Meet Team TZOA!

Meet the makers of HAVEN IAQ - Team TZOA!

TZOA is a technology company in Vancouver, Canada, that is focused on bringing professional IAQ to the masses. We are a full stack team that does almost everything in house: designing our own hardware, writing our own firmware, maintaining our own cloud, deploying our own web and mobile apps, and providing customer support.

We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without our diverse and hard-working team members. Over the next few weeks, we’ll introduce ourselves in the thread below.

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Hey there, my name is Ben! You can find me elsewhere online through my handle - “bengizmo

If you own a HAVEN IAQ product or use it professionally, you’ll probably hear from me since I work on product and customer service initiatives for Team TZOA. My passion is building teams and products that will make the world a better place.

I have a diverse background in technology product development - leading projects involving installing experimental RF systems on massive radio towers, deploying 600lb robots, flying drones for 3D imaging, using VR for digital twins, tracking cows through long-range RFID, and even directing a few non-profit maker communities.

Before joining Team TZOA in 2018, I didn’t give much thought to HVAC and indoor air quality - it was an invisible attribute of the indoor spaces I occupy. I would appreciate AC on hot days, rely on the furnace in cold Canadian winters, but I had no idea how much my health was affected by the quality of the air inside my home. I learn something new about HVAC and IAQ every week, and I’m very excited to apply my new knowledge to the HAVEN product line.

Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or need help with your HAVEN products!

Ben

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Hey there folks! My name is Lucy. You can find me online as l4lucy (I don’t do twitter, but I’m on instagram if you want to check out some art and nature!)

Like many of us here at TZOA, I wear many hats, but I’ve been moving towards a more product-focused role. My work encompasses user interface and experience design, which positions me as an advocate for our users. It’s my job to speak up for the needs of HVAC contractors and end-users that use our product, and ensure they can get meaningful value out of it that leaves them feeling empowered.

I have a pretty varied history, my parents having been in the Canadian Airforce and moving us across different cities in Canada and Germany. I think this has made me a good people watcher, wanting to understand from a young age of how to best adapt to my new surroundings. Now being a product & user experience designer, I get to apply those skills on a daily basis.

A lot of you may have met me over the course of the last several months during the first phase of our beta program, where we engaged with all sorts of professionals in the HVAC field including service techs, business owners, teachers, and sales reps. One of my favourite parts of my job is getting to chat to all these different personalities in order to understand better what makes them tick, what delights them and what definitely does not delight them – aka, steer clear of whatever that is! I’ve also been able to test out different app and web portal designs during these engagement which has been absolutely integral to our upcoming launch.

In my spare time I like to get out into nature, be it on my feet, bike, skis, fins. My latest obsession while being at home more is woodworking… This changes regularly :stuck_out_tongue:


(sorry for the selfies, I’m usually the one taking pictures of everyone else!)

Talk soon,
Lucy

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Mo chairde,

Hey, I’m Graham and I hail from Cork, a wonderful and vibrant city in the south of Ireland. More city in name than stature, we often refer to it as the world’s biggest village! It’s more than likely that at some point we’ll have a discussion on how you’re progressing with your HAVEN products, or perhaps you’re just dipping your feet in and to find out more. As the primary Customer Service Representative here at TZOA, it’s my job to ensure your needs are understood and taken care of.

My professional background is in Commercial Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning, holding the Irish equivalency of a Red Seal ticket. Through my apprenticeship and HVAC-R career, I’ve worked on jobs as small as little under-counter refrigerators right up to buildings measured in acres utilizing industrial CO2 plant installations for regional cold storage facilities. Within reason, the concept remains the same, big, small or otherwise. I’ve been lucky in that the companies I have worked for in the HVAC-R industry have been right at the cutting edge of technology and early adopters of smart solutions to age-old problems. That mindset has been a huge influence in my career and I take great pride in the fact that working for TZOA, we are constantly looking forward, always looking to maximize innovation.

When I’m out of the office I try to immerse myself as much as possible in the outdoors, deep in the woods hiking, camping, snowboarding, and every activity in between. British Columbia has so much to offer, it’s truly incredible and I’m humbled to now call it home.

As I sign off most, if not all of my external emails - if you have any questions, ideas or issues, please don’t hesitate to give me a quick call or shoot me an email. Fundamentally I’m here to listen to you and ensure your message is heard loud and clear.

Is mise le meas,
Graham

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Hello there! Thank you for being a part of this community. I’m Kevin Hart, the CEO & founder of TZOA. Unfortunately I am not a famous comedian, although having the same name as a celebrity has had unexpected benefits. Rather, I grew up in a suburb outside of Vancouver, BC, Canada. My parents also grew up in Canada. Our recent ancestors can be traced back to Great Britain (as confirmed by 23andme’s DNA test).

From a young age, I grew up with an insatiable desire for knowledge, autonomy, and impact, which would later progress into entrepreneurship and forming a startup. My academic and professional career started out in the trades, after taking an accelerated high school program where I worked part-time/summers, and completed my first half of electrician apprenticeship and schooling by the time I graduated. A few years later I had my Redseal Journeyman electrical ticket and was leading a wiring rough-in crew on many single-family and high-rise apartments as well as a Safeway grocery store project in South Vancouver. I worked closely with other tradesmen in HVACR, especially refrigeration, plumbing, and tin bashers.

Working on construction sites, we had weekly safety meetings and we were required to wear PPE, especially respirators due to concrete dust/airborne crystalline silica. I’ll include a few photos of me from my early 20s in full PPE drilling channels in concrete for electrical conduit. These experiences made me acutely aware of fine particulate in the air that were cancer-causing if breathed in. The initial idea for TZOA was for a PPE indicator that detects sound decibel levels and particle concentrations, and advised when to wear a mask and ear protection. That was at the very green age of 23.

I became completely obsessed with understanding technologies for detecting particles in the air and flew all the way to North Carolina to attend an EPA conference that focused on low-cost sensors. I met professionals from WeatherUnderground, visionary academics, and some hobbyists - all speaker talks and dinner discussions strengthened my resolve for the need to create a miniature, accurate, and accessible technology that detected small particles known as PM2.5.

The past 7 years have been quite the rollercoaster with several pivots along the way to finally land where we are today. A team of passionate employees, investors, and customers have emerged & paved the way for HAVEN to become a real solution for HVAC-based IAQ detection, insights, and automation. We look forward to helping contractors help their customers, and for all to breathe better. Clean air is a right that should be accessible to everyone. I am incredulous and so grateful for the support we have received from contractors and customers. Thank you for being awesome.

In my spare time I tend to go through phases of trying new hobbies. I’ve been paid professionally for photographs and for winning video game competitions. The hobbies that have stuck the most include reading several books a month, listening to a few podcasts a day, an ongoing interest in molecular biology, trying to track and improve sleep, and growing vegetables. My latest hobby due to COVID gym closures is indoor cycling in my apartment with a Wahoo smart trainer using the Zwift software. Look me up if you’re on that platform and want to ride!

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Howdy, I’m Kyal! My role at TZOA is Senior Marketing Manager, responsible for Marketing, Brand and Education initiatives, as well as working with our partners to ensure they have the knowledge and tools they need to be successful with HAVEN IAQ. Prior to joining the incredible team at TZOA, I spent 4 years in the HVAC industry leading Global Marketing, Education & Brand for another manufacturer, where I first developed my passion for the industry. Prior to that, I started out in the Pharmaceutical/Healthcare industry (even assisting in a hospital Morgue :P), then onto Events Management & Production before a serendipitous event landed me in HVAC, but I love that the course of my career has brought me here!

I grew up in Northern Canada, and spent most of my time in the equestrian world, professionally competing in dressage, hunter/jumper, cross country etc. Today, I live in beautiful Vancouver, and continue to ride my sweet Gerry as much as possible (photos below!) as well as living that stereotypical coastal BC lifestyle. Skiing, hiking, boating, etc! When forced to be inside (because in Vancouver we do have the occasional rainy day ;P) you’ll find me creating feasts for my friends and family, I love to spoil my people! Of course, rain or shine, some local craft beer is usually involved. I’ve also been lucky to visit and explore 16 countries over the past decade, which have helped inspire most of my culinary creations, and I’m looking forward to continuing my world travels once this pandemic is under control.

I’ve always been inspired by innovation and solutions that improve the lives of people. Our vision here at TZOA is to reduce air pollution for millions of household members by increasing the efficacy and accessibility of indoor air quality products. I’m proud to be part of a team that is dedicated in providing IAQ solutions for people to live a more safe, healthy and comfortable life!

I’m committed to building meaningful win-win relationships with customers and partners, and I hope to connect with you in the future!

Let’s connect on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kyal-fleck/

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Hi, I’m Alex VB. My role at TZOA is partnerships and business development. What that translates to is corporate matchmaking between TZOA and other businesses with similar goals and interests to provide a mutually beneficial, long-term relationship. My professional background has always been driven by a desire to leave a significant, positive impact on the physical environment we live in. I’ve dabbled in many aspects of greening the building envelope (lighting, HVAC, plumbing, and waste management for example) all the way to exploring alternative energy sources & storage to green the grid. Ultimately, I want to make sure my great-great-grandchildren get to enjoy the same things I can enjoy today!

I’ve had the privilege of growing up in Switzerland for my early years, the USA for my angsty teenage years, and Canada post-high school until present. I’ve recently moved from Toronto, ON to Vancouver, BC so there’s a slight East vs. West internal torment. I believe having exposure to these different environments has really shaped my love of travel and getting to know people in a meaningful way.

I’m always up for learning a new sport…the latest I’ve been indoctrinated into is Spikeball (I highly recommend it). If you feel like picking up a racquet, I’ll gladly be your tennis/squash/pingpong buddy.

Drop me a line, I’d love for a quick chat to see how we can best work together.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexvanballegooie/
604-339-9729

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Hello, I’m Max. I have a mixed background in motion graphics, e-commerce and software development. I joined TZOA in June, before that I was the UX developer for a sports marketing software company for three years.

Here at TZOA, I’m responsible for developing the Pro Portal. I work closely with Lucy and Ben and many others to make our Pro Portal the go-to software for HAVEN Pros.

Outside of work, I’m usually in Japan (not this year yet), my typical week in Japan would be split equally between SEGA, Yoshinoya and amusement parks with ridiculous roller coasters.

  • Favorite TV show:(Agatha Christie’s) Poirot
  • Favorite movie: Master and Commander
  • Currently obsession: James Hoffmann’s coffee videos :coffee:

Awkward in front of camera

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Hi all, my name’s Phil Tsao. I’m on the engineering team here at TZOA. I formally have an Electrical Engineering degree, but I’ve branched out pretty wide and do software, firmware, electrical and mechanical design…the latter of which I taught myself entirely.

I’m a very passionate problem solver which is likely why I’m drawn to engineering. Design, prototyping, manufacturing, design for manufacturing, are all things that I enjoy and am passionate to work on here at TZOA in order to make the best product possible.

I grew up in Richmond, BC and now live in Vancouver. I play a lot of sports and used to compete provincially and nationally in badminton. Since retiring from badminton, I’ve started playing volleyball in competitive leagues, although I’ve been really missing any type of sport due to COVID. I also love cooking and seriously considered a career change to a chef at one point in my life, working in an Italian restaurant part time to experience the job before jumping ship.

I’m also very passionate about 3D printing and rapid prototyping in general and have my own business Ember Prototypes, where I manufacture parts for startups and local engineers.

Lastly, I’m a proud corgi parent and have a lovely little fur baby named Milou :slightly_smiling_face:

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