Careers: Interviews
Chat with Phil Bautista, Catalyst of Change, about leading teams of people with disparate backgrounds to accomplish common goals

This week, Stephen Ibaraki has an exclusive interview with Phil Bautista.

Phil BautistaPhil Bautista is a Senior IEEE Member whose Superpower is leading teams of people with disparate backgrounds to accomplish common goals. He likens it to making "Stone Soup" where you have none of the ingredients but organize often antithetic resources to align and achieve desired outcomes.

While he has been an individual contributor building hardware to interface flight controls for the Apache helicopter to multi-ship simulators, written code for a bi-directional interface between the F-16 triaxial data bus to a PC, some of his most gratifying work has been leading teams to bring ideas to life such as the world's first microprocessor controlled SCUBA diving computer in 1982 and coordinating teams to resolve sub second delays in complex systems.

His work with NASA has provided the opportunity to learn how to pilot the Space Shuttle, develop applications that manage exemptions to work during missions, and even solve complex issues without the ability to touch a keyboard.

Founding a consulting company in 1996 and working with clients like Starbucks, Dell, and Capitol One in the private sector, Baylor College of Medicine, State University of New York (SUNY), and the University of Arizona (U of A) in the educational sector as well as the Air Force, Navy and the U.S. House of Representatives in the public sector have provided a wide range of experience and the ability to recognize potential roadblocks for customers both technical and intrapersonal.

As a frequent speaker at technical conferences, his personal presentations and international panels are aimed at directing the audience around potential failures to lead them to their own successes.

Volunteering his time as an executive board member for conferences, he has curated technical content ensuring attendees get the most from each session. Having worked with production teams that brought us Top Gun and other feature films, his production experience ensures sessions are well organized, presented consistently and professionally.

An officer of the Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES), he serves to research and deliver training on weekly voice nets, deploy when needed, and provide communications in the event of infrastructure failure.

In an effort to increase the awareness and interest of Amateur Radio, he presented the "Zombie Apocalypse" workshop in January 2020 on the cusp of COVID-19. The workshop (initially limited to 80 but attended by well over 100, including 2 undercover FBI agents) introduced attendees to the ITU phonetic alphabet, use of Amateur radio gear in a simulated emergency situation, leveraged a special event FCC callsign to communicate with other operators around the world. The culminating exam session, sponsored by his company Bull Creek Data, yielded 16 new licensees all under the age of 25.

Embracing adversity and change in the face of COVID-19, he encouraged his fellow board members to adopt the term "Global" vs. "Virtual" to describe and promote the Rising Stars conference. Going (virtually) "Global" enabled speakers and attendees from around the world to join the event.

Leveraging the disruptive nature of travel limitations, social distancing and teleconferencing, his team was able to produce consistent, high quality content for the Rising Stars conference. These benefits included video recordings without the failure points of disparate devices (PC, Mac, Tablet), A/V limitations (using each presenter's camera and microphone vs. bespoke camera/tripod/power supplies and wireless mic/mixer/amp/speakers), and a variety of presentation software.

Fueled by the desire to see others achieve their highest potential, he continues to focus on giving over receiving. His passion for technology, education, and our future continue to motivate him to remain engaged in the success and achievement of others both young and old.

TO WATCH THE VIDEO INTERVIEW, CLICK ON THIS MP4 file link

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