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Chris Niessl, Co-Founder and Software Engineer

Chris Niessl

Co-Founder and Software Engineer

Chris joined Hellbender as a co-founder and senior software engineer in order to write code for services and goods that he believes will have a positive, beneficial outcome on society – not just the shareholders of a company. In his robotics work at Hellbender, Chris is helping to build an automated manufacturing facility that will replace the dangerous, dirty work conditions of manufacturing in many factories overseas. This will simultaneously help reshore manufacturing in the United States, creating smaller supply chains that can function faster, more efficiently and more cost-effectively.

At a societal level, Chris believes that good actors in robotics manufacturing can help steer the developing field towards positive outcomes for workers. He recognizes that even those workers in the manufacturing industry who don’t have credentials or advanced degrees have innate problem-solving capacities and a human spark of creativity; he believes that spark can be utilized in more satisfying and valuable ways than is standard in the industry. Chris has witnessed first-hand circumstances that can create obstacles to satisfying work for people with talent and ambition: both of his parents emigrated to the United States from former Czechloslovokia as political refugees, and both lost their degrees in the process. His father, who had been an engineer, and his mother, a former nurse (who earned a second degree in nursing in the United States), instilled in Chris a profound work ethic, as well as a passion for giving employees meaningful opportunities to thrive in a positive environment.

With the power of Hellbender’s Benefit Corporation structure and positive culture behind him, Chris is able to work towards this vision of a values-driven manufacturing sector that supports its workers and customers.