From building covert surveillance vehicles to working with one of the largest transit systems in the U.S., Dan Nichols’ career has taken him to some interesting places.
Nichols started with Gatekeeper as a Customer Support Specialist about two and a half years ago, but he’s worked in surveillance his entire career.
He said surveillance is a passion of his, and in his 10 years in the industry he’s done everything from creating surveillance vehicles for law enforcement agencies to collaborating with the Secret Service for events the President would be attending.
“I’ve been involved in quite a few cool projects. Like building large mobile command centers that you see on the news,” he said. “My particular specialty has been in surveillance the whole time.”
He started working for Gatekeeper when his previous company was restructured, and he said his familiarity with surveillance technology made for an easy transition into Gatekeeper’s customer support team.
He currently works primarily with SEPTA, the sixth largest overall transit system in the United States, and he said his diverse background has given him the broad knowledge base needed for supporting the varied and dynamic needs of such a large customer.
He also is still involved in creating custom projects, and gets to bring his knowledge and experience to collaborations on product design and product development.
“We build things to customer’s needs, which is very cool. I love it from an engineering standpoint: problem-solving and figuring out how to make things work. Developing solutions for what a customer needs is always a lot of fun,” he said.
Nichols said he’s enjoyed the transition to Gatekeeper, as he still is constantly learning, but also has a consistency that comes with the company’s commitment to quality.
“It’s really nice now, having a very defined, well-engineered, and quality-controlled product line. It’s a lot easier to support that because it does what it’s supposed to do,” he said.
He said delivering quality support isn’t confined to just the customer support team, it’s a shared vision that unites the company and makes for a positive workplace.
“Everyone is so supportive, so friendly. Everyone is clearly working towards the same goal: providing a good customer experience and a good product to the customer. That’s been very rewarding for me,” he said.
When Nichols isn’t working, he said baseball is a big passion of his and his family, and more often than not you can find him and his wife and four-year-old son using their season tickets to catch a Philadelphia Phillies game.
For Nichols and his family, the connection to Philadelphia runs deep. His work helps keep people in transit safe, families just like his.
Plus, there’s the added bonus of working on buses and trains, vehicles that a four-year-old boy finds very cool.
“Every time we drive, he recognizes SEPTA and he knows that I get to work on those vehicles,” he said. “That’s really fun, that’s always kind of neat.”