Meet The Team
In keeping with the theme of this newsletter - We keep people connected WHEN IT MATTERS MOST – we want to introduce you to three Airbus DS Communications directors who do just that every single day. Together, their experience with our company is right at 60 years, amounting to decades of work in bridging gaps internally and externally to ensure our customers have the tools they need to save lives. This commitment to you and dedication to Airbus DS Communications really shines through in their stories.
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 both 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 is doing the right thing in her current role of director of production. She 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.
Even though she believes the business is more complex today than it was 30 years ago, especially as we look at the addition of texting and multimedia for 9-1-1, what remains constant is the passion and commitment she and her colleagues have. “CRITICAL MATTERS™ is the right tagline for us because we are all about making sure customers know we are here and focused on solving their problems. We have each others’ backs because we are a family and we truly care.”
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.
Karen, thank you for your consistency and guidance in all you do. You are a true role model.
Andre Williams, Director of Product Portfolio Management, Next Generation
9-1-1 and Emergency Notification
Andre Williams is the newcomer in the trio of directors you are reading about, and while he joined Airbus DS Communications in January, he certainly isn’t new to Public Safety. 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.
Andre works in the 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.
Thank you, Andre, for how you’ve hit the ground running and for the thoughtful outlook you’ve brought to the team. You are a great addition to our family.
Allen Van Meter, Director of Hosting Services, Emergency Notification
For Allen, who has been at Airbus DS Communications for 26 years, it’s the customers and people he works with every day that makes his job worthwhile. Allen 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.
Allen, who works out of the Franklin, TN office, manages the operations and development of our hosted notification solution and is the subject matter expert for the 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.
He 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 and are always working to ensure our technology and processes keep things simple and efficient to ensure continuity and even save lives.”
“I appreciate our customers, their patience and assistance as we all work together through the evolutions of the changing technology,” Allen added. “I do think, at the end of the day, we make a difference.”
Allen came to Tennessee in his mid-20s to make circuit boards and never left. His training as an electronic engineer has evolved from building hardware to developing software and from working with electronic devices to managing services.
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.”
Allen’s calm manner in this mission-critical environment is always appreciated by his peers, employees and our customers. Thank you, Allen, for being someone we can always count on - our go-to guy!