Category Archives: Nerds

Meet the Nerds: Troy Beard

We are incredibly pleased to introduce you to the newest Nerd, Troy Beard. Troy was born and raised in New Orleans, so appreciates the importance of our local businesses, which he will be serving as a Network Technician.  When asked about his experiences for the past couple of months, he had this to say: A big positive to come out of social distancing is personal hygiene has become a bigger part of everyday lives, communities have become closer, and world pollution is down significantly. We love his great attitude and enjoyed reading his responses to our nerdy and New Orleans-related questions. What’s your favorite local restaurant? Royal Thai Star Wars or Star Trek:  Star Trek (which made me think of this meme, for which IRead Full Article


Meet the Nerds: Chien Nguyen, Network Technician

Rent-A-Nerd, Inc. is excited to introduce our newest Nerd, Chien Nguyen, to the team. Chien is a Network Technician, which means that he specializes in trouble shooting issues and setting up business networks. Of course he doesn’t always work, so we thought you’d like to get to know him a little better. After all, he may be at your office or home sometime in the near future! Here are Chien’s responses to our “fun facts” questions: What’s your favorite local restaurant:  I might be biased because the owner and I go way back; Kin on Washington Ave. is an AWESOME restaurant. Star Wars or Star Trek: Star Wars [Editor’s note: This is good since Darrin and Charlotte are Sith Lords.] What’s your favorite Mardi Gras Krewe: Krewe du Who of the Intergalactic KreweRead Full Article


CityBusiness Women of the Year Luncheon

I was incredibly honored to be selected as one of the New Orleans CityBusiness Women of the Year for the Class of 2015, and I was in very good company. Others chosen for this honor included doctors, attorneys, business leaders, and philanthropists, as well as the Woman of the Year, Clem Goldberger, Senior Specialist for Development, Communications, and External Affairs for the National World War II Museum. Her acceptance speech at the November 12th luncheon was deeply moving and her list of accomplishments seemed unending. The luncheon was a celebration of the wonderful diversity of successful women working and volunteering in Greater New Orleans.  As each honoree was named, their stories seemed to grow increasingly impressive. At one point, I told Darrin (Rent-A-Nerd’s founder and CEO,Read Full Article


CityBusiness Best Places to Work

Rent-A-Nerd, Inc. is incredibly pleased to have been selected one of the 2015 CityBusiness Best Places to Work. Darrin, my husband and Rent-A-Nerd’s founder, and I are humbled by this honor and truly credit our talented and dedicated staff, as they represent our company with professionalism at all times. It is therefore a pleasure to create as congenial a work environment as possible. We are one of only fifteen small businesses to be honored this year. According to New Orleans CityBusiness, Honorees are chosen based on a questionnaire of benefits offered, including average salary, health care, paid time off and employee programs, coupled with an online survey of employees. Although we are a small, locally-owned business, we strive to provide our employees with the benefitsRead Full Article


CityBusiness honors Charlotte Piotrowski as a 2015 Women of the Year

Rent-A-Nerd, Inc. is very pleased that our co-owner and Director of Marketing and Community Outreach has been selected by New Orleans CityBusiness as one of the Women of the Year honorees. Charlotte was selected based on her professional and community achievements. Per CityBusiness: Fifty honorees for the 2015 class of CityBusiness “Women of the Year” have been chosen, and they will be the guests of honor at an event highlighting their professional and community achievements. The 17th annual “Women of the Year” will be recognized at a noon Nov. 12 luncheon at the Hyatt Regency, when an overall Woman of the Year will be announced. A special insert spotlighting all “Women of the Year” honorees will run in the Nov. 27 issue of CityBusiness. SeatingRead Full Article


Survival Tips for Working with Your Spouse

Do you own your own business? Does your spouse? Have you ever considered working with your spouse? I certainly hadn’t! Even before we were married, I would help my then-boyfriend (then fiance) Darrin Piotrowski, Founder and President of Rent-A-Nerd, Inc., a New Orleans-area full-service IT company, whenever he asked me to proof a proposal, listen to a pitch, or consider a new idea.  So I certainly continued to do so after we were married. When he was accepted to the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, I knew that I would be involved with his “homework,” which ultimately included a growth plan (you can read about his experience here and here). It was during this time, when we both spent hours (he many, many more thanRead Full Article


Meet the Nerds: Tyler Braddick, Network Technician

Rent-A-Nerd, Inc. is excited to introduce our newest Nerd, Tyler Braddick, to the team. Tyler is a Network Technician, so you’re likely to see him working with other Nerds to set up a business’s entire computer network, trouble shooting issues that users may be experiencing, and other nerdy stuff. But, since he doesn’t always work, we thought it would be fun to sit down with him and learn a little more about him. Here are Tyler’s responses to our “fun facts” questions: Favorite local restaurant: Old Rail Brewing Company [Editor’s Note: It gets good reviews and is just across the Causeway at 639 Girod Street in Mandeville.] Star Wars or Star Trek: Star Wars, it was the first (although Episodes 1-3 are not all that great) [Editor’sRead Full Article


ABWA New Orleans: Crescent City Connections EN Chartered

October 9, 2014 was an exciting day. It was the day that the ABWA Crescent City Connections Express Network was officially chartered, marking the organization’s return to New Orleans following a nine year absence. You see, there had been six ABWA leagues in the Greater New Orleans area. However, after the storm that ripped apart our city, all six leagues disbanded. I’m please to say that ABWA is back in New Orleans, and growing quickly! I remember receiving an email via LinkedIn regarding the formation of a new ABWA league in New Orleans and was immediately interested. The nation-wide organization’s mission statement says it all: “The mission of the American Business Women’s Association is to bring together business women of diverse occupations and to provideRead Full Article


Rent-A-Nerd, Inc. Mourns the Passing of Thomas Reine

Thomas Reine (Tommy) was a long-time Nerd, having joined Rent-A-Nerd, Inc. in February 2002.  We are very sorry to report that Tommy died on May 14, 2014, following a brief hospitalization for a heart condition.  He  was the son of Luke and Doris Reine, brother of Chris and Beth Reine, brother-in-law of Linda Reine, and uncle of Anna and Emily Reine. In addition to being a loyal Nerd, he was a cherished friend and Midcity neighbor.  Here’s a link to our Meet the Nerds interview with Tommy.  He will certainly be missed.  Here are some parting comments from his Nerd coworkers: “Through the years, Tommy worked his way up from the position of inside technician to field service tech.  He was a valuable resource to ourRead Full Article


My Goldman Sachs 10000 Small Businesses Story (Part II)

Continued from Part I of My Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Story… Once admitted to the program, I was assigned to Cohort 5 (the next session) with twenty-three other scholars, comprised of a diverse group of business owners, in industries ranging from construction to restaurants.  Together, we employed 337 people and had revenues of $39 million.  That’s quite a socio-economic impact on the region!  Some of the businesses were young and experiencing growing pains, some had plateaued, and some—as in my case—had declined through the years. Over the course of four months, encompassing sixteen classes, I embarked on a crash course in running a business.  Overwhelming?  Yes!  So many questions ran through my head.  Could I do it?  Maybe, with the right support.  Was IRead Full Article


My Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Story (Part I)

During the spring of 2013, I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program.  This program is designed to give business owners the skills required to grow and sustain their existing businesses.  And in some cases, it may even open a few new doors. For me, the journey started before I even knew about the program.  In 1997, I started Rent-A-Nerd, Inc. with little to no business experience.  I had been working in the computer industry for three years prior, but mostly in a sales capacity.  I strategically placed a few signs around the city, and my new business was born.  At first, invoices were handwritten and logged onto a spreadsheet.  This was easy enough for one person.  AsRead Full Article


Meet the Nerds, Part VII: Charlotte Piotrowski

I am the final Nerd in our “Meet the Nerds” series, and it is really hard to interview myself!  I’m happily and proudly married to the chief Nerd, Darrin, and joined Rent-A-Nerd on a part-time basis in the fall of 2013, when we realized I had a lot of ideas that we wanted to implement.  I focus on our online presence and business development.  Be sure to read my article about working with your spouse here! So, here are my responses to the “fun facts” questions: What’s your Favorite local restaurant:  It depends on my mood, though I am always in the mood to go to Martinique and Ralph’s on the Park.  For special occasions, I love Clancy’s and Patois.  I think a casual breakfastRead Full Article


Meet the Nerds, Part VI: Beibei Lin

Beibei is one of the newest Nerds, though he has been with us since 2006.  Beibei is our Network Technician, and he focuses mainly on business clients.  He was born in Shenyang, China and moved to the U.S. when he was twelve.  He joined the Marines in 2000, and was deployed overseas in 2003, during Enduring Freedom.  Here are his responses to our “fun facts” questions: Favorite Local Restaurant: Don’t really have a favorite, maybe Drago’s.  (We understand not being able to choose!) Star Wars or Star Trek: Star Wars Favorite Mardi Gras Krewe: Endymion (You may have noticed a trend.  This is the favorite Krewe of the six Nerds profiled thus far.) Dream vacation location:  I have always wanted to go to Tokyo.  (SoundsRead Full Article


Darrin guest lectures at Delgado Community College

Darrin was recently asked to give a presentation to students at  Delgado Community College.  So, on a recent morning, he gave a talk to the Introduction to Business class, along with Kelvin Gipson, Alumni Services Manager for Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses.  Here’s Darrin’s account of the experience: I gave a brief presentation on being a business owner and entrepreneur as well as fielded questions from students.  I met fellow graduates of the Goldman Sachs program, Heidi Raines of Medical Executive Partners, and Tracey Ryals-Frazier of B&S Equipment Company.  Not only did I learn a lot about their businesses and the common issues that we as business owners come across.  I also learned that many of the students had questions that were in line withRead Full Article


Meet the Nerds, Part V: Marshall Flaig

In addition to being the Nerd’s recently promoted Service Manager, Marshall–who has been playing drums since 4th grade–is in the band, A Living Soundtrack.  Here’s the band’s link: http://alivingsoundtrack.bandcamp.com. Another cool fact about Marshall is that he grows his hair so that when it’s long enough, he can cut it to donate to Locks of Love, which creates natural-hair wigs for children with cancer.  We’re very impressed!  Here are Marshall’s responses to our “fun facts” questions: Favorite local restaurant:  Jacques Imo’s When asked to choose between Star Wars and Star Trek, Marshall said, “I don’t want to live in a world where I have to choose.” Favorite Mardi Gras Krewe: Endymion Dream vacation location: New Zealand (We didn’t ask if he’s motivated by “The LordRead Full Article


Meet the Nerds Part IV, Tommy Reine

The next Nerd in our series is Tommy, our field services technician.  Tommy has been with Rent-A-Nerd since 2002, and is the one you’re most likely to see if you’re a home user. Favorite local restaurant: The Galley When asked to pick between Star Wars or Star Trek, his response was: Yes (We think that must mean he can’t possibly choose, though we should point out that per the vast amount of debate we read online, Star Wars really is superior to Star Trek.) Favorite Mardi Gras Krewe:  Endymion (Just like our office manager, Cecily, Tommy lives in Mid City.  We think that might play a factor in krewe selection.) Dream vacation location:  Tommy had no response to this question, and we’re not sure whatRead Full Article


Meet the Nerds, Part III: Cecily

We’re excited to introduce the office’s original Nerdette, Cecily Coats, our fabulous office manager.  Cecily and owner, Darrin, have been friends for years; and we appreciate her combination of quirky humor and professionalism.  Here are her responses to our “fun facts” questions: What’s your favorite local restaurant:  Mimi’s—the lamb chops are the best! When asked to choose between Star Wars or Star Trek: Cecily chose neither, which makes us all a little sad. Favorite Mardi Gras Krewe:  We weren’t surprised this Mid-City girl picked Endymion as her favorite krewe.  At least she has parking! Dream vacation location: Bora Bora PlayStation or XBox:  Again, Cecily chose neither.  (We kind of think Cecily isn’t a nerd.) Favorite game:  Jenga (Well, maybe she is a nerd after all.)Read Full Article


Meet the Nerds, Part II: Nick

Next in our Meet the Nerds series, we’ve asked Nick Lauve, Network Specialist, our “fun facts” questions; and here are his responses: What’s your Favorite local restaurant:  GW Fins  (We have to agree; this is a great choice!  www.gwfins.com) Star Wars or Star Trek:  Star Wars, though the original Star Trek w/ Shatner and Nimoy is a VERY close second place. What’s your favorite Mardi Gras Krewe:  Endymion What’s your dream vacation location:  Grand Isle (We happen to know that Nick loves the outdoors and fishing.  In fact, you can read his blog on these subjects and more, at  http://techlauve.com/blog/.) PlayStation or XBox:  Playstation When asked his favorite game, he couldn’t pick just one:  Relatively Current: Red Dead Redemption.  All time:  Super Mario World AndroidRead Full Article


Meet the Nerds, Part I: Darrin, Chief Nerd

Darrin Piotrowski is our fearless leader.  He founded Rent-A-Nerd with $300 that he borrowed from his mom.  Since then he has tirelessly worked to grow the company into one that takes pride on giving its clients high quality IT sales and services, to home users and businesses of any size. We’ve asked all of the Nerds to answer some fun fact questions, and here are Darrin’s responses: When asked his favorite local restaurant, here’s his wordy response:  I have to pick one?  Patois for the gourmet in me.  Galatoire’s for old school.  Chiba when I need to satisfy my sushi craving.  Satsuma for Sunday brunch, despite the stupid seating situation! Star Wars or Star Trek:   Hov wars qamuSHa’  (Our response, “huh?”) Favorite Mardi Gras Krewe: Read Full Article