Dennis M. Birke
President / Founder
Dennis M. Birke is a respected pioneer in the document generation industry, having developed the first word processing program for mainframe systems. Prior to founding Top Down Systems, he was responsible for telecommunications product design with the Technical Services Group at Stromberg-Carlson Data System Services. At the University of Pittsburgh Computer Center, Mr. Birke was a lead programmer and technology developer.
Mr. Birke holds a B.S. in Computer Science from North Carolina State University and an M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Pittsburgh. Mr. Birke is a published author, including an article in IEEE Transaction on Communications, Special Issue on Computers.
Michael P. Fitzgerald
Senior Vice President of Technical Services
Michael Fitzgerald joined the company in 1988. He is responsible for professional services consulting, documentation, quality assurance and technical support. He is an award-winning programmer and technical writer with over thirty years of experience in online systems, information retrieval, and computer data security. A systems architect, author, analyst, and technical writer, Mr. Fitzgerald provides Top Down Systems with a broad scope of direction.
Previously, Mr. Fitzgerald was a development supervisor and system architect with the Library of Congress. He began his data processing career with IBM in Rochester, Minnesota, where he was a technical writer and received an IBM Outstanding Contribution Award. Mr. Fitzgerald holds a B.A. in Political Science from Georgetown University.
Richard N. Hykes
Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration
Richard Hykes joined the company in 1988. He is responsible for Top Down Systems' financial and administrative functions, including strategic planning for the company's growth and development, managing its financial and administrative aspects and assisting in business development activities.
With over 30 years of experience, he began his career with the General Electric Company in its Information Services Business Division where he helped establish its international time-sharing network, and was involved with the start-up of computer software firms.
Mr. Hykes is a C.P.A., holds a B.S. in Economics from the University of Maryland and a M.B.A. in International Business from the University of Michigan.
Matthew R. Lederer
Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing
Matt Lederer joined the company in 2003. He is responsible for developing and executing marketing and sales strategies, managing the sales and marketing teams, business development and driving organizational growth.
Mr. Lederer brings more than 15 years of experience in various sales roles at Fortune 500 companies and technology startups including MicroAge, GE Global eXchange, TPN Register, PricewaterhouseCoopers and IBM. Mr. Lederer holds a B.S. in Marketing from Frostburg State University.
Vice President of Product Development
JR Hayward joined the company in 2001. He is responsible for the technical direction and development of Top Down Systems' products. Mr. Hayward has nearly 30 years of experience in the software industry, in the U.S. and internationally. He brings with him a wealth of experience in high-volume transaction systems, as well as general business software products.
Prior to joining Top Down Mr. Hayward was the Director of Development for Legal Edge Software and for 20 years owned his own software development and consulting company, providing products and services to computer software and hardware companies and governments.