer I ever saw, it was a Radio Shack TRS-80. I walked by the store and there it was. . . . Literally I swear I heard the sound of angels signing and beams of light emanating from the thing. I worked all summer for the money to buy the thing ($499!!) and bought it. I was hooked from then on. My father thought computers were a fad. Oh, how wrong he was!

I went to the University of Oklahoma and later to Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma (my home). The plan was to go into the family business at the time, so I studied finance. Computers as an addiction, I mean a way of life, came later.


What or who has been an inspiration to you in your work?


Over the years, so many people have inspired me. My father has been a big inspiration and influence in my life. He taught me about work ethic and also about the importance of caring about people. My wife is a huge inspiration in my life, keeping me on the straight and narrow. She has a spirit that fills a room and a testimony that is sweet and beautiful. My kids inspire me quite a bit too. Whenever I am down, I can always count on one of them to pick me up. Finally, the Lord is an inspiration to me. When things look the bleakest, I’ve always found He is there to lighten my load.

Of course, coming from a single-parent (non-LDS) household, my early inspirations were Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock and Bones. Bones was the moral compass, Spock always had the answers, and Kirk always saved the day and got the girl. That’s my kind of inspiration!


What is your favorite part of working at the Church?


My favorite part of working at the Church is my view from the Triad. I get to see the temple, mountains, the Church Office Building, the Conference Center, and the Joseph Smith Memorial Building all in one view. What more could anyone ask? Also, the team I work with is second to none. They are all great folks and good friends.


What is one spiritual experience that you have had while working for the Church?


The first year I was here we had a Christmas devotional. President Monson spoke to us. It was the first time I’d ever seen a member of the First Presidency that close. His talk was wonderful, and deep inside the Spirit touched me. I remember just sitting there after it was all done, taking a moment to absorb the feeling. I kind of wished I’d had the foresight to run up and shake his hand, but I suppose security might have tackled me, thinking I must be some loony! Truly, President Monson is a prophet of God and I am privileged to be a part of this incredible work moving the kingdom forward.

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