A photo headshot of Tom Petersen

Tom Petersen

Chief Information Officer

3 years at Ridgeline

How would you describe your role?

I take Ridgeline’s business vision and shape it into technical direction. To break that down, our leadership on the business side of the house comes up with a high-level idea about a new market segment they want to target or a product they want to build, and it’s my job to translate the business requirements in sufficient detail to the technical teams so they can create the technology we need.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I strongly believe in leading from the front and by example. Our most important asset is our talent, and one of my primary focuses is ensuring the talent has the tools they need to succeed – personally and professionally. I believe in pushing decisions down to the lowest level possible, to those closest to the information. This fosters a highly collaborative approach that supports risk-taking and continually learning from our choices.

What’s something new you’ve learned recently?

Given the learning culture we foster at Ridgeline, I’m always learning new things. At one of our weekly “Lunch & Tech” sessions, a colleague gave an interactive presentation on how to use Linux iproute2 to manipulate the routing tables. As part of some of the new capabilities the team has been engineering, I’ve had the opportunity to learn more about Enhanced MAC VLANS (EMAC-VLAN) interfaces and MACsec. We recently acquired an IPv6 allocation, and not having worked with v6 before, it’s been an excellent opportunity to learn something new.

What’s your super power?

I want to say laughter. I try to inject levity and humor into situations. Not because our work isn’t serious, but because sometimes we get too serious about it and I bring a little bit of humor in. We all get the chance to laugh, take a deep breath, and regroup.

What’s something going on at Ridgeline that you’re excited to see develop or grow?

I’m excited about so many things, our work on our Universe product, the evolution of a solution we’re delivering one of our longtime customers, and even the launch of this new website. It’s really a 180-degree difference in the way we’re approaching our work and how we put our capabilities out there. I’m also excited to see what the team, who’s been heads down working on some new products for the last six to eight months, is on the cusp of. We’re right at the point where we will start to see some significant success, so I’m excited to see what that leads to.

How would you describe Ridgeline’s culture?

The words I would use are immersive, supportive, and highly collaborative. I think it’s what brings people here and why they choose to stay. The fact that you can go to anybody from the CEO to the newest, most junior person on a team and they will assist, it’s remarkable.

In the military, there’s a term – cover and move. When soldiers work together as a team, one moves while the other covers them. I think we are a phenomenal cover and move team. To translate that to the business, we’re aligned in a common mission and where one of us is weak, someone else is strong. We cover down for each other to allow us all to move toward that common goal.

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

I’m humbled regularly by what my team and other teams at Ridgeline are able to accomplish. We have a bias for action attitude here, which lends itself to things just getting done. What I’m significantly impressed with is how resilient the team has become. When the workload starts going up, the team really starts leaning on one another in those times.

What is unique about Ridgeline?

The people. We’re a small company that punches far above our weight class, and it’s only possible because of the people. I’m thinking of the way Matt’s department is known as Talent Management. I’m talent, my team is talent. It’s a different way of thinking about those who work here that goes beyond the skills someone has on their resume. It’s a people-first environment, and that permeates through everything we do and the decisions we make.   

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