Meet the Team
Get to know Michael Mangini and Diana Gijselaers-two team members who are truly dedicated to our customers' understanding of our technology and their success in using it. Then, make plans to see them in action at the upcoming NENA 2016 Conference & Expo in Indianapolis, IN!
As Senior Director of Enterprise Solutions, Michael Mangini leads a team of senior architects who are at a crossroads of many functions, yet find the balance necessary to achieve them. Their first goal, he says, is “to design systems that are highly reliable for our customers – simple in their design, free of a single point of failure and cost efficient.” No matter what type of solution, whether new or an upgrade, from 9-1-1 Call Handling to Next Generation Core Services, he believes “the best engineering designs are efficient and elegant in their simplicity.”
Michael points out that “to design a system, our customers must understand what we’re doing and what decisions need to be made and why.” It’s this aspect of his job where he finds the greatest reward – being able to “explain a complex technical issue in a simple, easy-to-understand and non-intimidating way.” Michael and his team work daily to position our company as a “technology partner,” not just a vendor, though many of you have likely experienced his personal touch since he’s been with us for almost 16 years.
In fact, Michael started on September 11th – a day that has held significance for him for a long time, considering it was recognized previous to its tragic events as ‘9-1-1 Emergency Number Day’ as declared by President Reagan in 1987. Michael can easily recall this due to having worked in Public Safety for more than 23 years before joining our company. His goal has always been to “go to work every day and help protect people in our country.” This led him to become the Director of Technical Services for the City of Boston’s EMS and a founding member of the Massachusetts Statewide Emergency Telecommunications Board.
It’s his true, hands-on experience in Public Safety that Michael attributes his approach to customer service. “My perspective is based on being a customer and having good and bad presentations and having people who didn’t understand Public Safety and 9-1-1 try to tell me and sell me.” This makes it important his team “solve problems and educate our customers in the process.” They’re knowledgeable on what’s going on in the industry so they “can bring that info forward in a way to help people be comfortable and confident.”
Michael’s lifelong commitment to Public Safety earned him the highest membership honor APCO bestows – that of a Life member – in 2001. He was also awarded the NG9-1-1 Institute’s Industry Professional Award in 2009. Michael has been a NENA member for thirty years and served as the Massachusetts NENA Chapter president. Attendees can typically find him at APCO’s and NENA’s annual conferences and will have the opportunity to see his easy-to-understand, educational techniques first-hand during this year’s NENA National Conference in Indianapolis, where he’ll present “Nine Steps to NG9-1-1” on Monday, June 13th from 2:45-3:45, Room #135 Indiana Convention Center.
Being in Indy should be exciting for Michael since he’s an avid fan of cars, particularly sports cars. In fact, he’s a member of the Porsche Club of America and the BMW Car Club of America and serves on the board of the BMW Car Club of America’s Boston chapter – all of which allow him to enjoy “performance driving and the camaraderie of events with other sports car enthusiasts,” including his wife and 26-year-old daughter.
We can attest there’s no better teammate to have on the VESTA® Speedway than Michael, and we are extremely grateful for his tireless service to our company, our customers and our country. Thank you, Michael, for all that you do!
Interaction with our customers is what Diana Gijselaers puts first in her role of Solutions Engineer – Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1), GIS and Core Services. Diana is one of our GIS and mapping experts and provides related information and support, which she says is anything from “how one of our specific applications works to help more quickly and effectively process a call to how GIS works within NG9-1-1.” No matter the question, she always wants to create “a positive end experience for our customers and ultimately the person who needs to call 9-1-1.”
Diana’s principles are guided by her past work in Public Safety in Alachua County, FL, where she served as GIS analyst for the 9-1-1 office. In this function, she handled county addressing, updated the 9-1-1 map and coordinated different GIS layers for 9-1-1 and emergency management. However, when she made the move to Airbus DS Communications in March 2012, she knew what she was getting into.
“Airbus was our 9-1-1 equipment provider, and I was really impressed with their products and by their commitment to getting it right. Now, working for Airbus, I definitely think we're the best in the industry.” Diana attributes this position to two things: our commitment to service and the Graphic User Interface (GUI) of our VESTA® 9-1-1 system. Of the latter, she says, “It speaks to our commitment to calltakers in terms of making their jobs easier for them. It's the best in the business and helpful in how it presents information in a clear and effective way.”
Being able to “help communities have better response times” like this is one of Diana’s favorite parts of her job, and she appreciates the opportunity to go on-site and help customers improve where possible. “If I’m aware of positive additions to their map and can help them get that or make them aware of it, I always really enjoy doing it.” However, her ability to do this is not something she takes for granted. “We’re very lucky to be invited into these local communities – to become part of their family with the products and services we provide. It’s awesome to be a part of so many communities, and my goal is for us to always be a really helpful part.”
Diana’s passion for helping extends to the entire Public Safety industry. She is highly active in NENA as a member of their Next Generation 9-1-1 Work Group and a co-chair of their GIS Data Stewardship Work Group. Through the organization, she also gives educational presentations on Next Generation technology, specifically her “NG9-1-1 Call Flow Skit,” in which volunteers act as the different call flow components. Her efforts were recently validated when a woman at one of her presentations said she had videotaped a couple of Diana’s skits and shows them on her phone whenever anyone asks her about NG9-1-1. “This made me happy. It’s important to me to be able to communicate info that can be complicated in a way people can get and they’re not afraid of.”
Attendees to the upcoming NENA National Conference will have the opportunity to experience one of Diana’s skits, “Lights, Camera, NG9-1-1!” on Monday, June 13th from 1:30-2:30, Room #135 Indiana Convention Center. “I will be talking about the different Next Generation Core Services and how GIS basically provides the foundation for location validation and geospatial call touring. I’ll do it in an innovative way – not in a PowerPoint, but kind of in a drama,” she laughs. “We try to make it fun because the more senses you can engage in learning, the better you learn.”
This basis for education is something Diana also applies to her spare time, and she travels as much as possible to experience different areas. In fact, she and her boyfriend take a big vacation each year and just returned from seeing Europe by train. Past trips have included Greece, Turkey, Machu Picchu and Antarctica. When she’s home, which she now makes in Portland, OR, she enjoys crafting, wine tasting and birdwatching, a longstanding pastime. “In Florida, they have a lot of Osprey, so if I see one in the Pacific Northwest, it’s going to be a good day.”
For her Airbus teammates, being in Diana’s presence always makes for a great day. Her positive attitude and willingness to help are just two things that make her so special, and we thank you, Diana, for being you!