Eric Smith

Solutions Manager

866.388.6398 ext 621

Eric has over 10 years of experience in the technology industry and is a dynamic, results-driven business strategist with a record of achievement and demonstrated success.

He is a graduate of the Siedman School of Business possessing a Master’s in Business Administration Degree as well as a Bachelors of Science in Economics and Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Grand Valley State University. Eric is also a College Professor teaching business and technology related courses at a local college.

In his free time he enjoys golfing, boating,cooking and spending time with his family.

Keith Nelson – Serving the Lakeshore Region

Expert Solutions Consultant

866.388.6398 ext 606

Keith Nelson is our Expert Solutions Consultant, developing new prospects and interacting with existing customers in order to provide Technology Solutions that make business sense. Keith holds a BBA from Western Michigan University and technical certifications including VMware VSP 4, Microsoft Partner Network Sales and Marketing Competency for Identity and Security, Microsoft Partner Network Sales and Marketing Competency for Server Platform, Microsoft Partner Network Sales and Marketing Competency for Desktop, GloStream Certified Sales Professional and Cisco CSE. Keith brings our team four years of IT industry experience and in his free time enjoys golf and fishing.

Jerry Bastian - Serving West Michigan

Solutions Consultant

866.388.6398 ext 641

Jerry Bastian comes to NextIT with over 15 years of experience having worked for two of the Premier Global IT Companies in the industry, Electronic Data Systems (EDS) and IBM Global Services. Jerry has worked with numerous clients around the globe to create solutions that have helped companies increase their Earnings Per Share for their shareholders, give them competitive advantage over their competition, and increase the productivity of their operations to keep them competitive in their marketspace.

“I am very excited to be serving the SMB marketplace at NextIT. No matter what size your company is today, you need to be leveraging technology to stay competitive. Those who ignore that fact don’t last long in today’s technology driven market.”

Jerry was born and raised in the Kalamazoo area, attending Comstock High School and Western Michigan University. Despite his global reach in business, Jerry has called South Western Michigan his home his entire life and is currently living in the Mattawan/Paw Paw area.

In his free time Jerry loves spending time with his family in the outdoors, is involved in numerous faith based community service activities, and loves training and hanging out with his chocolate lab Max.

“It’s a huge blessing to have my work be an extension of my love for serving the community. I look forward to coming to work every day and creating solutions that help the businesses in the place I call home.”

Shane Gontarz - Serving the Grand Rapids Area

Solutions Consultant

866.388.6398 ext. 627

Shane joined NeXt I.T. in December 2015 after graduating from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration with an emphasis on Marketing. Before joining NeXt I.T. , Shane worked at Critical Mix as a Project Manager in Toledo, OH and assisted many clients with survey solutions. At NeXt I.T., Shane is responsible for developing custom IT solutions for current and prospective customers. Shane strives to be an extension of his clients I.T. team and be a one-point contact for I.T. questions and needs. Shane enjoys spending time with family, traveling and when time permits, using his private pilot license to fly.

Tom Hause

Technology Product Specialist

866.388.6398 ext. 607

Tom recently became a part of the NeXt IT after relocating to Muskegon from Santa Cruz, California. Tom was experience as a retail store offering personal computer sales and service. Prior to living in California, he was employed in the printer industry in his hometown of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Collectively, Tom brings more than 8 years of technological expertise and helpful customer service. In his free time he enjoys spending time with my family and my dogs as well as playing guitar and writing music.

John Sohacki

John Sohacki has over 25 years of IT and communications experience and has worked in technical and sales positons for companies like AT&T, Nortel Networks, Digital Equipment Corporation and Charter Communications. John holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering from Lawrence Technology University but his strength comes from the ability to listen to client problems and use technology to solve them.

He moved to Traverses City in 1999 and has many years of volunteer service at both Traverse City and Petoskey's Chamber of Commerce and the Builders Exchange of Northwest Michigan. He has one daughter Jordan, organized and plays bass guitar in the Sweetwater Blues Band, founded and runs the Beaver Island Bike Festival, founded and helped run the Cherry-Roubaix bicycle race for over 8 years and enjoys many other outdoor activities.

John Linner

Technology Product Specialist

John Linner has joined Next IT with over 20 years of point of sale, system development and administration and project management with extensive experience having worked for blue chip companies such as The Disney Stores, PetSmart, and Walmart developing and maintaining IT business solutions throughout the nation. John specializes in the establishment of hardware and software infrastructure to optimize individual business strategies. He studied business and computer information systems and has achieved a BS Degree and multiple Industry certifications that have provided him a strong foundation of knowledge and experience to create customized and ideal business IT solutions for small and large clients alike. Passionate about the water, fishing and boating, relocating to Michigan from Arizona was a natural fit.

Chad Mott


I grew up in Genesee, MI a small town just outside of Flint. I recently moved back to Michigan after living in Denver, Colorado for 9 years and Southern Illinois for 2. I received my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Hospitality Business from Michigan State University. Prior to my experience here, my background mainly consisted of operations management in the food and beverage and sports and entertainment industries. I have worked the World Series, The Democratic National Convention, and various other music festivals and concerts. I am passionate about getting out and meeting new people, which makes me a natural fit for my role. When I am not working I enjoy experiencing everything West Michigan has to offer with my wife and 2 kids, and trying to fit in some golf when time permits.

Don Speier


Don Speier brings over 20 years of experience working in the IT field. After graduating from Michigan State University with a B.A. in Business, Don spent 20 years in San Diego, CA where he worked in an account management role with an IT solutions provider before deciding to move back to Muskegon where he was born and raised. Don is excited about the opportunity to build new relationships with the people in his home town and help them with managing their I.T. In his spare time, Don enjoys running, travel and walking with his dog at the beaches and trails around Muskegon.