Radicom is able to provide best-in-class service because we have the best-in-class people. One of those people is Cliff Hammarstrom, our Vice President of Tech Sales. Having started at Radicom 42 years ago, Cliff has been instrumental in designing integrative systems to meet our customers’ needs. We sat down with him to discuss what that’s been like for this “Employee Spotlight” blog post.
What is it like being the Vice President of Tech Service at Radicom? Have you always been in that role?
I began in 1979 as a field technician and installer and worked my way up. I’ve always been in the service department, but through various trainings (often sponsored by the company) I was able to grow and expand what I was able to do. Now my primary function is to design systems and integrate various components and manufacturers to put together a solution that matches the needs of the customer. I also help direct the service and sales team when they have questions and assist in coming up with the best solution for the customer. And finally, I do a fair amount of administrative work. Radicom has kept me busy for 42 years!
What led you to work at Radicom and this industry?
I grew up on a farm, but my dad was also an electrician so I often helped him out after school and on Saturdays. I knew I didn’t want to be an electrician, but I did like electronics. I ended up going to school for electronics and computer technology. Computers were a lot different then – they were the size of refrigerators!
What does a typical day look like for you?
My day entails a lot of multi-tasking and project management, but I also stop and attend client needs when something comes up. The customer needs come first. Internal meetings, talking with our manufacturers and coordinating with customers happen on a consistent basis. While things can get crazy, sometimes I have time to even hop on a phone call to do an interview for a blog.
A lot has changed over the years, but what would you say stands out the most to you?
Cellphones caused a big shift in the industry. When I first started radios still had tubes in them so there has been a lot of change. At one time, Radicom actually had five cell phone stores. As the market got more competitive, we shifted our focus to serving schools and public safety organizations. We always have to keep on learning new things. One thing you learn in this job is how to learn and the importance to always keep learning. Technology always changes.
What are you most passionate about at work?
At the end of the day, it is about satisfying the customer. It needs to be a symbiotic relationship where both the customer and Radicom do business together and walk away satisfied. Just because I made one good sale or repair, doesn’t mean my job or the relationship is done. We want our customers to come back to us so we can continue to help and support their organization in a reliable way.
Any favorite projects over the years? Could you share a little about them?
In the 80s, we helped put in a large new system for Lake County which was fun to be part of. In 2000, we were able to install a very large trunking radio system for another county after winning a bid over a competitor. Lastly, we had the opportunity to install 911 systems at O’Hare and Midway airports and continue to maintain them. That project certainly brought in some interesting challenges in regards to security and requirements.
What activities do you enjoy in your spare time?
I’m not sure if I’m proud to admit this, but I actually enjoy playing Call of Duty on my Xbox. I find it is a good way to escape, release some frustration and just take my mind away from everything else.
My wife and I also like to take spontaneous vacations because we always find something interesting despite having no plans. Don’t worry, I’m not always playing Xbox.
Tell us something that others may not know about you.
Most likely it would be that I play Call of Duty, but I also have a lot of unique trade skills. My wife and I have done most of the interior remodeling of our house (electrical, plumbing, digging out the basement, tiling and more). I also used to play the piano and several instruments, but haven’t in a very long time.