Tag Archives for " Company and Culture "

Q&A with General Manager Dave Batcheller

1. What’s something Appareo has worked on or achieved this year that you’re most proud of?

Appareo has undertaken a great deal of growth. An organization cannot grow as rapidly as our business is growing without being capable of change. It is a difficult challenge for people, in general, to change. We’re all in our own ways resistant to change, comfortable in our norms.

Over the last year, we’ve undertaken strategic changes, structural changes, and operating changes that have been really significant. We’ve onboarded great new production capabilities through substantial new investments in infrastructure that have changed the shape of how we deliver products. How the whole team at Appareo has worked through change and uncertainty with a growth mentality, understanding change comes with a few bumps and inconveniences but being focused on what we’re growing toward and the organization we’re becoming is something that our whole team should be really proud of.

2. Can you share something about Appareo that most people don’t know about or would be surprised to learn?

Appareo is a Latin word that means “to appear” or “to become apparent.” The name was chosen because we were a new business, appearing in a new space, with a whole new category of products. As we’ve grown as an organization we’ve never been afraid of appearing, being new, and bringing brand-new things to the world and I think that is really amazing. We’ve created whole new categories of products in multiple industries, breaking new ground in: aviation with ADS-B receivers, flight data recording, and cockpits cameras; agriculture becoming the first company in the world to control equipment with iPads and developing a whole new category of monitoring technologies for seeding, fertilizer application, and harvesting; and in off-highway equipment with the most rugged, longest living, asset tracking products in the world.

I think it is a great privilege to be in the business of creating new things. Many people spend their entire career focused on distribution, service, and support of things that are already in existence but we’re part of a small family of organizations globally that gets to come to work every day and be inspired to pursue, achieve, and deliver the creation of things that make the world a different and better place.

3. What projects or work is Appareo doing that you’re most excited about?

There is a great deal to be excited about in the products that the business is developing. I can honestly say that there is no one product or project that I’m most excited about.

Really the work that I’m most excited about is the great product development and production operational system that we are building at Appareo. Over the last year we’ve grown more than 30% in headcount and more than 40% in revenue. We’re building an incredible team here, which is in part a testament to the individual capabilities of the people that join the “A Team” but it is more about the way in which the team interacts. We’re constructing a really unique, and special culture that is going to enable this organization to accomplish really impressive things.

Q&A with General Manager Dave Batcheller

Humans of Appareo | Meet Angela

Meet Angela, Technical Writer at Appareo.

What do you do at Appareo?

I’m Appareo’s technical writer. I write documents that teach customers how to use our products. I turn complicated engineering projects into easy-to-digest parts.

What has been your favorite project so far?

I’ve enjoyed writing documentation for our Stratus Horizon Pro app. It’s been amazing watching our speech-to-text capabilities grow.

What might someone be surprised to know about you?

I love going to rock concerts and experiencing them from the floor. In 2019, I saw over 30 bands perform live. I even flew to Vegas solely to see my favorite band!

Do you have a favorite song lyric or movie quote?

“Our hopes and expectations, black holes and revelations” – Muse, Starlight

What do you most like to do to unwind?

I like finding new music, watching award shows, thrift store shopping, and entering sweepstakes. Since moving out to the country, I also have a newfound love for taking care of our chickens, mowing, catching frogs, and fishing.

Favorite restaurant in Fargo?

GP’s Greek Kitchen, Mango’s, or JL Beers.


Josh Gelinske to present at the 2020 VDI Conference in Düsseldorf

Next week Josh Gelinske, Director of AI Systems at Appareo, will be presenting at the 4th International VDI Conference on Smart Farming 2020 in Düsseldorf, Germany. This conference is supported by national and international experts, bringing together over 100 thought leaders in agri-industry solutions.

Josh’s presentation is titled Robust AI at the Edge – Grain Handling Quality Assurance Sensor. During his presentation he will discuss:

  • The costly mistake of mixing different grain types
  • Sensor architecture and data collection strategy
  • AI for crop type image classification
  • Ensuring robust outputs and confidence measures
  • Seeing inside the “black box” Convolutional Neural Network model

If you would like more information about this conference, click here to visit the official website.


Humans of Appareo | Meet Dan

Meet Dan, Field Test Engineer at Appareo.

What do you do at Appareo?
As a (field) test engineer. I am responsible for designing, performing, and reporting investigative and validation test procedures, which can occur either here in our facilities or in the field. I specifically work on our agricultural product lines, ensuring that our products meet our requirements.

What has been your favorite project so far?
I can’t identify a “favorite” project, but can identify numerous memorable experiences. Often traveling, I’ve been able to connect with some incredible individuals and experience unique destinations, from the Salt Flats of Utah to production farms of Uruguay.

What might someone be surprised to know about you?
Though I have yet to become committed, I really enjoy photography.

Do you have a favorite song lyric or movie quote?
I’ll answer with a quote that I recently came across, which is not from a song or movie:

“A man who works with his hands is a laborer;
a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman;
but a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist.”

What do you most like to do to unwind?
I find great peace in working with my hands and challenging my own craftsmanship. I have a small shop outside of town where I enjoy using my vintage lathes, mills, shaper, welders, etc. to design and fabricate various projects that challenge my existing skills as well as forge new. I also thoroughly enjoy automotive restoration and painting – included in the picture is one that I restored.

Favorite restaurant in Fargo?
I prefer to cook at home – I enjoy my steak more rare than any restaurant is willing to serve.


Humans of Appareo | Meet Jacinta

Meet Jacinta, IP Copywriter and Analyst at Appareo.

What do you do at Appareo?
I am an IP Copywriter and Analyst for Appareo. I get to take inventors’ new, exciting and innovative ideas and put them onto paper in the form of a patent application. I have the unique responsibility of protecting Appareo’s ideas.
What might someone be surprised to know about you? 
I’m a single mommy and a Mary Kay lady in my spare time.
Do you have a favorite song lyric or movie quote?
It’s not a song lyric or movie quote, but my favorite quote is Maya Angelou, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.”
What do you most like to do to unwind? 
I love to head out to the farm, unwind with a good book and a glass of wine, or spend time with my friends and family.
Favorite restaurant in Fargo? 
Lee La Thai or Izumi.



Humans of Appareo | Meet Peter

Meet Peter, Embedded Software Design Engineer at Appareo. 

Who’s in the picture?

The Appareo soccer team.

Describe your job in 25 words or less.

I design and write application software for bare-metal and embedded Linux products like the PM4 or the Gateway Product Line.

What has surprised you most about working at Appareo?

The overwhelming amount of support that I receive from my coworkers. I can say for certain that I would not have been successful here at Appareo without a lot of help along the way. No matter what I’m working on, there’s always someone who is more than willing to help me through a tough spot. It’s this very combination of responsibility and support that makes Appareo a place where I learn something new every day.

What do you most like to do to unwind?

My favorite way to unwind is by spending time with close friends. I also enjoy good books, good music, and working on my car if it’s warm enough.

Any favorite line from a movie?

A line that always comes to mind is Gandalf’s “You shall not pass!” from The Lord of the Rings. One of my favorite teachers in high school had a shirt with that quote on it and he would wear it every day during finals week.

What drives you to achieve great results in your work?

I strive to do all of my work with excellence. I want the products I work with to be something that our customers can depend on. I want to ensure that I am a good investment for Appareo. I’m also a firm believer that success is often only limited by the amount of time that you are willing to put in.


Humans of Appareo | Meet Ashley

Meet Ashley, Office Receptionist at Appareo.

Describe your job in 25 words or less.

I take care of miscellaneous things around the office to help make sure everything runs smoothly.

What drives you to achieve great results in your work?

Knowing that what I’m doing is helping others. Whenever someone notices a change I made around the office, or lets me know that the project or event I helped with went well, it really makes my day!

Any random facts about you that you want to share with us?

  • I’ve been learning French for about a year now.
  • I competed in dog obedience with my dog Tucker when I was in 4-H and we made it to state six times.
  • I love to go pheasant hunting! Pheasant is one of my favorite things to eat.

What might someone be surprised to know about you?

In college I majored in Illustration and I’m working (very slowly) on a webcomic in my spare time.

What can you simply not resist?

Funyuns. Which is why I haven’t bought a bag since at least 2013.

Before working at Appareo, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

I was a dog bather at a pet salon. I got to see all kinds of dogs from 20 year old toy poodles, to a Malamute (who I swear was part wolf) that was four feet tall at the shoulders!


Humans of Appareo | Meet Nate

Meet Nate, SMT & Secondary Operations Manager at Appareo.

Describe your job in 25 words or less.

I ensure production demands are met while meeting our metrics such as, safety, quality and productivity. I also research and implement new technologies and equipment.

Tell me how you first got involved in Surface Mount Technology.

I have been involved with robotics since high school. For my very first job I programmed welding robots for a cement and refuse truck manufacturer. Five years later, an opportunity landed in my lap from an electronics manufacturer. The hiring manager there told me that if I could weld and program robots, then I could solder and program SMT equipment. At first I thought he was nuts, but after 18 years in this industry, he was right!

What has been your favorite project at Appareo and why?

Researching, justifying and implementing the high-speed Panasonic SMT line. I find great joy in implementing new technologies or equipment that improves safety, quality and efficiencies to manufacturing.

If you weren’t working, what would you be doing instead?

I would be camping and fishing. I really enjoy getting out of town and driving to a remote location to take in the great outdoors.


Humans of Appareo | Meet Brian

Meet Brian, Controller at Appareo.

Describe your job in 25 words or less.

Oversee accounts receivable/payable, treasury management, reporting, monthly financial statements and general ledger (parent and subs) audit coordination, tax compliance/filings, facilities.

What has been your favorite project so far?

In an accountants life there is a lot of repetitive parts of the job.

Question: Why did the accountant cross the road?

Answer: Because that’s what he did last week, last month, last quarter and last year!!

I have enjoyed leveraging opportunities to automate repetitive, mundane tasks (see above) and new/challenging transactions involved in creating new companies, departments, etc.

Any favorite line from a movie? 

Not a lot of movie favorites, but I will have a Seinfeld quote off with anyone, anywhere, any time (Yes, the TV show that ended 20 years ago that I still find to be relevant to most present-day situations).

What might someone be surprised to know about you?

My dad was a CPA in public practice and, consequently, growing up I thought accounting was the very last thing I would be interested in. Turns out that accounting came naturally to me when I started generals in the College of Business at UND and the inner practical accountant in me could not deny the solid career path that accounting lends itself to. Unfortunately, my dad did not live to see me advance in my career, but he probably would have said “told ya!”.

If you weren’t working, what would you be doing instead? 

I am a decent handyman and I like working on projects at my home or at the lake. I have 3 children, so of course that keeps me busy. If I had more time I would love to play a lot more golf.


Humans of Appareo | Meet Melissa

Meet Melissa, Inventory Analyst at Appareo.

Who is in the picture?

My boyfriend Milo and I (left), oldest child Taelea and youngest child Adelynn (top right), & middle kids Jenna and Gage (bottom right).

Describe your job in 25 words or less.

I am an Inventory Analyst. I help with material handling throughout the warehouse and manufacturing. I look into part discrepancies and maintain monthly cycle counts.

What has been your favorite project so far?

It isn’t exactly a project, but I do enjoy participating in our Continuous Improvement efforts. It is nice that everyone tries to work together across departments to get things done. It is fun to help out and it feels good to know that I am helping improve even little things around me to make things better for everyone.

Any favorite line from a movie?

I am an eighties baby and love eighties movies! Disney is big too with having small children at home. A couple of my favorite quotes are: Goonies Never Say Die (Goonies), and Hakuna Matata (Lion King). Or, I could go with “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” (Ferris Bueller) I feel that way with life, especially with my children.

What might someone be surprised to know about you?

Ever since I was little, I always thought my dream job would be to become a primatologist. I love primates and always thought about being the next Jane Goodall.