Part 1 of our 3-part summer series showcasing a few of the amazing people we have in the building!
As most of you know, we manufacture everything from start to finish in our shop in Bozeman, Montana. To make a set of splitboard bindings we: design, machine, turn, bend, punch, cut, tumble, anodize, mold, print, assemble, inspect, test, package, and ship. It takes a huge effort, executed by our amazing team. This summer we’re going to share a couple of interviews with some amazing Spark employees that make it all happen!
Meet Tyler Bakke, pad printer extraordinaire turned machine operator! This midwestern gem of a human is known for his echoing laugh, mellow demeanor, and ink – both on his arms and on our baseplates.
And yes, the marketing guy suggested the first photo up top, and Tyler, being the easy-going guy he is, said 'yep, sounds like a great shot.' <insert smiley emoji>
Where do you hail from?
The good ole land of ten thousand lakes, Rogers, Minnesota.
How long have you been working at Spark R&D?
I’ve been at Spark for about four years now.
What roles have you had here and what are you currently doing at Spark?
I started out in assembly, putting the finished parts together. After my first year, I moved to pad printing and the pre-assembly area. Recently, actually yesterday to be accurate, I began as a machine operator on a vertical mill.
What were you printing when you were in pre-assembly?
Everything that has a graphic gets printed on using one of our pad printers. We print on products as small as Fixie Clips and as large as straps and baseplates.
What do you enjoy about your job?
Honestly, making something that someone is going to have a great time on. I’ve thought about it a bunch of times when I’m making parts, just wondering where this binding will go and who will use it to have an epic day. It’s pretty cool.
When you’re not working, what are you often doing?
Lately, almost all my free time has been spent fixing up an old ’63 truck. I got it in undrivable condition and now I can make really sketchy drives to and from the grocery store in it! Before the truck project started one of my main hobbies was playing music with friends.
What have you been listening to lately?
A lot of 50’s Doo Wop. Been diving deep into that. Otherwise, to mix it up some Americana Punk like Gaslight Anthem or some friends of mine, Quinlan Conley and the I-90 Blues.
How many tats are you rocking?
I’m up to fourteen now!
Who has more lakes, Minnesota or Wisconsin?
Regardless of who has more lakes, I think everyone agrees that Minnesota has better lakes. Quality over quantity any day.