Employee Spotlight: Mark Sabac, Production Engineer

28 June 2016

Let’s take a moment to meet Mark Sabac, a production engineer in our Wellington, New Zealand, office. Mark plays a critical role in ensuring our products meet our high-quality standards, and we’re so thankful to have him on our team.

Please describe your role.

I’m a production engineer. My primary responsibility is to provide engineering support to ensure smooth and continuous manufacturing operations. I plan, control and continuously improve integrated manufacturing processes and systems. My aim is to make high-quality products and services in a cost-effective way that complies with approved methods, quality standards and the varying regulatory requirements of our target markets. I sometimes work with suppliers overseas to resolve issues as quickly and neatly as possible.

What’s a typical day in the office like?

I usually start my day with a cup of coffee, read few emails and plan out the tasks that needs to be done within the day. Then, I do whatever I can to help production make a high-quality product while listening to feel-good music in the background.

What were you doing before you joined ikeGPS?

I started out as a test technician at Teradyne Philippines Ltd, and then moved up to test engineer. Teradyne Philippines is a customer-support team organization unit of U.S.-based company Teradyne Inc., which makes automatic test equipment for consumer electronics, telecommunications systems and aerospace products. My responsibilities included improving the quality and reliability of our products and providing technical support to test technicians and field service engineers.

Why did you decide to join ikeGPS?

I moved to Wellington in January 2012 and immediately looked for a job that could make use of my training. Fortunately, ikeGPS was looking for a technician to assemble and test its IKE 3 product. I applied for the role, and a month later I started working here. It was a refreshing change to work for a smaller outfit where you know everyone and everyone knows you.

What do you love about working at ikeGPS most?

I’ve been with ikeGPS for more than four years, and the people make it worthwhile. With the company’s emphasis on teamwork and focus on achieving goals, I’ve learned a lot working at ikeGPS because people are willing to share their technical expertise with and mentor me. But even more importantly is foosball in the office.

What did you want to be when you grow up?

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a ship captain traveling to different continents. My father is a seaman, and he influenced me in that way. I then realized a career in sailing would not suit someone who never learned to swim. It’s sad because I was living in the Philippines with its 7,100 islands, warm seas and some of the best white-sand beaches in the world. The waters off my sleepy ancestral hometown of Moalboal on the island of Cebu are known to divers all over the world for their colorful marine life, none of which I’ve seen except on the dinner table.

What are some of your favorite outside office activities?

I love spending time with my family, playing basketball, mountain biking and watching television shows like “Game of Thrones.” Most of the time, I play computer games. I also read manga, or Japanese comics.

If you could create your perfect meal, what would it be?

My wife is a great cook, so our kids would rather go hungry than eat my cooking. But if I had to, I would make a calzone. My uncle thinks of it as a kind of giant empanada. I don’t bother correcting him.

What’s your dream vacation?

To travel with my family around Europe and know more of its rich and glorious history. I would post selfies taken in front of various historic sites and learn all about them after we got home.

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