Alex Perez - Systems Engineer

Alex Perez

Systems Engineer

Alex is the investigator. He can figure out how anything works and is adept at planning, creating and troubleshooting complex computer systems. Alex has 30 years of professional experience in technology. He served as a sonar technician in the U.S. Navy and, early in his professional career, worked as a process control analyst for AT&T Technologies. Alex has more than 15 years of experience in server and data center operations in a range of industries. Prior to joining CrossRealms, he worked as a network specialist and then as a systems engineer for an international law firm. At CrossRealms, his work often involves moving clients from a range of different legacy systems into newer technology and helping them anticipate their needs into the future. He enjoys the unique challenges that each CrossRealms client presents. He also enjoys the opportunity CrossRealms presents to mentor junior technical engineers. Alex, his wife Katrina, and their two sons live in the south suburbs. Alex also has two grown children. Even in his spare time, Alex enjoys working on technological challenges, including participating in an Arduino robotics class at his local library. Aliens: Colonial Marines is the go-to video game for Alex and his sons. In the summer, the family takes a break from technology at their rustic (no plumbing or electricity) cabin in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Alex’s other favorite pastimes include listening to music, barbequing, and growing vegetables.
Esteban Olivares - Support Engineer

Esteban Olivares

Support Engineer

Esteban has been with CrossRealms since February 2015 and is a native of Highland, Indiana. He’s adept at server administration and management, but also skilled at ensuring smooth server and database migrations. Esteban loves becoming immersed into projects at CrossRealms, most recently he built a server and set up a large network of computers.

When not at work, Esteban is often traveling; some of his favorite destinations include Las Vegas, Texas, and Mexico, but he’s also very interested in exploring Japan. He’s a large fan of the Chicago Bears and loves boxing, notably César Chávez. 

Phil Benton - Data Center Engineer

Phil Benton

Data Center Engineer

Phil is the guy who deploys the hardware. Servers, storage, switches, routers, and more.
Prior to joining CrossRealms he worked in Data Center Operations as an engineer for a global financial company at one of their regional datacenters. Before his job as a datacenter engineer, he worked as a UNIX systems administrator for an international law firm based in Chicago’s Loop. Phil currently works with virtual environments, backup and storage integration, and system deployments.

Phil is a lifelong technology tinkerer and gamer, working on various alternative operating systems such as FreeBSD, BeOS, Debian and QNX. Most of his gaming time is spent on Azeroth playing World of Warcraft, running the streets of Manhattan in The Division, or exploring the future of mankind in Destiny.

A Cold War Veteran, he and his wife Sue reside in Highland, Ind. They have two grown children, Aric and Alexandra, and Siberian husky Ishi. In the summer, you can find him listening to Iron Maiden, Anthrax, or Slayer while he’s in the garage resto-modding his 1972 Buick Skylark. 

Cassidy Steele - Support Engineer Env

Cassidy Steele

Support Engineer

Cassidy has been with CrossRealms since July, 2015 and immediately made an impact on our support team. He currently specializes in 3CX phone systems, but is excited to expand his expertise into backup and virtualization as well.

After serving in the U.S. Army for 6 years as an infantryman in Colorado, Cassidy moving to Chicago with his wife Dorothy, a native of the area. At the age of 13, he built his first PC, which he cites as the spark for his passion in technology. Because of his interest in anything related to electronic or mechanical, you’ll always find him reading up on the latest trends in the industry and playing PC games. Even though he no longer lives in Colorado, he still enjoys the outdoors, as well as the Colorado Avalanche and Denver Broncos.

When asked what gets him out of bed each day, Cassidy replied, “Crossrealms gives me the chance to expand my boundaries and learn new things on an almost daily basis, which gives me a firm foundation in many different environments and technologies. I’m able to work in general support all the way up to equipment deployment, and anything in between.” 

Steve Mac - Enterprise Engineer E

Steve Mac

Enterprise Engineer

Steve is an enterprise engineer extraordinaire with more than 20 years of professional experience. He excels at leading and executing network and application design, migration and support for technical implementations. He keeps track of all the moving parts, ensuring that resources are in place for projects, team members are properly deployed, and everything that needs to be done is being done–the right way and at the right time.

No two days and no two problems are ever the same, he says, adding that the only thing that never changes is the need to develop and implement the best solution. Customer satisfaction, not only with our solutions, but also with every aspect of the CrossRealms experience is of paramount importance to Steve.

Steve holds a master’s degree in business administration from Western Governors University, Salt Lake City, Utah; and a bachelor’s degree in electronics engineering technology from DeVry University, Chicago, IL.

He and his sons live on the Northwest Side of Chicago. Steve and his older son are learning the mixed martial art, Krav Maga, and regularly take long bicycle rides through the forest preserve near their home. Steve’s other interests include football (Chicago Bears and Michigan Wolverines); rock and heavy metal music (Van Halen, Kyng, Eve to Adam, Living Colour, and Godsmack) and DC Comics’ Batman. His go-to video game is Batman: Arkham Asylum Series. 

Usama Houlia - CEO

Usama Houlila

President and Enterprise Architect
Usama Houlila is an Enterprise Architect with more than 20 years of professional experience providing technology solutions for organizations in industries including legal, public services, healthcare, finance, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. Usama is well-versed in all phases of project delivery – from initiation to closeout. His ability to see the big picture is a product of his comprehensive knowledge of hardware, software, application, and systems engineering. Usama’s myriad interests include international affairs, nutrition and health, cooking, and music. He has played the flute since childhood and is an avid runner and bicyclist who recently added swimming and triathlons to the mix. He currently manages, designs, and deploys palo alto for legal, healthcare, and financial services.