Faces of Interface Featuring Michael Cobb
Michael Cobb has always been a technologist and engineer at heart from his earliest memories. He was exposed to electronics technology at a young age through his father, who worked as an Electrician and owned a small television repair business. Michael was always around while his father tinkered with TV components, which sparked his interest in discovering how things worked.
At age 9, Michael was fortunate to have access to a computer system located at the medical facility where his mother was a nurse. To keep him out of trouble, Michael’s mother would give him technology magazines to read, some of which contained code for computer programs and challenge games that he could enter. Soon Michael began creating his own programs, and at age 11 produced a small program that the office staff began to use for some of their recordkeeping. As payment, the medical office staff bought Michael a computer kit from one of the magazines. It was the first, but not last computer he built.
Michael attended high school in the 80s where he continued working with computer programming and technology. At a time when experience with computers was hard to find, Michael founded a small lawnmower and computer repair business while still in high school. These interests led Michael to the Devry Institute of Technology, where he would go on to receive an Associates Degree in electronics.
Michael’s first job allowed him to apply his background in technology while working for a small office products company where he became the lead computer technician and began working heavily with computer networking. During this time, Michael joined a group of individuals who were developing some of the very first speech recognition software for use in a digital office dictation system. This technology and the speech recognition algorithms helped to lay the groundwork for the advanced speech-recognition services we have today like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa.
Later, Michael was hired by Circuit City Services division as the company’s very first computer technician. Michael’s technical knowledge and experience allowed him to quickly become a leader within the company where, as National Technical Advisor, he was able to participate in the creation of service and repair programs that were implemented nationwide. After leaving Circuit City and traveling the country for a time with his wife, Michael enrolled at Ohio State University to study Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. During his time, Michael went to work at a small load cell and pressure transducer manufacturing company called SensorWerks. Over the course of several years, Michael learned a great deal about sensor technology, machining, robotics, welding and many other skills involved in the manufacture and calibration of force measurement devices.
In 2016, Michael joined Interface as an Application Engineer, and eventually found his way into the Services Department. Michael was later promoted to Director of Services, the position he holds today, to oversee Interface’s outstanding Services Calibration Team. In this role, Michael has introduced a number of innovative methods involving process improvement, increased visibility of the calibration process, and a software application that he created himself to allow better communication, customer asset management, and proves visibility. His streamlined methods have significantly sped up Interface’s Calibration and Repair Services, retaining Interface’s signature accuracy and quality, while also putting the recalibrated products back into the hands of customers faster.
In 2019, Michael Cobb created Interface’s Tiered Calibration Services Program to expedite services and provide customer-centric solutions that match the exact requirements of our valued clients.
Michael has been able to accomplish improved efficiency in calibration services because of his leadership style. He leads by example and is always willing to work directly on the factory floor with his team. He sets the example for teamwork. Michael also insists on an environment of mutual respect and equality among his employees in order to create a culture of openness and humility, with a “Find a Way to Say Yes” approach to customer requests and new services opportunities. This approach has allowed Cobb to bring out the best in those he leads, as well as gain their respect while adding value to the Interface brand.
This hands-on approach to work and leadership persists in Cobb’s free time. He loves to work on various machines, cars and anything else with wires and components he can tinker with and improve. He is also passing along the same traits he learned from his father to his 11-year old daughter, who is now getting into programming like her dad. The family tree is strong in the area of technical brilliance!