Introducing Stacey Krejci
Stacey Krejci understands the double-edged sword of small businesses using new technological tools in an ever-changing environment.
Krejci serves as the Chief Technology Officer for the Academy. He also owns his own small business, designing websites for businesses and other nonprofits. Yet, the Champaign, IL, resident did not come about this career path conventionally.
While at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Krejci imagined a future in music: “My senior year, I joined a band. I thought that was what I was going to do. As you can imagine, my parents were ecstatic.” Krejci enjoyed the adventure of being in a band, but not the constant travel. After getting married, he decided it was time for a new career and enrolled in a course that taught him web design in 1995. An autodidact and entrepreneur, Krejci parlayed his newly developed skills into technology-driven positions in education. Later, he started his web design business when the writing was on wall in the form of a state budget crisis which might have cut into the funding of his position.
“In 2010, I thought, ‘This is my chance.' I had always wanted to start my own business, so I decide to go for it. I’ve been working for myself ever since.”
Krejci has been working with the Academy in some capacity since 2010. He uses his skills to thoughtfully enhance the capacity and communication efforts of the Academy with an “awareness of how technology affects people both emotionally and cognitively.”
With an eye toward the fire protection industry, Krejci thinks deeply about “using technology to increase control [for students, exam takers, and designers seeking recertification] of one’s information—to sign up whenever you want, to pay whenever you want, and eventually, to take the tests whenever you want. It gives you freedom.” He also recognizes that although this control can be beneficial, ultimately, he knows that some people are more comfortable with technology than others, and he must accommodate a diverse group of users and meet them where they are.
He is currently developing an option for tablet-based testing for the Academy’s Inspector I and Inspector II exams and, along with Cecil Bilbo, producing asynchronous, on-demand design courses. He's aware that these steps must be taken carefully: “It’s not kind to just demand that people use new and ever-changing tools, especially for those that are not comfortable with the technology, We are working hard to be as humane as we can in all this.”