What is your job title, and what does that position entail?
I am the Division Manager for the Gulf Division of Olympus Controls. It entails supporting our outside sales engineers and applications engineers in our Gulf region, as well as duties such as supplier management, direct customer support, facilities maintenance, etc….
How long have you worked at Olympus, where did you come from?
I have been with Olympus Controls since May 1998, right after getting my mechanical engineering degree at Washington State University (Go Cougs!). While in college at WSU, Silas Robertson our NW Division Manager, was one of my roommates. The company had only been in business 2 months when I started.
A little history of how you got involved with Olympus?
I had worked for the prior Parker distributor in the NW region as an intern while in college. Ross Goluba, our N CA Division Manager, worked there at that time also. Upon graduating, I knew I wanted to be involved in motion control and automation, and Parker connected me with their new distributor at the time, Olympus Controls.
What do you like best about working at Olympus?
In short, everything. The job tasks are great, as I get to consult with lots of smart people doing various cool automation processes. I also get to work with great coworkers at a company who values them. Our owner, Scott Hendrickson, has done a great job fostering a great work environment, which allows me to enjoy just about every aspect of working here.
How long have you been involved in Factory Automation and describe a little of your past history.
As mentioned before, I interned at the prior Parker distributor in the NW for 8 months while in college. I also had a 3 month internship at SEH America, a Semi manufacturer that was mostly automated. However 99.9% of my automation experience comes from working at Olympus Controls my entire professional career.
What was your first job ever?
I was a Floor Care Specialist, which is a fancy title for janitor who cleans floors. I mopped, waxed, and buffed floors at night while in high school and college.
Describe some of your hobbies – what do you like to do outside of work?
I have 2 small children (2 and 4) and a negative 5 month old due in November. So my main hobby is managing and playing with the kids when not at work. I am also a member of North Texas MMA and take kick boxing and Brazilian Jiu‐Jitsu classes on the weekends and have sparing matches. Usually I just get beat up, but sometimes I get some good shots in on the other guys.
What are some key lessons you have taken from your career thus far?
Work hard. You can’t always be the smartest guy in the room, but you can outwork your competition. Always look to reinvent yourself. As it is said, the only thing constant in life is change. The skills you first get in your job will be replaced by technology, new products, etc…always work to redevelop new capabilities.
Also, have fun in your job. Nowadays, most people work 50‐60 hours per week like I do, so you had better have fun while doing it.
What is one thing your customers might find surprising about you?
Referring back to the first job I ever had, as a Floor Care Specialist, within 2 years of starting that job I was able to start my own business at 18 years old. I earned enough money with that business to pay for all of my college education and still graduate with a healthy savings account.