With over 16 years of employment at Haskel, Dave Gordon knows more about Haskel’s suite of products than most. Throughout his years with the company, Gordon has been involved in some of the company’s biggest advancements. We recently sat down with him to learn more about his role and find what he’s been working on with the Haskel team.
Tell us a little about your background. How did you get started at Haskel?
Prior to working at Haskel, I studied engineering technology with a focus in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Cal Poly Pomona. Originally, coming out of college I wanted a job in the defense sector since it was the place to be at the time, but fell in love with the industrial sector after starting my career at Haskel as an applications engineer. After a few years of working as in engineering roles I transitioned to the sales team and have been working in industrial sales ever since. Working in sales has allowed me to interact with some intelligent people at exciting companies while elevating my expertise on Haskel’s products.
As Global Product Manager, what type of projects do you work on or oversee?
My main responsibility is to ensure that Haskel’s product offerings stay relevant going into the future. As our customers’ technologies advance, their requirements will change as well. This means Haskel must make sure our product advancements align with the customers’ new technology and that we’re meeting those new requirements. For example, a couple of years ago I noticed we started selling a specific pump in higher quantities than usual. We went from selling a couple of those pumps a month to a couple dozen a month. I investigated the reason behind the increase and discovered the product was being used to extract the oils from cannabis. After learning how rapidly that extraction market was growing and understanding how the customers were using the pump, our team was able to develop a variation of the pump to better serve the needs of that market. I am constantly looking to enter new markets and identify applications that our pumps can be utilized in.
Why are you known as ‘Haskel Dave’?
When we were exploring how our products fit in the cannabis market, I became an expert on the subject and began posting on ICMag forum (International Cannagraphic Magazine) as an industry resource. I began signing off every post as “Haskel Dave” or “Dave from Haskel” and it stuck—I have been called that name in the cannabis market ever since. There was one time I started talking to someone in the industry about the website, and when I told him “I’m Haskel Dave” he immediately knew who I was. These days I only check up on the forum every once and a while, but it still serves as a great source of knowledge for extraction business owners.
You have worked on a lot of unique projects. What has been your favorite?
Exploring the cannabis industry has been my favorite project in my 16 years here at Haskel. Working in an industry that few can be a part of, and one that Haskel never had the plan to service, is very interesting. It’s not often you get to step into a whole new playing field, especially when the market is just getting started. Besides cannabis, I’ve also had the opportunity to visit NASA’s White Sands Test Facility, where they service parts for space shuttle. Since it is rare to get clearance, people want to show you everything if you can get inside. I was able to see a new piece of laser technology that could destroy vehicles from miles away, it was an incredible piece of technology!
Are you looking to customize any other products for the cannabis market?
We’ve got some exciting things in the product pipeline that we’ll be sharing soon that will be beneficial to this market, but we’re not currently creating any new products designed solely for cannabis. Our modified pumps that are currently used in the industry are serving users very well. Haskel has created a few modified pumps that cater specifically to the amount of oil that needs to be extracted. Two Haskel models have been the primary products that have been utilized in the industry. The original EXT-420 pump was re-engineered based on extensive research of industry regulations, knowledge of essential oil extraction, and input from our customers. As oil production and demand has risen, Haskel’s larger 8-inch unit has become popular because of its higher displacement rate, providing the opportunity to extract more oil than the original EXT 420. The challenge is our pumps can only take vapor away as fast as the rest of the extraction system can create it. We try to work closely with the extraction customers to make sure they are getting the product that best fits their system and process. It’s interesting how important this market has become to Haskel since we never intended on being in it, especially since our products seem to work perfectly for the extraction of these oils. The legalization of cannabis in Canada and many states here in the US has given us the opportunity to become an early adopter and expert in the industry.
What trends and advancements are you seeing in high-pressure industries?
We are seeing fewer pumps being sold into the CO2 segment of extraction, but overall pump sales continue to grow. There has been an uptick in demand for high-level gas cleanliness and aftermarket cleaning, especially in the aerospace industry. This is due to high pressure gases becoming more popular and the need for gas quality to be as pure as possible. In the case of aerospace, impure gas could cause catastrophic problems. Across the board, industries are moving to more “green” solutions, installing gas boosters and pumps that use less energy and output more power.
What has made Haskel such a great place to develop your career?
Working at Haskel has given me the opportunity to grow by challenging me with different responsibilities throughout the years here. Starting as an applications engineer, I transitioned into my previous role as the Western US Regional Sales Manager where I really had the opportunity to learn about all the products we sell. Haskel offers the opportunity to grow within the company, they look internally for promotional opportunities first because our company culture is so valued. They also gave me the opportunity to complete my MBA at Pepperdine University. I have had a lot of fun in my 16 years moving up to Global Project Manager thanks to the interesting products we sell. Continuously staying up to date on new innovations has been keeping me on my toes!
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