September 28, 2018

Ever wanted to meet the people who make ES&S voting systems? This edition of Employee Spotlight features an ES&S associate who has been instrumental in the development of voting solutions that help our customers provide better, more secure elections. When we sat down with him to quiz him about all things technological, it was his passion for the people in his life that he talked about the most – just more proof that our people are the heart of everything we do.

Dean is a Principal Product Manager on the Product Development Team at ES&S.

With a background in electrical engineering and technology systems management, Dean Baumert is one of the top minds behind ES&S voting equipment and the development of new voting hardware. His degrees in Electrical Engineering took him to Texas Instruments, where he worked with computer chip manufacturing.

When he moved back to Nebraska and began working in systems management at a major retailer, a friend pointed him in the direction of ES&S, with the promise, “You’re going to love it there.” 11 years later, he still does.

He’s also a husband, father, coach and everything in between.

Dean and his wife, both alumni of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln’s Electrical Engineering program, have five boys. Two are in college studying engineering – it’s in their blood.

His early mornings consist of reading the headlines and college athletics news (Dean is a Husker fan) and getting his sons up for school. He coaches their soccer and basketball teams, and they’re currently training for a half marathon together. In his remaining time, he’s the president of the pastoral council at church, and somehow still finds time for the occasional episode of Stranger Things.

In a mechanically-minded home, technology is a part of every conversation. “When the whole family gets to sit down and talk, it’s a great learning experience for all of us. This industry is a crazy combination of engineering, business, politics and current events, so when my boys talk with their friends and hear things about elections, we get to talk about that on top of the discussion about technology.”

He’s proud of the product launches he’s been involved with.

Since his first year, the products Dean and his team have worked on have been big ones. He cut his teeth on the (then) new tabulation machine called the DS850, the fastest central scanner and tabulator on the market today. At a processing speed of 300 ballots per minute, it’s an impressively innovative machine. “In many ways, it was an engineering marvel – we had been told so many times that what we were trying to accomplish couldn’t be done – and yet we did it.”

Dean has gone on to manage the development of other ES&S products, including the DS200 and ExpressVote, and recently acted as both Product Manager and interim Development Manager for ES&S’s most recent launch, EVS 6000. Even for the seasoned engineer, the project’s scope was awe-inspiring.

“I tell my family and friends that I’m a part of a new product launch about once every two years. For the launch of EVS 6000, we developed two brand-new hardware products, two new, full Electionware modules, and additional features to all our voting and tabulation equipment in 18-24 months.

It was a huge accomplishment for our company – a lot of people really sacrificed to make it happen.”

But the best part of his day isn’t a machine or a computer.

Dean considers the people he works with the best part of his day-to-day. “In my role, I get to interact with every part of the company – getting valuable ideas from our customers through Account and Sales Managers, doing market research and pricing with the Finance team, building the business case with the Manufacturing and Engineering teams.

I’m one of the few people who gets to work with everyone daily, which is very exciting. Every day brings something new, and I get to see what I do through a different lens.

On top of that, we get to dream up the new stuff. When our job is done, I can visit the customer and see the technology I worked on helping them run the best elections possible.”

And above all, he’s proud to be working in elections.

Dean finds the calling to support our democracy an inspiring one, and he always has. “Lately, people have been asking me about how we’re ensuring elections are secure, and my answer is that we’ve always supported secure elections.

We’re constantly evolving to meet the security challenges of the day, because security and transparency have always been our goals. It’s who we are. It’s in our values as a company, even our tagline: better elections, every day.”

Those values are a living part of the work he does and the people he works with. “The elections industry is different from others in the sense that to the people who work in it, a career isn’t about the individual – they’re civic-minded. It’s less about personal success and career-development and more of a vocation. You end up with a lot of passionate people who want to make things better.

There is such a high percentage of people in this company who are relentless in their passion to make elections better for our customers. I’m proud to work with them and be a part of a team like that.”