How many years have you worked in material handling?
I've been involved in either manufacturing or material handling for 21 years now. Right out of college, I started working for Westinghouse in their Manufacturing Professional Development Program in Pittsburgh.
What type of degree do you have?
I have a few degrees that are all related to what I do. I have an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering and two Masters — one in manufacturing systems engineering and an MBA.
What made you want to become an engineer in the material handling arena?
I just fell into it. I was working for Westinghouse in manufacturing when they decided to diversify into commercial industries during the 1980s, when it was in style for defense contractors to do so. We received a couple of large contracts in material handling for FedEx and USPS and I've been in this industry ever since — it gets into your blood.
What's a typical workday like?
As a small business owner, there is no typical day. One day I'm selling to a customer wearing a suit and tie, the next day I'm turning a wrench or troubleshooting a system.
Can you tell us about a project you've just worked on?
We recently delivered vertical lifts to B&H Photo in New York City. It's a really interesting place to visit, especially for engineers, because all of the material automation is on display behind glass enclosures within a retail store. It makes the store look like a playground for engineers and camera enthusiasts alike.
What's the best part of your job?
As corny as it sounds, my favorite part of the job is having a happy customer. It warms me inside when customers say great things about our company and our team.
Outside of work, what keeps you busy?
Photography, tennis, family, skiing, and all things outdoors. I'm a Scoutmaster at a local Boy Scout Troop and we do a lot of hiking, kayaking, and camping. I stay just as busy outside of work as I do at work.
How do you like living and working in Maryland?
Maryland has it all, from sea to mountains and everything in between. We enjoy the four seasons here — some shorter than others — and we like the proximity to Washington, D.C. and all of the museums and events that take place in the nation's capital. When customers come to visit our facility from elsewhere in the country or internationally, D.C. is always the first place on their agenda to see.