To kickstart our Employee Spotlight series, it only seems fit to highlight one individual who embodies the team-oriented spirit and commitment to excellence that we so often see in those featured for International Women’s Month.
Kelly Mahan has been with Vistacom for about 19 years. She started as an intern and was soon after brought on board the Vistacom installation team because of her clear potential and enthusiasm for the work. After completing a fast-track Electronics Technology program at Northampton Community College, Kelly was faced with the tough decision of either learning to repair copiers or starting a career in systems integration at Vistacom. She sarcastically pointed out, “AV sounded much better than fixing copiers.”
She quickly learned the correct way to build racks and what all of the AV terminology meant. Warren J. Osse, a senior AV Application Engineer with Vistacom, said that Kelly’s electrical engineering knowledge and termination skills were apparent from the moment he met her. “She didn’t come from an audiovisual background, as most of us did back then; that aspect she learned quickly.”
During her tenure, Kelly says that her role has almost come “full circle.” After learning the ropes of building and testing racks in the shop, she joined the field installation team where she swiftly proved her chops and developed subject matter expertise as an on-site systems integrator. Warren said, “As her professional audiovisual acumen grew, she became an integral member of Vistacom’s installation team.” He added, “Over the years, we worked literally hand in hand, and I requested her on all of the critical projects I lead in the field.”
Then, roughly 5 years ago, Vistacom made the decision to build a dedicated Shop team, under the Service Department, which would focus solely on quality control, equipment testing and pre-configuration. Her dedication, experience and deep skill set made Kelly the ideal fit for a role on the Shop Fabrication team.
“We make sure that everything is as it should be before it goes out on the field,” she said. “Vistacom is one of the only AV integrators that sets up entire systems beforehand and has clients come in during testing. It saves a whole lot of time, money, and ensures systems are successful.” When asked about her favorite aspect of the job, Kelly said it’s definitely the challenge of constantly working with new equipment, like the Barco ClickShare video conferencing system, for example, and figuring out how it’s all supposed to work through rigorous R&D. But, “I can’t do my job without everyone else and interfacing with every department,” she said emphatically. “At Vistacom, no one is an island; we all support each other with good communication and teamwork.”
In her free time, Kelly enjoys riding her motorcycle with her husband, cooking, making “soaps, lotions and potions,” she mentioned with a chuckle, and watching old movies. Oh, and although she tried to humbly brush aside her gardening activities, Kelly takes amateur gardening to the next level with over 160 pots of seeds under heat and plant lights, and “another 50 to go.”
It’s hard to explain how integral Kelly really is to the Vistacom team. Her hard work inspires those around her, as does her tenacity in the AV industry. “Kelly is one-of-a-kind. She was an early female CTS-I and, sadly, still not one of many,” Warren pointed out. “She is a lady in the traditional sense: she can hold her own with a Local #3 electrical worker in New York City, go out for beers and shoot pool, ride her Harley and then wear a ball gown with equal aplomb.”