Posts

Faces of Interface Featuring Robert Hawk

In today’s Faces of Interface feature, we spoke with Robert Hawk, director of information technology (IT). He is responsible for keeping Interface’s business operational using all kinds of hardware and software, which is core to our fundamental success.

Robert was our very first IT guru at the company and since joining the company and has helped modernize our systems to keep our operations running smoothly. We sat down with Robert to learn about his background and get some insight on everything he does for Interface, our customers, our partners, and global network.

Robert’s background in the world of information technology started with his time in United States Army. He spent his early years in the service with the Infantry. When looking for new opportunities and challenges for his career, he switched his military specialty to Communications and IT, and he then transitioned to the Wyoming Army National Guard.

During his time with the National Guard, Robert worked as an Admin NCO for the 115th Fires Brigade and the IT Department at the F.E. Warren Air Force Base Medical Center. While doing all this, he also continued his support of the Communications and IT section as a Wyoming Army National Guard soldier serving on weekends. Thank you for your service! He obtained two Master of Science graduate degrees, one in Computer Information Systems and one in Computer Engineering.

Robert’s transition to the private sector was as an outsourced IT consultant, serving customers in Wyoming and then Arizona. It was a demanding role that required long hours and some travel; however, it was a wonderful experience. He decided that he wanted to spend more time with his family, and this is when he found Interface.

Interface hired Rob as our first official IT guy in 2014. In fact, which was the name of the role at the time – IT Guy! In the eight years since Rob joined Interface, he has brought our technology light years forward to meet the demands of a growing and thriving manufacturing technology brand leader. The company’s investments in IT allowed Rob to modernize our infrastructure, systems and vastly improve our digital efficiency internally, and with customers. One example is our transition from Windows 95 to Windows 11. He and his team are now rolling out an entire ERP system that will create huge efficiencies and capabilities for the 54-year-old business.

His role at Interface includes managing a team of nine information technology people who are responsible for ensuring the business and production is running smoothly, all the time for a 24/7 business. He is committed to always staying on the lookout for innovative technologies to help streamline operations, support continuous improvements, and help stay on the forefront of ways to engage with all stakeholders. He is also keen to keeping Interface on the forefront of information security.

One thing that you will certainly learn from Rob is that he loves his work because he enjoys helping Interface in their role of helping our customers achieve remarkable things across a wide variety of applications.

Robert is a bit of a workaholic, so part of his free time includes learning, recertifying, and reading up on the newest technologies. He is definitely an IT guy through and through. When he gets some time away, his hobbies include giving back to the military community through charity work with veteran’s organizations. He also loves to ride his motorcycle. Most importantly, he spends time with his three kids aged 21, 19 and 12. In fact, the 19-year-old works for us here at Interface!

Robert is a critical member of Interface’s team, and we could not provide the outstanding technology solutions we do without his work on our digital systems. We thank him for his dedication to his craft and to Interface! What keeps him up at night, keeps us running all day!

 

Faces of Interface Special Edition Featuring Human Resources

We have a special edition of Faces of Interface featuring our Human Resources team members. As a people-centric organization, our HR team is instrumental in creating our culture and bringing us all together to meet the needs of our customers.

Our vision, mission and purpose are solidified by the work of our HR team. Core to our tremendous growth, is a team of people committed to ensuring from day one our team members have the resources and support they need to get the job done.

As with all things related to people, change is constant. That is why our HR team has spent the last few years upgrading our employee experience and HR processes. As a 54-year-old company, the HR team continually evaluates where we can effect change and positive outcomes. There are some original processes that have withstood the test of time and some that need constant refreshing. It is the focus of our team members in the HR department that are putting those plans into action.

Some instrumentation changes our HR leadership have deployed includes updating Interface’s leadership development programs, revamping performance reviews for production employees, and renewing employee recognition programs.

From a recruiting standpoint, the team has implemented a new training program in the critical onboarding process. Benefits have changed as well, including a brand-new benefits package introduced this year to all team members. The HR team designs and orchestrates these changes to maintain Interface’s efficiency in the recruiting process and improving retention to keep the company’s growing and experienced staff together, so everyone that interacts with Interface benefits.

Our team members in the HR department are excited with these changes and look forward to how the new recruitment strategy, as well as the new employee benefits and recognition programs demonstrate Interface’s commitment to the team members, our value chain and represent us as one of Arizona’s best places to work.

Get To Know Our HR Team Member Gabby Simpson

Gabby has lived in Arizona all her life, growing up in Scottsdale and raising her family here. She worked in property management when she initially met Interface, as she helped to work on our expansion in the early 2010s. She joined us in 2014 to help assist with the HR, accounting, and our sales department for three years. In 2017, she got back into real estate doing HR for a brokerage firm while also selling homes as an agent.

We are thrilled that Gabby rejoined Interface after she stopped by to say hello to some old work friends, and we presented her the opportunity to join our HR team. She mentioned that she loved the company and the people, so she was excited for the opportunity to return.

In Gabby’s role as HR Administrator, she helps to facilitate employee needs regarding benefits, payroll, and daily support. She is also part of Interface’s Navigators. This group of peers works to offer ideas for process improvements that help Interface become more efficient and innovative.

Our HR team plays a crucial role in improving the people side of Interface. From process to engagement, our HR is key to accounting for the company’s continued growth.

If you are interested in joining your team, please go to our online to apply for open positions.

Faces of Interface Featuring Ashlesa Mohapatra

In today’s Faces of Interface Series, we sat down with our engineering team member that is responsible for innovative and custom force measurement solutions designed and built at Interface headquarters. Design Engineer Ashlesa Mohapatra is a brilliant individual who has lived and breathed the world of engineering since she was young. She is a lifetime learner who shares her knowledge with all who ask and is an outstanding member of the Interface engineering team.

Ashlesa was destined to be an engineer from her early days. Her grandfather was an engineer who served in the Indian Navy and helped to build naval ships. Her father was also an engineer whose passion for the field rubbed off on Ashlesa. He was constantly bringing home books and drawings, or power tools to work around the house. She was also present and absorbed as much knowledge as she could on every subject that interested her father.

She would go on to attend KIIT and receive her undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering, followed by a master’s degree in mechanical engineering with a minor in renewable energy for the University of Massachusetts Lowell. While earning her education, Ashlesa also took on two internships to further her learning and career experience. This included an internship for Larsen & Toubro in Oman and Applied Medical in California. In addition, Ashlesa’s propensity for learning also inspired her to educate her peers. She has five published works covering a wide range of topics related to design and sustainable manufacturing in peer reviewed journals like Scopus and Elsevier.

Prior to joining Interface, Ashlesa took on a role as a quality engineer with H&S technical services. Her role involved reviewing and writing medical manufacturing processes for medical devices related to heart and kidney health according to ISO 13485 and 14971. The role taught her a lot, but she quickly realized it was not her calling. Her true passion was for design and innovation.

This passion led Ashlesa to Interface where she joined as a design engineer. In this role, Ashlesa works on 12 different product lines, helping to customize products to meet customer needs across a variety of industries. She is part of two high-performance teams, leading the team behind the miniature load cells LBS and LBSU ConvexBT Load Button Load Cell product lines, and working with the WMC product line. In addition, she is part of the Interface Navigator’s team where she deploys strategic thinking and thought leadership for process improvement within Interface. She also authors research papers for regional and national conference proceedings s for the company on innovations and trends in force measurement technology.

Ashlesa says that her favorite things about working at Interface are that no two days are the same, her design work is extremely exciting and rewarding and that learning from the role is limitless. Her design work affords her the ability to look at customer challenges every day and try to develop complex and interesting solutions that meet their needs. She loves the challenges and is excited to come in every day.

In her free time, the engineering passion continues to spill over. She is a part of several engineering organizations, Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). Getting more women involved in STEM education and careers is another passion of Ashlesa, so she offers mentorship services to members of SWE to spark a lifelong relationship with engineering. She is also a judge for the design review panel at the EPICS program at ASU. As part of her work with ASME, she is always lending a hand to ASU students by reviewing research papers and lending her advice. However, Ashlesa does take some time to get away and enjoys being outdoors, hiking, camping, and other activities.

Ashlesa is a true champion of innovation and plays such a critical member of our engineering design team. She delights customers with her creative approach and expertise, and we are thrilled to have her on board.

Faces of Interface Featuring Jeff White

In today’s Face of Interface, we are going global. We are sharing our recent interview with Interface’s International Sales Director, and one of the newest members of the sales leadership team, Jeff White.

Jeff took a non-traditional path into the force measurement world and has truly taken the lead ever since. We are extremely excited to share his story, which includes a long history working with Interface.

Jeff grew up in Chicago and attended Northern Illinois University where he received a bachelor’s degree in public health and a minor in business. After school, he was working at Target when one big sales event, known as Black Friday in the US, made him realize his time in retail was ending. Over that Thanksgiving period a friend talked about an opportunity with Rice Lake Weighing Systems and Jeff jumped at it.

Rice Lake manufactures and distributes weight-related products and supplies, so Jeff leapt headfirst into the force measurement industry. His first role with the company had him working in inside sales where he answered customer calls and got his first taste of real-world applications. As he learned more about solutions, products, and customer requirements, he moved into a position “on the road” in Rice Lake’s Mobile Marketing Unit (MMU) Bus.

This role had Jeff traveling the country showcasing Rice Lake systems and meeting customers, partners, and vendors. This is also where many people at Interface, and others around the country, came to recognize Jeff as the bus guy! His dynamic enthusiasm, passion for helping others, and product technical knowledge were a perfect mixture for this innovative way to bring solutions to the customer’s door.

Jeff loved the role in his younger years traveling and getting to know everything he could about the industry. Working with a network of hundreds of distributors, he was able to help solve all kinds of customer challenges. Some of his time was learning how to best help Interface with a range of products to satisfy all types of customer requirements. This experience helped Jeff quickly become an expert on all things force measurement, including Interface’s sensor technologies.

As Jeff managed different territories and distributors around the country, he realized living out of a suitcase (and a bus) did not align with goals he is aiming to achieve in his personal and professional life. At this point, he had lived in Arizona for a few years and became acquainted with the growth and opportunities at Interface. His vast technical, sales, and leadership experience across a wide range of industries and distributor groups, as well as collaborating with suppliers, made him a great fit for the International Sales Director role.

In this position, Jeff is responsible for growing international sales through our extensive global sales network. By focusing on building relationships based on trust and respect, Jeff brings tremendous value to Interface’s valued distributors and customers. He wants to ensure they are secure in sharing their business and product requirements in territory, by working together with their committed partner – Interface.

Jeff says that he has enjoyed meeting and learning from the team and learning all about Interface’s production area. He is also excited to have a home base and office that is close to engineering and production, being able to get answers quickly and communicate effectively, and build a relationship with co-workers, while he represents the interests of “rest of world” through our global network. He also understands that when he is in territory, he brings practical know-how and experience to support and train our representation throughout the world.

As for his free time, Jeff loves all things Chicago sports. Despite his travels around the country, he stays true to his hometown teams. He is also active in sports himself. He golfs, plays pickup basketball, and is part of a Friday night softball league.

Interface is thrilled to have Jeff on the team. His experience, force measurement expertise, and leadership aligned to an enthusiastic commitment to success is the perfect alignment to help us grow our international business.

To learn more about our excellent Interface team members, tune into our blog every month for a new Faces of Interface ForceLeaders posts.

Faces of Interface Featuring Sean Malone

In today’s Faces of Interface, we talked with Sean Malone who is responsible for calibrating and repairing our customer’s force measurement equipment. As our esteemed warranty coordinator, his important role requires extensive knowledge of force measurement technologies. This is because not only do we support the products we make, we also calibrate and repair force measurement products from a wide variety of other manufacturers.

Throughout his life, Sean has always had a propensity for working with his hands. Hi family owned a locksmith business, so he grew up to become very mechanically proficient. In fact, Sean worked for the 35-year family-run business for 25 years before the family decided to sell it. Sean also went to school at ITT Tech during that time and received his associates in computer networking and science.

After leaving the locksmith business, Sean investigated a new role where he could continue to work with his hands every day. This desire led him to Interface. He began his career at Interface as a repair technician in our production facility, then he moved on to become a calibration finalist, and the manager of the service department before settling into his current role as warranty coordinator.

His journey through Interface’s service department gave him a great deal of knowledge about the business and the ins and outs of a load cell. This allows him to perform his current role to the highest degree and aptitude. He’s also a great resource for questions and support for our team members and global network. His position today includes being a single point contact for service customers, performing root cause analysis, fixing load cells, calibrating them, and ensuring items sent in for services get back to the customer in premium working order.

Sean says that he’s caught his professional stride at Interface and really enjoys the fact that he is learning something new every day. He also remarked that the people he comes to work with make the job and the company that much more enjoyable. We’re glad to have you here too Sean, as you represent the best in ForceLeaders.

In his free time, you won’t find Sean anywhere else but at the golf course. Being an Arizona native, he has grown up with a passion for the U.S. golf capitol of the world and all it has to offer for an avid golfer. His skills in the sport also extend to a little bit of frisbee golf from time to time. All things golf, all the time. That’s the way Sean winds down.

We’re incredibly honored to have Sean on the team and his work is critical to keeping our customers products operating at the highest standards of accuracy and reliability, today and for many years to come.

To learn more about the outstanding team at Interface, check in to our blog each month for our Faces of Interface series.

Faces of Interface Featuring Melissa Enriquez

There are three staples of an Interface product: accuracy, reliability, and quality. In today’s Faces of Interface, we talked Melissa Enriquez, Quality Engineer, who is one of the engineers responsible for ensuring the third, and arguably most important staple of our products meets Interface standards. We had a wonderful time learning Melissa’s story and hope you enjoy it too!

Melissa’s journey to the engineering world was not as typical as some of our other team members. In fact, she had not really pictured herself in this type of career at all. When she applied for her first job in Michigan, there was two open positions. One was in accounting and the other in quality. She was hired for the role in quality, and the rest is history.

The opportunity to be part of a quality team really opened doors for Melissa. She received on the job training as an SPC coordinator and enjoyed the role. This also eventually led to her getting her certification in SPC, ASQ and more. She also attended community college in Michigan and got her associates degree in Applied Sciences, followed by two bachelor’s degrees a few years later. She has a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan, and a biomechanical engineering degree from Wayne State University.

After taking on the responsibilities of quality engineering, Melissa began to climb the ranks. She worked across multiple industries including automotive, aerospace, military and defense, and others. One of her more prominent roles was with Burtek, where her work with the company’s partners Raytheon and Lockheed Martin won awards for excellence in quality. In addition, her name can still be found across military equipment around the world due to being listed as a Quality Test Director on those products.

Her last stop before joining Interface was at Cobasys, an energy storage solution company helping to push battery technology forward in the electric vehicle market. In this role, Melissa helped to implement multiple quality standards, a supplier management program, and much more.

In September 2021, Melissa came to work for Interface. She has served as a quality supervisor and quality engineer. She joined Interface because she wanted to get back to being direct with the products and fix problems directly. Her role involves ensuring every product that leaves our doors is up to the high Interface standards. This includes supervising quality inspectors, performing root cause analysis and corrective action, problem solving, updating documents to make requirements clear and engaging in finding ways to advance our product quality processes. What she enjoys most about Interface is the people, the ability to make a difference in the company, and the quality products and services we provide to our customers.

When she is not upholding the Interface standard, Melissa can be found enjoying her two hobbies – sports and music. As a UofM alumni, she is a big supporter of all Michigan Wolverine sports. As far as music goes, she spent a lot of her younger years playing instruments, including drums, clarinet, bass clarinet, and trumpet. Today, she indulges that passion by listening to a wide variety of music and attending concerts.

Melissa is a big part of why Interface remains successful with a reputable brand known for exceptional quality. Our commitment to quality only goes as far as our people’s commitment to meet and exceed these standards. Melissa is a huge proponent of ensuring that everything that passes her desk is of the quality our customers have come to expect and demand from the leader in force measurement.

To learn more about Interface’s outstanding teams and individuals, check into our blog every month for a new Faces of Interface story.

Faces of Interface Featuring Justin Walker

Our Faces of Interface feature focuses on Regional Sales Director (RSD), Justin Walker. Justin is a United States Marine veteran who grew up in the Texas oil fields. He received his knowledge and experience in engineering while in the military. He has honed his skills in engineering and sales across a variety of roles and was recently promoted to the critical role of Interface RSD.

Growing up near the oil fields in Texas and having a father and friend work in the fields led Justin to develop an interest in the technical side of oil rigging and engineering in general. However, his goal was to remain out of the fields and instead work to optimize the process through technology. To do so, Justin opted for the Marines to serve his country and receive the training necessary to accomplish this goal.

He joined the Marines at age 17, and scored very high on the technical aspects of the entry exam. This enabled him to serve as an aviation mechanic with a unique and interesting specialty in cryogenics. The cryogenics aspect of his roles allowed him to work with the liquid nitrogen and oxygen involved in weapon systems and base support. He also got some kicks freezing stuff, as well as curing a hangover or two with the highly effective chemicals.

Justin served in the Marines for four and half years before jumping into the oil and gas industry with a company named Weatherford. In this role, he worked as a wire line operator where he helped to determine where oil could be found and then using explosives to access it. He stayed in this role until the oil market dropped, and then moved into sales.

His first role in sales was at West Texas Nissan and Justin found a ton of success in a sales position. Unfortunately, the market crashed and Justin decided it was time for a change. He moved to Phoenix, Arizona, because he was familiar with the area due to his time being stationed in Yuma, Arizona, when he was a Marine.

Justin joined Interface in July 2016 as an applications engineer. He had a desire to get back into technology and engineering, while still maintaining a sales role due to his success in the automotive industry. He remained at Interface for two years before leaving to join one of our rep firms in Florida, where he still sold Interface products. After a year and a half with Interface’s rep firm, we welcomed Justin back with open arms. First, as applications engineer; however, Justin was recently promoted to Regional Sales Director covering the Central North America region. Justin has thrived in his roles at Interface.

Justin really enjoys the day-to-day interactions with customers and our rep firms. What he enjoys the most is the differences in who and what he is working with each day. One day he could be working with a customer that works in the oil field like he witnessed as a kid growing up, another day he could be selling solutions to a company responsible for putting satellites and even humans in space.

When he’s not helping customers solve their force measurement challenges, Justin can be found spending time with his wife and six-year-old stepson. He and the family enjoy getting outdoors as much as possible. Together, they hike in the mountains, camp, take a ride on their ATVs, and boat the Colorado River.

We appreciate having the opportunity to share Justin’s amazing story. He is passionate about what he does at Interface and in life. We are thrilled to have him on the Interface team and working hard for all his customers and rep firms at ensure the highest levels of satisfaction! To learn more about our outstanding team members, check in each month for a new Faces of Interface feature.

Faces of Interface Featuring Tin Nguyen

Today’s Faces of Interface features a person who might possibly hold the most titles in the company, and for good reason. Tin Nguyen is our calibration engineer, manufacturing engineer and business unit manager for calibration. Tin has earned all these titles along with the important responsibility through his relentless ability to take on and excel in new tasks, as well as his desire to learn. Check out his story.

Since he was about the age of eight years old, Tin had a proficiency for learning how to design and build things. It all started growing up on his grandparent’s farm where he would theorize ways to make tools and machines around the farm easier to use or more efficient. He vowed then that when he grew up, he would find a way to build things to make life easier for people.

Tin went on to attend Arizona State University (ASU), where he received a bachelor’s degree in manufacturing engineering and in technology in 2000. He really enjoyed the ASU engineering school experience because it was hands on and he got to work with the latest technology, preparing him for the real world. While attending school, Tin also served as an auto mechanic for racing cars to earn some extra money on the side and because he really enjoyed the work.

Tin joined Interface in September 2001. He began his career as a calibration associate in the calibration lab. After a few years in the lab, Tin was then promoted to manufacturing engineer. A year later, he was promoted to calibration supervisor followed by the calibration departments business unit manager. His success in each of these roles allowed him to retain some of his titles and work throughout the company to lend his skills and expertise.

Today, his role covers quite a bit of what we do here at Interface. His day-to-day responsibilities include developing and maintaining tooling for calibration, fixturing, improving production processes, auditing equipment, figuring out ways to reduce costs, training calibration techs, maintaining calibration standards, looking after 20 different rigs, to highlight a few. His depth of experience and expertise lends to supporting and helping the company meet the growing demands for Interface’s quality products.

What Tin enjoys so much about working at Interface and continuing to take on new roles is that he loves to learn everything there is to know about the company and serving customers. Tin noted, there are a lot of talented people around him to provide that knowledge and support. After more than 20 years with the company, Tin still feels that he has more to learn. He’s also very honored by the trust that Interface and its leadership have placed in Tin to take on all of his important roles.

In his free time, Tin loves to travel and explore the great outdoors. He enjoys hiking, camping, fishing, boating and more. And, as if he doesn’t already have enough projects in his work life, Tin is also very fond of upgrading and remodeling his home. He takes a lot of ownership over the process and will do everything that he can before hiring somebody to help.

With all the hats Tin wears, he knows Interface inside out and we’re thrilled to have him and his cross-departmental expertise as part of the Interface family! We hope you enjoyed the newest entry into our Faces of Interface and if you’re looking to learn more about our talented staff, visit our ForceLeaders feature here.

Faces of Interface Featuring Kasilyn Halawith

Kasilyn (Kasi) Halawith is Interface’s repair service manager, which handles our product calibration and repair services. In our feature of Faces of Interface, we learned that Kasi is a jack of all trades and has excelled across a variety of industries before finding a home at Interface. To begin, Kasi is a rare Arizona native who grew up in Moon Valley, a small town in North Phoenix. She was raised here and continues to raise her two daughters in the Valley.

Kasi’s career can be summed up by saying there really isn’t anything she can’t do. Throughout her life she has held positions in the automotive industry, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, and more. The one thing that has remained consistent is that she has always excelled in customer facing roles because she understands how to work with people to get them exactly what they need.

Some of Kasi’s professional experience includes 11 years at Midway Chevrolet, where she worked as the body shop coordinator. Seven years at Sapphire Catering, where she was head server and led efforts to cater to MLB Spring Training attendees. This job was actually nearly a year-round gig because of how much time professional baseball players spend in sunny Arizona in the offseason. Additionally, Kasi also spent time as the office manager at Roadrunner Pharmacy.

These experiences taught Kasi the value of patience in customer relationships, as well as the need to always keep communication open to ensure customer needs are always met. It also taught her to be proactive whenever possible to create the best environment possible for customers. She is a strong advocate in creating positive customer experiences.

About three years ago, Kasi was ready to take on the next challenge in her career and learned about Interface through a friend. Interface needed someone to assist our Repair Service Manager at the time and Kasi was the perfect fit for the role.

Kasi quickly moved into the manager role and has excelled at serving Interface repair customers. Her role today involves responding to dozens of important customer emails every morning, processing new orders, return material authorizations, and preparing quotes for customers. She is also in constant communication with customers nationally and our global network to help answer questions and keep customers updated on orders.

She really enjoys the role because she gets to work with a very diverse group of individuals and projects. She’s also very close with her team and the greater Interface staff mentioning that it is a great environment to work. Her team consists of 12 people, a mix of technicians and administrators who facilitate all repair service requests.

When Kasi isn’t being a rockstar repair service manager, her time is devoted to her family. As mentioned, Kasi has two daughters, one of which is at GCU pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurial Studies. Her other daughter is 18 years old and special needs, Kasi is a devoted advocate of hers. One of Kasi’s favorite hobbies is helping out with her girls after school programs. This includes a lot of crafting, developing t-shirts and mugs for spirit line as president of the Booster Club. Finally, Kasi has three adorable chihuahuas.

Kasi is an integral member of our team, and we are excited to share her story. If you are interested in learning more about our incredible team members at Interface, tune into our IQ Blog every month for a new Faces of Interface ForceLeaders feature.