What is your job title, and what does that position entail?
My job title is Strategic Business Development – Engineered Solutions. Over the years, Olympus Controls has developed a broad skillset for adding value to our distribution hardware for the benefit of our customers. Although we have the skillset to do a wide variety of projects, my responsibility is to work with our Sales, Engineering and Management teams to boost our capabilities where needed, facilitate increasing efficiency where needed and making good business decisions for our company as well as our customers when it comes to value added projects in which we choose to participate.
How long have you worked at Olympus, where did you come from?
Originally I am from Pennsylvania. My first job out of school was with Parker Hannifin’s Automation Group just outside of Pittsburgh. In 2001 they had an opening in the Pacific Northwest. I thought it would be a fun adventure to move out here. I worked for 3 years alongside Olympus Controls. In 2004 Olympus had an opening for an Engineer to cover Oregon and SW Washington. I jumped on that opportunity and have been with Olympus Controls since February 2004. The opportunities I have had to develop skillsets and build relationships are too many to count. I am very fortunate.
Can you tell us a little about your background and how it helps you in this position?
My degree is in Mechanical Engineering, and I now have 20+ years of experience in the world of Automation. I have worked for Large and small companies. I have been part of a startup and have gone through the process of that startup being purchased. I have been part of a team that has grown from less than 10 employees to now 100+. I have helped deliver many successful automation projects. I have developed close relationships with my internal teammates, suppliers, and clients alike. I have several long-term coworkers and many that are brand new to the team. This history has helped lay the foundation for continued learning, patience, commitment to my team as a player/coach, business acumen and technical knowledge needed to be a person who benefits those I work alongside both personally and professionally.
What do you like best about working at Olympus?
Hands down it’s the people. Having spent now almost 20 years with Olympus, I have developed many very close relationships with my teammates.. We know each other’s families and care about each other. As Olympus Controls has grown, one of the greatest things we have to offer new employees is our culture. I always enjoy getting to be a part of the personal and professional growth of new and long-standing members of my team.
What was your first job ever?
My first job was a small lawn mowing business I had as a kid. It’s funny how little I knew about business back then. I have a ton of advise that I would give younger me if I felt like younger me would listen to older me.
Describe some of your hobbies ‐ what do you like to do outside of work?
I am a parent to teenagers, so my hobbies are carpooling to sports, watching gymnastics meets, track meets, soccer games and other intangibles required to launch whole people into adulthood. As a family we enjoy camping and kayaking. My kids are always game to try something new. Except spicy food. They don’t really enjoy that.
What are some key lessons you have taken from your career thus far?
One key lesson that I have learned is that for the most part people don’t change. That doesn’t mean that they do not grow, because they do. But when it comes to engaging with the world, the things that motivate a person tend to stay consistent throughout a person’s life as do the things that demotivate them. I think that is a key lesson because I have felt that I have wanted to be more like others at times. I have also wanted others to be different. It is easy to believe that there is a template for how a person should be, especially in a work environment. Over 20 years, and on our team of 100+ people we have a wide range of very different people. Things have gone well when we have wanted to be a part of each other’s growth, and it has gone badly when we have tried to change each other.
What is one thing your customers might find surprising about you?
Oh I don’t know. I used to be a skateboarder and wish I could get back into it. Turns out my arms and legs are key to my success at work and home, so I will just have to remember those days fondly. Also, I took 10 or so years of piano lessons as a kid, but I play like I took maybe 5 years of lessons (see previous reference to theoretical conversation with younger me). I still enjoy music very much though. Oh and if I grew my hair out, it would be very curly (where it grows of course).