Part 2 of 3 – Interview with Excel CEO Deb Yamanaka on STEM Camp

Part 2 of 3 – Interview with Excel CEO Deb Yamanaka on STEM Camp


Second in a 3-part series of an interview with Excel’s CEO, Deb Yamanaka


Q: This seems like a lot to fit into one week. How do you see this all coming together so the students get the most out of STEM Camp?

Deb: It will be such a fun and enriching atmosphere in Pocatello, Idaho. These young students will benefit from a weeklong experience interacting with experts, instructors, and staff of the US Forest Service, Idaho State University, and Excel Technologies.

Planning and collaborating amongst these three entities for a common goal promises to deliver in aspects of these students’ lives way beyond their general and academic interests. Each of the partnering organizations express amazing energy and dedication to carry out a meaningful program. I’ve seen and felt it in the coordinating meetings.


Q: What is your big vision regarding mobile communications?

Deb: Approximately 11.5 million households in the US have RV’s with more than 40 million Americans going RV’ing annually. We think of this as camping with all the comforts of home and for many families it’s an affordable way to experience our state, private, and national forests and parks. But what we often don’t realize is that these same units bring most, if not all, of the portable infrastructure needed to sustain power and communications – even if limited.

Most formal response vehicles – the ones we see the Federal entities deploying – bring mobile communications capability and that’s awesome. These units start at more than half a million dollars though and that price is out of reach for many of our communities who need access to power and communications, even if on a limited basis, within hours of a disaster. They don’t have time to wait for federal response to fully arrive and set up – a response that often takes days and sometimes longer.

Furthermore, Federal assets arriving in a town mean that the workers need access to hoteling, food, and many other amenities a disaster hit town may be struggling to provide. We carry everything with us with minimal impact to already limited resources.

The idea is help people think about design options that bring a much needed bandaid until the “big boys” arrive. Something I think a lot of communities would appreciate.

We firmly believe we are actively contributing to making the world a better place to live. Mobile communications and high-tech vehicles are playing an increasingly significant role in that. Events such as the upcoming STEM Camp with our partners at the Forest Service and Idaho State University provide our youth with a beautiful hint of what they can do. Our young people are, after all, our future.



{Please look for Part 3 due to be posted June 3rd}


Deb Yamanaka is the Chief Executive Officer of Excel Technologies LLC. She has spent the last 40 years shaping her passion for technology, organizational resilience and crisis management. She has focused on advanced analytic and collaboration tools and continuity of government. She is as comfortable talking about transformational goals and modernization experience as she is monitoring bloom patterns in a pandemic. She attributes that to her work with the National Security, Defense, Civilian, and Commercial sectors.