January 2023 Spotlight
Veteran, Ultramarathon Runner, Didgeridoo player, and Performance Optimizer…these are a few of the qualities from our team member spotlight for the month of January! Josh Duntz recently entered his new role as President at the start of the year.
Tell us a bit about yourself, JD!
What do you do at Metova? Maybe some background?
JD: I just recently took over as the president here at Metova. My role is to basically run the day-to-day operations, try to streamline any processes, build out SOP policies, making everyone’s day-to-day life a bit easier by providing some structure and guidance on how we can streamline what everyone does on the individual level. Background – Previously before Metova, I was in SAAS sales at a couple of different technology companies. This is my first time in the services side of technology, so it’s new and very exciting for me. Before that, I spent 10 years in the military, and that’s kind of where I had a lot of leadership roles and a lot of operations, which I work on day-to-day here at Metova.
What originally drew you to Metova?
JD: I think just meeting Josh (Metova CEO). I’ve kind of known him for the past year or so. He was actually one of the customers at one of the previous tech companies that I worked at, and now one of our vendors, Shift. Hopefully bringing on some skill bridge and other military veterans here shortly. It was also something new. As I said, I hadn’t been in the service side of tech, building out custom products and custom software development. That was something that I’ve always been interested in doing, so that was what kind of drew me to the opportunity.
What would you say is the most unique part about working here?
JD: I think it’s probably just the scope of the projects. Again, if you’re in a typical SAAS company in the technology space, you have your core product, and that’s what you’re selling on a day-to-day basis. Whereas here at Metova, it’s much more around relationships. You get to work on a bunch of different projects, so I think that’s like super unique and compelling for probably a lot of the developers here, and one of the reasons why I think it’s exciting too.
How would you describe your team?
JD: Diverse, ambitious, super smart and knowledgeable, very technical. I am and will continue to rely on them for a lot of the stuff that’s going on with the business, especially with the technical aspects. I feel super fortunate to be able to work with them and learn from them every day.
Who are some of your major influences here at work?
JD: Everyone on my team. From Jonathan, Cade, George, and Mark – his work ethic is pretty renowned in our company, I think. It’s kind of awesome to think how much productivity he’s able to get done on a day-to-day basis. Andrew, Cade, and Jonathan are kind of on the Strategy, UX, and technology piece. Everyone has so much wealth of information in their specific discipline, so you can always tap into that and learn something new every day.
What is it about you that most people don’t know?
JD: Probably, I guess what goes on outside of work. These past couple of years I got into ultra-marathon running. I’ve done a couple of ultra-marathons. I also train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu 3-4 times a week. So I try to, when I’m not at work, to either do something in the gym or stay active, surfing at the beach. I love to be outside. So yeah, when I’m not at my desk, I’m normally outside doing something pretty active.
What is your definition of success?
JD: You know, for me, and the position I’m in, I think it’s really eliminating roadblocks and barriers that my team has so that they can perform their best. That’s what I’m trying to do on a day-to-day basis.
If you could choose anybody in the world to be your mentor, who would it be?
JD: I want to say Elon Musk, right now. 1. That dude just has insane levels of productivity. He’s been able to do so much in very different industries. You know, he kind of got his start at Paypal with finance tech and then Tesla, SpaceX, he’s drilling tunnels underground and stuff. I would love to actually sit down and have some long-form conversations to see what goes on in his head on a day-to-day basis.
Would you ever go to space if given the opportunity?
JD: Oh, for sure. 100%
What’s the best advice you can give to someone who just started their career in tech?
JD: I would say to lean on your network. At least for me personally, leaving the military and getting into the private sector from this non-traditional network, my network has opened up all the opportunities for me in the private sector. I feel like that’s something that a lot of people don’t rely enough on. So put time into building a network if you don’t have one. And once you do, make sure you give back to them as well. So yeah, really leverage on that to try and open up doors and opportunities when you need some help.
What’s your secret talent that no one knows about?
JD: I have been trying to learn how to play the didgeridoo for like the past year. It’s a wind instrument, like an Australian indigenous instrument. It’s like a long pipe that you blow into. I wouldn’t say that’s my talent, because I’m not very good at it, but I am working on it.
What are your go-to podcasts?
JD: Probably my number one is Joe Rogan. I listen to him quite a bit. I really like Huberman Lab, Andrew Huberman’s podcast. He’s a professor at Stanford. He does a lot around human performance and hormone optimization, supplements, and nutrition stuff. I kind of nerd out on some of that stuff. I listen to a lot of Lex Friedman, who’s another AI researcher from MIT. Those are probably the three that I’m always listening to.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done before?
JD: I did a lot of crazy stuff in the military. Probably one of the coolest things I did was in a training evolution at night, a high altitude free fall jump. It was with full combat equipment – oxygen, night vision goggles, a weapon, and a rucksack. It was from 22,000 feet, with probably around 35 people in formation. That was super cool. It was freezing up there, so you’re like shivering. It was about a 30-minute fall, where you open your ‘chute and kind of float to your landing zone.
What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?
JD: It was actually pretty recent. My girlfriend and I went out to a new restaurant here in Florida called Lion Fish. It’s a fresh seafood restaurant. We had lionfish ceviche. It was my first time trying lionfish – it was really good. She got some fresh snapper and I got a lamb chop. That was some of the best food I’ve ever had. Last night, George and I were at a Salesforce event down in Miami, and it was a 15-course tasting menu that we got to have at this really nice hotel. It was my first experience with that type of Michelin star food, where everything is like one bite. We had this Caprese, which is normally on toast and mozzarella and tomato, but it was all liquid and on a spoon, so that was one of my favorite ones. It’s really cool to see how creative these chefs can be.
What’s your favorite video or board game?
JD: One of my favorites that I played a lot growing up is Risk. It’s kind of like a war, strategy game. Obviously, the OG is Monopoly.
Do you cook?
JD: I cook breakfast. We keep it pretty simple. We have the same thing every morning. We’ll do over-easy eggs, bacon, some avocado, some sort of vegetable, and toast or a bagel.
Pineapple pizza…yay or nay?
JD: Yay, 100%. If I’m ordering pizza, I’m getting pineapple.
How would you spend a million dollars in 24 hours?
JD: I definitely would buy a house. We’ve been trying to do that here in South Florida. It’s a difficult market right now. I would love to be able to buy my dad a boat. That’s probably a good chunk right there. I’d probably put the rest in savings or buy another AirBnB property somewhere up in the mountains.
If you could get a new skill in 10-minute what would it be?
JD: I would love to learn how to code for sure. I’ve looked into starting to take courses, but I know it’s one of those things where you really have to dedicate a lot of time and I don’t have it right now, unfortunately.
What are you most excited for this year?
JD: I think change. It seems like – you know I obviously haven’t been with the company very long, but there are a lot of new parts and pieces a lot of new opportunities, and new team members, so just looking forward to being a part of the growth at Metova moving forward. The team that Josh has put together is unique and diverse as far as Skillsets and backgrounds. In my experience, something that always creates the most dynamic and high-performing teams is having people from different backgrounds and diverse thoughts and opinions, and ideas. So, I’m looking forward to being a part of that and hopefully building something special over the next few years.
Thank you for your time, JD! We look forward to the plans you have for Metova.