SDI Employee Spotlight – Carrie Kolar

Let’s shine the spotlight on SDI’s accomplished Project Manager—Carrie Kolar. From her start as a collection and call center representative to now being a dynamic Project Manager, Carrie’s journey embodies the true meaning of transformation. With a rock engraved by Einstein’s wisdom gracing her desk and a penchant for all things Barbie, she conquers the IT realm while painting it pink with her vibrant attitude. 

How did you get your start here at SDI?  

I got my start hereby simply applying! From the very first interaction with the SDI recruiter, I knew that I wanted to come work for SDI. During interviews, the SDI team was easygoing, friendly, and genuinely excited to be working at the firm. When you are interviewing for a job, it is a two-way street. As the interviewee, you are looking for the right company fit. Do the employees seem happy? Can I have a conversation with my leadership team? Every box was checked. The interviews felt like a conversation, not a grilling session. The team was excited about the work to be done, so I knew I wanted to come work for SDI.  

What is your current role?  

I am a Project Manager overseeing strategic initiatives for a diverse range of high-profile clients. My responsibilities include coordinating efforts for internationally recognized entities in the fields of aquatic conservation and urban administration, ensuring seamless project execution and client satisfaction. I enjoy being a Project Manager, taking something from conception, organizing it, providing structure to teams, and bringing something to completion. Working and being exposed to various clients and project initiatives and learning something new every day! Being the touch point for a team, tackling challenges, and bringing everyone together—is the ultimate job satisfaction. 

What are some of the more significant changes you have seen in the IT industry as a whole since you started?  

The cloud—it changed who, what, where, when, and how we do business completely. 

The cloud touches every business and every person. We work remotely. We can respond to emails on our phones, we can share and collaborate with teams effortlessly. We can record meetings and see our colleagues on video. This is all because of IT evolving over the years and the cloud’s endless possibilities. 

What is your perspective on the IT industry and its future?  

Our lives are surrounded by technology, and there is someone somewhere right now innovating the next thing that will change our lives and how we do things. I think the future looks pretty bright for the IT Industry, and for those who want to be a part of it. The emerging areas like Artificial Intelligence (AI), wearable Augmented Reality (AR), and evolving cyber security, will change how we work in the future, just like the computer and cloud changed how we work today compared to 20 years ago.  

How did you find your way to this career?  

I started off as a collection and call center representative while working on my associate degree. I was then offered an Administrative Assistant role in the IT department—and I was hooked. I knew my future career was going to be in IT. I then obtained my bachelor’s degree and earned my PMP certification. I love that being a Project Manager isn’t a “job” it is a profession that you grow and constantly learn from.  

What’s the best professional advice you ever received? 

My favorite quote is from Albert Einstein—he said, “in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” In 1991, I received this quote engraved on a rock from my first boss, and it has sat on every desk I have been at ever since. When I am frustrated, unsure, and need confidence, I just look at that rock, take a deep breath, and remember…in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. Sometimes I even rub it for good luck! 

Are you currently working on any professional skills?  

I am currently working on my Microsoft 365 Fundamentals certification and AZ900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals certification. I enjoy learning about new technologies or if I am working on projects that I am not as familiar with the technical aspects, I enjoy going out to learn.  

What are your hobbies? 

Collecting Barbie and all things Barbie. I have a glass case filled with Barbie dolls and her friends. I have been to conventions, have a couple of tattoos, and my home office is Pink. Pink isn’t a color, it is an attitude.  

How do you describe what you do for a living to family and friends?  

I usually start with I am an IT Project Manager, and most think I install computers. I usually follow that up with my company is a Managed Service Provider, and I work with all kinds of companies and clients to manage their IT projects—whether it’s an implementation, migration, or something else.  

How do you unwind at the end of a busy day? 

You can typically find me with a glass of wine, sitting on our patio (nicknamed Kolar Party Patio or KPP) recapping the day’s events and work stories with my husband.  


We celebrate diversity; the views expressed above are those of the interviewed individual, not SDI