/ about

Hi, I’m Aaron Sparks.

This is my personal website where you’ll find my resume, some blog posts I’ve written, favorite books I’ve read, Python projects, and a little bit about me. It also serves as my platform for various Python/Flask experiments, so you may occasionally find a link that's not working yet or a page that is under maintenance.

You can find me at other places on the web at Twitter, LinkedIn, and GitHub. If you need to send me a secure message, you can reach me at my Keybase account. If you’d like to email me, I can be reached at aaron@aaronsparks.com.

I'm starting a new role at Amazon in April!

I just finished up a 4-month project helping a consulting firm go through the first phase of a digitial transformation. I had an opportunity to build out a reporting warehouse in SQL Server, a Python-based API synchronization service for their CRM system, natural language processing analytics, and a Twilio communication service. We hosted all of this on Azure and went serverless everywhere we could. I learned a ton!

In August 2019, I finished up an amazing 4-year stint running a social-impact startup (sort of two... we had the obligatory pivot) backed by Bill Gates. I am really proud of what we did on both of these projects. We took some big swings at some very hard problems. The first incarnation of the company, Sunlight Payments, developed and piloted a new type of payment tracking service for the non-profit sector. See the Geekwire article, King5 news video, or the TMI whitepaper on our pilot with Pathfinder in East Africa. And the second incarnation, Purposeful, built a modern charitable giving platform to transform the donor experience and attempt to revitalize individual giving in the US. During this time, I got to dive deep on a range of skills - lean product design, software development, fundraising, money transmitter licensing, non-profit operations, and more.

Prior to my startups, I spent several years as a risk and finance executive at an investment fund where I got to hone my deal-making and team-building skills. While there, I got to lead a treasury and legal team that closed several award-winning, first-of-their-kind patent licensing securitizations. These transactions significantly reduced credit risk and allowed the fund to distribute several hundred million dollars to the fund’s investors. I also got an opportunity to build several finance functions from scratch, including treasury, insurance, internal audit, and procurement.

I started my career in the Big 4 accounting world - Deloitte and KPMG. At Deloitte, I was known for my expertise in SAP security/controls and data analytics. After the Worldcom and Enron scandals, I spent an increasing amount of my time helping the Deloitte Seattle office build fraud detection capabilities. Those experiences brought me to an opportunity to work at KPMG in their Forensic practice. I worked on a range of forensic accounting investigations and learned a lot about catching white-collar criminals. But my "claim to fame" (or infamy depending on which side of the investigation you were on) at KPMG was leading their efforts to build and deploy K-Trace, a data analysis platform that helped forensic accountants identify unusual transactions and signs of accounting fraud.

I live in Seattle with my wife and two kids. In my free time, I like to build things in Python (like this website), go for a run on the amazing PNW trails, kickbox, write, or chase my kids around.

If you are interested in learning a bit more, download my resume and send me an email. Thanks for checking out my site.