About Us

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Norstar Technology Group was founded in 2022 to bring a new level of responsiveness and customer-centric solutions to Kern County. Our team of IT and managed services professionals bring decades of combined experience and a commitment to partner with our clients to steward their technology resources and enable business success.

derek brown

Derek Brown

Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer

On September 7th, 1987 (Yes, he remembers the EXACT date), a chord was struck in him. That chord helped shape his life in some amazing ways. He sat down in his 3rd grade class, and a bulky, beige piece of monochrome awesomeness caught his attention almost immediately. The Apple IIe, which Mrs. Arnold quickly dubbed “Derek’s Computer”, was instantly something he had to learn more about. Decades later, he’s still learning and still excited by technology.

Derek has always been a tech enthusiast. He takes pride in being the guy who can “fix anything” and is happy with the things he’s able to do, but never content with his knowledge when it comes to technology – “there will always be something new to learn and implement into our lives.” This mindset in many ways sets him apart from so many in his field who are simply there to “do the job.”

Throughout his over 25 years in the technology and communications industries, Derek has been instrumental in overseeing projects for several well-respected organizations around the world including Verizon, the National Football League, DirecTV, and Disney. In fact, the next time you’re in Anaheim strolling around Downtown Disney and listening to the background music, think of Derek.

Aside from his passion for technology, Derek is an avid fan of….no he isn’t, avid isn’t the right word. He is an insane person. When it comes to the San Francisco 49ers, who have been a part of his life since he was old enough to hold a football, he’s insane. He’s been known to fly across the country and back on the SAME DAY to catch a playoff game, and he has so much ‘Niners memorabilia he could open a second-hand store.

Derek enjoys camping, especially in Yosemite (a meaningful family destination he’s traveled to at least once a year since being born – he was also married there), traveling (he’s a big Vegas and Poker fanatic), and seeing new places. He’s traveled to 7 countries and 49 US states, with North Dakota being a place he hopes to visit someday. An avid cyclist, he logs roughly 2,500 miles a year on the bike paths and uses that time to stay physically and mentally fit. Derek is married to his beautiful wife Becky, and they have 5 children who remind him daily that they are smarter than he is.

robert mcdonald

Robert Earl McDonald

Co-founder and President

Robert McDonald is a Bakersfield native with a love for personal development and an innate (he says innate, his friends say annoying) knack for turning anything into a song. Known as Norstar’s official “Nerd Wrangler”, Robert is our co-founder and President. He lives by the phrase “Love and serve like Jesus, operate and scale like Amazon.”

Robert’s a big believer in personal development, studying under self-help and marketing greats Bob Proctor and Gary Vaynerchuck. He’s all about positive thinking and operates on the principle that you are what you think about. So if you think about pizza all the time, you might turn into a slice of pepperoni (don’t quote us on that).

With a successful background in marketing and branding, Robert’s passion lies in developing businesses. He loves getting down into the weeds and finding innovative ways to make organizations more efficient and effective. He’s always looking for new ways to integrate technology, because let’s face it, robots are just cooler than humans.

Robert is the human version of LinkedIn. You’ve heard of six degrees of separation? Robert’s got that down to four or five. He’s got a talent for connecting people and ideas, and always seems to know just who to call when a problem needs solving. He operates on the philosophy that when you focus on lifting others up instead of just getting yours, you tend to create an environment where everyone benefits.

His resume is eclectic, with experience in business development, communications, sound engineering, and event coordination. A “jack of all social trades”, Robert knows people. Add to that his propensity for forging lasting relationships, and he’s quite simply able to create magic wherever he goes.

shayla johnson

Shayla Johnson

Chief Information Officer

Born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas and raised in the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area, Shayla discovered her love for network administration while working for Dell Corporate support, and was introduced to the MSP space in the early 2000s while on contract with Accenture.

In 2008, Shayla set her sights on California and never looked back. Since then, she has been living in the Golden State, where she continues to hone her skills in the ever-evolving world of I.T. But don’t let her dedication to her craft fool you – Shayla has a fun-loving side too.

Belonging to a family of musicians who sing and play various instruments, Shayla herself enjoys singing and is known to slap the strings of her bass. When she’s not jamming or listening to one of her many NPR shows, you can find her at home with her partner Kim, caring for her dogs, rooster, ducks, and other furry friends.

Her colleagues affectionately call her Dr. Doolittle’s assistant, and it’s easy to see why – Shayla has a natural way with animals. But when it comes to I.T., Shayla is all business. With over 20 years of experience in network administration, Shayla is a seasoned professional who possesses an uncanny ability to view technology through an entirely different lens. Her skills go far beyond technical prowess, however, and extend into creating workflows that leverage technology to bring a fresh perspective of operations to any organization.

Her personalized approach to every project ensures that each solution is tailored to the unique needs of the organization. When she’s not cracking I.T. challenges, Shayla enjoys spending quality time with her family, reading a good book, or listening to the waves crash on the shores of the California central coast.

With her extensive knowledge and passion for IT, what Shayla brings to NTG is insurmountable and is a key driving force for the company’s future. So, if you’re ever in need of tech assistance, just follow the sounds of her bass – Shayla’s always ready to assist.