Employee Spotlights

Meet Laisa G. Didas

Michael Hall Employee spotlight
In today’s digital world, where so much of our experiences, and ultimately our existence, happens online, do you ever wonder how it’s so easy to add items to your shopping cart, download your favorite song, order a late-night snack to your door, pay bills and manage finances, book a family vacation or even receive medical treatment? As a pivotal component to the overall utility, User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) design play a critical role in positively impacting how people interact with technology in all facets of today’s digital landscape, but especially in shaping the success of digital products and services. No one knows this better than OpenVault’s leading UX/UI designer Laisa G. Didas who is the creative force behind OV’s seamless user experiences, aesthetically pleasing interfaces and user-friendly products. “There is so much innovation emerging in the broadband industry that it provides such an exciting environment to make a big impact,” she said, adding that “creating engaging and meaningful experiences for OpenVault customers is a challenging opportunity to make major broadband advancements.”

Long before her entrance into the broadband industry, Laisa intended to pursue a career as a Machinist in the United States Marine Corps, but a shoulder injury pivoted her to pursue her passion for invention. In this way, she obtained a bachelor’s degree in Interactive Art and Digital Media in New York City where she honed her creative skills and discovered competency while assisting in product management, developing material goods, and streamlining manufacturing. Inspired, she explored more in a new space – production. Through a vast range of experiences, certifications and opportunities over the next few years, Laisa transitioned from Multi-sensory UX into UX-UI for SaaS-specific products and designing digital experiences, including bringing casino play online and rolling kiosk displays for large stadiums. Later, she partnered with a digital sports agency start-up, working on an application geared towards predictive and historical performance analysis for algorithmic contracting. When she began a boot camp in front-end development, she felt more valuable in the forefront. “This is where I was able to do things that ignited more in me and that had a purpose. That’s when I encountered OV!” Today, she remains curious about emerging technology and is nearing completion of certification in UX Mastery and Interaction Design through Neilson Norman Groups while she also takes courses in Network CompTIA +, entrepreneurship, workplace politics, and broadband innovation.

Laisa’s positive attitude and design-first experience have been a huge benefit to OpenVault,” says John Mansor, vice president of Development Operations. He adds that “Her focus on the customer and drive for a cohesive end-user experience continues to help shape current and future product offerings. The attention to detail and broad understanding of user behavior have helped bridge technology, marketing and sales groups for positive customer interactions.”

In addition to embracing the challenge of pushing innovation forward in the broadband industry, Laisa also appreciates the working environment and work-life balance that OpenVault provides. Stating that “The OpenVault family and team culture brings a human approach to our tech business, which is invaluable and the cornerstone of why I landed here.”

When she’s not applying her innovative design expertise and user-centric thinking to an OpenVault project, Laisa can be found tinkering on projects at home, actively enjoying the outdoors, and spending time with her husband Steven, and five year old husky, Zeno.

Meet Sue DeBiasa

Michael Hall Employee spotlight

Once an emerging tech startup that has grown into a global broadband leader, OpenVault’s culture attracts entrepreneurial spirits who thrive on multi-tasking, embrace change and have the ability to wear many hats. However, there may be no other OpenVaulter that wears more hats than Director of Operations Sue DeBiasa. On any given workday, Sue touches almost every aspect of the corporate inner workings from human resources to finance to marketing to sales. But it’s this fluidity and flexibility that Sue enjoys most about her job. “I love the big picture view and knowing how things are connected,” she said, adding that she “is a work in progress, always learning and growing both personally and professionally.”

Perhaps what makes Sue so well equipped for this unique role is her vast experience and diverse career path that started more than 30 years ago at a little company called NYNEX, where she first met CEO Mark Trudeau and VP of Operations Lauren Trudeau (and future husband Ray). Working mostly in project management, Sue quickly cut her teeth in the telecom industry and really honed her managerial skills.  But as an entrepreneur at heart who is always willing to take a risk and explore opportunities, when NYNEX became Verizon and some of the leadership team left to join Omnipoint, Sue was one of the first 25 team members on board the communications juggernaut that eventually became T-Mobile. Continuing her project management role, Sue eventually decided to apply her skills to managing a family when her first son Raymond was born in 2003 and Christopher followed just two years later. Sue then became a stay-at-home mom who moonlighted as a consultant in the telecom industry. But as the boys grew, Sue decided to try her management skills within the public school system in order to enjoy a more family friendly work schedule. But when her boys reached high school, Sue joined her former NYNEX coworkers Mark and Lauren at OpenVault, as a Mergers & Acquisitions specialist in May 2019.

Whether coordinating site acquisitions for Sprint, monitoring tech and HR updates for school districts, producing OpenVault’s quarterly OVBI report, or raising two young men, Sue has a knack for managing people and getting the best out of them. “I learned from my dad at an early age to be honest, work hard and always treat people as an equal and with the utmost respect, no matter what.” This philosophy has helped Sue help others throughout her life. As a manager, a mentor and a mom, Sue is a tough cookie on the outside, but a big softie inside, which is a powerful combination when it comes to understanding and managing people.

Lifelong friend and colleague Lauren Trudeau, vice president of operations, says “Three words that I think best describes Sue are reliable, trustworthy and loyal. These are key traits of a coworker, and perhaps more importantly, of a friend. I am lucky that she is both to me!”

When she’s not managing various projects at OpenVault or her husband Ray and three boys – Raymond, Christopher and her four-legged son, Sully, Sue likes to spend her time with her big extended family and dear friends, eating, drinking and being merry.

Meet Michael Hall

Michael Hall Employee spotlight

“Living Life with Integrity” is the topic Michael Hall would discuss if he had to give a 30-minute speech to a crowd and he strives to walk the talk every day by remaining true to his word and fulfilling commitments. In fact, he applies the practice of integrity daily in his role as a software engineer at OpenVault where the satisfaction of completing work and learning new things is what he likes best about his job. Michael was originally part of the VelociData team, but embraces being part of the larger community with new people and fresh perspectives. “With OpenVault’s sales and marketing teams, there is an added business value to the engineering work that we do,” states Michael.

OpenVault’s Chief Strategy Officer Joe Lancaster says that “Michael’s background in electrical engineering as well as high performance software architectures brings a rare and valuable set of skills to many problems we face as an ISV in cable,” but jokes, “Just don’t ask him about the latest features in the Python language unless you are free for a spell!”

Devoted to his faith, Michael finds that prayer brings him peace in times of stress and in the storms of life, and clarity in times of confusion. In fact, he prays the rosary daily which provides him an opportunity to reflect and contemplate. It was through this faith that Michael met his wife Hailey, a former nun and Catholic author and artist. The newlyweds live in Ballwin, Missouri and when Michael is not developing new technologies for OpenVault, teaching as an adjunct professor at his alma mater Washington University, or training for his next 5K run, Michael is helping his wife publish and market her upcoming books.

Meet Patrick Costa

OpenVault Employee of the month Kristy

Although a self-proclaimed “gym rat,” OpenVaulter Patrick Costa does not consider himself a runner nor does he enjoy the act of running. Why then, one may ask, did he recently complete the unseasonably warm and brutal 2022 New York City Marathon? “As a bucket list sort of challenge, I put my name in the marathon lottery for the past five years and I guess this year was my lucky year.” Finding out the news in April, Patrick started officially training in July and completed his first half marathon earlier this Fall. “The discipline of training and the goal orientation of the challenge was my motivation.” His goal is now set on the 2023 half Ironman competition in Santa Cruz, California.

As OpenVault’s Analytical Manager, Patrick applies this same discipline and work ethic to data in order to provide insightful recommendations to customers and to help build innovative analytical products. Although Patrick graduated Stevens Institute of Technology with a Finance degree and plans to enter  the financial field, he began interning for OpenVault while still a college student. As he worked on various data driven projects, he quickly became a numbers expert with a knack for analytics. He also enjoyed OpenVault’s collaborative environment and decided to stay post-graduation. Today, he embraces the community culture and team spirit to “make the biggest impact while having fun.” 

“Patrick has been a tremendous asset to the team. I’m always impressed how quickly he learns new skills. He brings creative solutions to hard challenges. As the data guru, he has been instrumental in developing several of our analytics products,” says OpenVault’s Vice President of Development Operations John Mansor.

While Patrick grew up in Green Brook, New Jersey and currently lives in Hoboken, he was born in Portugal and travels back often. When he is not training for his next challenge, cooking fresh pasta and manning the grill to enjoy meals with his family and friends, Patrick spends most of his time with his fur-baby Toast, a two and a half year old Bernedoodle.

Meet Maurice Simpson

OpenVault Employee of the month Kristy

Maurice joined OpenVault in June 2019, very shortly after the birth of his third son, at a time he fondly remembers as “miraculous,” for both welcoming a new family member into the world and for beginning a new career as an OV team member. After working in the cable industry as a network engineer for many years at various companies, including OpenVault customer Charter Communications, Maurice came to OV to establish a “Help Desk 101” environment for customers. As the first point of contact for trouble tickets and customer requests, Maurice analyzes customers’ networks and needs, in order to avoid trouble escalation and to help keep customers happy, technically speaking. In fact, Director of Operations and Support Kristy Brown says, “Maurice is not only caring and committed to our customers but also helps keep our systems in check, responding to alerts and performing maintenance.  His attention to detail and communication skills are a tremendous asset to our team.”

Maurice describes the role of Operations Support as a “24/7” responsibility. However, the flexibility of working from home outweighs the round-the-clock nature of the job. “I love the work-life balance I enjoy at OpenVault. With three boys ranging in age from 3 years old to 10 years old, my household is very active and busy. Working from home allows me to have so much more face-to-face time with my family and provides me with a special opportunity to watch my kids grow up.”

Living in Camillus, New York, Maurice prefers “gloomy” weather and enjoys the large volume of snow in Central New York. When Maurice is not monitoring customers’ networks, he spends his time chasing his kids around, playing video games or watching anime.

Meet Brian Buckley

OpenVault Employee of the month Kristy

During the five plus years that Brian has been at OpenVault, he has not only observed the company’s global growth, but has been an integral part of the expansion plan. As the Director of Marketing Operations, Brian is responsible for the typical day-to-day marketing efforts, including strategic communications; research, creation and maintenance of sales leads; and competitive analysis. However, Brian, the willing wearer of many hats, contributes immensely to the global sales team as the OpenVault ambassador to industry associations, CRM database sleuth and resident trade show extraordinaire. “Brian has been a tremendous asset to OpenVault and has grown professionally as OpenVault has continued to grow over the years. We’re thrilled to count Brian as a key member of the OpenVault family and he deserves all of the good things coming to him!” says CEO and founder Mark Trudeau.

Brian embraces the change of pace his job provides and enjoys the camaraderie that develops as the team “all works together with the same goal in mind.” In fact, it is this team spirit that reminds him of one of his favorite OpenVault memories. “We were all in Atlanta for an industry show and we had an event at the College Football Hall of Fame where there was a field goal contest. As a former soccer player, I thought it would be a piece of cake to represent OpenVault and make a field goal, except I didn’t consider that I had never kicked in dress shoes before. After a putrid first attempt, I rebelled against the “don’t take off your shoes” sign and drilled the next one, much to the delight of the entire crowd!”

As a true Jersey Boy, Brian was born and bred in the Garden State where he now resides with his wife Ashley and together they are expecting their first baby in August 2022! When he is not working for OpenVault, he is rooting for his hometown teams Yankees and Devils, practicing guitar and enjoying some downtime before Baby Buckley arrives!

Meet Kristy Brown

OpenVault Employee of the month Kristy

As an essential team member since 2015, Kristy manages the critical systems that delivers OpenVault’s solutions to our customers. Not only does Kristy run the everyday “behind-the-scenes” technology, she also works directly with customers to provide any service requests, resolve any issues and deliver a quality experience. In fact, CEO Mark Trudeau refers to Kristy as “the heart of the organization.” Adding that “Kristy is a key member of our team and is critical to our success. She provides amazing leadership to her team and has played a major role in supporting our growing customer base, both domestically and internationally.  Kristy is universally loved by all who have the pleasure of interacting with her. She is indispensable and we’re lucky to have her as a dedicated employee and a long time part of our family.”

So what does Kristy like best about her job? “Working with good people every day who I genuinely appreciate. From coworkers to customers, I enjoy collaborating to solve problems, improve their experience and hopefully make someone’s day better.”

Born and raised in Spring Hill, Kansas, Kristy considers herself a hometown girl who has been married to her husband Terry for more than 30 years. When she’s not working for OpenVault from her home office surrounded by her four cats, Kristy spends time with her family, including her two sons, daughters-in-law and five grandchildren who all live nearby.

Openvault logo


Openvault logo

OV Cares

Openvault logo

Join Team OpenVault