River City Six: Bob Kanne
Engineered Controls (engineeredcontrols.com) is a building technology company whose goal is to make buildings more efficient, comfortable, secure, and convenient for its occupants. Bob Kanne is a Sales Engineer at Engineered Controls.
Tell us a little about your role with the company.
Day to day, I am working with contractors, engineers, and owners to provide solutions to help automate various buildingsystems, including HVAC, security, lighting and shades, and gas detection systems.
How did you get started in the business?
I studied architecture in college, and became very interested in the effect our buildings and cities have on the environment. After graduation, I was looking for a job in architecture when a friend suggested I come in to his work to see what they did. Engineered Controls offered me the opportunity to see sustainable building practices from a different perspective. I took advantage, and have been learning how automation and big data is making our buildings more efficient ever since.
What has been your most important achievement professionally?
The best part of the job is knowing you helped a local business or community organization complete their vision for a new building. We are finishing up work on Metro Community College’s new $90 million expansion at the Fort Omaha Campus, which is the largest project I’ve worked on to date. I know the buildings will be an asset to Omaha for years to come, and I am proud to have been a part of it.
Tell us a little about your family.
I live in a home full of girls, and couldn’t be happier about it. My beautiful wife Jenn is a commercial loan officer, and together we’re raising a 3-year-old, Nora, and 3-month-old, Celia. They keep our life messy, but always entertaining.
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life?
One day in Kindergarten, I was playing the trendy game Mancala all alone when a girl asked to join. I don’t remember this day at all, but I will never live it down because that girl is now my wife. When someone offers you their company, take it!
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
Last Sunday, I hooked up the kiddie trailer to my bicycle and rode with my daughter and a friend to the farmer’s market in Aksarben Village. My wife and second daughter met us for some time on the playground and a croissant from Le Quartier. That is my idea of fun; the trick is making the time to do it.
What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know?
One passion I inherited from my dad is woodworking. After college, I sold some of my furniture online, with customers from as far away as California and New York. More recently, I’ve spent a lot of time renovating our 1920’s craftsman style house in Morton Meadows.
What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why?
Restoration Exchange does wonderful work for our city. I have met some great people and true craftsman through the organization.
What is your favorite local restaurant?
There are so many excellent ones, but if I ever want amazing tacos I head to Taqueria Tijuana on 24th & Q Street.
If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be?
Elon Musk. He has a way of making our biggest challenges seem feasible.