Photo headshot of Joel Hogendobler

Joel Hogendobler

VP of Enterprise Systems

2 years at Ridgeline

How would you describe what you do?

I guess at a high level, I lead a team of talented, motivated engineers and admins who are excited about our customers’ missions. In more detail, it depends on the day. Some days I’m providing counseling to people working on career development, and sometimes I’m stepping in to fill gaps in situations where we’re pressed for time or low on resources. It’s a pretty wide spectrum.

How would you describe your leadership style?

Adaptable. Not every person requires the same type of leadership, so I try to adapt to the needs of the team or the individual. I think my style is also transformational in the sense that I’m trying to empower the team and help them build their own leadership skills. I push decisions to my direct reports and down to our engineers because they’re closer to the problem. really try to encourage decision making so that they aren’t having to bubble everything up and wait for me to decide. This allows them to move a lot faster, be more efficient, and take ownership of the outcome. And finally, I try to embody servant leadership. My goal is to remove blockers for the team and to make sure they have the resources they need to get their job done. I toggle between these styles based on what people need on any given day.

What’s something new you’ve learned recently?

It feels like I learn something new every day, Recently, I learned that commercial lighting has 277 volts of power to it. I learned this scary piece of information after a situation in the office where I ended up catching one of our light fixtures.

What’s your super power?

I like to joke that sometimes when folks ask me for help, all I have to do is walk up next to them and stare at their screen and whatever it was that wasn’t working before just starts to work. I intimidate information systems into working.

What is something going on at Ridgeline right now that you’re excited to see grow and develop?

There are a couple things. I am really excited that we have our proprietary data routing solution, Universe, at a place where we are ready to start transitioning customers over to it. I’ve worked in this niche of the industry for a while now, and Universe is truly transformational and will absolutely set us apart from our competitors. I’m also excited about where we’re taking our Solution-as-a-Service platform. We’ve been taking a ground-up approach to build something that is flexible and modular, which will make it so much easier to deploy to separate customer enclaves.

How would you describe Ridgeline’s culture?

When I describe Ridgeline’s culture to people, I tend to use a lot of what’s included in our core values. If you go down the list there, I think a lot of people here embody our core values, and I know that we screen for it in our new candidates. Our culture is integrity, accountability, innovation. Teaching – I see a lot of teaching going on here. We’ve managed to free up time to cultivate the learning environment that has always been here, but is really taking off over the last six to twelve months.

Can you tell us about a time when you have been inspired or impressed by the work of another Ridgeliner?

We have a lot of great things going on, but what has inspired me greatly recently is the work that our automation team is doing. I don’t think it gets a lot of press, and I don’t know if everyone understands the impact that it will have to things like the quality of our work, the reliability of our systems, and the cost to deploy those systems. Also, this work doesn’t impact just a single solution, but our entire suite of solutions. The impressive progress of our automation team is what is top of mind for me.

What makes Ridgeline unique?

It’s the people that make Ridgeline unique. We have varied backgrounds, but a lot of shared values. Sometimes it’s hard to feel like you fit in, right? And I think although everyone here comes from different backgrounds, those values pull us together. I think that’s unique.

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