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Archive for category: Culture News

Skyler Named “Most Inspiring Entrepreneurs of 2019” by Insights Success

Skyler Named Most Inspiring Entrepreneur of 2019 by Insights Success

Skyler Ditchfield: Exemplifying Resilience and Dedication

In an interview with Insights Success, Skyler Ditchfield, the CEO and Co-founder of GeoLinksshares key insights derived from his entrepreneurial journey, and discusses how his company has effectively disrupted the billion dollar industry of telecom. Insights Success recognizes Skyler as one of the most inspiring entrepreneurs.

Give a brief overview of your background and your role in GeoLinks. 

My “entrepreneurial roots” began at the age of six, selling food, video games, lemonade, and basically anything else I thought people might buy, going door-to-door, or on the side of the road. I dove into the world of technology at the age of 13 when I set up a bulletin board system (BBS) to service 200 members of my local community with dial-up Internet.

This entrepreneurial spirit followed me into high school where I bought laptops off of AOL classifieds and resold them in my local newspaper classifieds for a 50% profit.

Fast forward, and I took my first real corporate job as Network Engineer II at the Private Network Management Center (PNMC) of MCI Worldcom in Silicon Valley servicing high-level clients such as JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Quotron, Reuters, and more. Although I was the youngest technician in the office, I was quickly promoted to Network Engineer III after exceeding the entire staff in router reprogramming. When the company relocated to the East Coast, I was one of two employees offered a transfer. Ultimately, I declined the offer and returned to my home town of Ojai, California where I proceeded to build a network business from scratch with only $500 in startup capital. I grew the company to nearly $3M within four years (in a town of only 8,000 people) and then sold my shares. Following this venture, however, things plummeted.

Over the next few years, I experienced multiple business failures that left me facing massive debt and ruined credit. Simultaneously, my health took a severe turn for the worse, placing me in multiple month-long stays in the hospital. Then came what I call my restart button. I found out I was going to be a dad. With replenished motivation, I found a whole new lease on life. I regained my health, and aggressively got back in the I.T. space allowing me to climb out of debt.

Fast forward a few unsuccessful startups later, and I co-founded California Internet, now GeoLinks, with my cousin Ryan Hauf. We are now the fastest growing fixed wireless provider in the country, and the fifth fastest growing overall telecom.

As the acting CEO of an 8-figure company, and growing significantly, I focus on fundraising, M&A work, organic growth strategies, and big picture initiatives.

How do you diversify your solutions that appeal to your target audience? 

We sell Internet so our target audience is nearly everyone – businesses, anchor institutions, and rural consumers. We reverse engineer every circuit to fit a business’ specific needs. From different speed tiers, to VoIP, to SD-WAN, we offer solutions for businesses of all sizes, across all categories.

Describe some of the vital attributes that every entrepreneur should possess. 

Resilience. Being an entrepreneur requires having the energy to work long hours, putting yourself on the line, and accepting little to no pay for extended periods of time. You will fail 15 times more than you will win. That being said, never take no for an answer; find another way. Never get upset as losing your cool never helps a situation. Always actively monitor your finances and cash flow (running out of cash is one of the top killers for all businesses.) Finally, you have to be able to sell. As an entrepreneur if you can’t sell your own product it will be near impossible to get things off the ground.

What were the past experiences, achievements or lessons that shaped your journey? 

I was an entrepreneur from a young age, as previously mentioned. I always had the desire to sell and create. I sold on street corners, door to door, in classified ads, at school–you name it. I built a $3M computer networking repair and sales business in my small home town of Ojai (which has a population of 8,000) at the age of 19 with only $500 of personal startup capital. From there, I failed in 3 different businesses for multiple reasons – bad partners, theft, and an investor with a “risk-it-all” attitude. Every one of them taught me something different but significant.

Simultaneously, I was also struggling battling an autoimmune disease, Crohn’s, which consistently knocked down my health. After multiple blood transfusions, and a major over haul surgery on my kidneys, bladder, and intestines, in 2007 I was told I had just a few weeks to live. Unaccepting, I used the Internet to discover a new experimental treatment that ultimately saved my life. Nonetheless, I exited with my credit ruined, all my money gone, and not a single possession left to my name. I struggled with how to start a business again but eventually I found a way to build myself back up while continuing to focus on repairing my health. People have told me for 19 years that they feel sorry for me because of my health issues. However, I am grateful for all I have been through because they have taught me appreciation, strength, and resiliency.

Where does GeoLinks see itself in the near future and how will you catalyze the change? 

I currently have 3 initiatives in the works that have the ability to increase the size of the business 550% in the next 18 months. While all may not come to fruition, I am confident at least 1 or 2 will. I see GeoLinks growing to a $1b+ enterprise value by 2023.

What is your advice for emerging entrepreneurs? 

I would answer similarly to my outlined vital attributes. Furthermore, plan to make NO money for at least three years. DO NOT count on a paycheck. Once you start making money, don’t pay yourself all of it. Reinvest and keep your lifestyle as simple as possible. I’ve seen many entrepreneurs in years 4-5, when they start making good money, take it all home. They then adjust their lifestyle accordingly, and ultimately have no excess capital to continue to grow their business – they become stuck.

Get to know GeoLinks’ Director of Network Operations Kevin Malone

Kevin Malone GeoLinks.com

1. Let’s start with the basics, what’s your role at GeoLinks?

My role is Director of Network Operations. I oversee Network Operations (Netops) which consists of the GeoLinks’ Customer Helpdesk, NOC department, as well as Systems/IT.

2. What’s your favorite part about working for GeoLinks?

Hard to pick just one. The friendly cultural atmosphere, constantly being challenged, and the fast-paced, never slow environment. Things are never boring.

3. You were one of the first GeoLinks employees to be hired (back when the company was California Internet); how has the company evolved since you first started? 

It has changed quite a bit, from having meetings in a single office room sitting on the floor to where we are now. I remember how big of a deal it was when we first got logo’d shirts and graphics on our only company vehicle.  At that point we were legit!

4. What makes GeoLinks’ different from other Internet Service Providers?

I would have to say the people. From the very start the company was born with a friendly culture of respect. All businesses are about making money but what really matters is how you go about it.  The founders and management of GeoLinks believe above all else that providing the best work environment for the employees fosters success. For this reason I would say it’s why GeoLinks is different than any other company, not just other fixed wireless providers.

5. Outside of work…what is your favorite past time or hobby?

kevin malone geolinks.com

I have many. From shooting pistols and rifles at the range, to enjoying my Remote Control vehicles (Cars/Trucks/Rock Crawlers, GAS and Electric), to working on my ‘68 Chevy pickup.

6. What’s something most of your coworkers don’t know about you?

From age 7 to age 14 I studied Taekwondo. I was a wild child, and it was my parents idea of instilling structure, or at least a way to get rid of my energy. I made it as far as 2nd degree Black belt. My mother at one point had an entire room of trophies from sparring tournaments I competed in throughout California.

7. GeoLinks’ sales team often states that the company “reverse engineers” every circuit. Coming from the technical side of things, can you expand upon what this means exactly?

I think what we mean is we try to look at the details. Many ISP’s simply have a blanket area they say can be served. They’ll tell a customer “yes we can serve you” without doing due diligence. This often causes delays down the road. It’s a matter of considering all the factors before saying yes. When we say yes we can do something, we have put the circuit design through the paces and made sure it’s both possible and that we can support it. It makes us as a company true to our word. When we say “Yes, we can serve you”, we mean it.

8. You are allowed to do anything you want, anywhere in the world, for one whole day…what do you do and where do you go? 

Funny you ask, I plan on doing this next year! Wherever I go, I would want my friends and family with me as that is the most important thing in life. I would want to go to a place I find beautiful and genuinely enjoy every second I’m there. While we’re there, why not have a big party! That being said, my fiancé and I visited Ireland this year for vacation. Being almost 50% Irish, seeing my roots has always been on my bucket list. We planned the trip ourselves, flew in, and rented a car. We then traveled the island visiting all of its wonders at our own pace. We loved it so much we decided we’re going to get married there next year. We’ve invited all our friends and family and plan to have an awesome day none of us will ever forget.

9. Do you have a favorite quote or mantra you live by? Please share!

I like to watch the MotorTrend channel on Youtube. It’s a series of car shows, and at the end of each show they display a quote saying “Get Busy Living”.  I interpret this as don’t get stuck in the routines of life, and do what makes you happy!

10. What’s next…what are you most excited for when you think of your future with GeoLinks? 

Growing companies, especially fast-growing technical ones, always have unique and difficult challenges. If I’m not being challenged, I don’t feel like I’m growing. From my experience, that will never be an issue working here. From the beginning to now it’s insane how the company has developed; I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.

kevin malone geolinks

Get to know GeoLinks’ Accounts Payable Specialist Brayan Juarez

Brayan Juarez - GeoLinks

1. Let’s start with the basics, what’s your role at GeoLinks?

My title is Accounts Payable Specialist, and I currently handle all Accounts Payable tasks. This includes making payments to vendors, vendor relations, tracking our expenses, and any other accounting tasks that have to do with Accounts Payable. I also assist with Accounts Receivable and Agent Commissions.

Brayan Juarez - GeoLinks.com2. What came before GeoLinks? How did you find your way into the world of accounting?

Before Accounting I was interested in Architecture and IT. My father owns a concrete business, and I thought we would make the perfect duo. Of course being 20, in college, and finding out what life is all about, I ended up choosing a different route. Technology is so interconnected, and I have always been one to take devices apart, so I thought IT was for me. Doing IT in my previous job, I got the opportunity to work with a CPA doing some light accounting work. At the time I was taking accounting classes to finish my General Ed at SBCC, and it came to me that Accounting was my calling. I now have 5+ years of accounting experience as well as IT and customer service. I also currently handle the books for my father’s business.

3. What’s your favorite part about working for GeoLinks?

My favorite part of working for GeoLinks is how relaxed and awesome the culture is here. Having a gym and arcade next to your office beats anything out there. I also love how management makes it so easy for your ideas to be heard, and they make sure you are doing well both inside and outside of work.

4. What do you think makes GeoLinks different from its competitors?

Being a local and living in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties for many years, I have never seen a WISP/ISP that is willing to do more than just provide basic Telecommunications services until I learned of GeoLinks. When the local fires erupted here, I was directly affected because I commuted almost daily from Santa Barbara to Oxnard and vice versa. The work we’re doing with UCSD with fire cameras will definitely put us on the map nationwide.

Brayan Juarez - GeoLinks.com - blog

5. Outside of work…what is your favorite past time or hobby?

I am very into sports, specifically football, soccer, basketball, and baseball.

Chargers, Real Madrid, Lakers, and Dodgers baby! On top of that, I love video games, mainly ones that involve multiplayer modes.

6. What’s something most of your coworkers don’t know about you?

I fix cell phones/tablets/laptops as a side hustle. I have been doing it for more than 5 years and counting. Lately I haven’t done much due to working full time and going to school, but if you need your screen replaced, don’t hesitate to contact me! I also cut my own hair and have been doing it for the past 6 years.

7. Rumor has it that the accounting team is a lively and outgoing department – care to share one of your favorite memories with your team so far?

I would probably say the best time we have had was during our kickball tournament for corporate games, alongside Sales, CSR, and HR. We placed 3rd out of 17 teams.

Brayan Juarez - GeoLinks.com - team blog

8. You are allowed to do anything you want, anywhere in the world, for one whole day…what do you do and where do you go?

I would have to say go to Germany, as I took 5 years of German throughout high school and college combined. If it’s for one day, I would take my G37 to the Nurburgring track in Nürburg, Germany and push my car to the limits.

9. Do you have a favorite quote or mantra you live by? Please share!

Never hesitate or think of the what ifs.

10. What’s next…what are you most excited for when you think of your future with GeoLinks?

I think GeoLinks has a bright future and will become the leader of the Telecommunications industry. With ongoing projects such as the Fire Cameras, we will continue to have exposure that will make us stand out from the competition. I am happy to be a part of a company that is willing to use its technology to save lives and the environment.

 

Get to know GeoLinks’ Director of Human Resources Amanda Gonzalez

amanda gonzalez - geolinks

Get to know Amanda Gonzalez: Director of Human Resources

1. Let’s start with the basics, what’s your role at GeoLinks?

As the Director of Human Resources, my role at GeoLinks is to recommend how to strategically manage people as business resources within our company. This includes recruiting and hiring employees with specific skill sets to meet the company’s current and future goals, coordinating employee benefits, and suggesting employee training and development strategies. My position also requires me to advise managers and the executive team on issues related to employees, and how they can help the organization achieve its goals. HR deals with people, and that means investing in developing skills for the future, building loyalty and commitment, building a talent pipeline, and staying current and competitive within the market.

Get to know GeoLinks’ Director of Human Resources Amanda Gonzalez

2. What got you to the position you are in today…what came before GeoLinks?

I worked in healthcare administration for 7 years prior to my employment with GeoLinks. I started off in HR and recruiting and worked my way up into a Director of Operations role in home health. Working in home health can be very difficult as you deal with sick patients and grieving families. This aspect of health care was particularly difficult for me to encounter on a daily basis. Eventually, this led me to wanting to explore other career opportunities in an entirely different field. Although I love healthcare, my job search led me to become interested in looking for employment in tech. My research eventually lead me to GeoLinks, and the rest is history!

3. What’s something that most GeoLinks’ clients might not know about GeoLinks’ company culture?

GeoLinks embodies what it means to have a company culture that is truly family oriented. I loved that within the first 2 weeks of starting with GeoLinks, I met many of my coworker’s children. It’s not uncommon that you see kids running around the office and playing in our game room. GeoLinks treats their employees like family. I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that GeoLinks has created a culture that promotes the importance of family within and outside the workplace.

4. For anyone reading wishing to apply for a position at GeoLinks, any insider tips?

Get connected, research, and reach out! Do connect with us on LinkedIn. This will prompt you to check out what we do and do more research on the company. There is nothing I love more than a candidate reaching out and saying, “Hey, I see you are hiring, and based on my research this is why I’m a great fit for GeoLinks…..” That is a total mic drop, for me. Check out our current job postings on our career page.

GeoLinks’ Director of Human Resources Amanda Gonzalez - GeoLinks.com5. Outside of work…what is your favorite pastime or hobby?

I love to travel! Traveling, and learning about different cultures is a passion of mine. There is nothing better than being in a different part of the world and immersing yourself in their food and culture. I also love to learn languages. I currently speak 2, and want to learn another. I’d like to learn 7 in my lifetime.

6. What’s something most of your coworkers don’t know about you?

I am deathly afraid of birds. I mean hyperventilating, panic attack, hysterically crying fear of birds. I know this is a weird phobia. However, this stems back to when I was little and my uncle had a mean rooster in his backyard. The rooster would attack me whenever I wanted to go in the yard to play with my cousins.

7. What’s your favorite (either personal or work-related) tech product or device? Why?

Probably Cliché, but my Samsung Galaxy S9. I do everything from shopping to taking photos with my phone. My relationship with my phone is probably unhealthy lol.

Get to know GeoLinks’ Director of Human Resources Amanda Gonzalez - GeoLinks.com

8. You are allowed to do anything you want, anywhere in the world, for one whole day…what do you do and where do you go?

That’s easy, I’d be in Barcelona eating at my favorite tapas, Cerveseria Catalana. If you ever go to Barcelona this is a MUST!!

9. Do you have a favorite quote or mantra you live by?  

Keep moving forward – Walt Disney

10. What’s next…what are you most excited for when you think of your future with GeoLinks?

Growth! We are on the brink of a lot of exciting opportunities happening within our company, and I can’t wait to see where all this leads us to.

Interested in applying for a position with GeoLinks? Explore our current openings on our Career Page.

Get to know GeoLinks’ Project Coordinator Tania Wiley

Tania Wiley GeoLinks

1. Let’s start with the basics, what’s your role at GeoLinks?

I’m one of GeoLinks’ Project Coordinators. I help both our team and our clients with basically anything and everything that is needed in the sales process. I can be qualifying an address one minute, and the next I can be helping draw up a proposal, updating orders, or sending post-install information to end users.

2. What’s your favorite part about working for GeoLinks?

I love my team, as well as the great work-life balance. Working here, you don’t get shot down when you have questions, and everyone has an open-door policy. I can even go to our C-level management with questions, and they are always willing to genuinely hear me out and answer. Same thing goes for the rest of the team. Also, never a dull moment here…I work with some funny people!

3. Not having a telecom background, what drew you to the industry, and what elements of telecom do you find the most interesting?

I find the ever-changing platforms within the industry, and the way our team adapts and evolves accordingly, incredibly interesting. For example, we recently starting offering SD-WAN. I was able to witness our teams’ brilliant behind-the-scenes R&D transpire into the physical product our sales team now sells daily!

Tania Wiley GeoLinks4. What do you think makes GeoLinks different from its competitors?

The passion, efficiency, and collaborative dedication that each and every member of our team demonstrates daily. For example, GeoLinks provided a free same-day circuit to Red Cross during the recent local wildfires.

5. Outside of work…what is your favorite past time or hobby?

I love kickboxing and Krav Maga. I took a break for a bit but I plan to start back up soon! I’m also a big fan of the entertainment industry, so catching up on the newest shows and movies at home is where you can find me after work. I also enjoy finding new local and unique businesses to support. There is a lot of momentum coming from the younger generations, and it’s exciting!

6. What’s something most of your coworkers don’t know about you?

Hmm, that’s a hard one. I’m an open book. But I would have to say that I have an extremely eclectic taste in music. Some current genres I’m listening to are classical music, country, and old school hip hop, amongst others.

7. Born and raised in Southern California, what are your top three favorite things about working and Tania Wiley GeoLinks.comliving in Ventura County?

I’ve been lucky to live close to where I work, so the short commute and living near family definitely tops the list. Next I would say is the weather! Lastly, I enjoy the proximity to LA and Santa Barbara County. While nearby, Ventura County still maintains a small town feel which I love. 

8. You are allowed to do anything you want, anywhere in the world, for one whole day…what do you do and where do you go?

I would go to Paris! It’s been on my bucket list for a while. I would visit Versailles, the Eiffel Tower, and roam the streets eating all the French cuisine I possibly could!

9. Do you have a favorite quote or mantra you live by?

Hustle hard, stay humble.

10. What’s next…what are you most excited for when you think of your future with GeoLinks?

I’m a person that likes to learn everything about my position no matter what I am doing, so expanding into a Project Manager role would be awesome! Also, I am excited about all the opportunities that arise in this company, and how quickly they can come about; I’m also grateful about all the talent I get to work alongside. I’m an optimist if you can’t tell. The sky’s the limit!

 

Get to know Noah Laughon, GeoLinks’ Business Development Representative

1. Let’s start with the basics, what’s your role at GeoLinks?

Business Development Representative. As a GeoLinks’ BDR, I primarily work with and manage our Indirect Sales relationships and partnerships within the Channel and Wholesale.  

2. What’s your favorite product or service that GeoLinks offers?

The product that I am most proud of has to be our ClearFiber™ solution. It has continued to change the way the industry thinks of Fixed Wireless while simultaneously diversifying the market for Internet solutions.

Noah Laughon GeoLinks

3. Outside of work…what is your favorite pastime or hobby?

Spending time with my wife and daughter. Granted, my daughter is only 7 months old, so usually that time is spent on walks, throwing toys out of a basket because she is more interested in the basket itself, and making a mess of pureed sweet potatoes.

4. What’s something that most GeoLinks’ clients might not know about the company?

That we started out of the very small rural community of Ojai, Califonia. It is the reason we care so deeply about bringing broadband into underserved areas across California and America. I never knew about the Digital Divide before working for GeoLinks. The fact that schools and communities are still without high speed internet, is simply shocking to me. I am proud to work for a company who is actively working on closing that divide.

5. What’s something most of your coworkers don’t know about you?

Probably that I play and write music. It isn’t something I talk about a lot but has been one of my longest hobbies.

6. Do you have any cool or unique client case studies you could share with us?

One of the things I always love to share is how we brought a reliable multi-gigabit circuit to the island of Catalina using Fixed Wireless technology. We were able to accomplish something that no other WISP had been able to do by integrating multiple links for redundancy with automatic failover, over 30+ miles of ocean.

noah laughon geolinks7. You are allowed to do anything you want, anywhere in the world, for one whole day…what do you do and where do you go?

I would take my family to the Cliffs of Moher and explore Ireland as much as possible. I have a decent amount of Irish heritage but have never been myself. That is something I would love to experience with my wife and daughter.

8. Do you have a favorite quote or mantra you live by?

“We are what we believe we are” – C.S. Lewis.

We live in a society that is driven by what people think about us and who we are. We develop that as a personal belief about ourselves, and in turn, start to reflect that in our actions and thoughts. If you are able to tune that out, learn who you are, and start believing positive things about yourself, you can go pretty far in life. It is amazing what our opinion of ourselves can do to our lives.

9. What’s your favorite part about being a Business Development Representative?

For me, it is all about the people. I get to build lasting relationships, work with new people, and solve new problems every day. It keeps me on my toes and is never boring!

10. What’s next…what are you most excited for when you think of your future with GeoLinks?

We are a company that moves, adapts, evolves, and pushes hard to close the Digital Divide. So the thing I am most excited for is to continue to be a part of that in any way that I can.

Are you a wholesaler or do you work with a master agency? If so, connect with Noah directly by calling 805-640-5560 or emailing him at [email protected] 

Get to know GeoLinks’ Director of Client Operations Matt Price

Matt Price - GeoLinks

1. Let’s start with the basics, what’s your role at GeoLinks?

As the Director of Client Operations, I am tasked with overseeing a large portion of our day-to-day client facing activities. This mainly includes service installations and customer service. In addition, I work heavily with my counterparts in our Support and Infrastructure Departments.

2. What’s your favorite part about working for GeoLinks?

The technology. I am amazed to see the things we can do with wireless and solar technology.

3. What got you to the position you are in today…what came before GeoLinks?

Attention to detail and team work got me to where I am today. So much of what we all do in modern life requires a fast pace. Taking time to plan, review, and discuss the details with my colleagues has been extremely helpful for me. Before GeoLinks I worked in hospitality while attending University and then in Medical Device Sales post University. While working for a medical focused IOT manufacturer, I was first exposed to the more technical side of Wireless technology – which I found very interesting. Learning how GeoLinks leverages similar and more powerful wireless technology was a huge part of my desire to join the team.

4. What’s something that most GeoLinks’ clients might not know about the company?

I think the one thing that most clients may not know about us is that we are local and live with our core operations and support taking place at our Camarillo Headquarters.

GeoLinks - Matt Price5. Outside of work…what is your favorite pastime or hobby?

My favorite activity outside of work is going to see live music.

6. What’s something most of your coworkers don’t know about you?

I am a big Sci-Fi and Fantasy Movie Buff.

7. What’s your favorite (either personal or work-related) tech product or device? Why?

My favorite tech product would be the Nintendo Switch. I often play games with my nephew.

8. You are allowed to do anything you want, anywhere in the world, for one whole day…what do you do and where do you go?

I would go to Europe. I studied History at University and would like to see some of the historic landmarks of England, Ireland, and Scotland up-close. I am not sure how much I could pack into just one day, but I would try my best.

9. Do you have a favorite quote or mantra you live by?

I would have to say the Golden Rule. Treat others the way that you would like to be treated.

10. What’s next…what are you most excited for when you think of your future with GeoLinks?

I am most excited for continuing my growth and furthering my career. I’ve learned a lot working here GeoLinks, and I am ready for more!

 

Get to know GeoLinks’ Client Consultant Dillon Lowen

Get to know GeoLinks’ Client Consultant Dillon Lowen

Q + A with GeoLinks’ Client Consultant Dillon Lowen

 

1. Let’s start with the basics, what’s your role at GeoLinks?

My role at GeoLinks is to provide potential clients with the necessary information that allows them to make the best decision for their business’s telecom needs. Anyone can pitch a specific product, but when you are able to educate a client on the industry itself, it builds trust, and that typically develops into a long-term relationship. To sum it up, clients call because they have a problem; it is my job to provide them with solutions.

2. What’s your favorite part about working for GeoLinks?

Dillon Lowen - GeoLinks

There are a lot of things I love about working for GeoLinks. One of them would be the opportunity to grow in a company that is flooded with talented and hardworking individuals. The environment here is incredible. It truly is a team atmosphere and we are all here to achieve the same goal. Also, it’s the extra time I get to pursue outside activities in the community and with my family. Being a father of 2 beautiful children, I now get to see them every weekend and every evening when I am off. I also have the opportunity to work with the youth of Ojai by Coaching Varsity Football at Nordhoff High School. Altogether, I get to work with amazing people, spend time with my family, and make an impact on the young community of my hometown.

 3. What’s your favorite part about helping connect businesses?

The best part about helping businesses get connected is the change of attitude I get to hear and feel over the phone after we have fixed their problems. The first conversation I usually have is with a stressed out client that is in a pickle with their current provider or can’t seem to find one at all. Once they get connected, their sigh of relief is hugely rewarding for me. I have literally had people call to say, “If you didn’t get us connected as quick as you did, we probably would have closed our doors.” It is an extremely good feeling to know that there are people out there that still have jobs because we, at GeoLinks, got their business connected.

 Dillon Lowen - GeoLinks4. Outside of work…what is your favorite hobby?

Outside of work, my favorite hobby is coaching football. There is no better feeling than seeing a kid develop because of what you have taught them. This goes for both on and off the field. If you show a kid that you truly care, then they will run through a wall for you. Knowing that I have an opportunity to have an impact on a kid’s life is something that is truly fulfilling for me.

5. What’s something most of your coworkers don’t know about you?

I am terrified of the dark and really dislike silence. When I go to sleep, I usually have a fan on and will set my TV on sleep mode in the living room. I also can’t have my closet light off when I go to sleep. Even though my closet is closed. I also put a shoe up against my bedroom door so I don’t have to worry about it opening or closing itself during the night haha.

6. What’s your favorite GeoLinks product or service, and why?

My favorite service that we offer is actually the rapid installation of our ClearFiber™ product. We have a vicious team of technicians that will do an install in a brutal rainstorm, defend towers from wildfires, and climb towers hundreds of feet tall so that we can increase service availability to other clients. So even though ClearFiber™ is amazing itself, the team that deploys it is unparalleled.

7. What is one of the most common questions you get asked as a Client Consultant, and how do you answer?

“How does your service compare to my Cable or Satellite circuit?” My answer is that it is much more reliable, redundant, and scalable for growing businesses. Now as a Cable customer myself, I understand the convenience of having a shared cable circuit at a low price point. I love my $70 cable bill, and it works great for my basic home needs. But if my Internet goes down at home it isn’t costing me money. If my 100 Mbps cable circuit drops to 5 Mbps, and I can’t stream movies, it’s not going to affect my income. Now a business is different. Down time and high latency can be detrimental to a business. Can you imagine if a business’s point of sale system couldn’t connect to the Internet? What if a new client couldn’t contact your business because your VoIP system was powered through a low-quality fluctuating circuit? It comes down to how much you value your business staying up and running. What does an hour of downtime cost you? As an ISP we are relied upon by businesses such as Amgen, McDonalds, League of Legends teams, and more! We not only want to make sure that your business stays connected, but when your business grows, we want to ensure that you have a scalable circuit that can grow with you.

8. Alright, let’s hear it…what are your favorite sports teams?

Oh, this is easy. I am a die-hard Rams and Lakers fan. It’s to the point where I will play GM by trying to predict trades and potential free agent signings.

9. Why do you like to sell, well, the Internet?

I enjoy selling the Internet because it isn’t a product that you just use until it is worn out and then replace it. It is a product that powers businesses. These same businesses are paying hard working people so that they can go home and put food on the table for their families. It’s the same service that provided first responders with the ability to stay connected during the Woolsey and Thomas fires. It’s the same service that made sure that rescue centers set up for people who were displaced from their homes had access to reliable Internet. There is a lot of pride in that. I am happy to say I work for a company that can provide such services.

10. Do you have a favorite quote or mantra you live by?

“There’s no talent here, this is hard work. This is an obsession. Talent does not exist, we are all equal as human beings. You could be anyone if you put in the time. You will reach the top, and that is that. I am not talented, I am obsessed.” In other words, “Hard work beats talent when talent isn’t working hard.”

Call Dillon directly at (805) 290-4875 to get connected today!

Grit, The Most Overlooked Ingredient of Success – Skyler Ditchfield

Grit, The Most Overlooked Ingredient of Success: “Lead by example” With Skyler Ditchfield CEO of GeoLinks and Phil Laboon

It’s imperative to never forget that you’re only as great as the team you’re surrounded by. Thus, lead by example. Meet with your team as much as you can and tailor how you communicate to each person individually. Become a leader they can believe in, and always make them feel valued.


I had the pleasure of interviewing Skyler Ditchfield. Skyler Ditchfield, Co-Founder and CEO of GeoLinks, the Fastest Growing Internet and Phone Provider in America. Within his company, Ditchfield is passionate about cultivating the best company culture around — one that combines respect, collaboration and a “best idea wins mantra.” His dedication and work ethic have earned him various accolades in including “Top Innovator in Diversity and Inclusion”, “World’s Top 5 Best Businessmen of 2017”, and 2018 “Entrepreneur of the Year”.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what events have drawn you to this specific career path

My“entrepreneurial roots” began at the age of six selling food, video games, lemonade, and basically anything else I thought people might buy, door-to-door and on the side of the road. One of my favorite stories to look back on was when I was about 7 or 8 and my elementary school decided to band candy. While other kids at school complained, I looked at this as an opportunity. I proceeded to buy candy off premise and sell it to my fellow students at a 1000% markup — I ended up bringing in about $30 a day, which in the early 90s was a lot! The school did eventually catch me, and I had to stop.

I first really dove into the world of technology at the age of 13 when I set up a bulletin board system (BBS) with my cousin, and no co-founder and CTO Ryan Hauf, to service 200 members of our local community with dial-up Internet. Throughout my childhood, I became increasingly fascinated with long-distance communications and computer networking. Directly after high school, I accepted a Network Engineer II job at the Private Network Management Center (PNMC) of MCI Worldcom in Silicon Valley servicing high-level clients such as JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Quotron, Reuters, and more. Although I was the youngest technician at the maximum-security PNMC, I was quickly promoted to Network Engineer III after exceeding the entire staff in router reprogramming. When the company relocated to the East Coast, I was one of two employees offered a transfer. Ultimately, I declined the offer and returned to Ojai where I proceeded to build a network business from scratch with $550 in startup capital.

While there were bumps along the road, my path was a natural progression to eventually starting my own ISP.

Can you share your story of Grit and Success? First can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey?

Hard times have occurred all along the way, both personally and professionally. From a professional standpoint, when you first start a company, money is one of your biggest problems. You have to be able to have enough money to get your company off the ground while simultaneously supporting your family. As you get bigger, so do your challenges. Every time you hit new benchmarks, you have to reinvent yourself. This can be painful at times, such as outgrowing certain team members, completely overhauling a system or process, changing your direction etc. Some people have a hard time keeping up with that.

Luckily life experiences have enabled me to adapt quickly to change. From surviving multiple business failures that left me facing massive debt and ruined credit, to battling severe life-long health issues, each chapter in my life has taught me how to fight back harder and ultimately have the confidence to overcome anything. Being an entrepreneur undoubtedly requires grit — but if you can learn to own that, you will become successful.

Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?

I have always believed in myself and listened to my intuition. For example, we reached a point about two years after starting our company, where we were literally just weeks away from being completely out of money. In my gut, however, I knew that there had to be a game-changing deal coming through any day; mind you, until you have a signed document in your hand, nothing’s real. Thus, I decided to follow my intuition and push the business ahead as usual, so we wouldn’t kill our fast-growing momentum. It turned out my gut was right, and we had a massive business-saving deal come through just days before we would have completely been out of all cash. When I find my back is against the wall, I feel empowered, because I know I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

So how did Grit lead to your eventual success? How did Grit turn things around?

In addition to everything I’ve mentioned thus far, to be successful you have to be willing to do anything and everything to get your company off the ground. For example, when GeoLinks first started, I did everything from sales, to technical support, to helping built the network, to physically deploying installs. I was never afraid of the number of hours or work it took to accomplish something. Nonetheless, there are certain things you have to sacrifice that can be tough to stomach, such as time away from family. There has to be grit and determination in you to overcome that, or you’re not going to make it. There will always be challenges in businesses. Successful people fail many times over– those failures, however, become part of the growth of your business. You have to have grit to stomach those many storms and weather them.

So, how are things going today? 🙂

Busy! But everything I’m working on is very exciting.

Based on your experience, can you share 5 pieces of advice about how one can develop Grit? (Please share a story or example for each)

  1. Look at Past Successes — Look back on a time, no matter how small, where you thought things looked bleak and grim, yet you found your way out of it. Then build upon that as you embark on bigger challenges moving forward. For example, if I’m sitting here and looking at a 2 million budget shortfall with only a week to figure it out, I could view it as incredibly daunting. However, if I reflect back to when I was in a similar position but with only $200,000, and I remember how I overcame that challenge, I can use that to give me the confidence I need to solve this new problem.
  2. Do Research — The Internet is an amazing resource; read articles; search for case studies; see how people before you overcame challenges. Knowledge is power.
  3. Get Outside Opinions – This is something I consistently do, even if I don’t ultimately agree, other’s opinions can give you new perspective. I like to gather as much knowledge and feedback as I possibly can to ultimately shape and form my own stance — then, I make a decision, and own it.
  4. Get Physical — Not with others, but with yourself. When I push myself physically in the gym, for example, I mean truly wear myself down, I am forced to clear my mind and find a way to push through. This is a great reminder of the power of the mind, and that with enough concentration and grit, I am capable of pushing through anything.
  5. Own Your Mindset — Take a position that you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Own that mindset, and you will find a path out or way to success.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped you when things were tough? Can you share a story about that?

Our first investor that came in, Tom Krause, built a very successful company from scratch. While I believe I could have gotten here on my own eventually, his expertise and guidance have greatly accelerated my success. His innate ability to mentor objectively allowed me to bypass most entrepreneur’s steep learning curves. I am incredibly grateful for that.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

Absolutely! GeoLinks has officially partnered with CENIC, AlertWildfire, WIFIRE, and others to deploy wildfire detection, prevention and situational awareness systems across California. Statewide expansion of this proven system would offer strategic advantages for early fire detection, situational awareness for first responders, fire mapping, predictive simulations, and evacuation planning. Rapid investment in this shovel-ready system would soon save lives, property, habitat, and infrastructure across California, and the state would see an almost immediate return on its investment. Additional partners that would benefit from this effort and so might be approached for financial support are the insurance industry, technology accelerators, and local community organizations. While we are deploying this system as we speak, we need further investment to take it state wide as quickly as possible.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Everything GeoLinks sets out to do — from closing the digital divide, to helping deploy wildfire detection, prevention ,and situational awareness systems, to offering pro-bono circuits to Red Cross shelters during times of disaster — is aimed at ultimately bringing goodness to the world. Yes, we are a business, so we must earn capital, but the way I see it, the more we grow, the more resources we have to help and give back.

What advice would you give to other executives or founders to help their employees to thrive?

In today’s modern workplace, culture is paramount in attracting and retaining top talent, thus it’s imperative to never forget that you’re only as great as the team you’re surrounded by. Thus, lead by example. Meet with your team as much as you can and tailor how you communicate to each person individually. Become a leader they can believe in, and always make them feel valued.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I founded GeoLinks with the mission to close the U.S. Digital Divide. I am determined to bring connectivity to every unconnected Anchor Institution in America over the next 7 years. To accomplish this goal, I am aggressively looking to change the landscape of Internet across America by influencing the reform of broadband funding and spectrum policy on both a state and federal level.

Outside of work, I would say help people better understand one another. I find that whenever it comes to politically charged debates, from republicans vs democrats, to gun control, to immigration, many times if you get the rhetoric and anger out of the way, people want the same thing, just want to go about it in different ways. Today’s media and climate has created such a charged environment, that we either shy away from topics or come across in an aggressive manner. Both of these are unproductive, and create a continuing divide among people. We need to come together, open our minds, and get a better understanding of one another.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s lifeLife is inherently risky. There is only one big risk you should avoid at all costs, and that is the risk of doing nothing.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

On twitter at @SkylerJesseD — or follow GeoLinks @GeoLinks_USA.

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.

Mogul’s Top 1,000 Companies with the Strongest Female Leaders in 2018

Thank you Mogul for recognizing GeoLinks has one of the “Top 1000 Global Companies with the Strongest Female Leaders in 2018”!

 

Mogul’s Top 1,000 Companies with the Strongest Female Leaders in 2018

Mogul is thrilled to announce the 2018 Honorees for the Top 1,000 Companies with the Strongest Female Leaders.

When determining which companies to include, Mogul focused on the following criteria: current programs implemented within an organization to promote female leadership, the percentage of women on the board and in executive positions, and working conditions that best fit a working mother’s needs.

In an age where women’s issues are at the forefront, and where only twenty-four women were on the 2018 Fortune 500 list, Mogul is honored to highlight the below one thousand companies that are taking strides to bring gender parity to the workplace. It is our hope that more and more companies over time will follow in the below companies’ footsteps, and thus, eventually increase the overall percentage of female executives.

Many of the companies included are established, and are the leaders when it comes to setting the bar for creating office cultures that include paid leave, no harassment policies, and mentorship programs to elevate the next generation of female executives. Alternatively, you will also find the hottest female-founded startups that are establishing safe environments for women from the company’s inception.

Whether you are a recent graduate seeking a new position or a seasoned professional looking to make your next career move, we hope this list will guide you in your search. You can’t go wrong with one of the below companies, and we congratulate our 2018 Honorees.

To view the full list visit: https://onmogul.com/stories/mogul-s-top-1000-companies-with-the-strongest-female-leaders-in-2018

Want to join the GeoLinks Team?