Team Lead

John Bidwell

“It’s the perpetual learning that I love -- adding new tools to my toolbelt that will inevitably be used to solve a future problem.”

~ John


His knack for facilitating ease has only been made stronger in his current role as Team Lead/Systems Engineer at Innovative Solutions. As a manager, he takes great pride in listening to his team of eight employees and making it easier for them to do their jobs. On site with clients, he helps that team work their magic in streamlining systems for greater efficiencies. And in his internal work as an engineer, he thoroughly enjoys building things to be as seamless as can be.

Making things easier for others comes naturally to John. Even after finding himself left without feet following a train accident at the age of 16, his remarkable patience and resilience has remained key to making the most of each situation, while simultaneously finding ways to improve it.

His professional career started in high school, when he was hired as a garbage boy at Lenscrafters. John was asked to step in on a project developing lenses late one night when a fellow employee had to leave -- one of many baptism-by-fire experiences that became a way of life as John immersed himself in the work of ophthalmology practices.

John moved from Lenscrafters to Pearl Vision and onto Empire Optical, a local wholesale lab before landing at Reed Eye Associates, where he stayed for 15 years as a licensed optician running an optical lab Fabrication Eyeglasses.  Based on his technical acumen, it wasn’t long before John was asked to manage the technology infrastructure at Reed, too. During this time, John quickly found his love for IT, starting his own consulting company on the side.

His knowledge of IT in the medical field soon became vast, and in 2011, John was hired by Innovative as a subject matter expert specific to healthcare information technology.  As the company grew and shifted, he migrated into Account Management until his recent move.

John takes pride in his role on Innovative’s leadership team, particularly the opportunity to have even greater input, access, and visibility in what he already finds to be an extremely open, creative, and self-directed organization.

The fast-paced and autonomous nature of Innovative feeds John’s creative yet pragmatic soul, making his job one of the things that makes him most happy in life. When he’s not at Innovative, you’ll find John playing bass guitar while his wife sings in Nik and the Nice Guys, a party band that has afforded him the opportunity to travel to destinations like Hawaii, Mackinac Island, and Mont-Tremblant, while also landing him at numerous Super Bowls and Hall of Fame inductions. All musically-inclined, he, his wife, and his kids also enjoy spending time together hiking, playing laser tag, and taking summer vacations in Dewey Beach.

Born and raised in Rochester, John still calls Irondequoit home. His desire for perpetual learning led him to be accepted as a class member at Leadership Rochester, a civic awareness program dedicated to facilitating discussion and engaging leaders in change when it comes to the quality of life challenges facing the Greater Rochester region.

From the 16-year old boy soaking up knowledge of computers to his current role as a tech go-to, it’s safe to say John’s love for IT -- for the creative and mechanical processes that make life easier -- hasn’t dwindled, and neither has the potential for him to affect even greater change.