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New horizons

Why I’m making a move across the pond
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25 February 2021

You might have picked up from my recent blogs that I’m planning a pretty significant life change? After almost 20 (rewarding) years of life in “bonnie” Scotland, I’m packing up and moving with my family to the US. From there, I’ll lead our global operations on-the-ground in Denver, where we recently opened Cyberhawk’s regional HQ.

This marks an exciting time for me personally, and for the business as we continue to grow our US operations through new contract wins, contract extensions with our loyal customer base, and focus on expanding our headcount to meet the demand of our growing industry.

Earlier I spoke to our Marketing Manager, James Foreman, to share a little more about our plans, which you can read here.

James: Why are you making a move from Scotland to Denver this year?

Chris: Cyberhawk is growing exceptionally quickly, and what has made that possible even with the craziness of COVID boils down to one thing, our company culture. We have had to ask our people to do some extraordinary things in tough times and they have all linked arms and taken a step forward whilst keeping the standards high.

We need to ensure that as we grow, we don’t lose the unique spirit that makes our success more likely so that’s the biggest reason for moving over.

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Peter Drucker said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast” and I’m constantly reminded of that every day in the way that our people work and interact without anyone having to constantly tell them what to do.

It is incredibly important that our “Nae Drama” culture, high-quality service and industry-leading standards and policies, which have underpinned our success in the UK to date, are replicated across our global operations, including the US and I want to be part of it.

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Is it FIMO (fear of missing out)? Yes, a little bit, but I always challenge myself to ask where I am most useful or where I can have the most impact. I think that’s in the US.

This year I will be based predominately at the new Cyberhawk US HQ in Denver. Still, I plan to travel to key locations where we have customer projects underway, including California, to work with the teams based there from time to time.

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By having an on-the-ground presence, I will help oversee the roll-out of our tried and tested training programs, high safety standards, and approach to customer service in the region, whilst still collaborating with the rest of the senior management team based in the UK and Europe to oversee our international operations. From day one at Cyberhawk we have challenged ourselves to have fun at work. Me and the other founders all came from “no nonsense” oil and gas and we made a conscious decision that if we were going to throw our money, heart and soul into this drone venture we would all be able to look back and say we had fun.

Originally from Australia, I have worked all over the world in inspection rolls in the oil and gas sector. I spent long periods working in California and Hawaii before that, so it’s safe to say that I’m a keen explorer and recognize first-hand the benefits that global travel brings.

From understanding different cultures to identifying new business opportunities that will suit different international markets, I’m looking forward to the opportunities and new challenges this relocation brings.

James: Why was Denver, Colorado, chosen as the location for Cyberhawk’s new US headquarters? And what has attracted you to live there full-time?

Chris: Denver is a well-connected city since it has two major airlines hubs, and therefore allows our team to travel between key states without the need for lengthy layovers and flight changes. We work all over the place so the fewer the flights the better to be honest.

Also, one of our suppliers Flyability, a Swiss company which specializes in building drones for the inspection and exploration of indoor, inaccessible, and confined spaces, has an office in Denver. They are great friends of ours and having a base in close proximity allows us to continue to collaborate on exciting innovations and new projects. I have been snowboarding with Adrian Briod in Switzerland so I hope we can do the same in Colorado.

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Denver as a city also offers a great lifestyle, and there are many other activities on offer to satisfy the appetites of keen adventurers like me and the cyberhawk crew! I personally enjoy the outdoors and like to stay active. Colorado’s state capital offers breath-taking panoramic views of the mountains and excellent trails for hiking or mountain biking. It also boasts white-water rafting, hot springs, kayaking and zip lines so plenty on offer to keep us energized.

And let’s not forget that despite Denver’s snowy winters, it gets 300 days of sunshine a year! A huge draw for many, especially those used to the dark and cold winters in Scotland like I am.

It’s not just us that have recognized Denver’s perks either. Many innovative companies are uprooting from Silicon Valley and moving their operations to Denver as it becomes somewhat of a new and vibrant tech hub for ambitious firms. For example, data-analytics firm Palantir has plans to move its headquarters to Denver, and Google and Facebook already have outposts in the city.

So… my next blog could be coming to you from Colorado.

Till the next time!

Chris