goTenna Employee of the Month Spotlight: Brian Ellis + Luke Stewart

Sep 14, 2020

About goTenna

goTenna is advancing universal access to connectivity by building the world's most intelligent and scalable mobile mesh networks. goTenna is the world's leading mobile mesh networking company, providing off-grid connectivity solutions for smartphones and other devices, as well as augmenting traditional communications networks. This technology enables mobile, long-range connectivity without cell, wifi, or satellite connectivity. goTenna's drive to create resilient connectivity began during Hurricane Sandy in 2012 when approximately a third of cell towers and power stations in affected areas failed. goTenna's products are currently used by over 300 law enforcement, military, and public safety agencies worldwide. goTenna is backed by investors including Founders Fund, Union Square Ventures, Comcast Ventures, Collaborative Fund, and Bloomberg Beta.

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As team members of a small organization, goTenna employees know that you have to work across multiple departments on a daily basis. goTenna’s Talent Acquisition Lead Adam Freedman, sat down with Senior Forward Deployed Engineer and Forward Deployed Engineer Brian Ellis, to discuss what it’s like to wear many hats at the company, what makes them passionate about goTenna, and how their journey at goTenna has impacted them.

Having served as an officer in the U.S. Army and the emergency management sector, Stewart is no stranger when it comes to being disconnected in the midst of a life-threatening emergency. He experienced a lot of communication failures during his time as a firefighter. Stewart talks about how he is truly passionate about his team as well as the products. On a daily basis, he works with customers to find out how you can make their operations more successful.

“[I tell them]: ‘I know exactly what you feel...Here’s a solution that can keep you safer.’ That really resonates with me,” says Stewart.

Using the ATAK mobile application on almost a daily basis during his U.S. Army days, the goTenna Pro X + ATAK solution came very easily to Ellis. Because of his military background, he knows how critical it is to have ad hoc, off-grid connectivity tools like goTenna Pro as part of your deployment pack. Currently, he is working with Stewart to take the goTenna Pro X + ATAK product to new levels in ways it has not been used before to provide even more connectivity to goTenna’s customers. One of the most exciting challenges that this team typically works on is how to create goTenna mesh networks over large areas with uneven and austere terrain where no other communication has been possible before through tools like high-point aerial relays.

With the onset of COVID-19, the entire goTenna team had to start working remotely, which is right when Ellis joined the company. He emphasized how easy it was to join the team because the onboarding crew was so thorough, organized, and entirely virtual. The process gave Ellis a chance to meet every single team he would be working with through video calls, making the process as close to normal as possible.

When it comes to their future at goTenna, Brian and Luke both agree that they are learning new things every day and they are excited to see the goTenna Pro offerings evolve in the future.

“It’s been a blessing and so much fun to reach out and work with other teams. Every step of the way it’s been a great, comfortable learning environment,” says Stewart.