Don Holstrom –

Before graduating from his third high school, he went to a high school in Orleans, France; then George Washington HS in Alexandria; and finally George C. Marshall HS in Falls Church, he spent three years at Old Dominion College, Norfolk, VA, with additional semesters at the College of the Albemarle, Elizabeth City, NC; Georgetown University, Washington, DC; George Washington University, Washington, DC; and George Mason University, Fairfax, VA. Then, over the years, he definitely earned B.S., M.S., and even Ph.D. degrees from the School of H(ard) K(nocks), in and around Washington, DC. He published the first two Washington, DC, area, golf course directories during the mid '80s. Designed and still constantly feeds two websites: (a family business) and this one,

Over a dozen years ago he could not buy It was owned by a jewelry store in Iowa. Don checked with the Internet ownership site every month. One time, the fee had not been paid. Don paid it, and therefore owned the site, this site. The next day, the owner of the jewelry store called Don, crying. Don would not relent, but he told the ex-owner to simply open up, as Holstrom's was the name of the store. The jewelry store owner hung up, without even a thanks. You're welcome, sir...

Other interests include constant motorcycling (six bikes over 40 years, one Triumph (first) and five BMW's); music (thousands of albums, thousands of CDs, hundreds of thousands of MP3's, thousands of tapes, hundreds of 45's, and a couple of hundred 78's), golf (finally broke 80 a couple of years ago), and the NFL.

Now retired after three major careers. But in the beginning, while working as a writer/photographer on a weekly newspaper [The Fairfax (and other local jurisdictions) Globe, no longer in business], Don realized that owning a newspaper was the only way to go. So he worked on nearly a half dozen papers and magazines, and a couple of congressmen, and then with two photo studios before:

Assistant Press Secretary, 1977-1980
U.S. Reps. Stewart McKinney & Stanford Parris in Washington, DC
. Filled in many areas for both Congressmen. Worked political campaigns for Stew McKinney. Also did freelance work for other Senators and Congressmen. Then, finally, started his own newspapers:

Owner, 1981-1984
Washington Football Weekly and LocalSports in Northern Virginia, Fairfax, VA. Two separate, weekly newspapers. LocalSports in Northern Virginia was the first of the two newspapers and consisted of local amateur sports, covering every high school and college in Northern Virginia as well as Little League, men's and women's softball, running, and even dart tournaments. Supervised almost 100 employees at peak. Washington Football Weekly was the first newspaper devoted to the Washington Redskins, along with the Washington Federals and the Baltimore Colts. The Federals, along with the entire USFL, died. And the Colts moved to Indianapolis.Then Joe Theismann started a competing newspaper. So, WFW died and brought down LocalSports. Theismann's paper spent a fast half million and died in six months. Don, along with his wife, Kathy, made and lost a fortune. Don lost his heart and soul...

After this major failure, Don and Kathy moved to the Atlantic Ocean for a few months. Don was done, cooked. Kathy found a job right away. They moved back to Virginia. Don got a call from local celebrity, Johnny Holliday. Don blew that call. All Don's fault. Then Don found a job:

Technical Liaison/Writer/Editor/Speechwriter/Photographer, 1984-1995
AFSCME, Washington, DC. Originally contracted as consultant to upgrade organization from sporadic b&w tabloid newspaper to monthly four-color magazine mailed to 1.3 million members. Stayed on as photojournalist for magazine. Traveled extensively. After six years, Kathy became pregnant, no longer wished to travel as much, so became managing editor of weekly newsletter to leadership, with over 50,000 circulation. Saw need for and personally implemented AFSCME’s first and only electronic bulletin board system (BBS) for local editors. Edited and “desktop” designed on-site daily newsletter at AFSCME national conventions. Wrote many speeches. Set up broadcast fax system for national political elections. Acted as on-site press contact for major local political campaigns. Oversaw $6 million budget for several other programs, including monthly clip art/text service to over 2,000 local editors. Was first employee begging organization to put up a web site:, which for very long had flavor of the initial design. Was floor administrator for the Novell network. Always acted as info tech liaison between departments. Left for major new managerial position, in an area that would direct me to information technology.

Knew and decided to move career from public relations to information systems. So...

Director of Communications/Network Administrator, 1996
Marine Engineers Beneficial Association, Washington, DC
Handled all press inquiries. Wrote, desktop designed, laid out, and printed bimonthly newsletter and other publications. Scanned AP, Reuters, and UPI wires for information and stories. Scanned Internet mail lists for pertinent threads. Developed and implemented press and public relations strategies and wrote editorials, op-eds, speeches, and intros. Oversaw entire office computer network (migrated organization to Windows 3.11 and Office 95) in addition to usual communications duties. All officers were defeated in election. Top staff (including me) dismissed as well.

Director of Communications/Information Systems & Technology, 1997
Foundation for Biomedical Research, Washington, DC
Oversaw entire office computer network (migrated organization to Windows 95, Office 97, and Internet Explorer 4.0) in addition to usual communications duties. Brought in shared T1 for high-speed Internet access. Created and maintained databases for informational directories; served as Webmeister: and; wrote, desktop designed, laid out, and printed bimonthly newsletter and other publications; scanned AP, Reuters, and UPI wires as well as LexisNexis for information and stories; and scanned Internet mail lists for pertinent threads. Left for fulltime network administration position.

Director of Information Technology, Systems, and Services, 1998-2002
Widmeyer Communications, formerly the Widmeyer-Baker Group, a public relations firm, Washington, DC
Totally hands-on and in charge of anything having to do with computer technology. Other than a “bare T1” delivered to the door, no services were contracted out. This included: overseeing a network with nine servers [Microsoft Windows 2000 (SP2), NT4 (SP6a), & Linux (RedHat & SUSE)], 100 workstations/laptops (Windows NT4/95/98/ME/2000/XP, Apple OS 8.5/8.6/9.0/9.1/10.0/10.1, and Linux), and 18 printers from $40,000 Xerox color laser to small dot-matrix for UPS reporting. Utilized Exchange 5.5 - SP3 for e-mail; Outlook 2000/2002 for e-mail client; Blackberry for wireless e-mail; Symantec Anti Virus programs; Backup Exec 8.5 to backup data to Quantum DLT tape unit; SQL Server 6.5 for database engine under Access; Internet Information Server 4.0 & 5.0 for several hosted web sites (main: and ); WINS; DHCP to handle full (Class C) TCP/IP addressing (including primary DNS) off Allegiance Telecom/ WorldCom T1 connection; and analog modems, cable modems, ISDN modems, xDSL, and PPTP for VPN and RAS connections through Cisco routers and H-P and 3Com switches and hubs to satellite offices in Los Angeles (now closed), New York City, and the homes of senior officers of the firm. Two years ago totally designed and oversaw network move to other offices. Used Premiere phone system. Switched company from AT&T to XO Communications for phone service. Oversaw Timeslips 10.0 to keep track of employee hours. Used PAS 2.5 printer accounting software package to keep running tally of printing. Held regular Microsoft Office training sessions for employees. Basically Office 97 Pro/2000/XP and IE 5.5 & 6 but also WordPerfect 8 & 2002, StarOffice 5.2, and a tiny smattering of Netscape. Made all buying decisions. Trained assistants through their MCSE certification and then let them fly from the nest.

Systems Administrator,  July, 2002 – April, 2011
The National Building Museum, Washington, DC
In charge of all hardware/software/technology. Administered mixed Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, & Windows 7, 32- & 64-bit; Windows Server 2003, 2008, and 2008R2, 32- & 64-bit; and Apple Macintosh OSX (10.4, 10.5, & 10.6) network. Provided technical (hardware & software & update) support for 8 servers, over 120 workstations, 16 laptops, six scanners, and three dozen printers. Maintained dual T-1 high speed Internet access. Utilized hardware & software firewalls. Kept nine databases (SQL, FoxPro, dBase) up and running. Administered Exchange Server 2007, WINS, DHCP, DNS, FTP, Project 2003 server, SharePoint Services 3.0, Terminal Services for VPN, and Outlook Web Access via IIS7. Would have moved to Exchange 10 last year. Used Traverse for accounting, DonorPerfect 8.0 for membership, PastPerfect 5.0 for collections, VISTA/TM 4.1 for educational programs, FileMaker Pro 9 for Exhibitions, Visio for organizational charts, Office 2010 for all workstations, BackUp Exec 11d & 12 as well as Windows disk-based backup software for file tridundancy to other servers and other internal and external hard drives. Used Symantec Corporate Anti-virus (10.2) for some server & workstation protection, Vipre for e-mail (spam & anti-virus) protection with Microsoft Intelligent Message Filtering and Outlook junk e-mail filtration for further spam weeding. Used Vipre & Trend Micro for viral protection on over 2 terabytes of data. Worked daily with all Adobe products (CS2 & CS3 & CS4, and CS5 - Mac & Windows), Quark 6, 7, & 8, and many other software programs. Familiar with most PDAs. Personally used iPhone attached to Exchange Server. Used latest software releases with all service packs applied. This was, after all, a one-man-shop, with all services performed in-house, with exception of hosting our website, which for bandwidth purposes, was housed offsite. Used Dreamweaver 4 & 5 for designing and maintaining several other websites. Designed and constructed computers for Museum exhibits. The National Building Museum is a private, non-profit 501c(3) organization. Made all buying decisions, administered budget. Conducted regular training sessions. Prepared training aids. Constantly reading about and administering all sorts of things technical.