How in the world did I end up as a taxonomist? I often wonder that myself. It’s been a drunkard’s walk (not literally) through the financial industry, teaching, Library Science, documentation management, and finally to taxonomy. I do more than spend my days questioning the difference between lipstick and lip stain, though. I like to write, travel, and read good books.

Manager, Taxonomy 2017-Present : @WalmartLabs
I manage the team responsible for the back-end taxonomy at Walmart, covering over 13,000 different types of products that cover an online catalog of over 100 million items. (I also coordinate the pub quiz team.)

Senior Taxonomist 2014-2017 : @WalmartLabs
Building the next generation taxonomy for Walmart Corporation.

Responsible for the Walmart Enterprise Specification: the collection of attributes that suppliers provide Walmart to onboard new products at Walmart Stores, Sam’s Club, and

Manager, Customer Publications and Content 2012-2014: Xyratex
Built a unified content strategy for product documentation, implementing content processes, standards,and tools, integrating product content with multiple publication channels.

I oversaw the creation of an online platform for technical documentation, which necessitated requirements gathering, content analysis, taxonomy creation, and developing editorial standards. I manage a team of five technical writers and  regularly work with departments across the company to facilitate publishing content, including IT, Support, Sales, and Product Development. This has given me a breadth of business experience and insight into being successful in a cross-functional organization.

Content Developer 2011-2012 : Symantec
I was part of the content strategy team that facilitated the migration of the website. The project included a site audit, strategic analysis, gap analysis, taxonomy creation, content migration, and UAT testing. The site went go live in 41 countries, and 28 languages.

Owner, BiblioTech. L.L.C. 2008-2010
Owned BiblioTech, L.L.C., which provided  specialized product development,  research, and writing projects. I utilized my background in finance, education, linguistics, and information science to build a unique and outcome-driven business. Below are examples of some recent projects:

  • Taxonomy/Thesaurus Development
    Created a faceted taxonomy for a story-based language learning application utilizing elements of  Wordnet, ConceptNet, CommonWords, and OpenCyc.
    Created the technical specification required for transforming  the taxonomy into useful code by developers.
  • Product Development
    Developed heuristics for a custom stemming algorithm to  determine  parts of speech.
    Developed user-centered product specification for an online game.
    Created storyboard mock-ups for an online story-based application.
    Provided competitive market analysis and business plan modeling for online social network.
  • Specialized Research
    Conducted a systems analysis and provided a technical architecture and business processes playbook for a content management solution for an international travel company.
    Provided an analysis of current  age-of-acquisition research to determine method for the purpose of creating language-learning methodology.
    Provided a summary of current academic research in readability metrics.
    Supplied a niche market analysis for new online community targeted to fathers to inform strategic investment decision.
  • Specialized Writing Projects
    Developed custom lesson plans for a start-up devoted to teaching financial literacy to children.
    Adapted a collection of classic stories into several different levels of readability for younger readers.

Private Teacher: 2000- 2007
I was responsible for the formal education of five children. Curriculum was based on the classic Trivium, and conducted based on the Eaton style of instruction. Curriculum included reading, writing, mathematics, history, science, and Latin. I also conducted periodic testing and evaluation with tests I designed myself, as well as standardized tests. When the family moved to Switzerland, the two oldest children received the highest standardized test scores in their canton.

ESL Tutor (Volunteer): 1998-2000
Part of the adult literacy program for the Los Angeles Library system, I tutored adult English-language learners in one-to-one sessions.

Senior Benefits Analyst: Compensation Resource Group, Inc. 1996-1998
I administered non-qualified deferred compensation and benefit packages worth hundreds of millions of dollars for executives at Fortune 1000 companies. Duties included benefit calculation, database maintenance, production of reports, editing and quality control of enrollment packages, and maintaining correspondence with human resources personnel. I was also responsible for training in-house personnel in new database applications.

Collateral Review Specialist: First Interstate Bank 1993-1995
I reviewed appraisals for consideration as collateral within the loan application process. I supervised and coordinated special project which integrated and streamlined processes across 13-states, and was responsible for hiring and training junior review specialists.