At Tait, we take great pride in serving the organizations that are so integral to our way of life: they keep communities safe, our lights on, transport flowing, and provide the raw materials for modern life. To provide them with the great support Tait is renowned for, we have a dedicated team of individuals all over the world that work hard to deliver results. In this blog we meet Ray Hafezi, Senior Systems Engineer at Tait.
Want to get to know our team? You can find other Tait Staff Spotlight posts here.
Meet Ray Hafezi, Senior Systems Engineer at Tait
Ray is one of many boomerang employees at Tait. Ray is an electrical engineer who has worked extensively in the field of public safety and public service wireless communications systems. With fifteen years of experience, Ray has an in-depth understanding of land mobile radio networks, backhaul networks, dispatch console systems, critical infrastructure concepts, and industry rules and regulations.
“The most important aspect of my background is client communications. On every project, I listen to my clients and interpret their issues and needs. From there, I use my technical experience to identify solutions that meet their needs. And lastly, I develop a plan of action within predetermined schedule and budget. “
To get to know Ray a little better, we decided to ask him a few questions:
Welcome back to Tait! What has it been like to be back for these last 3 months?
I have been working remotely for about 15 years now, so for me it hasn’t been that different. A little bit less travel, but still lots of phone calls and lots of screen sharing sessions. The biggest change is probably not feeling embarrassed when the kids start screaming in the background, now everyone is in the same boat!
Why do you think Tait has so many boomerang employees?
I am sure you hear this all the time, but it really comes down to the culture. People care about you and Tait employees genuinely want each other to be successful. That sounds simple, but it is rare.
How did you develop your client-centered point of view?
I started off my career as a consultant. I still remember one of my first projects for Sullivan County, PA where they might have more deer than people. The project manager who I was working with didn’t just go in and tell them to upgrade their system to P25, which was a common solution for public safety radio upgrades.
We listened to why they called us, and what they wanted to accomplish. We worked around the edges to make improvements that were within their budget. Listening to customers and understanding their pain points has been a formula that has worked well for me in my career.
What are your interests outside of work?
I enjoy cooking, hiking, traveling, and football and hockey (I’m a Penn State Football season ticket holder). Most of all I just enjoy spending time with the family; playing video games, reading, watching movies, and doing little projects around the house.
One of my most rewarding interests is an event called the 11 Day Power Play. The event raises money for local charities here in Buffalo, NY to fight cancer. Every year over 2,300 pairs of skates hitting the ice, in three hours shifts over this 11-day marathon hockey game. The event has raised over $4 million since 2017.
I personally lost my stepmother to pancreatic cancer in 2011 and my mother-in-law to stomach cancer in 2019. It really is incredible playing a game that I love, with friends that are close, all while helping out such a great cause.
What is the best part of living in Buffalo?
There is so much I love about Buffalo, it has some big city amenities but with so many small city benefits. For example, it has a good size airport, but the wait times are never an issue and parking is very economical. Traffic is never a problem here, you can make it from one side of the city to the other in 20 minutes (seriously, ask anyone, that’s a common response here).
I know the common reputation is all about the snow we get here, but honestly the summers are amazing here in Western NY. The overall region is also great; It’s also located on Lake Erie, close to Niagara Falls, the Canadian border, two hours away from Toronto, and there are numerous wineries in the region. There are lots of parks, places to hike, and historical districts.
But If I had to go with one thing, I’d say the restaurant scene is amazing here. It’s not all about chicken wings, although if an out-of-towner comes in for a visit that’s the first place we’d go (kind of like Philly and cheesesteaks). There’s great local venues, everything from little hole-in-the-wall types of places to high end fine dining.
The Bills (NFL team) have had quite a year.
Buffalo is such a football town, when the Bills win people seem happier and it even feels less cold outside. After we realized about halfway through the season how special this team was, the excitement just grew and grew. It was an amazing year.
What would the title of your autobiography be?
Normally I’m a pretty quiet person, so probably something along the lines of “The Untold Story”.
Do you have any skills or talents that most people don’t know about?
While in college I worked for the University catering department. I was eventually promoted to operations manager, so my love of food and cooking extends a little further into the hospitality management field.
It was a long time ago, but I even attended some trade shows in Las Vegas and did quite a bit of work in event planning, menu design, buffet construction, banquet table setting, etc. I probably know more about napkin folding than a typical engineer should. Although my heart was always rooted in engineering, that experience stays with you.
If there was a subject you could study just for fun, what would it be?
Sport Analytics. I am borderline obsessed with sports analytics. It basically marries two of my biggest passions into one: Sports & Mathematics.
Ray brings with him extensive industry knowledge and vast experience, and we’re thrilled to have him back on board! Ray reports to Daniel Steinmetz, Engineering Manager.
If there’s anything Ray or the team at any of our regional offices can do to help you, please don’t hesitate to contact us.