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Running a Data Analytics and Software Company with Chris MacNeel

Running a Data Analytics and Software Company with Chris MacNeel

Podcast published: December 2, 2023

We spend time with Chris MacNeel, the Chief Operating Officer of Freya Systems, a local area data analytics and software development company. Having met Chris at TECH360, we go right in AI and the many ways it is shaping our lives today. We talk about company culture and explore remote vs. in-person work environments. This is a wide-ranging listen and an important listen for any leader of a business or nonprofit.

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Freya Systems

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Intro:  Welcome to Start Local, where we talk with business owners, leaders of nonprofits, and other members of our community focused on doing business in and around Chester County, Pennsylvania. Each episode will provide insight into the local business scene and tell you about opportunities to connect with and support businesses and nonprofits in your local area.

Liam Dempsey: Welcome to Start Local, where we connect with local leaders to support local businesses and nonprofits in and around Chester County, Pennsylvania. I’m Liam Dempsey, and I’m here today with my co-host, Eric Gudmundson. Eric, how are you this day? 

Eric Gudmundson: I’m doing very well. How about you, Liam?

Liam Dempsey: I am doing super fantastic. Thank you for asking. 

Eric Gudmundson: Super fantastic. 

Liam Dempsey: Super fantastic. Yeah. 

Eric Gudmundson: Somebody make a note of that. We’re definitely gonna have to put that in the show notes. Liam is super fantastic. 

Liam Dempsey: The reason so is before we get to our guests who are really excited to welcome, you and I wanted to share an exciting update with our listeners. We are planning an in-person event for our Start Local community.

Eric Gudmundson: That’s right. As we focus on connecting folks in and around Chester County, Pennsylvania, we think it’s time to gather over a bit of food and a bit of drink. 

Liam Dempsey: And while it is early days in our planning process, we are looking to host an event. We are pretty sure in the first quarter of the new year, kind of thinking late January, early February, but for now, the best way to make sure that you know the details is to head over to our website at [startlocal.co} and subscribe to our email list.

At the top of every page on our website, you can click on the subscribe now button to make sure that we can keep you informed. When we have further updates to share, you’ll be the first to know all about it.  

Now, to our guest, we welcome Christopher MacNeel, the Chief Operating Officer of Freya Systems, a local area data analytics and software development company. 

Eric and I recently met Chris at TECH360, the technology conference organized and hosted by the Chester County Economic Development Council and its public private partnership iTag.

At TECH360, Chris spoke about AI and how it is being used across all industries or many industries, anyway. Chris talked about AI beyond the now very well known ChatGPT.

Eric Gudmundson: And speaking of ChatGPT, it is all over the news in recent days given the firing of its CEO and some battles with the board of directors. But we are very much going to ask Chris about AI without putting him on the hot seat and asking him about all the happenings at OpenAI, the company that that makes ChatGPT. 

So Chris, welcome to Start Local. 

Chris MacNeel: Awesome. Thank you for having me here. Really appreciate it. and it’s nice to be here virtually with you all.  

Liam Dempsey: Yeah. Chris, it’s exciting to sit down again with you. And for the purposes of those who can’t see what we’re wearing today, and that’s everybody ’cause we only output the audio files for our podcast, this is the first time in the history of the Start Local podcast that all three people on the call are wearing T-shirts. So I just wanna officially record that for posterity.

Eric Gudmundson: Thanks. Thanks everybody for showing up in a T-shirt today. 

Chris, you are the COO at Freya Systems. We shared that earlier in the show. And Freya Systems, as I, we said, is a data analytics and software firm, and you’re in Media, Pennsylvania. For those who don’t know, Media is the county seat of Delaware County. As we focus on Chester County, our neighbors over in Delco, (Hello, Delco!)],what does a COO of a data analytics and software firm do? What does a day at work look like for you? 

Chris MacNeel: Yeah. So this is a good question. The short answer is, I do a lot and there’s no two days that are alike. 

So the COO title is something that’s external, so people can sort of get an idea of what I’m doing. But we utilize EOS in our business. It’s the Entrepreneurial Operating System, and it’s kind of like a blueprint for running our business. So there’s like, it’s a really good guide. There’s multiple sort of key tenants around vision, strategy, processes, issues. 

And one of the focuses is on people. And so they design an org chart for you. And so my internal kind of title is integrator so multiple sections of the business plug into me. So that could be marketing, sales, it’s operations, finance, and HR as well. 

And then Our CEO, Ben Johnson, his internal role is this visionary. So basically on any given day, I could spend time in operations trying to meet project goals and requirements or meeting with customers. It could be sales focused where we’re kind of going through our offerings, trying to help people understand what it is that we do. Or it could be a, you know, things about marketing or finance, especially towards the end of the month where we need to get our budgets in. So it’s definitely multifaceted and it could be focused on day-to-day operations, or I could be working with my CEO on our longer term strategy. 

So there’s no two days that are alike and it’s dynamic and I really enjoy that. Especially where I get to understand there’s a lot of things coming in and get to prioritize what I need to work on. And some days, I do that really well, and other days it’s a little bit of a struggle, but it’s really fun and I really love the role. 

Eric Gudmundson: Oh. Chris, one of the reasons we were wanting to have you on the show is because you do an excellent job explaining complicated topics very clearly. And I think that your title and your role of the company, that’s no exception to that example, and where we originally met was TECH360. 

TECH360 is a local technology conference. Liam and I are part of the team that helps to organize it. If you’re curious about more details, you can always go to TECH360.tv.com. But, when we were at the conference this year, it was AI themed. And you were one of the speakers, and you stated in your talk that AI should be like a Honda Civic, which is a great way and a very unique way to explain AI. So for our listeners here today, would you please explain that metaphor? Because, I think it’s a really important one.  

Chris MacNeel: Absolutely. So, I don’t think that a lot of people who work in AI are gonna enjoy the metaphor of what they do being compared to a Honda Civic. But the focus around that talk was to get people when they think about A, to have more of an engineering mindset instead of a Sci-Fi one.

So if you  aren’t sure about what AI is, you go to Google and you’ll get killer robots trying to take over the world. You know, there’s everybody stealing your data and things like that. So I wanted to have people kind of shift that mindset and think about a Honda Civic, right? You’re buying a Honda Civic to travel from A to B. it’s not gonna do anything else. It’s not gonna garner any sex appeal or anything like that. It’s a Honda Civic. And so, Just like AI Honda Civics are built with a repeatable process. It’s not very custom. it’s on the cheaper end. I mean, in terms of as cars go and if you’re doing AI right in your business, it’s not something like you’re building a crazy robot to do everything.

So it was more about keeping that focus of an engineering mindset so that when we talk about AI for how you’re gonna use it in your business, you’re not sort of, you know, going off into Sci-Fi territory. You can understand, okay, I have a repeatable process. I need to work with AI. It’s a tool. I know the inputs and outputs. I know what the expectation is for it. And, that was the focus. And plus,I have a Honda Civic, so why not?  

Eric Gudmundson: Chris, that was a great answer and I really liked what Eric said about how you do a great job explaining complex things in a simple and approachable way. So I’m gonna throw another AI one at you.

Chris MacNeel: Alright. 

Eric Gudmundson: And AI gets bantered around those two letters, nine ways to Sunday. And depending on who you talk to, it seems to mean every piece of new or old software,(Oh! That’s probably AI, or AI is doing this, and AI is doing that”. And then to your point, you know, it gets probably in the public mind a bit confusing about what is AI versus what is just a spreadsheet with formulas. 

Chris MacNeel: Yeah.

Eric Gudmundson: So maybe you can talk about that around the confusion with AI. and maybe how, you know, in your day-to-day job where you’re talking to folks who wanna hire systems but don’t understand what AI is. How do you parse that out in a way that is useful for them? 

Chris MacNeel: Yeah. So AI is definitely a catchphrase. Nowadays, and a lot of things get labeled as AI and I think it’s important to kind of go back and make sure we define this really well. If you go to a hardware store and the saw is labeled as a hammer, you already know, okay, that’s not a hammer. Right? And that’s because we know what hammers are. We see them in a daily basis. Not a lot of people recognize what AI is, and therefore  it’s difficult to understand what it is and what it does.

So, AI has been around for a very long time. There’s decades. There’s been AI algorithms in the eighties and they were limited by computing power. So, it’s difficult to see. There’s sometimes, there’s dashboards that get labeled with AI and all they’re doing is with your data. And that’s not a bad thing. You can still get data insights from a dashboard, but the challenge is around what we define AI to mean and what it actually does. So, I mean, a simple answer for what AI is more like, it’s developing computer systems to perform human-like tasks.

So that can get super complicated depending on what that is. But the idea around it is not everything out there that’s labeled AI is…and that’s okay. 

But it’s challenging because if you don’t have AI linked to something in your business and you’re in software, you’re in data science, data engineering, it kind of leaves you at a competitive disadvantage. So that’s why you’ll see that AI gets slapped on everything.  

Eric Gudmundson: Because of all the hype this year, many people incorrectly understand AI to simply be ChatGPT. That’s it. But the reality is we have. A-N-I-A-G-I-A-S-I and lots of other forms of artificial intelligence. So, I’m curious to pin you down a little bit more about some specifics that people might recognize. What’s cool, what’s scary, what adds value, what’s some real AI, well, beyond ChatGPT that people might recognize? So can you help explain those different types of AI and how does that really impact people’s lives today?  

Chris MacNeel: Sure. So, AI like I mentioned before is a computer system sort of carrying out human-like tasks? So a great example is when you’re driving, right? You’re driving along, you are seeing things, you are hearing things, hopefully all those things are based on what you’re driving, but you’re coming up to a traffic light and you see red, and that’s data. Whether you recognize it or not, it’s visual data.Okay? You know, it’s a red light. And so you want to apply force to your brakes so that you can slow down your car and stop and not cause an accident. 

In the same way, we have computer systems that do that, obviously. Like a good example of exactly that would be Tesla and there self-driving. But even down to things like Netflix, right? We used to have Blockbuster and you would go and you’d get, you know, Bob’s choices and you’d go see, okay, yeah, Bob likes action and die hard. Maybe I’ll choose one of his recommendations. 

Netflix does the same thing when you’re not sure what you wanna, what you wanna watch. they look at what you’ve watched in the past, what you’ve liked, and offer up suggestions to go and watch this video.

So, that’s another example of where AI is used and that’s where people interact with it on a daily basis. There’s lots of scenarios where they don’t realize AI is being utilized. I know. We’ve had projects in wastewater. There’s sensor rich environment, and so we’re helping to optimize their aeration process.

But, you know, who thinks about where the water goes when they flush it down the toilet, right? So, there’s lots of different, different applications. I would say none of it’s really too scary. I don’t know. I mean, I guess if, you know, AI guided missiles and stuff, yeah. That’s definitely scary. but I think it’s pretty cool. It definitely adding value in a lot of different industries depending on how it’s used. 

Liam Dempsey: So, Chris, you shared rather succinctly how AI really is available to all different sorts of industries and sectors. And certainly we know that so much data is being stored and made available to businesses and nonprofit leaders. Cloud infrastructure is so cheap these days that the conventional wisdom is just save the data. Just save it. Just save it. We heard you talk about this at TECH360, so, I want to come back to it here now for folks who weren’t at the conference and weren’t in the room for your presentation. Data is just data and, and you have to…bad data doesn’t help much. 

So what are your recommendations are around data? How it should be stored and organized so that it can be analyzed and harnessed in the future when the business leaders, the organizational leaders need it.  

Chris MacNeel: Yeah. So I would say the focus on that question is definitely around organization. We can store whatever.  I would say that I was storing my clothes as a teenager by throwing them on the floor. So,  there’s a lot of ways we can store things and have it be absolute disaster. 

Certainly if it’s prudent for your business and you have the money, storing as much data as possible is the right way to go, but the focus should be on organization. And it doesn’t mean that you need crazy databases or someone to handle all of that. If you know what you’re doing, that’s fantastic. But I would say if you have spreadsheets, make sure that your column headers are the same every single time. And if it doesn’t fit right, create a new tab. it can really help with those key things like making sure your data is clean, making sure that things are in the same columns, that when you want to go and analyze that later, it’s all right there for you. 

I’ve seen a lot of disastrous spreadsheets where people wanna put in pictures and all sorts of things. I would say if your focus is on storing data for analysis, make sure that the only thing that you’re storing is that data. And you can organize it, you can create file directories and labels for things, and that’s great too. But itireally, it’s just down to making sure your data is more standard, making sure there it’s clean. There’s not a lot of blank values. And I would say don’t try and clean it yourself. Like, oh, that’s a bad value. We’ll just get rid of that. Well, sometimes those bad values are true values. And for analysis, we need those as well.  

Yeah. So, it’s more about what makes sense for your business and ensuring that organization is the key there, instead of just throwing your data all over. You know, Dropbox or anything else, AWS, whatever.  

Eric Gudmundson: While preparing for this interview today,  I was looking at your website and I noticed there are a number of short educational videos. The videos are truly aimed at educating your customers, and I would assume your potential customers as well.

We love the idea of using educational materials as sales and marketing pieces. Given the data analysis, in computer software is not deeply understood by many of the people charged with buying such services and tools for their organizations, how important is customer education to your sales process, particularly as you’re working with something as new and misunderstood as AI.

Chris MacNeel: It’s basically all that there is. It’s hugely important for customer education. And I would say yes, it’s important, it’s an important part of our sales process, but it’s also an important thing within Freya Systems Like we really care about education and educating internally. But the question obviously is about sales process. So, yeah. It’s critical and the reason why it’s critical is because like I mentioned, AI gets slapped on everything, and so it needs to build trust. If a customer isn’t sure what they’re getting, they’re not sure what they’re buying, you need to be able to explain it simply in easy terms that they’ll understand.

And with data Science and AI, it’s sometimes a science experiment, right? You need to be able to test hypotheses, and that’s difficult to sell sometimes. So when you’re working with them, you want to explain what to expect, that there may not be an exact outcome. It’s not deterministic. So, we don’t always know if A +plus B = C. Sometimes, it’s something else. 

And so just being really upfront with customers and helping to explain the process with them really builds trust. And it, you know, helps make the decision easier for them. So, I would say it’s an extremely critical part of our sales process.

Liam Dempsey:  Earlier in our conversation, you touched on a waste water project, and that was with a local water company, DELCORA. And you were helping them become more efficient in their role or in their responsibility for processing the waste water for not only your business, but the the folks in and around your local area. Tell us about that project. What was it like working with the folks responsible for handling such an important factor of your health and the health of your neighbors? That’s a big responsibility. 

Chris MacNeel: Yeah. It definitely is. This project is definitely one of my favorites. So I could talk all day about it, but I’ll definitely try and pare it down. 

Liam Dempsey: Thank you, sir.

Chris MacNeel: Yeah. So DELCORA is the Delaware County Regional Water Quality Control Authority.  I had to write that down. So, yeah. They clean wastewater. So, I’ve never really thought about how wastewater gets cleaned and the whole process of it, but it’s really fascinating. It’s a sensor rich environment, and so they get wastewater from your home that comes through, they get sewage and things like that.

They also have industrial waste. So they’ll have trucks that come in and dump it. And people don’t know this, but it’s a fairly energy intensive process.

So what they’re trying to do is essentially separate solids and liquids and then treat the liquids. Make sure it’s clean so it can go out into typically a body of water, in this case the Delaware River.

So, where a wastewater treatment plant will spend the majority of its energy is on aeration. So you try and pump a lot of oxygen into this system that contains bacteria. And so bacteria, this bacteria needs oxygen to  thrive and treat this wastewater. So part of the challenge with that is in order to get oxygen into this system, you need to generate it. And there’s depending on the wastewater treatment plant, there’s lots of different ways to generate oxygen, and this one uses giant industrial blowers. So big fans, and they’re trying to push air into wastewater. They create lots of little bubbles, and these bubbles sort of dissolve and into oxygen, helps feed the bacteria.

So, our focus was to help optimize that process. Obviously, when you’re talking about big giant fans, there’s lots of energy that gets spent there. So we had a lot of data. I did not realize that in this industry,  they have something called scada, or scada, I don’t even know how to pronounce it, but it’s about data collection system where you can see what your system looks like on screen and you can control things. You can control valves, blowers, like I mentioned. There’s lots of things turning off and on opening and closing. And so we were able to take all that sensor data in, understand, and we used a machine learning algorithm on it to help predict whether or not they would get an event that would be a high cost event. So all blowers turning on at the same time. 

And so it’s the algorithm’s looking at the sensor data. It’s learning what’s going on. We’re telling it, “Hey, you need to focus at least 30 minutes in advance so someone can do something about it.” And we created a successful algorithm. 

And the team at Delco was really great. They were very interested in AI and so I love working with the folks there. And they really helped explain to us how wastewater worked. And so that’s critical when you’re developing an algorithm to not only understand what you’re doing with the data, but understand what environment you’re working in. How does that actually work? What is the effect of making a prediction?  And so that was a really great opportunity and I’d love to work with DelCor in the future. And it was just an awesome project.

Liam Dempsey: That sounds enormous and kind of mind boggling. And I have to be honest, I had no idea that when I was gonna ask the question that I was gonna learn that much about waste water management processing. But that’s a lot. That’s a lot. A lot. That’s really neat to not just to get to be able to have a hand in making that better, but also to learn about such a pivotal part about, you know, societal safety. So thank you for walking through that. Great job. Appreciate it.  

Chris MacNeel:  Absolutely.  

Eric Gudmundson: Yeah. That’s a really engaging project. So I’m curious how Freya Systems is managing your employees, your own employees? Are you remote? Are you in person?  Is it hybrid? What’s the general trend as you continue to grow and acquire projects like that? 

Chris MacNeel: So, a good question. So obviously, Covid changed a lot of things for us. So, we, prior to Covid we were fully in person. And obviously covid hit and things changed. So, we are a hybrid work environment, but not how you may think of it hybrid. Most people are thinking, okay, three days in office, two days not. But, we have people that are in the office one or two days. We have a couple people that are in five days a week. I, myself, I’m usually in the office two or three days a week. So it’s definitely challenging, but it’s something that we really wanted to focus on especially, obviously covid changed people’s lives. And so we try and manage it as best as possible. I mean we focus on collaboration. And we do things like team building events to try and get people together. Sometimes we do team building events that are remote just to make sure that we reach people in a variety of  different ways.  

Communication as well as is one of our focuses. So we try to make sure that you know, some people don’t, you know, when you were in the office, there’s office chatter and you get to understand things that if you’re working remote, you’re not there. So you don’t understand it. So we try to make sure we, you know, make sure emails go out. We have impromptu video calls. We use Slack. So we can communicate with our employees that way. 

And then I would say the focus on culture was a big, big deal for us, making sure that people understood that we care about them. Making sure that when we want to communicate something that the message got through. So I would say, we’re doing well, but there’s always room for improvement. 

Eric Gudmundson: Managing culture is an ongoing process for sure. And we talked about that with Bob Cox, a guest, a couple of episodes back in episode 36 for those of you listening at home. It’s a challenge for many leaders, and we understand that Freya Systems internally promoted a team member to help craft and sustain a healthy company culture. So I’d be interested how is that going and what was the thought process maybe behind internal versus somebody coming in from outside? 

Chris MacNeel: Yeah. It’s going really well. I have to be honest. I was a little skeptical in the beginning and I just…so everybody’s aware, I’m a fairly young COO. I haven’t been in the position for long. And this is one of the things where I wasn’t sure what to expect out of this. 

As we established this culture committee and our cultural liaison, her name’s Dina Stewart, she’s an amazing person. As we started to grow, this define our values and what we want to embrace. I’ve seen enormous kind of changes in our business and how things work. 

And communication has just been fantastic. Our values of curiosity, ownership, tenacity, and compassion. And it’s really about embracing those and understanding this is what we do, this is how we go about our business. And so it really helps in hiring, and walking people through, and understanding if they’re the right fit for us, and if we are the right fit for them. So, it’s been going incredibly well. 

The communication, I sometimes feel like I communicate something and I say something and everybody shakes their head. It makes sense. But it really helps to have someone in between to go and work with employees. And they’re also a coworker. So that’s what really helps. Instead of someone from the outside, you’re never sure what’s getting filtered through. You know, what is this really gonna be an anonymous feedback kind of thing. And I would say, we’ve done a good job at promoting culture. And Dina’s done a good job of holding us accountable in our company. So it’s been going really well, and I feel like the team is gelling a lot more. And Morale’s been fairly high.  

Eric Gudmundson: Well, I think that one way companies can be accountable is by giving back to the local community. And I think that’s, I’m assuming that’s a big part of Freya Systems culture because I know you’ve participated in a hackathon in a recent Philadelphia Tech Week. So, would you shed some light on why giving back matters to the culture at Freya Systems and maybe your experiences with that hackathon at Philly Tech Week? 

Chris MacNeel: Absolutely. So, I mean, giving back is one of the things we like to do, especially around education. It’s really important that, you know, we have skills, and we try and tell others and teach others about those skill sets that we can help, you know, grow that in society.

Philly Tech Week was really cool. It’s an annual event to celebrate the innovation and creativity in our region. So the…We hosted a hackathon. It was focused on MLS, the Major League Soccer, and it was sponsored by the Philadelphia Union. So that was really cool. We never hosted a hackathon before, so it was interesting to get everybody together.

And so the focus was to predict outcomes from MLS matches. And the winners got to receive like tickets or gear from the union. So it was a really fun experience, and we got to meet some of the winners and went to the same game. So it was enjoyable experience. I think it’s something that we’d love to do in the future and continue to do. 

We’ve done it with Philly Tech Week. We’ve also talked about some other events, but it’s fun giving back. It’s fun spending time with people and this kind of community where people are interested in data and doing fun things with it. 

Eric Gudmundson: So I have to ask a dumb question. You said the word hackathon, and I know I said the word hackathon, but it occurs to me as you were answering probably a lot of people don’t know what a hackathon is. And if anything, they might be afraid of a hackathon when we’re talking about it in the context of steward treatment and AI, and all that. So what is a hackathon?

Chris MacNeel: Yep. So a hackathon is really just a dedicated time where people are spending the majority of their focus trying to solve a single problem. So the hackathon was over a few days. So the idea was, okay, people are going to be able to predict MLS events and not get bogged down by emails or something else. So the focus was to create algorithms to try and solve that problem and spend their time doing that as quickly as possible. So you have to make a lot of decisions in the hackathon. You’re limited with time so you wanna do something quick and as effective as you think. So with algorithms, sometimes people can spend months trying to do something and, you know, just try to develop it.

So hackathon, quick kind of focused goal. Except it’s, you know, with AI or sometimes software, they’ll do it as well. So nothing about hacking someone’s computer or anything like that. So, yeah.

Liam Dempsey: thanks for keeping it all white hat here. No black hat activity on the Star Local podcast. 

By the way, folks, we’ll be sure to include links and everything we’ve talked about today on the show over at our website at [startlocal.co].  

Chris, you just kind of shared why giving back to the local community matters so much to you and your colleagues at Freya Systems. But how can your local community support you? How can they support Freya systems? How can we rally around you and support your needs? 

Chris MacNeel: Yeah. So, I mean, we love what we do. So if you work in a company or know someone at a company that has, you know, AI needs, especially with complex systems, I mean, we’ll work with anyone. But if it’s in the utility space or aviation defense, you know, we can help harness the insights in your data. So give us a call. I mean, we’re open to discussions. We’re also, I mean, like I mentioned, we like to give back. So if you are someone that’s looking for an opportunity or a new role in data science or in software, also give us a call. Reach out to us. 

Eric Gudmundson: I can tell you that the tech workers are in peak demand right now. if you can analyze data, if you can write code, if you can, you know, work in security and manage it, it’s an awfully good time to be an employee right now.

So what has recruitment and retention been like for Freya Systems in recent years? And I’m curious if you’re hiring right now. So certainly we really appreciate all the work you’re doing to help develop talent by doing things like the hackathon. But when it comes to actual, you know, current status, how do things look right now? 

Chris MacNeel: Yep. Retention has been fairly decent over the past few years. I would attribute that to our amazing culture. 

And in terms of hiring, we’re always interested in talking with people that are curious and innovative. And, I would say that this is an interesting, obviously it’s an interesting time. And there’s a lot of other kind of avenues when you think about software development, you think about data science. You know, people are like, “Oh! Okay. Let’s see what colleagues are bringing out and things like that. But there’s also lots of  little kinds of alternatives, like boot camps for coding. There’s one in Wilmington that we’ve used called ZIP code. And they train software developers. They train data engineers. And so that’s been interesting as well. So we have a number of zip coders in our company.

So, I would say it’s absolutely a great time. We’ve not had too many issues in recruitment. The pipeline’s fairly strong, and we’re always interested in talking to people that are interested in us.  

Eric Gudmundson: Thank you for sharing those insights. That’s helpful to know. Chris MacNeel, COO of Freya Systems, thank you so much for joining us. 

Chris MacNeel: Absolutely. Thanks for having me. 

Eric Gudmundson: And thank you to my co-host, Liam Dempsey.

Liam Dempsey: Chris, it’s been a delight to spend time with you yet again today.  I’ll be it virtually.  Thanks so much for joining us.  

Chris MacNeel: Absolutely. Thank you guys.

Eric Gudmundson: The Start Local podcast is published every two weeks. We invite you to subscribe to Start Local using your favorite podcast app. You can also visit Start Local website at [startlocal.co] for show notes, including links mentioned on the show and summaries of past episodes. 

We hope you join us for the next episode. Thank you for listening. 

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