Meet our Webmaster
I am pleased to introduce you to our wonderful webmaster, Jeff Hackbarth. The Preemie Project wouldn’t be where it is without him! We’ve had so many questions about him that I asked Jeff to introduce himself to our volunteers….
Hello! I’m Jeff Hackbarth and I work with a lot of the technical aspects of TPP: updating & maintaining the web site, graphic design, and also some photography.
I was born a preemie (12 weeks early) and weighed 1 1/2 pounds. The survival rate wasn’t very high—and there were numerous disabilities to expect—but I am one of the lucky ones. I grew up in Marion, Iowa and moved to Cedar Rapids when I was 3. I work at UIHC & College of Medicine as a video editor/graphic desinger on a variety of educational and promotional videos for many of the departments—we tape everything from news conferences to OR procedures.
When I’m not working, I enjoy going to concerts, photography, reading, playing with children, watching movies, listening to music, or spending time with friends and family. And if I’m not doing any of those, you’ll usually find me in front of my computer.
I heard about TPP in the summer of 2006 at Twilight Toast - the hospital’s annual “thank you” event for volunteers. The volunteer director talked about a group of women who made clothing items for premature babies and, being a preemie, it caught my attention. A month or two later, there was an annoucement in the hospital’s staff newsletter; TPP was having a donation drive and my mom and I donated some fabric and baby items. I signed up for the volunteer mailing list so I’d know about future upcoming events, but since I didn’t have any sewing/knitting/crocheting skills, I didn’t think I’d be able to get involved much beyond the monetary donations. And then the first TPP newsletter came out (in Jan 2007)...I noticed that they were looking for a website designer and sent an e-mail to Laura. We launched the “new” TPP site a few months later.
Last fall, Laura’s brother, Greg (also a web designer), suggested that we upgrade the site by “content-management system” called Expression Engine. This makes updating the pages and adding content MUCH easier, and has also enabled us to implement features like the Group Blog. He’s a tremendous help to me (and TPP) and is also our “behind the scenes” tech support guy when we have problems.
In addition to TPP, I also volunteer at the Iowa Children’s Museum in Coralville, teach a religious education class to 2nd graders at my church (I have a wonderful class!), and maintain my church’s web site.