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Jason Butterfield

Jason Butterfield

Faculty of Applied Science & Technology

Degree: Computer Science Technology

Year of graduation: 1991

Balancing Act

Details of your career

I left Sheridan to embark upon a 10 year adventure at one of the largest software companies in the world, Microsoft. I actually started out working part-time in the Marketing Department developing a Database IV retail sales database, while finishing up at school. When I graduated I was able to obtain a position in Products Support Services, supporting MS Excel, MS Project and Flight Simulator.

Over the next few years I worked my way up to Senior Technician and then as Windows 95 launched, I became one of the Windows support team managers. It was an exciting time in the computer industry; the Internet was starting to become a known quantity and the new 32-Bit Windows operating system was about to be launched. The Internet looked even more exciting, so I moved to the Microsoft Network (MSN) Canada team as a Program Manager.

We launched MSN Canada with several ‘shows’ in late 1996. MSN then moved to the open Internet and we launched the MSN portal. I rounded up my time at Microsoft with a brief period in MS consulting focusing on SharePoint and Intranet Portal technologies.

I left MS to start a company called NutraChoice.com, an online portal that focused on the business-to-business aspect of the nutrition industry. In 2001, we acquired a competitor, out of the U.S., called NPIcenter.com and continue to operate under that name.

Over the past seven years we have grown from 100 visitors a week to over 15,000 visitors a day. In October of 2006, NPIcenter.com was acquired by Penton Media. I now run the development group of the portal, focusing on upcoming Internet technologies, user experience and community enablement.

Personal / professional accomplishments

  • Meeting and speaking with Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer and Paul Allen
  • Starting my own business, building it and having someone else interested enough to acquire it
  • Getting married and having three awesome boys

Share a memory from your days at Sheridan

Having the Barenaked Ladies show up at an on-campus pub!

Tell us about a faculty member who made an impact on your life

It would have to be Bill Farkas, and finally getting the Fourier Transform – but only after he explained it on a napkin.

What advice would you give a Sheridan student?

Advice? It should be intuitive and self evident of any student in a postsecondary environment: focus on your studies – that’s why you’re there. But I would add, don’t forget to live and have fun at the same time. Learning to ‘balance’ early will set you up for a life of fulfillment and rewards.

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