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Faces of Interface Featuring Justin Walker

Our Faces of Interface feature focuses on Regional Sales Director (RSD), Justin Walker. Justin is a United States Marine veteran who grew up in the Texas oil fields. He received his knowledge and experience in engineering while in the military. He has honed his skills in engineering and sales across a variety of roles and was recently promoted to the critical role of Interface RSD.

Growing up near the oil fields in Texas and having a father and friend work in the fields led Justin to develop an interest in the technical side of oil rigging and engineering in general. However, his goal was to remain out of the fields and instead work to optimize the process through technology. To do so, Justin opted for the Marines to serve his country and receive the training necessary to accomplish this goal.

He joined the Marines at age 17, and scored very high on the technical aspects of the entry exam. This enabled him to serve as an aviation mechanic with a unique and interesting specialty in cryogenics. The cryogenics aspect of his roles allowed him to work with the liquid nitrogen and oxygen involved in weapon systems and base support. He also got some kicks freezing stuff, as well as curing a hangover or two with the highly effective chemicals.

Justin served in the Marines for four and half years before jumping into the oil and gas industry with a company named Weatherford. In this role, he worked as a wire line operator where he helped to determine where oil could be found and then using explosives to access it. He stayed in this role until the oil market dropped, and then moved into sales.

His first role in sales was at West Texas Nissan and Justin found a ton of success in a sales position. Unfortunately, the market crashed and Justin decided it was time for a change. He moved to Phoenix, Arizona, because he was familiar with the area due to his time being stationed in Yuma, Arizona, when he was a Marine.

Justin joined Interface in July 2016 as an applications engineer. He had a desire to get back into technology and engineering, while still maintaining a sales role due to his success in the automotive industry. He remained at Interface for two years before leaving to join one of our rep firms in Florida, where he still sold Interface products. After a year and a half with Interface’s rep firm, we welcomed Justin back with open arms. First, as applications engineer; however, Justin was recently promoted to Regional Sales Director covering the Central North America region. Justin has thrived in his roles at Interface.

Justin really enjoys the day-to-day interactions with customers and our rep firms. What he enjoys the most is the differences in who and what he is working with each day. One day he could be working with a customer that works in the oil field like he witnessed as a kid growing up, another day he could be selling solutions to a company responsible for putting satellites and even humans in space.

When he’s not helping customers solve their force measurement challenges, Justin can be found spending time with his wife and six-year-old stepson. He and the family enjoy getting outdoors as much as possible. Together, they hike in the mountains, camp, take a ride on their ATVs, and boat the Colorado River.

We appreciate having the opportunity to share Justin’s amazing story. He is passionate about what he does at Interface and in life. We are thrilled to have him on the Interface team and working hard for all his customers and rep firms at ensure the highest levels of satisfaction! To learn more about our outstanding team members, check in each month for a new Faces of Interface feature.

Faces of Interface Featuring Tin Nguyen

Today’s Faces of Interface features a person who might possibly hold the most titles in the company, and for good reason. Tin Nguyen is our calibration engineer, manufacturing engineer and business unit manager for calibration. Tin has earned all these titles along with the important responsibility through his relentless ability to take on and excel in new tasks, as well as his desire to learn. Check out his story.

Since he was about the age of eight years old, Tin had a proficiency for learning how to design and build things. It all started growing up on his grandparent’s farm where he would theorize ways to make tools and machines around the farm easier to use or more efficient. He vowed then that when he grew up, he would find a way to build things to make life easier for people.

Tin went on to attend Arizona State University (ASU), where he received a bachelor’s degree in manufacturing engineering and in technology in 2000. He really enjoyed the ASU engineering school experience because it was hands on and he got to work with the latest technology, preparing him for the real world. While attending school, Tin also served as an auto mechanic for racing cars to earn some extra money on the side and because he really enjoyed the work.

Tin joined Interface in September 2001. He began his career as a calibration associate in the calibration lab. After a few years in the lab, Tin was then promoted to manufacturing engineer. A year later, he was promoted to calibration supervisor followed by the calibration departments business unit manager. His success in each of these roles allowed him to retain some of his titles and work throughout the company to lend his skills and expertise.

Today, his role covers quite a bit of what we do here at Interface. His day-to-day responsibilities include developing and maintaining tooling for calibration, fixturing, improving production processes, auditing equipment, figuring out ways to reduce costs, training calibration techs, maintaining calibration standards, looking after 20 different rigs, to highlight a few. His depth of experience and expertise lends to supporting and helping the company meet the growing demands for Interface’s quality products.

What Tin enjoys so much about working at Interface and continuing to take on new roles is that he loves to learn everything there is to know about the company and serving customers. Tin noted, there are a lot of talented people around him to provide that knowledge and support. After more than 20 years with the company, Tin still feels that he has more to learn. He’s also very honored by the trust that Interface and its leadership have placed in Tin to take on all of his important roles.

In his free time, Tin loves to travel and explore the great outdoors. He enjoys hiking, camping, fishing, boating and more. And, as if he doesn’t already have enough projects in his work life, Tin is also very fond of upgrading and remodeling his home. He takes a lot of ownership over the process and will do everything that he can before hiring somebody to help.

With all the hats Tin wears, he knows Interface inside out and we’re thrilled to have him and his cross-departmental expertise as part of the Interface family! We hope you enjoyed the newest entry into our Faces of Interface and if you’re looking to learn more about our talented staff, visit our ForceLeaders feature here.

Faces of Interface Featuring Kasilyn Halawith

Kasilyn (Kasi) Halawith is Interface’s repair service manager, which handles our product calibration and repair services. In our feature of Faces of Interface, we learned that Kasi is a jack of all trades and has excelled across a variety of industries before finding a home at Interface. To begin, Kasi is a rare Arizona native who grew up in Moon Valley, a small town in North Phoenix. She was raised here and continues to raise her two daughters in the Valley.

Kasi’s career can be summed up by saying there really isn’t anything she can’t do. Throughout her life she has held positions in the automotive industry, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, and more. The one thing that has remained consistent is that she has always excelled in customer facing roles because she understands how to work with people to get them exactly what they need.

Some of Kasi’s professional experience includes 11 years at Midway Chevrolet, where she worked as the body shop coordinator. Seven years at Sapphire Catering, where she was head server and led efforts to cater to MLB Spring Training attendees. This job was actually nearly a year-round gig because of how much time professional baseball players spend in sunny Arizona in the offseason. Additionally, Kasi also spent time as the office manager at Roadrunner Pharmacy.

These experiences taught Kasi the value of patience in customer relationships, as well as the need to always keep communication open to ensure customer needs are always met. It also taught her to be proactive whenever possible to create the best environment possible for customers. She is a strong advocate in creating positive customer experiences.

About three years ago, Kasi was ready to take on the next challenge in her career and learned about Interface through a friend. Interface needed someone to assist our Repair Service Manager at the time and Kasi was the perfect fit for the role.

Kasi quickly moved into the manager role and has excelled at serving Interface repair customers. Her role today involves responding to dozens of important customer emails every morning, processing new orders, return material authorizations, and preparing quotes for customers. She is also in constant communication with customers nationally and our global network to help answer questions and keep customers updated on orders.

She really enjoys the role because she gets to work with a very diverse group of individuals and projects. She’s also very close with her team and the greater Interface staff mentioning that it is a great environment to work. Her team consists of 12 people, a mix of technicians and administrators who facilitate all repair service requests.

When Kasi isn’t being a rockstar repair service manager, her time is devoted to her family. As mentioned, Kasi has two daughters, one of which is at GCU pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurial Studies. Her other daughter is 18 years old and special needs, Kasi is a devoted advocate of hers. One of Kasi’s favorite hobbies is helping out with her girls after school programs. This includes a lot of crafting, developing t-shirts and mugs for spirit line as president of the Booster Club. Finally, Kasi has three adorable chihuahuas.

Kasi is an integral member of our team, and we are excited to share her story. If you are interested in learning more about our incredible team members at Interface, tune into our IQ Blog every month for a new Faces of Interface ForceLeaders feature.

Faces of Interface Featuring Scott Whitworth

Our Faces of Interface features the masterfully creative force behind the Interface brand. If you’ve ever downloaded an Interface product brochure or spent time on the Interface website, chances are Scott Whitworth, Interface’s creative services manager, played an important role.

Scott puts together complex product details for T&M pros, develops visual stories with digital content, and helps us keep track of thousands of offerings – one at a time! This is a story about Scott’s journey from film to the video game industry and even teaching before finally joining Interface.

Growing up, Scott was always interested in art and filmography. He pursued creative endeavors, such as a degree in the film industry at the Arts Institute of Phoenix, where he also took some traditional painting and sculpting classes. During his time in school, he started to pick up graphic design skills as well. These talents led Scott to begin his career in the film industry at a company called Digital Domain. In this role, he did digital effects for several different films and commercials.

He then moved to Phoenix, where he worked for a company called THQ. At THQ, Scott began in the film and television division where he worked in animation. Two years after he started, the company closed the film and television division and offered Scott a position in the games division. Scott remained with THQ for eight years doing 3D modeling and design.

From 2008 until 2015, Scott worked as an independent creative resource across several creative disciplines for many clients. And then an old colleague brought him back to Arizona and back to the Art Institute working a teaching job. He enjoyed his freelance work but wanted to get back into the corporate world, which ultimately led him to Interface.

Scott started in graphic design for Interface to help bolster our marketing footprint. He quickly learned about the load cell industry and all the customers that utilize sensors. Growing up in Michigan, his grandfather made parts for the automotive industry, so he was familiar with some of the technical intricacies and use cases. With a naturally technical mind and blended with a passion for creative works, he was a perfect fit for Interface.

“The blending of technical content with design tasks is I really love about working at Interface. It provides creative freedom in my work, with the discipline of getting all the technical details exactly right.” Scott Whitworth, Creative Services Manager at Interface.

Scott’s day-to-day involves leading a agile marketing team and overseeing all branding and creative functions, including collateral material, data sheets, website design and supporting the development of creative assets for our global network of sales partners. He plays a big role in creating continuity amongst all of Interface’s marketing assets. When he arrived, there were differences between marketing materials, so he has worked to standardize and strengthen the brand into the same style. His efforts and leadership in this area has really supported a leading look and representation for Interface.

When he’s not making the Interface brand shine, Scott can be found spending time with his wife and four kids. He has three sons ages 14, 13 and 10, as well as a 2-year-old daughter. So, Scott doesn’t have time for much more than being a great dad! When he does get some free time, he continues his creative passions through 3D modeling for himself, exploring painting and sculpture and other forms of art.

Scott has worked hard to make the Interface brand standout from the competition through a wide variety of platforms We’re thankful for Scott and his many talents and are glad we got share his story.

Faces of Interface Featuring Tyler Pettit

Tyler Pettit, our applications engineer for international accounts, is leading some of our fastest growing markets in Asia, Europe and regions outside of the US. With the heightened demand for Interface solutions worldwide and our international success, we felt it was the perfect time to feature Tyler and the outstanding work he is doing in supporting our global sales distributor network.

Tyler spent six years in the United States Navy where he served on active duty protecting domestic assets as a Hospital Corpsman (Medic). He cherished his time in the Navy and learned a lot. He quickly realized he was not interested in a career in the medical field. However, the Navy did afford him the opportunity to attend the Airforce Community College and Ben Franklin University, where he received his degree in Biomedical Engineering.

The engineering and technology part really stuck because after serving in the Navy, Tyler would go on to work for a company called Machine Solutions. In this role, he helped to develop the machines that medical manufacturers use to build stents, angioplasty balloons, heart valves and more. Later, he would move to a field role where he performed preventative maintenance on the machines, calibrations, and training. This experience was also his introduction to load cells, as Machine Solutions used load cells to test the crimping force of their products.

Working at Machine Solutions, Tyler also got more acquainted with Interface due to his experience with load cells. When Interface posted an opening career position, Tyler jumped at the opportunity to join the team. He joined as a junior applications engineer and quickly showed a knack for the role. He was then promoted applications engineer to handle international accounts, the role he has today and that continues to expand in responsibilities with our international growth.

In this role, Tyler is responsible for working with customers and our distributor network outside of the US to find force solutions that meet their needs, as well as coordinating distributor requests with Interface’s production facility to ensure customers are getting the products. He is also constantly working with partners across the international regions to help them serve Interface customers expeditiously and to their satisfaction.

The thing he enjoys most about working at Interface is the ability to see new applications for Interface products every day. Due to his background in medical, he gravitated towards those applications quickly. But as he got more comfortable in all the industries Interface helps, he started to really enjoy some of the unique space applications.

My job is exciting because one day a product I sold is in space, the next day it is saving a life! – Tyler Pettit, Applications Engineer

When he’s not facilitating Interface’s growing international success, Tyler can be found hanging with his wife Melissa, whom he met at Interface in 2018 and married in 2021, and their three kids. The family enjoys everything outdoors, especially headed to the Imperial Sand Dunes aka Glamis. Tyler is also a big hockey fan and cheers on the Pittsburgh Penguins.

It was a pleasure getting share Tyler’s story and his journey to Interface. He is certainly a star here and we look forward to his role in further expanding our presence in international markets!  We also are overjoyed in his found love that has it’s beginnings at Interface. We wish Tyler and Melissa great happiness in their life together.

To meet more of Interface’s talented team and our partners, tune into our blog for our monthly Faces of Interface series in our ForceLeaders feature.

Faces of Interface Featuring Rocky Lee

In today’s Faces of Interface, we’re introducing Rocky Lee, a recent addition to the Interface team. Rocky joined Interface in September 2021 as our director of quality. His role is ensuring that every product that leaves our doors meets the incredibly high precedent for accuracy and reliability that Interface is well known for around the world. We had a great time talking to Rocky and hope you enjoy his story.

As a kid growing up Rocky always displayed an interest in STEM. It led him to pursue a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Michigan. He enjoyed learning about how things work and how things are made, so it felt like the perfect education for his interests.

Shortly after graduating, he got his first role in the engineering and manufacturing world. Rocky joined Raytheon as a mechanical engineer. His role at Raytheon was traveling around to airports to outfit them with a new communications system that Raytheon had developed. He would go in and ensure that the airport’s infrastructure could handle the power and technology requirements of the new radar system.

After Raytheon, he started as a product engineer for Toyota. His role involved him being stationed at a supplier that converted Toyotas into convertibles. He also worked on various other convertible lines, including Toyota Paseo, Mitsubishi Eclipse, and the Mitsubishi Spyder hardtop convertible. These experiences really kicked off a few of his passions in life – quality and convertibles. In fact, Rocky has owned three convertibles including a Toyota Celica convertible, Mercedes SLK, and a BMW 4-Series Hardtop Convertible.

Rocky then took a short break from the engineering and manufacturing world. He owned an ultra-high-end wedding gown design and manufacturing company for several years. He really enjoyed owning the company because it pushed him into new roles like sales and marketing, expanding his capabilities and expertise. After moving on from this business, he would then move to a quality management role for Suncast, which made consumers goods for the home and garden market. This would be his last role before joining Interface.

In 2021, Rocky and his wife decided it was time for a change of scenery. They had always envisioned themselves retiring to Arizona, but they decided to get started on warmer weather early! Rocky joined Interface shortly before moving and he chose us because he had deep desire to get back into the engineering and manufacturing world.

Rocky is learning quickly in his new role. His first major project is expanding the quality inspection process to ensure quality is instilled from start to finish and throughout development. He says he is enjoying his time at Interface due to the high-level of Interface’s engineering talent. He feels that the expertise here will help him learn quickly and become engrossed in the force measurement world. He’s also excited by the wide range of industries and applications that Interface is involved in by supplying precision force measurement solutions to companies globally.

When he’s not working hard to meet customer expectations for Interface product quality, Rocky, his wife, and their two children are taking advantage of Arizona and all it has to offer. This includes hiking, sightseeing, white water rafting and more. He is also really enjoying the golf out here. He and his wife love to play together and they’re planning to spend a good deal of their free time checking out Arizona’s award-winning golf scene in the years to come.

Rocky is a wonderful addition to the team and we’re proud he chose Interface. To get to know more of Interface’s outstanding team, tune into the blog each month for a new addition to our Faces of Interface Series.

Read more about the importance of quality in our industry here: Quality is Top Reason Customers Choose Interface

 

Faces of Interface Featuring Jason Fairfield

In today’s Faces of Interface, we had the opportunity to sit down with our CFO Jason Fairfield to discuss his journey to Interface. He shared with us some interesting professional stops in the engineering and manufacturing industries, as well as his passions working at Interface and in life.

As a fourth generation Arizona native, Jason has made his way across the desert a few times over. He was born in Clarkdale, a small town down the hill from Jerome. He and his family moved all around the state as he grew up, including Tucson, Scottsdale, back to Clarkdale, and eventually to Phoenix.

Jason attended Northern Arizona University, earning an accounting degree. During his time at NAU, he also made a little money working as a bartender. He looks back on this experience fondly because he got the opportunity to meet and talk with a wide variety of people, picking up valuable interpersonal skills and collecting a wealth of ‘bartending’ stories he still shares with others today.

After college Jason landed his first accounting gig. Coincidentally, it became his first taste of the manufacturing world working at Honeywell’s large computer products group. He worked in the financial planning group at a Honeywell plant that manufactured and sold mainframe computers. At the time, they employed over 5,500 people, operating 24-hours, seven days a week. As a member of the financial planning team, he saw how the business worked and really enjoyed learning the ins and outs of operating such a large facility.

Over the next few years, Jason remained in finance working mostly in manufacturing with organizations that developed products ranging from plastics to military electronics. He even had a stint as the CFO of an electronic vape company that had online revenues of $30 million annually. And he’s taken on being a successful business owner as co-owner of Goettl Air Conditioning, an Arizona-based manufacturer and servicer of HVAC equipment. It was an experience he enjoyed very much.

Through the prompting of a former colleague who was head of HR at Interface, Jason joined Interface in January 2019 as a consultant and soon transitioned to our permanent CFO in May of 2019.

“Interface is such a great company to work for because every day is different and the applications that we work on across a wide range of industries are always unique and exciting. The team here at Interface is outstanding and the opportunity to work with such a great group of people has been a pleasure.” – Jason Fairfield, CFO at Interface, Inc.

Jason said one of the joys he gets from his CFO role is helping others understand complex financial relationships. He shares his wealth of experience and financial know-how through skills training and career development programs at Interface. He noted that it’s a great feeling when you see the light bulb go on over someone’s head.

When he’s not tending to Interface finances, Jason likes to spend his time with family, travel, golf, and computer gaming.  He and his wife have three children ages 29, 26 and 25. His oldest son was just married. Congratulations to Jason’s son and their family.

In addition to time spent with family, Jason and his buddies like to get together to watch mixed martial arts fights, consume adult beverages and tell each other exaggerated truths. The group also enjoys sharing smoked meats and veggies during their time together. He was quick to point out, smoking meat and fish and whatever else isn’t nailed down has become a hobby over the past few years.

It was wonderful getting to know Jason and learning about his very interesting career path, his passion for finance and a brief look into his hobbies. To learn more about Interface’s outstanding team, tune into the Interface blog every month for a new Faces of Interface.

Faces of Interface Featuring Jeff Erickson

In today’s Faces of Interface, we are featuring a member of our U.S. Sales Team Jeff Erickson. Jeff has been with Interface for 11 years and has recently been promoted to Regional Sales Director. We had a great time speaking with Jeff and hope that you enjoy his story.

Jeff began his career shortly after high school when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy because he felt a great responsibility to serve his country. During his time in the Navy, he traveled the world and was part of three deployments to Israel, Syria, and Grenada on the aircraft carrier USS Independence. He also learned the tools of his current trade in the electronics industry as an aviation electronics technician. A career in electronics wasn’t always the goal, but he certainly developed a fondness for the work while in the Navy.

Shortly after leaving the Navy, Jeff continued his education to get his associates degree in Engineering Science at Northwestern Connecticut Community College. After graduation, he went to work at Lewis Corporation in Oxford, Connecticut, as an entry level technician. He was quickly promoted to a quality control engineer at Lewis Corp. From there he moved to the role of Applications Engineer in their sales department

While working at Lewis Corp, Jeff was advised to get into a role in technical sales. He joined Blue Wave Ultrasonics in Davenport, Iowa, as an Applications Engineer where he got his foot in the door in sales and quickly thrived. After some time with Blue Wave, Jeff then took a Regional Sales Manager role at Ney Ultrasonics based out of Chicago.

Jeff began his career in sensor sales with Gem Sensors in Plainville, Connecticut. He then worked for MK North America until 2010, when he and his family left New England to get to the warm weather of Arizona, where Jeff has friends and family, as well as a history visiting the state while growing up out west.

Shortly after he moved, we finally welcomed Jeff to the Interface family. Jeff began as an Applications Engineer for Interface. After several years as an AE, he worked as a buyer and planner in charge of purchasing and planning parts orders supporting multi-axis sensors, torque sensors, and the instrumentation segment of our company. He then switched back to AE role for a short time before being promoted to Regional Sales Director covering the Western third of the U.S.

He enjoys working at Interface and has stayed with us for so long because each day is different, and every customer brings a new opportunity to help solve complex technical challenges. He is particularly excited about the space industry and all the incredible opportunities there are for Interface solutions to be used for rocket engine and airframe testing as well as computer chip manufacturing and the metrology markets. He also enjoys working with customers in one of our fastest growing industries, electric vehicles.

When he’s not working with customers to provide innovative solutions to complex challenges, Jeff can be frequently seen on his endurance road bicycle or swimming laps at the pool. He is training to hopefully compete in a triathlon next year. Jeff has two children, one in college and one in high school. His daughter in college is in the second year of her law degree at the University of Connecticut law school. He enjoys taking trips to the west coast and southern Utah, alongside his girlfriend Fran.

To learn more about our outstanding team members at Interface, tune in monthly for the Faces of Interface Series.

Faces of Interface Featuring Karla Salaz

When you possess the worldly knowledge and the wide range of career experience as our Custom Solutions Procurement Specialist Karla Salaz, you can be successful anywhere. In today’s Faces of Interface, we spoke to Karla about her career experience as well as her travels abroad and throughout the United States.

Karla grew up in Arizona and is a rare third generation Arizonian. Her father worked for the U.S. Forest Service, while her mother was in administrative work. Karla always enjoyed her home state and although her life took her all around to California, Florida, Nevada, Ohio, and Germany, she always knew she would make it back

Karla’s career is defined by her outstanding ability to pick up new skills and roles very quickly. When she moved to Southern California, she started a job in construction as a laborer before moving into an administrative assistant role. Her next stop was in retail where she worked at Walmart. She began as a cashier and rose through the ranks. Seven years later, Karla left Walmart as an assistant manager.

Then, after a few years working in the retail industry, Karla’s former husband, who was in the air force, received Permanent Change of Station orders to Germany, and she went along. In her new home, she began working for a broker for military exchanges.

After a little while and a move back to the states to Texas, she would take on her first role in manufacturing at a sausage manufacturing plant.  She moved into procurement at the plant and realized that she really enjoyed the various aspects of the position that allowed her to nurture and grow supplier relationships, as well as internal relationships. She also really enjoyed the responsibility of forecasting supply because it could make a huge difference in the success of the company.

Then, Karla returned to Arizona and began at Interface. Her experience in overseas brokering and procurement made her a perfect fit for the role as custom solutions procurement specialist. And while she only started in October 2020, her positive impact has certainly been felt by our team and customers. Her day-to-day responsibilities include processing orders, maintaining the correct level of inventory, coordinating logistics with partners locally and abroad, assisting in customs clearance and finding parts and bringing them in at the best price.

She says that what she enjoys most about working at Interface is that the company has such incredible potential, and in her role in custom solutions, she feels she has a big hand in influencing that growth. In addition, her proclivity for relationship building in concert with all of the different suppliers and Interface team member she interacts with, allows her meet knew people and engage all the time. Something she stills really enjoys after all this time after her first procurement job.

In her free time, Karla loves to spend time with family, her daughter is studying medicine at NAU in her junior year, and she gets up to see her as often as possible. She also has two sons and a granddaughter in Texas whom she also gets out to visit as often as she’s able. Finally, she’s a huge sports fan, basketball, baseball, football, and her favorite, hockey. She’s still waiting for the days that the Arizona Coyotes are competitive again.

Karla has a bright future ahead of her at Interface and we are thrilled to have her on board. If you enjoyed Karla’s story and want to meet more of our outstanding staff, check out her fellow ForceLeaders here.