When talking about the inception of TOPS, the name of our founder, Jeff Hardy, is what you most often hear. Our Story starts with how he began as an accountant in a fortune 500 company by day and a frustrated HOA board member by night, who went on to become a successful community association manager and develop the software that inevitably became TOPS.
However, what we don’t talk about nearly often enough are all the other people behind the success TOPS Software, the wind beneath our wings, the unsung heroes of TOPS. In this new article series, we want to give you a peek behind the curtain to see all of the many helping hands who have helped build TOPS Software into the company we are today!
Meet Ki Han, Developer Extraordinaire
Ki Han (think Keegan Michael Key, and Han Solo, but more handsome than both!) has been sharing his gift of software development with TOPS Software since he met Jeff Hardy in July of 1989. After Graduating from the University of Maryland, College Park with a degree in Computer Science, he began working for a hardware and software development company that had close affiliations with TOPS (then known as Property Management Systems, Inc). By May of 1993, Ki became the company's second official employee.
Nancy Garner, Jeff Hardy and Ki Han, circa 1995
Ki is largely responsible for developing the accounting back-end that is the foundation for TOPS' most popular legacy product, TOPS Professional. He continues to provide innovative development solutions to TOPS clients today.
Above & Beyond, Always
The team members at TOPS Software have many fond praises of Ki, stating he is always willing to go above and beyond to help customers despite that not being part of his job description.
Teri Perez, support manager, said “[Ki] has no obligation to talk to our clients … but he’s always been the first to jump on the phone with any upset client in pain and help them out. He has a big heart for our clients … and will take care of them every single time.”
Ki's reputation with clients doesn’t come as a surprise, since one of the sayings he works by is, “clients first and the client is always right.”
He has also said some of the highlights of his career have been communicating with clients, “my favorite part of the job has always been interacting with and serving individual customers with any inquiries they had about our products, but TOPS also gave me the opportunity to serve people on a larger scale than I could have ever imagined.”
Mmmm... the Smell of Burnt Toast
In addition to all the wonderful things said about Ki, he couldn’t get by without a little teasing about his office habits. “Don’t let him near a toaster or microwave,” Annette joked, “He’s had a tendency to walk away and burn his lunch, weekly!”
Wayne Drennen and Ki Han
Despite his burning talents, we have nothing but respect for such a pillar of this company. All of us at TOPS agree, he is one of the most admirable members of the TOPS team.
Wayne Drennen said, "To be honest I cannot think of the words that can express how much Ki has touched my life. Ki always had time and patience when answering any question I had and made me feel like an equal even when teaching me a skill I did not have. His kindness and dedication has always inspired me to be a better man."
As much gratitude we have for all that Ki has done, he had some gratitude of his own to share, saying “Thank you, Jeff for giving me a career that I was able to devote my life to. Thank you, Mike for making TOPS well known to others, and Kevin for upgrading the product I have worked on for 30 years to a new platform. Finally, thank you to all TOPS employees who work so hard to help the company and others”
Ki has played such a crucial part in the growth of TOPS over the past 30 years, it only makes sense for us to focus on him and his achievements.
Ki, you’re TOPS!