A Perspective on Company Culture

If someone were to tell me 15 years ago at my college graduation that I would one day be contributing to a robotics company’s blog, I would have laughed incredibly hard and suggest that this person was crazy. And here I am, willingly and excitedly writing about my experiences with Neya Systems. This idea in and of itself speaks to the unique culture found here at Neya, where everyone is challenged to pursue not only their careers but also to develop their individual strengths and curiosities.

I am a self-proposed outsider to the robotics industry. I am an accountant and have worked in various areas of the financial world, including the auditing and advisory services group for a large CPA firm, the accounting department of a Fortune 500 company, and have managed numerous financial consulting engagements. I was in the depths of the Sarbanes-Oxley craze and learned about the significant importance of sound internal controls and compliance. This was my career “pre-kids.” Once I became a mom, I was looking for a job that would allow for a flexible schedule and a lower stress level. That’s how I became the part-time administrative assistant and bookkeeper at Neya Systems.

While I consider myself to be an educated professional (I have a B.S. in accounting and a CPA license), I am amazed each and every time I walk through Neya’s doors and am surrounded by conversations that I am unable to comprehend in the slightest. Robotics engineering phrases abound, and I smile to myself before I even reach my desk. I think, “Wow…I am surrounded by smart people…I mean really, really intelligent folks.” And while all of the employees here have the degrees, experience and innate intelligence to back it up, it is so refreshing to be greeted with cheerful hellos and genuine smiles. These guys love what they do, and they sincerely enjoy for Neya, a small company where all ideas are considered, brainstorming occurs on a daily, if not hourly, basis and management is truly invested in ensuring the success of both the company and the employees. This is a place where everyone learns from each other, helps each other, relies on each other and laughs with each other. I find the sense of humor here to be hysterical and often hear and engage in bellowing laughs as we all joke with each other and discuss a range of topics (including my one C++ class that I took in college at which everyone loves to poke fun!)

I am only in the office one day per week. I take on various tasks ranging from ordering supplies and putting together lunch meetings to maintaining a sound DCAA-compliant accounting system and providing accurate project costing forecast models and indirect rates tracking spreadsheets (stay tuned for a future blog on the extreme importance of these!) While these robotics engineers work on writing detailed code for unmanned systems and various technologies, I have to keep them on track administratively and ensure that they correctly complete timesheets and expense reports and maintain all receipts for project purchases. While our interactions may seem mundane in the exciting world of robotics, I have come to form sincere friendships with these people. And in comparison to other jobs I have held, I have never met more sincerely appreciative people who consistently tell me “thank you” for even the smallest offer of help (new supplies and office treats go a long way with these guys!)

These days, I really do get a good laugh every time I work at Neya’s offices–mostly due to the tidbits of comic relief offered by these robotics geniuses throughout the day, but also partly because of my own realization into the irony of how much I truly enjoy the opportunity to experience a small part of the robotics world.

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About the Author


Tomi Howard joined Neya Systems as a part-time administrative assistant and bookkeeper from its onset. Previously, Tomi held various financial accounting and auditing positions for several large companies. She earned a B.S. in accounting from Grove City College and holds a current CPA license. Tomi enjoys traveling and spends a lot of time at the hockey rinks and baseball parks cheering on her three sons.