Our Team

Justin Porter
Founder & Chief Solutions Architect

Justin is the Founder of Text Connects and is certified as a Shopify Development Expert. His interest in computers began in high school when he founded the company to serve a hungry market of small businesses with less than ten employees and a list of computer issues.

Today, 20 years later, Justin has been involved in the building, deployment or replatforming of more than 100 e-commerce sites for startups and recognized brands, as well as custom application development and systems integration for more than 60 organizations, from “mom and pop” to enterprise-level. 

He graduated from Daniel Webster College with a degree in Aviation Flight Operations. His studies led him to appreciate the importance of safety and risk mitigation that carryover in his work today. It also earned him what amounts to a second major in computer science, courtesy of his computer-science-major roommates.

As a Pilot-in-Command, Second-in-Command, and flight instructor, Justin has nearly 10,000 hours in the cockpits of single-engine, multi-engine, and turbojet aircraft. 

 

Kristen Bennett
Administrative & Human Resources Assistant

Kristen joined Text Connects in 2017 after a career managing medical offices. She is “client-facing” with a smile and helps our clients with data entry and production for their e-commerce stores.

An organizational wizard, it’s Kristen that polishes our reputation for keeping projects (and our people!) buttoned-down. An accomplished master-multitasker, she also runs point on billing and invoicing.

Kristen will tell you she loves her “small town country life” in Eastern Connecticut where she was born and raised, graduating from Woodstock Academy. Married and a mother of two “boys” (grown men, really), Kristen is devoted to one particular aspect of life in her small town, NASCAR short track racing.

Weekend nights will find her at local races with her eyes on a certain Chevy Monte Carlo. Behind the wheel is her championship-winning son Zack with her other son, Cameron, a crew member specializing in a race car’s soul, tires. Both are part of the family’s ZR Motorsports team.

Maybe it’s watching the “bump ‘n banging” of short track racing (imagine three-dozen-plus cars trying to pass each other on a half-mile oval!) that enables her to keep her eyes on so many spinning plates at Text Connects. Whatever it is, she loves the work and the team, as well as traveling to client offices, all while managing those spinning plates.

 

Ben Mayo
Developer

Ben joined Text Connects in 2019 with more than a decade of experience under his belt in programming, application development, and web development. In addition, he is fully versed in the Adobe Creative Suite of design tools. All of this comes in handy in his very diverse portfolio of assignments for clients of Text Connects.

His self-taught education in computers began in middle school and continued with a formal curriculum in programming and web development at a technical high school. Later he earned a certificate in microcomputer applications and now is slated to receive his B.S. in computer science from Southern New Hampshire University in 2022.

A nerd at heart, Ben is one of the few programmers you will meet that spends his spare time with Haiku. The open-source alternative operating system, not the three-phrase style of Japanese poetry.

Ask his colleagues to describe Ben in a word and you might hear “reserved.” He prefers “determined” and “persistent.” What they love about Ben? His willingness to
engage at length with trade show attendees who seem to have a LOT of time on their hands. Ben is their hero for that.

Born and raised in the Worcester, Massachusetts, area, Ben now resides in the village of Ashford, Connecticut. In his spare time he hangs with family and friends, and confesses to having a too-keen interest in comically terrible horror movies on Netflix. 

 

Cedrick Monesit
Developer

A passionate programmer, Cedrick joined Text Connects in December 2020 to help us with front- and back-end programming. A self-taught computer programmer since middle school, he graduated from the highly regarded Keefe Technical High School in Framingham, Massachusetts, with a focus on programming and web development.

He credits a shop teacher at Keefe for inspiring his passion for programming. And he credits an online learning platform for upping his knowledge of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), Javascript, and PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor; it’s a weird acronym).

Another central passion of Cedrick’s is music: R&B, rap, and trap. His favorite artists include Pop Smoke who once hit the Billboard 200, but sadly was murdered in early 2020. Other faves are Future and the more mainstream Drake.

When not writing code (JavaScript is his first choice), he is almost always out on long, destinationless drives. Or in the gym, lifting (“lift with your legs not your back!”).

Cedrick admits to getting into “situationships,” so that tells us something about his approach to love! He does have one love, Sandie, his Jack Russell Terrier. If you know anything about Jack Russells, you know this is no “situationship.”

We have to quote Cedrick on his other love, music: “I like music so much that if you can't hear me blasting it from my car a mile away there’s an issue.” We hope to always hear the music.

 

Nick McCooey
Developer

Nick joined Text Connects in December of 2020, not long after he graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a degree in Computer Science. 

His favorite “language” is JavaScript, considered part of the “holy trinity” of web development: CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), HTML, and JavaScript. 

Day-to-day, as with most of our developers, Nick fixes bugs (yes, there are always some!), adjusts the styling of web pages, creates new features and custom pages for our various clients. 

Born and raised in Narragansett, Rhode Island, Nick is a beach bum on the ground and in the air a licensed pilot.  LIke our Founder Justin Porter, he is rated for jets and light aircraft and also a former flight instructor. They claim not to know each other from their days in the skies.

Nick is also an accomplished hiker and has summited Mt. Washington in New Hampshire a number of times. At 6,288 feet, it is called “the most dangerous small mountain in the world.” 

He may be on it again soon as one of his ambitions is to hike the Appalachian Trail which crosses the summit of Mt. Washington. At 2,190 miles long, we have to ask Nick, “How is WiFi on the trail if you need to work?”

 

David Porter-Price
Project Manager

David became a part of the Text Connects team in February 2020 bringing with him nearly twenty years of senior-level management experience in the retail grocery business.

Though he has been a meat cutter, meat and seafood sales manager, and managed inventory and merchandising of a 50,000 square-foot store, at his core David is an analytical “data guy.”

An expert in lean management principles and with a strong bent for the Japanese “kaizen” philosophy of continuous improvement, he had an impact on Text Connects from his first days. 

A natural leader of people and process improvements, David has introduced new project management tools as well as new practices in management, operations, and planning for the Text Connects team. 

Born and raised in Putnam, Connecticut, David earned his bachelor’s degree from Eastern Connecticut State University. When not managing projects or doing a deep dive in the data, you might see him in a crossfit class, on a hiking trail or perfecting his talents in stone masonry.

Most telling about David, he is an Eagle Scout, a lifetime designation and honor earned by only 4% of all Boy Scouts. Google Boy Scouts of America and you will learn that to be an Eagle Scout one must develop an extensive service project that “the Scout plans, organizes, leads, and manages.” 

It all makes sense now, doesn’t it.

 

Madison (Maddie) Trott
Assistant Project Manager

Maddie “raced” into Text Connects in August 2020 to support our team in managing the dozens of individual projects we are working on at any one time. 

As a committed chef and baker, Maddie knows how to follow the proper steps in managing any project, as well as when to confidently modify a “recipe.” 

Certified as an Administrative Assistant, she knows how to manage her time and priorities well. She is also skilled, as many well-trained Admins are, in “managing up.” A prized skill on our very busy team.

She truly did earn her spot at the company by racing. When not in the office or snuggling her eccentric Shih Tzu and Siamese you’ll find Maddie at the track fabricating and welding Street Stock racing car frames with her NASCAR-driver boyfriend. 

On any project with Maddie our motto is “do not mess with a woman holding a hot welding torch!”

 

Debbie Dillis
Content Editor

In late 2020, Debbie joined the fast-growing team at Text Connects and was immediately thrown into the deep end of our Shopify pool. A superb writer, she applies her skill to everything from “tags” (maybe not writing, but oh so important!) to product descriptions and other vital information for client websites.

Before joining Text Connects she was a project manager for a pharma company working with Clinical Trials teams. Planning meetings for as many as 5,000 doctors and their staff means that controlling chaos is her “side hustle” for us.

Debbie’s Super Power is her ability to overcome serious phobias. She conquered her fear of spiders (arachnophobia) by staring a tarantula down in a pet store. Today, one of her roommates is Rosie, a Rose Hair tarantula (one of 70). Fear conquered!

Besides a son headed to culinary school, her life is full of volunteering for two dog rescues and feeding her zoo, err, menagerie that includes the tarantulas, a parrot (she’s trying to teach naughty words), as well as a dog (one), snakes (25), lizards (four different species), and cats (two). At last check.

When not tending to her widespread menagerie or in her Wrangler Jeep with the roof and doors off, you’ll probably find Debbie in the kitchen where it is safe to say she’ll be cooking something with pineapple in it. Part of her longing for the tropics.