Kevin Ptak ’04 (professional and technical communication)

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Current position: Global Communications Manager at Mako Networks (, an Auckland, New Zealand-based network management company specializing in protecting small and multi-site businesses from cybercrime and credit card fraud.

Career path: After receiving a master’s degree from Syracuse University, Ptak returned to Rochester to work for Text 100 public relations. He left “to travel internationally while I was still young.”

He also wanted to work in his field. After extensive research, he moved to New Zealand in 2008 and went to work for Mako two years later. He moved to San Francisco in 2012 when Mako established its U.S. headquarters there. His job “encompasses all public relations, marketing and social media initiatives.”

The company, which had about 15 employees in 2010, now has more than 100 worldwide.

“In a professional sense, it’s gratifying to see the company grow so quickly based on good people with good ideas.

“We want to be portrayed as the next big idea to come out of a small country.”

On the Bay Area: “There’s no place like it when it comes to innovation and new ideas, especially when it comes to technology. Technology touches your life in a day-to-day way like nowhere else.”

For example, if he were going out to dinner, he’d turn to Yelp to find the restaurant and make a reservation, then connect with Lyft, a car service, for transportation, then pay for dinner with his phone, all concepts coming out of small companies in San Francisco.

Remembering RIT: Ptak began as an electrical engineering major, but after a year “fell into a program that I loved.” Professional and technical communication is very interdisciplinary, very diverse, encompassing writing, design and technology. “It gave me the opportunity to explore many areas, satisfy my curiosity.”

“The diversity helped prepare me for what I wanted to do. In my work, no two days are the same.”

Hometown: Buffalo

Currently resides in: Potrero Hill, San Francisco

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