Team Spotlight: Uzaid Youssoufou
StrongArm’s new director of manufacturing is a tropical destination-seeker, an expert on scalability and the right person to steer a burgeoning new department.
Uzaid Youssoufou (Uzaidi for short) recently took the reins of StrongArm’s manufacturing department, a new addition to our growing team dedicated to facilitating the production of the SafeWork System. With him, he brings experience from Peloton (where he worked as a senior staff manufacturing engineer and a manager of operations for over two years), a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering from UCLA, and determination to set StrongArm up for excellence.
As we look to expand into new industries and scale the production of our product, Uzaid and the team he builds will be essential to the success of StrongArm moving forward.
We asked Uzaid a few questions to help you get to know him better.
What interests you in StrongArm and what are you most excited about?
I’m excited about the technology, about the mission and the people. I think we’re in a very unique industry where not only do you still work on hardware, but you also get to make a difference in people’s lives – giving them the right tools and information to make better decisions in their job. There are so many opportunities to penetrate into other industries. I want to set up a world class manufacturing department, or at least partner with world class manufacturers and suppliers, to be able to get all the parts, all the equipment and all the processes in line to help us scale our hardware to be capable of penetrating these other market segments that really need our product.
What did you do before joining StrongArm? What are you most proud of accomplishing?
I worked for Peloton as a senior staff manufacturing engineer and then an Internal Bike Assembly System (IBAS) operation manager in Perris, CA before joining StrongArm. I’m very proud that when I joined, demand was skyrocketing through the roof and we needed to build capacity and we needed to build it quickly. The demand for the products, for bikes and tread, was pretty substantial during the pandemic and when I joined as the senior staff manufacturing at the time, the team was bare bones. So I’m very proud of building the team, getting the right people, and executing on the strategy of building more bikes and tread and taking that a step further with North American manufacturing at Precor and Peloton Output Park in Ohio and succeeding in all the leg work necessary to accomplish these missions. I thought that was pretty cool.
Outside of work, what do you do for fun?
I love to ride scooters and go for walks along the Hoboken & Weehawken, NJ, waterfronts near where I live. I also try to hang out with family, who lives in the city, as much as I can, so I’ll drive up on the weekends to spend time with them.
In the summer, I love going to the beach. I’ll go sit down, relax and take in the fresh air or go in the water. I go to Long Branch Beach in South Jersey, not too far from Red Banks, a small little community with cute restaurants. It’s a great place.
I like to travel as well. I love going to tropical places like Ghana, Costa Rica, Mexico (Tulum). Out of all the places I’ve been, I think I liked Costa Rica the most. I did a lot there. I went to San Jose, Arenal, Quepos, Manuel Antonio, all different parts of the country. They’re actually very well known for ecotourism there, which intends to educate tourists about conservation efforts and offer them a chance to explore nature. So for example I stayed at this resort that would use the geothermal energy from the volcano adjacent to the town to power the resort. They‘ve invested quite a bit into renewable energy and ecotourism, which was cool to see.