With a start in the financial world, Keri’s path to working at E2 Optics may not have been traditional but has been an incredible one. 2008 changed a lot of things for many people, but for one person in particular it changed her career path. We recently sat down with Keri Mittleider, Vice President –Corporate Operations, to hear how she got her start in our industry and what it takes to thrive.
E2 Insider: Keri, what led you to a career in the construction industry?
Keri Mittleider: I started off in the finance world, working with mortgages. I spent many years there but when the market crashed in 2008, everything changed. I received an offer to work at a company called Net Structures as a project coordinator. I fell in love with my work. I loved learning something new, as I had never been in the construction world before. And I loved the people I got to work with. It was a such a positive experience, and I haven’t looked back.
E2 Insider: As an original employee here at E2 Optics, what led you to wanting to work here?
Keri Mittleider: The company I was working for was on its way out. But as luck would have it, Kristi reached out to my brother-in-law to see if he knew of anyone looking for a job. He mentioned I was and that’s how it started. I had worked with Casey in the past at Net Structures, so he was familiar with me and my abilities. Coming over to E2 was an easy decision, given that someone I knew was already there. It was also very appealing to work at a woman-owned company.
E2 Insider: What is it about E2 Optics that makes it such a great place to work?
Keri Mittleider: In my opinion, it really is the people and the culture. In 2010, my mom passed away. I had to fly out of town to take care of things. Kristi, knowing I was going through such a difficult time, sent a company-wide email instructing everyone to refrain from contacting me because of what I was going through. Kristi wanted to make sure I was able to focus on my mom and family. This solidified that E2 Optics is the place for me. It really helped me see that I am valued and that while it’s important to work hard, the company and its owners also understand the importance of family. So, when we say Family First we mean it.
E2 Insider: How would you describe the culture here at E2?
Keri Mittleider: It’s very much a family. Being located in the corporate office in Denver and knowing a lot of my co-workers from the beginning, has really brought to light how much of a family we truly are. Most people have been here a long time. We have a lot of E2 Lifers. Being here and seeing them every day, understanding their family lives. Hearing about children’s milestones or when grandbabies are born, celebrating all of life’s highs and lows together. Having luncheons where everyone comes together to talk about life, not work, really helps to reinforce our Family First motto. We preach Family First every day, all day. It truly does live and breathe here at E2 Optics.
E2 Insider: What is the best advice you’ve received in your career?
Keri Mittleider: Don’t sweat the small stuff. I used to be wound up tight and let things I probably shouldn’t have get me stressed out. While it’s important to make sure E2 Optics is successful, it’s equally important to find a balance on what to worry about and what is not as big a deal as sometimes we think it is. Stress does not accomplish anything. By keeping a cool, calm head, you can see the reality of the situation and you remove the emotional which allows for a clearer head and more productive results.
E2 Insider: What advice do you have for anyone looking to build a career in our industry?
Keri Mittleider: Train! Train! Train! Take as many construction, fiber, data center courses you can. Reach out to a company you are considering applying to and ask if you might be able to shadow one of their field technicians for the day. This will give you an idea of what an average day may look like, along with giving you an idea of what the work will entail and the people you will be working with on a daily basis. While this work is physically demanding, it is also extremely rewording!
For more information about current career opportunities at E2 Optics, click here.