Radiant at 30 – Staff Stories: Redmond's Wild Kingdom

Jason Mondine
Jason Mondine, Procurement Specialist II

Jason Mondine has been with the company for more than 15 years, having started in 2006 when Radiant was still in its Duvall, WA, location. He is also a professional puppeteer. 

The Early Years

I was the first person ever hired as a calibrator for the company, now it’s a whole team of people who do calibrations. In addition to cameras, we were building very large systems like the imaging sphere (IS) and SIG (Source Imaging Goniometer®), and they needed someone to work on the wiring for the imaging spheres. My background is in electronics, so they asked me, and before long I was building entire SIG systems. 

We were in downtown Duvall in offices above a Chinese restaurant. But the SIG equipment was so big and hefty, we had to rent extra space downstairs. It had previously been a Curves for Women gym, so I’m building these giant black anodized industrial machines in this very colorful pastel room—pink with inspirational slogans on the wall like “A true friend reaches for your hand and touches your heart.” I’m just thinking the friend must have really bad aim.

Wild Kingdom

Then we moved to a much bigger space at the Redmond Ridge location. Even though it was technically part of Redmond, there was still a lot of wild forested area there, it hadn’t been built up yet. One day I'm driving to work and when I'm about half a block away, I stop for what looks like a stray dog running across the road. Then I realized—it was a bear!

Jason quote

So now the three places in my life I've seen bears in the wild are Kings Canyon National Park, Olympic National Park, and Redmond. I remember there was a time where we had to beef up security around our dumpsters because apparently a bear was getting into them. 

Across the street from the Redmond Ridge office was a park where we played softball games. I noticed this big nest—it turned out we had a pair of ospreys living there! For quite a while they came back every spring and hatched a new family of chicks. 

About a year ago one of the receiving guys came to me and said he’d seen a weird bird out behind our current building in Southeast Redmond. It took some research, but I finally figured out it was an Asian pheasant—who knows how a golden pheasant from Asia ended up in our parking lot!

Expanding Roles & Knowledge

I've always been a pretty much a nerd all my life—if you took me to a place like Home Depot to the screws and nuts and bolts section, my eyes would just glaze over. Now after building the assemblies—the SIGs and the ISs, when I walk into that aisle, I'm going, "Is this all you got? Come on, there must be more machine screws than this. What is that—10-32? I’m not going to use a Phillips head screwdriver, it’s got to be a hex head.” I’m grateful to Radiant for turning me into a tool guy. 

As the company grew and SIG system volume shrank, eventually I moved into doing receiving and purchasing. Again, I was the first person to do receiving and now we have an entire team. A great thing about Radiant has always been how everyone helps out wherever it’s needed, and there’s room to grow. Now I’m the senior buyer for the company supporting all our manufacturing and operations.

Through Thick and Thin

I particularly appreciate how the company has been an oasis during some challenging economic times. During the financial crisis in 2008-2010, there were very few layoffs. I was an hourly employee at the time and had to go down to 32 hours per week, but 32 hours/week was still better than zero hours! Radiant has also been weathering the current pandemic crisis, we’ve managed to keep going.

The Radiant Family

Even though Radiant is now much larger than when I started, it still maintains the same sort of stable culture and close-knit family kind of feeling. My leadership is still almost the same as when I first started, especially with Tom [Darby] and Doug [Kreysar]—they've set the tone.

Radiant has helped my family, too. Pre-pandemic, they gave my son, Josh, a part-time job. He has severe autism, so I needed a place where he could go after his day program ended at 3:00 PM. Tom said it would be fine if he came in and did some simple work tasks. When Radiant did our summer event with a sky box suite at Seattle Mariner games, that was nice for Josh too. He likes baseball, but not being crowded in the stands. The box gives us more space—it’s great!

Josh at Mariners Game

Josh Mondine enjoying a Seattle Mariner’s Game from the box suite at a Radiant summer event.

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