Employee Spotlight – Meet Kinard Hall, Our NOC and Satellite Operations Manager
March 1, 2017
This month we introduce to you Kinard Hall, our newest addition to the Network Operations Center in Vienna, VA. Kinny joins Lepton Global as our Satellite Operations and NOC Manager, adding valuable iDirect networking expertise to our NOC’s already unmatched customer service.
Q: You joined Lepton Global Solutions as the Satellite Operations and NOC Manager in September of last year. What is your previous experience in the SATCOM industry?
Kinny: I have been working in the satellite communications industry for four years and started as an associate technical service engineer with iDirect. I had awesome work mentors that offered great support in learning the iDirect platform and technology. iDirect also helped me become intimately familiar with the industry. As the platform developed and evolved at iDirect, I was able to be on the ground floor supporting live networks through those changes. While working my way up in the TAC (Technical Assistance Center), I supported many different types of customers and networks – now I often come across the same networks that I was supporting at the TAC while working with Lepton’s partners and clients.
Q: What has surprised you about working at Lepton?
K: When I started to work at Lepton, I was surprised to see the scope of services they offered. When you think of a small business, you assume that they provide only limited satellite services and hardware. It was great to discover the range of products and services offered by Lepton. Our team builds complete end-to-end solutions, including end-user applications and equipment.
Q: What is the biggest perk/benefit of working at Lepton Global?
K: Working at Lepton feels like working for yourself. Every day I come to work to improve “my business.” I have a personal stake in the technical performance of the company because Lepton’s management team has trusted me to make high-level decisions that will affect customers and services. Working at Lepton, I know that what I do every day, matters.
Q: What skills are you able to use at Lepton?
K: From a formal education standpoint, I graduated from Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, NC with a degree in Information Systems Engineering. So far I have been able to apply a lot of the technical skills I learned in school. Some of the most useful college courses I use in my current job are Basic Computer Installation, System configurations, Network Security and Troubleshooting, and Microsoft Visual C++.
Probably most importantly, because Lepton runs a global iDirect network, my experience troubleshooting the iDirect platform and understanding of RF principles provide the knowledge base I use on a daily basis.
Q: What are some of the non-technical skills that you find useful working at Lepton?
K: Working for a small business like Lepton, I find that flexibility and quick-thinking are the most important skills to master. Here, a time sensitivity is attached to every task. I often have to make a call in a matter of minutes, sometimes in the middle of the night, since we manage networks and support many terminals around the world.
Another useful skill that makes me a good fit in my role is the ability to think outside the box. We are always pushing the envelope in terms of how to provide services more efficiently and effectively, and how to leverage the best technology on the market. Because of my intimate familiarity with the network and platform, Lepton’s management team relies on me to understand what the possibilities are in any scenario. When providing a resolution to a problem or a challenge, I often set up worst- and best-case scenarios, run simulations, and we make a decision based on the outcomes.
Q: Are there any skills that you would like to master that you think help you become better in your role?
K: As the company grows, I would like to become a more effective leader to everyone on our NOC team. I am a very hands-on person; I learn the processes by turning the switches on and off. However, I realize that not everyone learns by the same methods. I would like to improve my leadership abilities to be able to teach others the practical skills as well as the satellite knowledge to ultimately help them develop successful careers.
Q: Coming from a different state, what is the major transition you have noticed living in DC/Virginia area?
K: I grew up in Birmingham, AL, where everyone knows you personally or at least knows of your family. It is quite a change to adapt to big city life in DC. One element I appreciate is the diversity this area offers. This place is so progressive and multi-cultural that sometimes I forget that not all of the United States is as open-minded.
Q: Do you participate in any clubs or organizations outside of work?
K: Since college, I have been actively involved in the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. Now I mentor youth through their program affiliated with St. Jude hospital. I am a mentor to three teenagers; one is 13 years old, and two are fifteen. I hope I can make positive differences in their lives. In the future, I would like to start a student-learning program at Lepton for technology-inclined students from our area.
Q: What do you like to do outside of work?
K: Outside of work, I try to spend as much time as possible with my five-year-old son. Most of the time he dictates what we do together: bowling, laser tag, or basketball. I just have to go along with it!
Q: Do you have any unique talents?
K: I can play any brass instrument pretty well – I played trumpet in a college band. I was even offered a scholarship but traded it for the Duke Energy IT scholarship that had offered greater benefits to my future career.
Welcome to the Lepton Team!