At C-Forward, we recognize that becoming an expert in cybersecurity is a lifelong practice that takes consistent learning. As the world of cybersecurity changes, it is important to have employees who are seasoned in the field and have seen all types of problems. Charlie Bowen, one of our Network Engineers and Virtual Chief Information Officer, embodies the concept of lifelong learning as a practice and is always trying to become a better engineer. 

Bowen started working at C-Forward in 2019 after spending 19 years providing IT and project expertise to the Natural Science Departments and the College of Informatics at Northern Kentucky University (NKU). Bowen stated, “I was looking for the next phase of my IT career following my tenure at NKU. I was looking for an opportunity to take advantage of my generalized IT experience, where I could be an advisor and apply my years of experience with people and situations to find solutions to specific issues or problems. I really enjoy thinking through possibilities and trying to find the many paths that can get to a solution,” Since starting at the company, Bowen continues to learn more about his field and how he can come to work tomorrow a better network engineer than the day before. He states, “I’m constantly reading on technical issues… My interests in IT and beyond are varied so I really just enjoy finding something surprising to read and become familiar with. You never know when a random nugget of information will be useful.”

On the day to day, Bowen spends his time reviewing client infrastructure, meeting with clients to discuss where the company has been in the past year and what options lay ahead of us for the next. Bowen says that conversations with clients is a huge part of his job as he wants to “better understand them and their business.” Bowen also communicates with our network technicians on ticket issues and other client questions so that the company can be as proactive with our services as we can. He states, “I really respect the ‘employees’ first approach the leadership maintains. It was highlighted in my interview and has been true. We’re all professionals in what we do and there is a mutual respect from top and all the way through the company. We are informed and included in the direction of the company. It really is an encouraging environment where we’re all pulling together for the success of our clients and C-Forward.”

Bowen appreciates that by working at C-Forward he is able to give back to the community that he works in. He states, “I really admire the company’s focus on support for non-profits in the tri-state. We’re able to support numerous organizations through our strong team of IT professionals but we also have the option of volunteering time and attending events that support the many great causes in our community.” Bowen has enjoyed his time not only because of the community work, but due to the community fostered between employees. He states, “I’ve enjoyed all the different ways that C-Forward has worked hard to maintain a family setting. Prior to the pandemic, it was activities such as monthly birthday lunches or in office massage days. During the pandemic it was online happy hours and other ways to encourage comradery…We’ve had a couple of group outings to Flying Axes as well. I really enjoy the fact that we have fun while trying to support each other and other Covington businesses.”

When Bowen is not at work, he spends his time traveling with his family going to shows, exhibits, and food tours, “We’re trying to work our way through trips to all 50 states. We were fortunate to visit a number of national parks out west this past year. Next year we’re planning to visit Europe…Almost any reason to get out and visit some place new.” The C-Forward team admires Bowen for all the work that he has put into the company and his continuous efforts to raise the bar for the services we provide. He has been an incredible addition to the C-Forward team and we are excited to see what amazing things he accomplishes in the future.