There has been a mysterious force working in the shadows at Mt Baker Vapor. A darkly charismatic man toils in the Customer Service department, forging customer delight with the dour sensibilities of a 19th century New England Quaker. Hans has worked with Mt Baker Vapor since its humble beginning, and has worked tirelessly through every transition. His insights into this industry just might surprise you.
MBV: You’ve been with Mt Baker Vapor for a long time. What is the most important lesson you’ve learned?
Hans: Battery safety is one of the biggest things that can have a large impact on this industry. The media will put whatever spin on things they can to get readership, but keeping people as safe as possible should be the goal of the entire industry. Educating new users has been the biggest part of my life for the past few years, from safety to helping people find products that meet their needs.
A job is a means to an end, following the company to AZ gave me the opportunity to explore a new state, meet some new people, and get a better feel for what I would like to do with my life. It’s been a bit of a wild ride here, but I have experienced some awesome things that I likely would not have otherwise.
MBV: You saw this company go from a garage to a giant corporate headquarters. Do you get nostalgic about the old days?
Hans: Of course. The small-company feel of working closely with a tight-knit group that was forced to rely on each other and our customers to keep it going allowed for each step forward… Every day was an adventure. Though life does feel much more refined here in Mesa, which is nice.
MBV: You always have a huge smile on your face. How do you keep a sunny disposition during stressful times?
Hans: The people of the company are what keep me going. The days where problems come up that need to be addressed are my favorite, they are the days when I go home feeling that I have done something to help the people that work under me, so that they can help our customers.
MBV: Could you tell us a little bit of your educational background?
Hans: I studied Neuroscience at Western Washington University, and came to a point in my schooling where I had been in school for 6 years and had run out of money. At some point I would like to go back and get a MS in Neuro-biological sciences and put a huge smile on my parents’ faces. We’ll see if that happens. I started out in the physics department, and had planned to get a degree in acoustic engineering (sound is fun), and somehow the end result of my education ended up with me at MBV.
MBV: What’s your favorite Mt Baker Vapor memory?
Hans: Has to be working at vape conventions. Seeing so many cool people that are all keenly interested in being a part of the industry, as well as other companies that are sharing new products and new ideas was incredibly rewarding. Not to mention that it is coupled with travel, seeing something new, and meeting people from all walks of life.
MBV: Where do you see the vape industry in five years?
Hans: This is tough, and really depends on how limiting the FDA regulations end up being, and the impact that it will have on the smaller companies. As an industry that thrives on ingenuity, the same regulations that are trying to help make it a safer industry, will also unfortunately squash a lot of the more creative minds that drive the newer products and flavors that make it so much fun to work with.
MBV: Where do you see yourself in fifty years?
Hans: Ideally, living on a sailboat somewhere with warm water, teaching sailing lessons, and drinking tasty adult beverages. Unless we’ve created the Enterprise, then I’ll hopefully be exploring the final frontier.