May 28, 2013
Company: EFE Laboratories Inc.
Type of company: Manufacturing company based in Horsham.
Number of employees: 33.
Revenue in last fiscal year: $9 million.
Recent project: A multinational developer and commercial supplier of injectable drug-delivery systems approached EFE in need of an ISO-certified partner to assist with the development of a new product. Working within a strict timeline, EFE not only handled the software validation, but leveraged its ability to design for manufacturability in order to provide time- and cost savings.
Education: I attended Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, and completed a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1987. I later started work on an MBA with Ashland University while working at Rolls Royce Power Turbine Division. I completed the MBA requirements at Ohio State University.
First job: My first job was with O.S. Kelly, a manufacturer of piano plates. My first project was related to the redevelopment of the manufacturing process for Steinway & Sons. The project was recognized in Life Magazine. The company is now a division of Steinway & Sons.
Little-known fact about you: I was born in Munich, Germany, where my father was a nuclear artillery safety officer monitoring Brenner Pass.
Home: I was raised in the Midwest, but have lived in Collegeville for the past 11 years. Hence, I have not adopted the Philadelphia sports franchises, but I am getting closer.
Essential business philosophy: Both parties should win in almost every business transaction. If my customer is not successful, it limits my potential for success.
Best way to keep a competitive edge: Assure the success of the customer.
Yardstick of success: Retention and expansion of customer relationships in conjunction with outstanding referrals is the ultimate yardstick.
Goal yet to be achieved: Reinstatement of the United States as the undisputed manufacturing leader in the world.
Best decision: As an engineer in my early career I was always frustrated by accountants who would not approve funding for critical projects. I would present the facts and expect the obvious decision, but much to my chagrin, they would turn me down. One day, I realized I was speaking the language of “engineering,” which accountants do not speak and do not want to learn. I then decided to embrace the terrifying task of learning to speak “accounting.” Many years have passed with delighted but confused accountants finally saying yes to an engineer who speaks accounting.
Worst decision: I once accepted a position based on the compensation and benefits.
Toughest decision: There are times you have an employee who has decided to travel a path you cannot follow. Goodbye can be a difficult word, but it is the only correct decision.
Mentor: My father. A mechanical engineer, he was once the head of R&D for Pella and Malta windows. He retired as the president of Biltbest Windows. He understands every aspect of a company and can always provide a composed, thoughtful opinion.
Word that best describes you: Tenacious.
Like best about your job: I like to solve problems.
Like least about your job: Confrontation. I am a born diplomat, so I consider confrontation to be failure.
The most important lesson you’ve learned: Confrontation is sometimes necessary.
Life motto: If you don’t like the game, change the rules.
Greatest fear: Inconsequence.
Person most interested in meeting: Winston Churchill was a leader who crossed political lines and defined a response to tyranny against the odds. He did what was necessary to preserve his country and the free world.
Company you respect most: Several companies have contributed to a book of best practices, which I respect tremendously. Examples: Toyota for manufacturing process development, Apple for redefining markets, and Google for redefining the nature of employee relationships.
First choice for a new career: School teacher.
Greatest extravagance: Family vacations.
Award/honor most proud of: Philadelphia 100 in my third year as president of EFE.
Most influential book: “Moby Dick” by Herman Melville. The story speaks to me of a life out of balance and the dangers incumbent with a singular passion.
Favorite movie: “The Avengers,” because it is simple fun.
Favorite restaurant: South of the Border in Reading, Pa.
Favorite vacation spot: Cruising the Southern seas; it really doesn’t matter where you are or where you are going. It is about living in the moment.
Favorite room in the house: The family room. Life is about balance and family is at the center of the balance.
Favorite way to spend free time: Riding horses in the fall when the leaves are at their peak.
Car you drive: Audi Q5 — a combination of fun and practicality.
Reprinted from http://www.bizjournals.com/philadelphia/print-edition/2013/02/22/if-you-dont-like-the-game-change.html?page=all
EFE is an ISO-9001:2000 certified company (TUV Registration Number 951 00 1221). Located at: 420 Babylon Road | Horsham, PA 19044 | Phone: 215-672-2400 | Fax: 215-672-4977 | Web Address: www.efelabs.com