Get to know Propeller’s world-class team in our ongoing employee spotlight. Today, we talk to Milo Vejraska, who serves as customer experience manager on the customer success team. He’s based remotely out of Oakland, California, and works out of our Denver office quarter-time.
What do you do at Propeller?
I run training, implementation, and continued support for all of our customers in western North America. I started out as the first person in this role in all of North America and was a bit overstretched. Now that we’ve expanded the team, I’m focusing on the West Coast, which allows us to focus on making Propeller’s customers more successful.
I work with civil construction, mining, aggregates companies and any landfills out here—and any dealers as well. Lately, we’ve been on a bunch of on-site trainings for the Propeller PPK release. Doing these sessions with our dealers and training them and their actual customers has been great.
What’s your career background?
My background is in environmental science and GIS, so I’m a geospatial guy, as a lot of our dealers would say.
I started out working with satellite imagery and statistical modeling, and built a few drones in my graduate program. Went to work in natural gas engineering. Wasn’t such a fan of the corporate environment, so decided to jump back into my passion for aerial imagery and worked for different drone companies throughout the growth of the drone industry. Then came to Propeller because they had a great focus and toolset to grow the technology and its use with customers.
Where did you grow up?
I’m from a smaller town called Hayward, California, just south of Oakland. I grew up on the outskirts, in oak woodlands, scraping my knees up.
Before working at Propeller, what’s the strangest or most interesting job you’ve held?
I’ve done a lot of smaller jobs in the food industry, everything from a fry cook at an outdoor grill to wedding catering and all that jazz.
My favorite weirdest job was as a sandwich artist at Pita Pit where I slaved over a grill late nights, sometimes until 3:00 am, next to my college campus. I served a lot of friends, got tips from drunk college students, and got home smelling like the densest layer of grease imaginable.
What’s your favorite Propeller memory?
It actually happened just last week, when I got a chance to go to the Trimble Dimensions conference. It was great to meet a lot of our customers, see the growing interest not only in Propeller, but in drone technology itself and how it enables the GPS and construction industries to easily accomplish task that would have taken hours, days, weeks in a shorter, simpler manner.
I also got to see a lot of the cutting-edge technology Trimble was developing, and see how Propeller is aligning with that, and the growing excitement about our Trimble integration itself.
Any talents, secret superpowers, or fun facts about yourself to share?
My aim. I can throw any type of object and hit any other thing with it, every time. I grew up throwing rocks at trees, which segued into a baseball career that ended with a torn tendon in my elbow—but the accuracy didn’t go away.
I’m also a great cook. Cooking is a passion, and I’ve stolen the reins from my girlfriend. I never use any recipes, just kinda throw things in a bowl and they continually end up tasting amazing.
If you could be any piece of technology, what would you be and why?
A firework fuse or ignition system. I was a bit of a pyro growing up and blew up my fair share of mailboxes. Really got interested in electrical networks, the timing of fuses, and linking things together from a power perspective. I built a bunch of little motors, too.
I remember seeing firework shows growing up, and was astonished at how they could time everything to match up with different songs and create a show lasting a half an hour. I knew it wasn’t some guy running around with a torch in his hand lighting fuses. I always thought it would be cool to do that.
Given the chance to invite any person, living or dead, to dinner, who would you pick and why?
Nikola Tesla. I’ve always been curious about how he felt about getting brushed under the rug by his industry. He was a very smart gentleman who did many more astonishing things than just invent efficient electricity. I’d want to pick his brain on how he continually developed things under the shadow of American industrialism and never gave up his passion. We’re now seeing the benefits of all the things he drew up.
Do you have an office nickname? If so, what is it and how did you get it?
I have too many nicknames. I have a slavic name that most people can’t pronounce from the get-go, so nicknames are inevitable. One is “Miles Vej,” which came from me emailing a coworker with a fake name. I’ll go by M, Milo, Miles Nebraska, and an array of Slovakian, Czech, and Polish nicknames that come from my full name, Miloslav.
If you could do any job on a worksite for just one day, which would you choose?
Given my past answers, it would definitely be a drill and blast engineer. It would be really cool to plan the shots and run all the designs. I want to actually hit the fuse, watch the blast happen, and see how I could have made safer and more efficient. I watch a lot of videos of shelf blasts in mines, and it’s absolutely incredible how much dirt and material you can move with well-planned designs.