Linda McSweeney

Customer care manager, Land Mobile Radio & LTE

Linda describes her role as the "go to person" for any questions, issues and updates customers have once their VESTA™ Radio solution goes live and is accepted. “Our customers have very important jobs in an extremely critical industry. What they do is vital to their community. That’s why I take my job very seriously and I truly care about the work they do.”

“When I meet customers for the first time I always say that as far as I am concerned we are in this together and I am here to take care of whatever issues they have. Many times the response I get is – ‘OK, that sounds great, but now you have to prove it’. I say, ‘Bring it on’. I consider gaining a customer’s trust a personal challenge and a wonderful achievement. I am very happy to call many of my customers over the years as my colleagues and friends.”

Linda says the best part of her job is when she can help customers get an issue taken care of quickly. “When we can fix something together, it makes me feel like I am giving a little back to the people who risk their lives for the rest us to be safe.”

Jason Wellonen

Senior Architect, Next Generation 9-1-1 and Notification

Jason has been with Airbus DS Communications for 13 years. As a senior architect for our next generation call processing platforms, he is responsible for ensuring all new products work together seamlessly so customers have integrated solutions, not disparate systems or services.

"When we are engineering new products, there is a lot of conceptualizing, drawing diagrams, specifying how things will work. There is also writing the code and testing. My favorite part is when everything comes together and you actually see what was originally envisioned. It's even better when it turns out to be more than you actually intended."

“I want our customers to know that our research and development team is working very hard to live up to our customers' expectations and stay on top as the industry leader. We want our next generation products to be the best we have ever done.”

When not at work, Jason is a family guy, who is very involved with his seven-year-old son and six-year-old daughter. Together, they enjoy spending time outdoors and camping.

Marc Chénier

Senior Software Developer, VESTA® 9-1-1

Marc has worked for Airbus DS Communications for 12 years. He works in our Gatineau, Quebec, facility and focuses on our next-generation 9-1-1 call processing solutions. He says the knowledge he has gained to help people save lives is what makes the difference to him.

"I enjoy teaching and explaining and working in teams," explains Marc. "Being able to help my teammates understand how to improve the functionality for the call taker is important to me and a big part of what I love to do. I am proud we are on the leading edge. We have a vision for the future and we know how we will evolve and continue to find smarter ways to help our customers save lives.”

In his spare time, when he's not developing software and teaching and helping his teammates, Marc loves doing outdoors activities with his family, especially alpine skiing, snowshoeing, biking and camping.

Karen Tusler

Director of Production, Next Generation 9-1-1 and Emergency Notification

When you work with Karen Tusler, you can’t help but take in her integrity and attention to detail. It’s just part of her DNA. In her 32 years at Airbus DS Communications, Karen has held many different positions and is proud of the fact that she has had the opportunity, in her words, to do so much.

“We have many people who have 20 plus years with the company which says a lot about our culture. We take our jobs seriously and we always have the support of leadership. I can personally go to anyone in executive management and know they will always take my input and advise me to the right thing.”

Karen and her team, who work out of the Temecula, CA office, manage the sales orders for the 9-1-1 and notification lines of business – from receiving the order to assembling and shipping systems, and it’s a big job. “Two key things you have to do to be successful in this job is be flexible in order to meet the customers’ needs and never forget that details matter,” said Karen.

Outside of the office, Karen enjoys time with her grandchildren, whom she says “are perfect”, as well as her four dogs and four horses. She is also passionate about barrel racing, which she got into at the age of 16. “It’s all about speed and the horse when you are racing.” Karen has won many races over the years and is currently racing “Ellie”, the offspring of a horse she raised and competed with for years.

Andre Williams

Director of Product Portfolio Management, Next Generation 9-1-1 and Emergency Notification

Andre is an engineer who has worked in product development and testing, specifically in Land Mobile Radio, for the last 20 years in the U.S. and South East Asia, bringing a wealth of knowledge, enthusiasm and sound judgment to the job. He works in our Temecula, CA office, where he directs the Next Generation 9-1-1 and notification product portfolios. He is responsible for making sure our product roadmap delivers the features and functionality customers need, as well as for keeping an open eye on market dynamics, enabling us to continue to create smarter ways to keep all our communities safe.

“What I have noticed the most since joining the company,” said Andre, “is the passion and the closeness people have with each other. When I am in a meeting or working one-on-one with my colleagues, I always get the sense that we are in this together; that at the end of the day, we are a family serving public safety and that what we do matters.”

Speaking of family, Andre lives with his wife, two daughters (who are 12 and 16) and his nephew, who is 11. To unwind in the evenings, he enjoys watching TV with the kids. “We are big science fiction fans and really into it.” The other thing he likes to do for fun is (attempt to) play golf.

Allen Van Meter

Director of Hosting Services, Emergency Notification

Allen, who has been at Airbus DS Communications for 26 years, is what we call the go-to Director for the company’s notification business and he truly keeps people connected when it matters most, which is every day.

Working out of the Franklin, TN office, he manages the operations and development of our hosted notification solution and is the subject matter expert for this product line’s integrated quality process, overseeing the software verification testing. He also works closely with technical services, field engineering and training to ensure customer needs are continuously met. In short, he is the notification connoisseur.

Allen has witnessed firsthand how our customers have adopted technology for both emergency and routine notification needs instead of relying on human resources. “People are trying to simplify what they need to do by using technology integration as the stepping stone to make that happen. At Airbus DS Communications, we are fully aligned with this view. I appreciate our customers, their patience and assistance as we all work together through the evolutions of the changing technology.”

In his spare time, Allen enjoys hiking and fly fishing. “When I have the chance, I go 15 miles into the woods, up in the mountains, for three or four days. I’ve been fly fishing for 25 years and what I really like about it is that you have to be focused on one thing and for me that is very calming.”

John Szpak

Director of Engineering, Land Mobile Radio

John, who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Miami and a Master’s of Science in Computer Engineering from Florida Atlantic University, came to Airbus DS Communications after a very impressive career at Motorola and EF Johnson. At EF Johnson, he built the R&D organization from the ground up, including the engineering of the P25 LMR product line.

John and his team are responsible for the overall system architecture for our VESTA Radio solution. “I really enjoy the creative aspect,” says John. It’s fun to come up with unique solutions that meet what the customer must have to be successful.”

“I believe in our solution and think it’s a great model to offer the industry and our customers,” John says. “If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be here. Anyone who has heard about or seen our solution always says, ‘Wow, there really is a better way and Airbus DS Communications is doing it,’ and that makes me feel really good about what we do.”

The father of two children, John stays very busy outside the office as well. For the past nine years, he has coached his 12-year-old son’s soccer team. He also volunteers at his church as a children’s youth director.

Mag’e Hernandez

Channel Partner Program Manager

Mag’e’s energy, creativity and commitment to her work at the home of VESTA can easily be summed up in just two simple words – saving lives.

“Being part of a military family, it’s such an honor to work for a company that has a direct connection in helping protect so many people,” says Mag’e. “When I think about the dedication of my husband and now my son, who is on active duty, I feel like I am also contributing, though somewhat indirectly, to everyone’s safety. I say with pride that here, at Airbus DS Communication, critical really does matter and I truly love being part of the bigger picture.”

As a partner program manager, Mag’e designs and implements the training and promotion programs for the many channel partners who sell our NG9-1-1 call taking and associated products and services to Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs). What she likes best about her job is the collaboration with peers, both inside and outside the company.

“I really enjoy communicating with our partners and coming up with new ideas and new ways to make it easier for them to do business with us. With the public safety industry now moving so quickly, it is very important to continually look at ways to share information with our partners to help them be more successful.”

In her spare time, Mag’e loves being with her family and cheering her kids on in all of their sports activities. On and off the playing field, she demonstrates a wonderful, positive attitude and is a true inspiration to others.

Chris Rooney

Senior Technical Trainer, Call Center Applications

Chris is a former 9-1-1 dispatcher, which is probably one of the reasons he relates so easily to his ‘students.’ After eight years with the company he says every training situation is different. The best way to introduce you to Chris is through the comments from customers.

”[This] was my first Airbus DS Communications training. I have taken many… training courses and this is one of the best training courses I have ever had. A big reason for that is Chris Rooney. Chris is a great instructor. He demonstrated his expert knowledge and effectively conveyed the material to the class.”

“I also want to commend Chris Rooney. He was wonderful with the staff and helped them to understand the new [VESTA® 9-1-1 solution... Everyone on my team really likes Chris”.

“Chris taught a great class and was very knowledgeable and made it easy to learn the hard technical material. Very good instructor…[he] should be recognized for [his] integrity and work ethic.”

Chris’ advice is to never underestimate the power of training. “Make sure you get training on any new product or system. Otherwise, you get frustrated and take it out on the product. That’s how people react when they don’t understand what the system can do. Training is a good thing.”

In his spare time, when Chris is not traveling, which is usually Saturday and part of Sunday, he enjoys cooking with his 14 year-old daughter. “Cooking is my Zen place,” said Chris. “I don’t have to think about anything but cooking and having fun with my daughter.”

Kathy Richter

Account Executive Supervisor, Emergency Notification

When it comes to keeping people connected, Kathy is at the top of her game. If you’re a user of the company’s notification solutions, you’ve likely worked with her to renew your hosting or support services and have experienced both her efficiency and kindness first hand.

“I’m often the first contact our customers have when renewing their support services, and it’s important to me they receive a timely response, one that meets their needs,” said Kathy. “In doing so, I also want to facilitate a team environment across our departments, because the more we communicate and work together, the better we are for our customers. I want our customers to know how important they are to the company,” she added.

About working at the home of VESTA, Kathy says, “Our mission is important. We serve a good purpose, providing an important service to communities and businesses – whether for the goal of evacuating a building or finding a lost child.” She adds, “It doesn’t hurt that I get to work with great people in a good environment. I look forward to going to work every day and doing work that’s rewarding.”

Those who have had the chance to speak with Kathy on a personal level know her greatest reward is the time spent with her family, including her daughter and a son. Kathy and her family are also heavily involved in church activities, and she and her husband have taught Sunday school since getting married over 23 years ago.

Greg Senter

Project Manager, Land Mobile Radio

In addition to being a certified Project Management Professional, Greg Senter also earned a BSEE from Oklahoma Christian University and his MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. Graduating cum laude and on the dean’s list at these schools respectively, Greg is obviously serious about education, and he’s serious about his job, too.

Working with a team of people who are focused on accomplishing a goal and making a difference is the most important aspect of being a project manager to Greg. For him, all of the sayings about teams accomplishing more than individuals ring true. “We take on very challenging and complex projects,” said Greg. “It's always incredible to look back at the challenges the team faced in the beginning of a project and then see what we achieved. I'm very proud of all of our accomplishments and what we were able to make happen for our customers.”

As a project manager, Greg is responsible for all aspects of a land mobile radio installation – soup to nuts. “Every project is different and can take from 18 to 30 months until completed. I’m the guy who makes sure we do what we said we would do, on time, on budget, with a quality solution.”

Despite the associated workload, Greg truly enjoys project management and has held related positions for the past 20 years. He also has vast experience with land mobile radio networks, having successfully completed deployment of P25 conventional and trunking solutions for territory-wide government agencies, including the government of Yukon, Canada.

“The decisions we make throughout the project lifecycle aren’t just a matter of taking care of the detail on the contract. It’s knowing we are helping deliver a solution that people’s lives depend on. That’s something I value and am committed to every day.”

Although Greg’s work keeps him busy, he spends his treasured free time with his family. This includes two children – a nine-year old boy and a seven-year old girl.

Jeff Jurewicz

Field Engineer, Call Center Applications

Jeff has been with Airbus DS Communications for 16 years and in Public Safety for 30. Simply put, he knows his stuff.

“When I do a system install, I treat it as if my family depends on it,” said Jeff. “I have family all over North America and travel quite a bit. I want to know that the system I put in will work and be reliable, so if a family member had to dial 9-1-1 it would be handled properly, with no problem.”

Jeff’s work today puts him on the cutting edge of Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1), and he says there is a lot to learn and be excited about. “We have so much new technology coming with NG9-1-1. It’s rewarding to be in a job where you have the opportunity to be on the frontline of new technology.”

One of Jeff’s passions is car racing and as one of the field engineers for Airbus DS Communications’ project in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Jeff had the opportunity to race at the Yas Marina Circuit where the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is held along with Formula One races. “The night we were there it was 102° F, and we drove for 20 minutes at speeds up to 138 mph. Now that was fun.” (The picture you see above includes Jeff in the racing car at the Circuit with his instructor, who is getting him ‘installed’ before he takes off.)

Cathy Kurnas

Senior Project Manager, Call Center Applications

For the last nine years, Cathy has managed some of the biggest projects in our company’s history. And it is this experience, combined with being a director for a 9-1-1 center in Maryland that gives her a unique perspective on project management and the key elements that make a successful project manager.

Cathy says a good project manager must always take the leadership role with the team and the customer, because the customer is looking for us to fill that role.

“I continually ask myself, ‘am I keeping all the lines of communication open?’; ‘am I on high alert for any discrepancies or gaps, and am I keeping the team informed of them so we can address them right away?’.”

Even on the toughest days, when nothing is going how she planned, what stands out for Cathy is the value of her work. “I know what we do makes a difference in an emergency and that matters.”

There are many things Cathy really likes about working at Airbus DS Communications, and she thinks of them in three big buckets. “First, we have a wonderful executive team I can always reach out to for help. Everyone is accessible which is especially important when you are working on a large project because sometimes you need a good sanity check. Second, I am always challenged to grow and develop. And third, we have so many forward-thinking people in this company, who are always looking at how we can make what we do in public safety better. We are like the saying, ‘a rolling stone gathers no moss’. That’s us. We aren’t gathering any moss. We are going to keep rolling and get better and better.”

Francois Cregheur

Senior Project Manager, Call Center Applications

Francois. who has been with the company for 23 years, is a designer, a product architect if you will. He is responsible for identifying product requirements and then translating them into system specifications for the development team, who ultimately creates the product. And it is something Francois does brilliantly.

He is one of the system engineers of the VESTA® 9-1-1 solution. “In designing the new system, we put more emphasis on the user experience because we wanted the act of answering a call to be intuitive and the software becomes part of your reaction to handling the call. I believe the user interface and user experience is what makes the difference.”

What does it take to do this work? “The devil is in the detail. You have to be methodical and look at the logical, practical elements.’”

Francois says the biggest challenge is making sure you have the real requirements – what users really need. “To do that, it is vital to be in touch with what is important to the person taking the call.”

Another element to add to the puzzle is the fact that one size doesn’t fit all. Francois explained, “We sell our products around the world which means you must be sensitive to how calls are handled in the Middle East vs. North America, for example. You can’t impose a behavior on a culture. This means the design must be adaptable and flexible.”

“The best part of my job,” continued Francois, “knowing that what I do helps to save lives. At the end of the day I can say, ‘I made a difference.’”

Francois, his wife and two children live in Gatineau, Canada, where he was born. For the last eight years, he has been involved with his son’s hockey team, which keeps him very busy.

Frank Hobbs

Implementation Services Supervisor, Emergency Notification

Frank, who works out of the Franklin, TN office, manages the team of project managers and field engineers responsible for the deployment of Airbus DS Communications notification solutions. This means that customers are in the hands of Frank’s team, and there’s no better place to be when it comes to implementing such a critical solution.

“Implementation services provide the first impression a customer has of our solutions and company following the sale. It’s my job to make sure my team has the tools and skill sets required to do their job well – to ensure they are professional and coordinate and execute thoroughly.”

Frank said, “I use to be a customer and with my background in public safety and knowledge of the company’s solutions, it just made sense when I had the opportunity to come work at Airbus DS Communications. That was 15 years ago. As a customer, I believed in what the company was doing to protect our citizens’ lives and properties, and as an employee, I believe in what we’re doing to support our customers.”

Frank’s co-workers and our customers would tell you that you can trust him to get you the information you need in a “frank” manner, which is always served with a side of his great sense of humor.

Don Matheson

P25 System Verification and Support - Team Lead, Land Mobile Radio

Don is someone you’d call a straight shooter. After being at the company five years he says, “it is a different kind of place to work. We have the right mix of values, new ideas and process. We are honest with our customers and each other. We don’t sugar coat it – we’re upfront – and I believe that’s one reason we are successful.”

Don is the Team Lead for the VESTA™ Radio solution - Verification and Support at the Gatineau, Canada facility. “All problem escalations come to my team. We do the troubleshooting on our software and the testing for all of our new maintenance software releases.”

You can tell from the commitment in his voice and his enthusiasm for the job that Don takes a lot of pride in making sure things work. “What makes the difference is our team. When we have a problem, we go at it really hard to provide a resolution as quickly as possible. It’s a true collaboration. There isn’t one person on the team without an important role.”

Born and raised in Ottawa, Canada, it’s not surprising that Don, along with his wife, really enjoy snowboarding, particularly at Camp Fortune, which is just eight minutes from the office. In the summer months, they take to the water for skiing and wakeboarding, oftentimes right after the work day ends.