OptConnect’s First Employee - My Journey and Story

Many know me as a Sales Engineer here at OptConnect, and I’m also known as the Antenna Man, but what you may not know is that I was also the very first employee. Through this last decade with OptConnect, I've seen tremendous growth, worked with some amazing people, and have had various roles in helping OptConnect become the IoT leader it is today. Here is my journey as OptConnect's first employee.

Getting Started

In 2009, Burt Matthews, Founder of Grant Victor, told me of the idea for a brand new company that would give companies an "option" to "connect." From the very beginning, OptConnect embraced the philosophy of taking care of the customer, and your bottom line will take care of itself, which meshed perfectly with my beliefs. I was also told this company would emulate what the cell phone carriers were doing but on a more managed level. The concept of the company and the commitment to customer service elated me, so I told Burt to count me in on this venture. Starting out at OptConnect, I was initially sales, tech support, and I also dabbled in billing and accounting. Following my hire, Matt Warner, who is now our Director of Channel Management and Chris Baird, who is now our CEO, was hired. We may have been a small team at the time, but it's been rewarding seeing how we've grown into the leading roles we have today. With our continuous growth, we decided to separate duties between sales and tech support. We saw a need for 24/7/365 tech support, something that no one else in our business was doing and we made it happen. Working together and staying focused on our commitment to the customer experience, we were able to hit our first significant company milestone, 10,000 active units. Since then we've been able to largely surpass that number, and the milestones keep getting bigger and better.

Hardships & Success

Every company hits bumps in the road, but we’ve been able to learn and grow and improve along the way. With our leadership and teamwork, we have always managed to figure out how to get things done. We have also developed ways to automate processes to handle things on continually larger and larger scales continually. Because of our ability to improve along the way, I think we’ve done a great job of setting ourselves up for more success in the future. Especially with our recent product launch of OptConnect ema™, a fully certified LTE Category 4 modem with onboard intelligence, embedded firmware, and software paired with OptConnect’s industry-leading suite of managed services.

Impact of Being OptConnect's First Employee

I have spent the majority of my working career in the large corporate world. When you are just a cog in the machine, it is hard to see your impact. Additionally, when you have ideas to improve things, it is almost impossible for leadership to recognize or act on those ideas. Working at OptConnect has been completely different. It is easy to see the direct results of my hard work, and when I have an idea that has merit, I see the team turning the idea into a reality. Confucius said, "When you find a job that you enjoy, you will never have to work a day in your life." I truly enjoy my job at OptConnect, and I am one of the fortunate few people in the working world that does not dread coming into work every day. Life at OptConnect has been rewarding and fulfilling as I have dedicated myself to always looking for ways to make connectivity simple and reliable for our customers. I’ve developed great relationships with so many incredible people, both internally with all of our many employees and with our customers. As I reflect back on the past 10 years I have enjoyed at OptConnect, I’m grateful for the experiences and opportunities I have had to grow and develop personally and professionally. Looking forward to the years ahead!

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