Beacon's Leadership

Mark Dirks

Mark Dirks

CEO/Senior Vice President & Co-Founder

Mark climbed through the technical ranks, starting as an application developer for RJ Reynolds, then spent 15 years at AT&T where he ultimately led the creation of one of the world’s first corporate intranets serving 150,000 employees worldwide in the mid-90s. He then co-founded Beacon in 1998 and has driven consistent growth, long-term partnerships and a unique culture for 20 years now. He was instrumental in forming relationships with Google, Accenture, KPMG Consulting, Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Department of Education (when Beacon developed FAFSA on the Web). These relationships in the early years, coupled with Mark’s leadership and business development skills, were precursors to Beacon’s move to focus on Higher Education over the last 10 years.

Mark earned a BS in Mathematics from Wake Forest University and an MS in Computer Systems from Kansas State University. He serves on the Board of Directors for the North Carolina Technology Association, was name Small Business Person of the Year by the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce and received the Entrepreneurial Success Award by the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce.


John Scaramuzzo

John Scaramuzzo

COO/Senior Vice President & Co-Founder

John is the SVP of Beacon’s IT Services Group, a veteran technology strategist, innovative engineer, and creative entrepreneur with nearly three decades of distinguished service and experience in platform and server technologies, e-commerce, business consulting, and customer-service management. Before co-founding Beacon, he worked for 12 years at AT&T where he was instrumental in building the infrastructure to support AT&T’s global corporate intranet in the mid 90’s while also supporting AT&T’s HR HW/SW/NW. John architected Beacon’s data center, serving hundreds of clients worldwide for web hosting and software to support content management, custom applications and high-end ecommerce for Higher Education institutions and businesses. He also created Beacon’s IT Services Division (“BITS”) which provides managed services for desktops, servers and networks across many states.

John also served as an IT consultant on government contracts through subcontracts with Accenture & KPMG and earned his BS in Computer Science/ Mathematics from the College of Staten Island.


Tracy Dirks

Tracy Dirks

CPO/Senior Vice President

Tracy is the SVP over Beacon’s Web Development Services Division. She brings 30+ years of information technology experience to her clients after serving as a Technical Manager for Bell Labs and the Chief Systems Architect for AT&T’s HRIS. She specializes in Strategic Planning, Intranets, Systems Architecture and Project Management. She has led major Higher Education projects at Beacon for over 10 years for institutions such as the University of North Georgia, Colorado State University Pueblo, Winston-Salem State University, California State University East Bay, Husson University and more. Tracy is a trusted source for providing guidance to her clients because she is uniquely skilled in correlating business needs to technical solutions.

Tracy earned a BS in Computer Science at NW Missouri State, and an MS in Computer Systems from Kansas State University. She regularly attends, and presents occasionally, at the major Higher Education trade shows. Tracy was selected for the Leadership Greensboro Development Program and was recognized by the Triad Business Journal in their Women in Business edition.


Rob Darst

Rob Darst

Chief Financial Officer

Rob is an entrepreneurial CFO-level executive with over thirty years of quantifiable achievement. His resume is one that reveals consistency, ethics and success in financial management and business development for both non-profit and for-profit enterprises. Over his career, Rob has served as an Audit Manager with KPMG (formerly Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co), a Controller with Continental Cellular, and the CFO for large companies like McKinney Furniture, MacThrift Office Furniture and Safgard. He also taught courses for incoming accounting professionals for a big-eight accounting firm. He was “at the table” when Beacon’s creation was initially being discussed and has been with the company ever since, managing the financial health of the business. His background and guidance were key as the company’s client base expensed across the U.S. and into other countries.

Rob earned a BSBA degree in Accounting from the University of NC at Greensboro and was the recipient of the Elijah Watts Award for attaining the highest university grade average in auditing. In addition, he was also named as one of the Top CFOs in the area by the Triad Business Journal.