Meet Our Team

Brady Helkenn, Principal and Jedi Master

Brady is the founder of BH Tech Connection. He started his formal education in IT services and support in 2007 and received his first full-time job within a year of that. He quickly took to the social aspect of IT, and even though he could fix printers and replace hardware like any self-respecting IT professional, he quickly realized his passion lay in finding new ways to improve performance or make workflows more efficient.

He started to moonlight while still at this first job, helping fellow coworkers out with home computers and taking on occasional clients through Craigslist. He called his budding solo proprietorship BH Tech Connection in 2010, but it wasn't until 2015 after a few different jobs and a stint as a freelance contractor touring some of the Bay Area's tech companies that he decided to make his side hustle the main show.

Brady has earned several Microsoft and Apple certifications throughout this career, including:

  • Windows OS Configuration
  • Apple Mac OS X Troubleshooting
  • Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA)
  • A+ (hardware troubleshooting)
  • Network+ (network protocols and troubleshooting)
  • Security+ (security algorithms, best practices for computer security)

Over the past several years, he has helped migrate entire companies to new phone systems, email systems, set up brand new offices, and provided services and support to thousands of people. Throughout all of this, his passion for looking to help the person behind the tech has only intensified, and he strongly believes in reducing IT-related stress whenever possible through transparent communication and simple, clear, and inclusive service offerings.

Outside of work, he plays the piano, goes hiking, tries new restaurants, and freely embraces his nerd-dom in universes such as Star Trek, Star Wars, and Harry Potter.

Tonya Makowski, VP of Maintenance

Tonya oversees the maintenance team, performs additional tasks, and troubleshoots issues during maintenance shifts.  She brings over 15 years of IT and development experience to the BH Tech Connection team. Having worked in a variety of industries ranging from medical and legal to non-profit, she understands business needs and how to work with technical and non-technical users and stakeholders.

In 2009, Tonya completed a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Computer Science with an emphasis in database management. She has worked as an IT consultant, Webmaster, .Net Developer, Analyst, Software Technician, and Database Developer.

In that time, she has:

  • Overseen IT budgets, departments, and projects
  • Functioned as a one-woman Help Desk
  • Been a key decision-maker in software upgrades
  • Managed an enterprise SQL Server database
  • Trained a team during a WordPerfect to Word conversion
  • Trained users
  • Replaced hardware
  • Removed viruses and optimized computers
  • Written documentation and system proposals
  • Built database solutions

In her spare time, Tonya is a science geek, home-brews beer and maintains a YouTube beer review channel, is big into social justice, and works to strong-arm diversity in the tech industry. She lives in the East Bay with her son.

Tristan Hembree, VP of Cybersecurity

Tristan has been in IT for almost 2 decades, starting when he joined the US Navy as an electronics technician in 2001. He’s solved IT challenges on equipment ranging from cutting edge radar technology down to malfunctioning printers and everything in-between.

He enjoys solving problems with a focus on client-centered relationships and is adept at explaining complex technology in easy to understand laymen’s terms.

He loves working at BH Tech Connection because of the client-centered approach and the freedom and flexibility that can only be offered by focusing on small businesses.

When he is not working, he enjoys reading, biking around the city, hiking the mountains and nearby trails, and creative writing.

Edwin Washington, VP of Backups

Edwin Washington has worked in IT for over 15 yrs. Starting out in customer service, he just kinda fell into the IT side and didn't want to let go. In this time, he's worked in a wide variety of industries, including casinos, and earned various certifications such as the A+ and Network+ (hardware and network troubleshooting, respectively). As a result of his experiences, he has found himself equally comfortable between Windows and Mac computers.

What Edwin enjoys the most about BH Tech Connection is the variety of clients he helps, which leads to a variety of new things to explore and learn in the IT field.

Outside of BH Tech Connection, he enjoys gaming and traveling.