Upic Associates

Expertise like ours does not grow on trees


J.R. Howard
Chief Executive Officer

I bring to Upic a passion for building and empowering communities through the use of technology. I had previously been with Upic Solutions as the Director of CRM Strategic Services for four years. I began my IT career in 1997 as a network administrator for a local market research firm and in 2005 accepted a position as Director of Technology at a Cincinnati Leasing and Logistics company. In these positions I helped modernize the organizations technology and specialized in finding solutions that were agile and quick to implement.  I hold a BBA from the University of Cincinnati in Information Systems and I am Microsoft Certified System Engineer. I currently reside in South Lebanon, OH with my wife and two daughters. I enjoy being active in my  local community, helping with youth sports and education. I was recently awarded the LEAD Magazine’s IT Leadership Award for having demonstrated leadership, professional achievement, and continuous contribution to the workplace and community.

David Burley
Chief Technology Officer

After 13 years in internet e-commerce and media, building novel solutions to large scale problems, I am excited to apply that knowledge to enable positive impact in communities around the world. I was raised in Vermilion, Ohio tinkering with paper airplanes, 8″ floppies and Tandy computers. While attending the University of Cincinnati, I dove head first into the Free/Open Source Software community by testing, documenting and writing software. It was an easy transition from there to a variety of positions with SourceForge.net and Slashdot.org, responsible for the 24x7x365 global availability of the properties. I also volunteered with the WAVE Foundation as a SCUBA diver and now as a technology consultant. In my spare time I enjoy home improvement projects, traveling with my wife Suchi and teaching our son Zane which parent to ask for ice cream!

Jim Mead
VP of Strategic Services

I have worked for the United Way and their subsidiaries for over 34 years. I began with the United Way of King County (Seattle, WA), then moved on to the United Way of Greater Cincinnati. Along with Winston Faircloth, I helped to create and develop Upic Solutions. At Upic, I have assisted the United Way in their initial use of Andar for ePledge, and more recently in the migration of some United Ways to a CRM based campaign management system. I have been married for almost 35 years and have two grown children. In my spare time I like to train for and run in marathons. So far I have run in six! (Andar & FMS-21 years)

Heather Reed
VP Network Strategy.

I am proud to bring to Upic and the team over 20 years of fundraising and non-profit technology product support, much of which was with, or in partnership with, local United Ways and United Way Worldwide.  I began my United Way career in 1997 at the United Way of Pitt County (Greenville, NC) as a Campaign Manager while finishing my BSBA at East Carolina University.  I am an Ohio native but have since made my way to Kansas City, MO where I live with my husband and our son after having moved from Washington, D.C. Family is my number one priority and being a mom to my young son fills much of my free-time. So when not working, we are traveling. Sometimes it is to a vacation destination, to visit family in North Carolina, or just across town to Hockey and Cub Scouts.


Ebony Cobbins
Office Manager

I am the Office Manager. Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. I have my MBA in Business Administration along with a diverse background in Accounting, Administration, and Management. I have a passion for helping people whether it’s on a small scale or large scale. It’s rewarding knowing you will be making a difference working for Upic and the United Way.

When I’m not at work, I’m all about family with my husband, 4 kids and 4 siblings. We love traveling every month somewhere that we haven’t explored before. When I’m not traveling with the kids, I love to cook and bake.

Gloria Gooch
Account Manager

Joining Upic Solutions in September 2018, I bring 14 years of customer service relations and 7 years of account management experience in the government, education and commercial verticals primarily with Cincinnati Bell Telephone and Charter Communications.  Born in Berea, KY, my family has roots in NKY with Gooch Jewelers and the contribution of the Civic Club to the City of Fort Wright, which was built by my Great Uncle Bill.  I am proud to be a part of the Upic team and am honored to assist the United Way locations across the country.

Eric Seller
Director, Product Development

I am new to the United Way organization after having served 16 years in the private industry. My formal education is in Computer Engineering from The University of Cincinnati and my experience is based in Product Management, Inside Sales, Field Sales, and Sales Management. The culture of my prior employer was deeply rooted in a philosophy called Total Customer Satisfaction. All are things that I want to apply at Upic Solutions to continuing fostering a partnership type relationship between customers and Upic Solutions. In our spare time, my wife and three kids spend time on keeping up with our garden and trees in Lebanon, OH. Mulberry season (June) is by far the kids’ favorite; they frequently come in the house with purple stains all over their faces and hands.

Andrew Woten
Director, Applications

I have been a Developer for Upic Solutions since 2004, but have worked in the IT business with the United Way since 1999. Working at Upic, I have found that our customers provide us with everyday challenges to meet their customers’ needs to improve their lives.(Andar & FMS-14 years)

I am a Business Analyst for Upic Solutions, and have been helping United Way customers since 2002. I started working at the United Way of Central Ohio in Columbus, OH. Something that you may not know about me is that I will be walking in the 2012 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. (Andar-11 years)

Angie Gudino
Manager, Member Services

I have been in the IT field since 2014, with an emphasis in customer support. I joined Upic Solutions in 2017. My background is in Business Networking and I have certification in Cisco networking equipment. I am pursuing a Bachelor’s in Cyber Security. I enjoy working with and learning about United Ways and the impact they have on communities across the country. It is fulfilling to know I play a small roll in helping make that happen.

I enjoy spending my free time with my husband, and 2 wonderful children. Between work, school and family, I enjoy working with freshwater aquariums. I am also a self-proclaimed “foodie”.

I was born in Viet Nam, and came to the San Francisco bay area when I was nine years old. In 1989 I joined the Army, where I served for four years. I did my basic training at Ft. Knox, then was stationed in Korea for one tour. I studied biology at the University of Houston, then started a career in IT in 2003. I have worked at the United Way for several years, and began at Upic in May, 2012. When I have free time, I enjoy volunteering in my community.

I started at Upic Solutions in December of 2016.  I have been in the IT field for a many years.  During that time, I have performed support services, admin functions, training and document writing. In my spare time I collect music, swim and spend time with my 2 children.

Craig Irvin
Senior Technical Architect

My IT Career started when I was still working at CompUSA and was able to talk the tech services in allowing me to try my hand at working on computers. I quickly rose to the challenges and soon was one of the most profitable and requested technicians. Looking for more growth I found myself working for a few other companies that allowed me to work on many different enterprise systems; mostly centering around Novell and Microsoft. My passion resides in the automation of IT systems and constantly try to find ways to work smarter rather than harder. In 2007 I joined the UPIC team and love being part of something that is helping to make a difference with local communities. I currently reside in Philadelphia but will soon be moving to Nashville!

I started my United Way career in Toledo,  Ohio in 2002, then joined Upic Solutions in 2008.   Currently, I am enjoying supporting our customers on the Community Connect platform as well as Andar.  I love learning and sharing information with the United Way employees and volunteers, especially when I get to witness the “ah-HA” moments! Outside of work I enjoy painting, hosting Paint Nites and going to comedy show.

Paul Wagner
Senior CRM Administrator

I am the Senior CRM Administrator. I was born and raised in Billings, Montana and have two older brothers and an older sister. After finishing high school I served a two year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Washington D.C. I then attended my first two and half years of college at Ricks College (Brigham Young University – Idaho) in Rexburg, Idaho. While at Ricks, I was actively involved in anything that had to do with music. I attended Portland State University in Portland, Oregon where I earned a Bachelors of Science in Human Resources Management in 2004 and then a Post-Baccalaureate in Business Information Systems in 2009. I married Julia, my college sweet heart, in June of 1998. We now have six beautiful children and enjoy spending time camping, canoeing, hiking, and anything else that has to do with the outdoors. The family moved to the Cincinnati area in 2010 from Newberg, Oregon and have fallen in love with Ohio.

I have worked in the IT field since 1991.  I began work with United Way in 1997, and joined Upic Solutions in 2006.  It’s a pleasure helping our United Way customers and their great cause.  Everything we do here at Upic Solutions changes and improves lives everyday.

Debbie Jacob
Andar Analyst

I am a Business Analyst Specialist at Upic Solutions. I started working at the United Way of Greater Toledo in 1979, then joined the Upic team in 2008. I get to work with a very diverse group of people from across the country, including United Way staff, agency staff, company employees, donors and Upic staff. They are all working together to help people in need and make their communities a better place. It’s a great feeling to know that I’m contributing to that. One thing that amazes me, though, is how appreciative everyone is for the information and help I provide. When I’m not driving my two teenagers somewhere, I enjoy Zumba classes, reading, golf and gardening. (Andar & FMS-20 years)

Melinda Jump
Processing Specialist

Melinda Jump joins us most recently from her time as a Support Services Manager at Aspire Indiana located in Noblesville, Indiana and she recently finished her BSBA.

A proud Hoosier, Melinda just relocated to back to Kentucky where her husband, Thomas, is from originally. She has 3 adult children – sons Devon and Triston, and daughter Madison – and a sweet but hyperactive puppy named Honey. In her free time, Melinda loves a good story, either in movie or book form.