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Paladin Task Specialist Eric Nelson and his wife Deanna near Land's End, Baja, Mexico

Eric’s Experience Ensures Stores are Set Up for Success

by Brian Bullock | February 26, 2024

The people working in high tech today tend to be younger, having grown up with laptops and cell phones, the internet, video games, and social media. Eric Nelson, one of Paladin’s talented task specialists, is not one of them. Eric was an electronics technician for the U.S. Navy when most of his coworkers’ parents were probably still in school.

Where he worked in electronics was a little different, too. Eric served in the Navy from 1990 to 1999 and saw duty supporting troops in Desert Storm in Iraq and Kuwait. He worked in Somalia during Operation Restore Hope. He was also stationed at the Navy’s Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station in Wahiawa on Oahu, Hawaii. The station handles the country’s defense communication system and Naval telecommunication system.

So, when Eric sets up a store for success with Paladin, he knows what it takes.

Image of Paladin Task Specialist Eric Nelson

Eric Nelson

“I worked on everything from toaster ovens to satcom (satellite communications),” he says with a chuckle.

He transferred that experience to civilian jobs working for electronics firms that had him traveling all over the country. He had visited Central Oregon on several occasions but spent an extended stay when working on Facebook’s Data Center in Prineville, not far from Paladin’s development and support campus in Bend.

“I’d been coming to Central Oregon for other jobs. My wife and I fell in love with the area. A lot of the work I did, about 85% of it required travel,” he explains. So, Eric and his wife, Deanna, (pictured above at the Arch at Land’s End near Cabo San Lucas, Mexico) decided to make it their home. They both love the outdoor lifestyle, so they both felt comfortable here.

Paladin's Eric Nelson in his realm with pooch, Calamity Jane, fishing on Prineville Reservoir

Eric in one of his happy places, with pooch, Calamity Jane, fishing on Prineville Reservoir.

He also found a permanent home base at Paladin in 2021. He spent about six months on Squad 1 as a technical services representative (TSR) helping Paladin stores with hardware challenges but was quickly promoted to Task Specialist in Project Management. There he helps stores get set up with everything they need to get up and running with Paladin.

“Our account specialists are kind of like general contractors. They find out what the client’s expectations are and what needs to be put in place for their store. We put all that together to get them going – hardware, software, credit card processing, pretty much everything,” he explains.

During a busy week, Eric sets up about five stores all of which have their own needs and urgent deadlines. One recent job required 13 terminals, 10 of which were point of sale. That also means 10 payment terminals and more. It’s a lot of hardware and configuration.

“As a former electrical engineer, Eric brings a structured and analytical mind to his work. He excels at planning and executing tasks, and his willingness to help others creates a supportive and collaborative team environment,” says Paladin Project Manager Kris Ipock.

Eric says he enjoys both the work and the teamwork it takes to get stores set for success with Paladin.

“It’s a lot of work to juggle. It takes a team, but we all work together really well,” he says. “It’s a lot different than other careers I’ve had. I enjoy working with these kids.”

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