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About Us

We are your partners In Education & Research. Helping Customers Create a Technology Leadership Position for Over 30 Years.

Our Story

Partners in Education & Research

PIER Group formed in early 2018, as the result of a groups’ passion for providing technology to the Research and Education (R&E) industry. With an average of 30 years’ experience, the PIER Group team works hard every day to deliver the best possible technology, at the best value, to our customers. We bring together maximum technological outcomes, from manufacturers that allow us to provide complete solutions that address the most diverse environments. We provide innovative expertise and best-of-breed technology in the areas of campus infrastructure (LAN/WLAN/DC), research computing (HPC), optical networking, and procurement contracts.

“Partners in Education & Research” means just that to us; that we want to be your PARTNER in R&E, and help you achieve all of your technology goals. Our strong relationships with manufacturer partners allow us to design and provide complete solutions to address the most diverse environments and the most complex future thinking requirements.

Why the Pier?

Built To Sustain Pressure

A pier represents a structure of strength and support, one where our customers, partners, and communities can come together to advance R&E.

A pier is built to sustain pressure and provide an unwavering foundation, and we want your infrastructure to be built to sustain no less.

It is our mission for you to feel confident in the foundation and support of the entire PIER Group team and our partners.


Certified Women’s Business Enterprise

PIER Group is a certified Women’s Business Enterprise. WBENC is the largest certifier of women-owned businesses in the U.S. and a leading advocate for women business owners and entrepreneurs.

PIER Group currently holds multiple state WBE Certifications that help our clients meet their diversity goals.

Amy Williams


As Owner and CEO of PIER Group, Amy has more than 30 years in the technology industry. Keen on taking a multi-faceted approach to connecting all parties involved in order to achieve a successful customer experience, Amy believes in building relationships, and thus the outcome of long-term partnerships. Those partnerships have been foundational to PIER Group’s success.

Outside of the office, Amy is passionate about making a positive impact. She finds immense joy in philanthropy and encourages her team to also contribute to causes that matter and are underrepresented. Her hobbies include spending time with faith, in nature, seeking wellness, and spending time with her growing family.

Chad Williams


As President, Chad approaches every day as an opportunity to make PIER Group a different kind of company… one that sticks out from the rest. His passion for all things research and education is evident. He is driven by the opportunity to design and create solutions that support the advancement of research in this community. He has a deep appreciation for his internal team and his external customers and attempts to portray that in all that he does. Being in the industry for 30 years has afforded Chad the opportunity to meet many great colleagues and mentors, which has been extremely fun and rewarding. His hope is that the next 25 years are no different.

Charles Stafford

President of Operations

Charles is passionate about helping others meet their professional and personal goals. As the President of Operations, Charles serves as a consultative leader and hands-on manager with a diverse background centered around people, processes and results. Prior to joining PIER Group, Charles spent time working in numerous leadership positions in technology companies supporting teams both domestically and internationally.

Charles has over the years volunteered to serve many local organizations and is currently serving in lay leadership roles within his Parish.

Jim Kovach

Director – Business Development for HPC/AI

Jim has spent the last 45+ years in the Information Technology industry and specifically the Public Sector segment forming relationships and assisting Research institutions to achieve their technology goals. The last 20 years have been spent in the High-Performance Computing world, selling compute and high-speed storage systems. As the Director for Business Development – patience, creativity, and listening to the customer will result in viable solutions to meet client goals and relationships that last decades. Jim recently completed a 20-year tenure at Hewlett Packard Enterprise focusing on the Higher Education Market.

Jim’s hobbies include cycling, hiking, collecting Rock and Roll vinyl records, and playing the piano.

Shannon Champion

VP of Solutions Architecture (East)

Shannon Champion, over the last 30+ years, has worked in every side of the technology ecosystem; from manufacturers of technology products to the public and private sector. His experiences have given him a unique view that he leverages in his current role. Those experiences and his focus on Design and Technology futures that are just coming into the main stream, leads to a unique perspective in finding the right solution.

Dan Fennell

Director – HPC Sales

Dan has spent the last 34 years in the High-Performance Computing world, selling compute and high-speed storage systems into multiple verticals (Automotive, Pharma, Financial, Aerospace, Federal) spending the last 12 yrs. primarily in the Higher Education space. Dan’s creativity, and ability to understand what his customers want and create effective solutions for them is what makes him successful as well as his ability to bring together multiple OEMs in crafting solutions for his customers. Dan retired from Hewlett Packard 8 yrs. ago after spending 26 years with them.

Dan’s hobbies include wine collecting (Ok, he drinks a bit of it too) and boating around the lake he lives on in the summer.

Michelle Keller

Senior Inside Sales Support

As Team Lead of the Inside Sales Support group, Michelle is passionate about helping the team to be their personal best by providing guidance, support and direction. With over 20 years of experience in customer and sales support she strives to exceed customer expectations by being responsive to their needs and putting the customer first.

Outside of work Michelle enjoys spending time with her family, attending music festivals and concerts and traveling to new places.

Caleb Williams

Named Account Manager & Director, Contract Development

Caleb serves as “Account Manager and Contract Development Lead” at PIER Group, excelling in managing key Midwest and eastern accounts. He has secured new clients, strengthened existing relationships, and identified strategic expansion opportunities, contributing significantly to PIER Group’s growth. Caleb has demonstrated a keen eye for identifying strategic contracts and expansion opportunities. His proactive approach continues to drive success in both new and existing customer markets. Inspired by his soccer background at the University of Evansville, he brings a strong work ethic and commitment to learning to his role.

Off-duty, Caleb enjoys playing soccer, exploring new destinations, and attending NFL games with friends.

Jasmine Bosler

Business Operation Specialist

Jasmine is a life-long student with a passion for learning new ways to connect the pieces of the puzzle. As the Business Operation Specialist, she works end to end within the organization to help clients, internal and external, achieve success. With experience across multiple industries, Jasmine looks for ways to enhance client experience through building relationships, strong communication, and taking every day as a learning opportunity.

Outside of PIER Group, Jasmine is a fierce board game competitor against anyone willing to challenge her. She also enjoys spending time with her husband, her three children, and their spoiled rotten pups.

Jason Coclanes

Named Account Manager – Networking

Jason has over 20+ years of experience in the IT and data networking industry, specifically the Public Sector segment and Research universities. He has worked directly for network manufacturers throughout most of his professional career, most recently completing a 12+ year tenure with HPE Aruba. Jason comes from a culture of always putting the customer first, leading to long-term relationships and credibility as a trusted advisor.

As a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran, Jason is very active with the American Legion – in support of Veteran’s causes and his resident communities.

Emma Kinker

Business Operations Coordinator

Emma is passionate about ensuring customers and co-workers in-depth communication as well as a detail-oriented, organized work ethic. As Business Operation Coordinator, Emma works diligently to provide great customer service and assisting with any needs a member of the team may require. With a background in retail services and customer relations, it is important to Emma to grow strong relationships and partnerships with everyone she encounters.

Outside of work, Emma enjoys listening and playing music, spending quality time with friends and family, and using her degree in Audio Engineering doing sound at her church on Sundays.

Melanie Buschkoetter

Senior Inside Sales Support

Melanie came to PIER Group with over 20 years of experience in the service industry as a dietitian. As such, she understands everyone has their own unique needs. Melanie loves to learn new skills and is looking forward to expanding her knowledge in the area of research and education, building dynamic relationships and exceeding customer expectations. Melanie is excited to be part of the PIER Group team and contributing to the successful customer experience.

Melanie’s hobbies include reading, waterskiing/boating, listening to music and anything fitness and nutrition related.

Cayden Williams

Account Manager

Cayden takes on the role of Account Manager & Contract Development Specialist, eagerly embracing new challenges and actively contributing to our clients’ success. He is passionate about forming and maintaining meaningful relationships with clients. Cayden is excited to be apart of a company where the goals and the values mirror his own.

Outside of work some of Cayden’s hobbies include golfing, watching sports, and traveling.

Becky Schneider

VP of Programs & Office Management

Becky has a passion for bringing excitement and energy to assist clients, partners, and co-workers in achieving their goals. As VP of Programs and Office Management, she is a proclaimed “people person” and knows success and satisfaction come only through the relationships you build, nurture and grow. With over 25 years’ experience in marketing and operations, she fosters a culture of creativity to drive and support key business strategies.

She enjoys venturing to new places and trying new things with her family and friends, loves the outdoors, and is active in her church family, particularly the youth program.

Jon Heise

Senior Project Manager

Jon serves as Project Management Professional, coming in with 15 years of Information Technology experience in a variety of roles and is also PMP certified. The last eight of which were focused on large scale, enterprise-wide, hardware and software implementations. As a Senior Project Manager, Jon will work with client stakeholders and the project teams to ensure that all projects are completed with the highest level of customer satisfaction.

Outside of PIER Group, Jon enjoys spending as much time as possible with his wife and two young children.

Issac Koehler


Issac comes in with a degree as an IT Networking Specialist from Chippewa Valley Technical College. He is eager to continue growing his knowledge in the IT field. He is very grateful for all of the opportunities that PIER Group is providing him, and couldn’t be more thrilled to be part of the company.

Outside of work Issac enjoys spending time with his family as much as possible, and also spending time with his fiancée. He enjoys playing board games and card games with his friends whether it be at home or a local spot.

Matt Magill

Principal Consultant

Matt brings a vast background in implementing wireless and wired networking solutions for a diverse array of customers, from Fortune 100 corporations to K12 and Large Universities. His passion for assisting customers is paramount in building simplified, secure, and robust solutions for varying network types and use cases. He enjoys engaging with customers to not only provide them with solutions but also build long lasting relations.

Outside of work, Matt enjoys spending time with his wife and little girls. He’s also a volunteer coach for a nearby Women’s Division 3 Ice Hockey.

CJ Underwood

Senior Consultant

CJ brings over 5 years of experience in roles directly customer facing working with a wide variety of technologies with a main focus on routing, switching, wireless, and security. A fun fact about CJ is that he played 4 years of NCAA DIII Lacrosse, won their conference championship twice, and played in the NCAA tournament twice. He enjoys working with customers as he is a huge people person and get along with everyone!

Outside of work, CJ loves spending time with his growing family, usually outdoors (with his wife, son, and 2 dogs), investing in real estate, and learning the newest technology to ensure he can provide the best solution for our customers.

Phong Tang


Phong joined PIER Group with over 10+ years of experience in the IT industry. He is passionate about computers and keeps up with the ever-changing world of technology. He cares about the customers and will work tirelessly with them to resolve their issues. This commitment leads to a long lasting relationship with them.

Outside of work, he enjoys spending time doing outdoor activities with his family and dogs.

Charlie Koehler

VP of Solutions Architecture (West)

Charlie has been working in the industry for over 20 years. He started his career in Higher Education where he gained valuable experience in wired and wireless networking as well as Security. Charlie has spent the last 10 years working on every type and size of network imaginable in the commercial space. He enjoys becoming a part of the customer’s team as they work through projects from beginning to end. Charlie is thrilled join the PIER Group team and to return his focus to Higher Education and Research Groups.

Jarred Keller

Inside Sales Support

Jarred graduated Purdue University in 2015. Upon graduation he began a career in environmental management and eventually became a satellite office manager for a multi-state company. With experience in customer service, stakeholder relations, and business operations, he is very excited to bring his skillset to the PIER Group team.

In his free time, Jarred enjoys hunting, fishing, playing music, and spending time with his wife and son.

Jeff Hagley

Principal Consultant

Jeff brings almost 20 years of experience in K12, Higher Education and Research Networking. He adds a unique perspective of automation, systems administration, and network engineering to the team. He enjoys working to develop tools with customers to help better install and manage their networks.

Outside of work, Jeff enjoys spending time with his family, studying Aikido, and swimming.

Aubrey Williams

Marketing & Programs Specialist

Aubrey joined the PIER Group team as a Marketing and Programs Specialist. With experience in event planning and brand marketing, she is very excited to expand her knowledge in the IT industry. She looks forward to bringing creativity, energy, and passion in all that she has to offer for PIER Group.

Outside of work, Aubrey enjoys exploring new places, traveling, boating, and hosting.

Eric Edwards

Onsite Project Lead

Eric serves as Project Coordinator, bringing many years of experience in customer relations, mentorship, multitasking and interpersonal skills. Relating to many by motivating and seeking common ground in order to make progress and move effectively in a predetermined direction. Eric is excited about bringing all of his professional qualities to PIER Group and growing with the PIER Group family as well as individually.

Eric enjoys spending time with family, sound engineering, music, traveling, reading and most of all helping others.

Lori Auffart

Director of Finance

Lori brings 20 years of accounting and finance experience crossing both operational and commercial areas of the business. As the Director of Finance, Lori is excited to guide PIER Group’s financial strategy in both growth and long-term success. She believes relationships are key to an organization’s success, and her passion lies in utilizing business analytics to enable financially sound business decisions.

Outside of PIER Group, Lori loves to spend time with her family and traveling. She is an avid IU basketball fan and can be found boating on Patoka Lake during the summer.

Jason Huitt

Named Account Manager – Networking

Jason Huitt is a life-long IT professional who spent more than 23 years in higher education IT at Colorado State University. He most recently served as the Director of Networking & Telecommunications at CSU and joins the PIER Group focused on helping our customers realize maximum value from their investments. He has an extensive background in higher education business, capital construction, communications, and strategic planning.

In his spare time, he is a father and husband, a licensed amateur radio operator and certified unmanned aircraft pilot,and a leadership development coach.

Jose Cornejo

Solutions Architecture (Central)

With over 3 decades of experience in the dynamic field of Information Technology, Jose’s had the privilege of contributing across various domains. He’s been at the forefront of forging strategic partnerships and nurturing client relationships. His focus has always been on creating win-win scenarios that drive growth and innovation. Working with clients is his passion, whether it’s steering projects, fostering collaboration, or aligning IT initiatives with business goals, he thrives on leadership challenges.

Having served several corporations headquartered in Chicago, he’s witnessed firsthand the ever-evolving landscape of IT. His recent journey led him to VMware, where he’s continued to explore cutting-edge technologies and contribute to the digital transformation of enterprises.

When he’s not collaborating with clients, on sunny summer days, you will find him on the golf course, perfecting his swing and enjoying the camaraderie of friends and family. Winter brings a different kind of thrill as he hits the slopes on the mountains of Whistler, Canada.

Jace Englert

Project Manager

Jace joins PIER Group with experience in customer service and technical support, and he is eager to broaden his expertise in the IT industry. His passion for problem-solving and dedication to enhancing customer experiences makes him a fantastic addition to our team.

When he’s not collaborating with clients, Jace enjoys golfing, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

Contact Us

Contact Us

Phone Number

Customer Support: 812-650-7437