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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 Elliot Speidell

In today’s Faces of Interface post, we are featuring Interface Regional Sales Director Elliot Speidell. Amongst all the wonderful stories and backgrounds, we hear about from our amazing team, Elliot’s may be one of the most unique and interesting.  You see, Elliot didn’t start his career in or go to school for engineering like many of the Faces of Interface subjects we’ve highlighted in the past.

In fact, Elliot studied music education at Northern Arizona University. Music was Elliot’s first passion and he thought that he would go on to pursue a career in it. Although, as he explains it, he was a kid just trying to figure it out and wasn’t sure what to do. But he loved music, so he went for it.

His first job out of school was teaching music in elementary school, followed by teaching both middle and high school students. And while he did enjoy it for a time, he and his wife were expecting a daughter and he thought that it was time for a change.

Now, music isn’t Elliot’s only passion. He also loves to work with cars. He can often be found tinkering and improving cars that he eventually races in Sports Car Club of America Solo (SCCA) events. SCCA Solo is different from what you see on TV with NASCAR and Indy Car Racing. It involves precision driving through a designated course marked with cones. If you’ve kept up with the Faces of Interface series, you would know that SCCA Autocross is also a major hobby for our Global Sales Vice President, Brian Peters.

Going back to Elliot and his desire to move into a new field, both Brian and Elliot became friends during SCCA competition, and Elliot had mentioned to Brian that he was looking for something new. Knowing Elliot well, Brian thought that he would make a great application engineer. Thus, the unique story of how Elliot moved from music to a career in technology and engineering by joining the team at Interface.

As an Application Engineer at Interface, Elliot provided frontline support to customers across the east coast, later moving to serve the west coast. He worked across industries providing force measurement solutions to customers for a wide variety of applications. After a few years, he moved on to the newly introduced technical services department where he served as the technical services manager. In this role, Elliot and his team helped manage the recalibration of customer’s products as well provided technical support to customers for load cells, torque transducers, and related instrumentation. He was also instrumental in selling these services to customers and growing the technical services business.

Today, Elliot is a regional sales director where this time he started on the west coast and eventually has taken over support for the region that is along the US east coast, as well as a few regions in the south including Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. The new role is more strategic in nature in that he’s out working directly with customers providing Interface force solutions, while also working directly with Interface’s teams of outside sales reps in those regions.

The thing that Elliot loves most about working at Interface is the diversity of applications he gets to work on. One day he could be helping provide a solution for measuring the tension on a guitar string and another day he’s helping a customer that’s working on a test stand for a rocket engine. Every day is unique and the technology he gets to see, and help solve challenges for, is always getting cooler!

When he’s not solving customer challenges, Elliot can be found with his wife of 14 years and their daughter, riding his mountain bike, or in the garage slowly working on LS swapping his car’s engine for SCCA autocross. Pre-pandemic, he also still indulged his love of music by playing trumpet in a Soul and Funk band at various Phoenix area venues.

We hope you enjoyed learning about Elliot as much as we enjoyed sharing this feature. Stay tuned for more Faces of Interface in 2021, and from everyone here at Interface, we wish you a very happy New Year!

Interface Outlook for 2021

Interface CEO Greg Adams shares his outlook for the coming year.

Never in our collective lives have we faced so much uncertainty and turmoil! The year 2020 will make history, that much is certain. Between the COVID-19 pandemic, social unrest, and a year of political strife for the ages, I think we’re all ready to turn the chapter on the start of this decade.

Despite the challenges we’ve faced in 2020, I’m still very optimistic about our future, and for Interface. My optimism is fueled by the amazing people we have here at Interface.

As a family, we’ve gotten through this together and are only growing stronger. I couldn’t be prouder of our people for their resilience and hard work in the past year. We have continued to provide the same excellent service our customers appreciate. In fact, our Net Promoter Score® remained above 60 again in our latest 2020 Customer Satisfaction Survey.

Additionally, product quality is higher than ever and we even had a few major product launches this year, including ConvexBT, our most advanced load button load cell ever, and the G Series, a new international Mini Load Cell product line. And most importantly, we’ve done all of this by ensuring that the health and safety of everyone is our number one priority.

Our ability to remain successful in the past year is a product of how diversified our end markets remain. We continue to serve a wide variety of critical technology-focused industries including aerospace and defense, automotive, medical, industrial, T&M and more. We have benefited from global diversification as well, stepping up our focus on market leaders around the world. It’s also a testament to our engineers who continue to be future focused on innovation. We’ve developed new and groundbreaking ways to serve customers, and we’ve identified trends to keep us at the bleeding edge in our industry and continuously moving forward.

The last point I’ll make on the year 2020 before looking ahead is that we’ve also taken some of the downtime to improve our internal processes and dedicate time to skills training for our team. Not only have we improved our product lines and capabilities, but we’ve also ensured that our skillsets remain strong going into the next year.

And as we finally make the turn to 2021, I’ve spent some time looking ahead to what I believe the next year will hold for our industry and for Interface:

A heightened focus on pre-sale and post-sales service is one thing that we’ve heard from customers in the last year through our semi-annual surveys. We’re upgrading our sales process to ensure our engineering teams are more involved in assisting the customer select and configure the products and systems that are right for their application. Enhancing our after-sales service will include capturing and distributing instructions, guides, and other technical services into a more accessible and easier to find outlets like our robust website.

Another trend we’re seeing requested from our customers is a desire for force measurement providers to migrate from components to systems. World-class componentry will always be important, but our experience working with customers to provide total system solutions that meet their specific needs is critical. In addition, the demand for higher performance and more customization options continues. One of the biggest improvements Interface has made in the past year is updating our production lines to include more automation capabilities. This allows us to provide high-performance, customized products at high volume while still being able to offer competitive costs. This change is helping us expand our sales with the OEM customers.

Finally, a big trend we’ve been following is miniaturization and the desire to pack more sensor technology into a single load cell or torque transducer. We’ve already begun to address this in some of our products by designing accelerometers into load cells. In industries like automotive, we often use a torque transducer to measure rotation with components like car engines. By adding an accelerometer, we can measure both rotation and acceleration through a single device.

As this desire for more data and less convoluted test systems grows, Interface will continue to find ways to customize our load cells and add more sensor types like temperature and humidity. We’ll also do this by using electronic miniaturization manufacturing methods to improve capability without increasing the overall size of the package.

In conclusion, I’m extremely pleased with the level of talent, the strength of the brand and the depth of our commitment to customer satisfaction. We’ve overcome the challenges presented to us this year and remain stronger than ever. Our renewed focus on the future will also help us identify opportunities for innovation to serve customers in more unique and beneficial ways.

I hope that everyone in our community, from our partners to our customers and employees, has a wonderful holiday season and comes back in the new year refreshed. We’re not out of the woods yet with the pandemic, but there is light ahead and we are speeding to be the Interface you can always rely on.

Faces of Interface Featuring John Guy

John Guy, managing partner at Stress Analysis Services, is the second profile showcasing our outstanding network of manufacturer’s representatives. Interface values the relationships we have with our manufacturer’s reps, and we consider them a integral part of the Interface family.

John grew up in Whitehouse, Ohio, and was exposed to the engineering and DIY lifestyle at a young age. His father owned a sheet metal contracting business and his parents built their own house. Through this exposure, John discovered his aptitude for mechanics and electrical.

Beginning in his freshman year of high school John worked summers and weekends for an HVAC contractor, electrical contractor, and ultimately for a manufacturer of packaging machinery where he learned relay-ladder logic controls.   After graduating from high school in 1979, he enrolled at the University of Toledo in pursuit of a degree in electrical engineering and began working as an electrical designer for AVCA Corporation, an engineering firm. One of the big projects he was tasked with was designing a ladle control system which led to System & Specialty Controls (the control panel contractor) offering him a job in technical sales in 1981. It didn’t take long for John to recognize that technical sales was his true calling.

In June 1983, John joined Smith Instruments, a manufacturers’ rep for process instrumentation and transducers, as a sales engineer.  This position became his first foray into the world sensors, selling solutions to a wide variety of industries.  During this time John grew his technical knowledge and developed a deep understanding of the importance of serving customers.

In June of 1987, the founder of Stress Analysis Services (SAS), Bruce Davey, recruited John to join his company as a sales engineer covering Southern Michigan and NW Ohio.  In November of 1987, after a tour with GE and the semiconductor industry, Bruce’s son Mark joined SAS first as a sales engineer and soon thereafter as sales manager.

In 1995 Bruce retired and Mark purchased SAS.  By this time John had positioned himself as the top sales performer in the company, one that Mark wanted to keep on his team, so in 1998 he was promoted to managing partner and ultimately earned an equity position in SAS.

From its’ beginning in 1966, SAS has represented Vishay/VPG Micro-Measurements strain gages and strain gage-based transducer manufacturers including Lebow (where Richard Caris, the founder of Interface once worked). Interface and Stress Analysis Services had been acquainted for years, but in 2005 when Honeywell acquired Lebow it turned out to be the perfect time to partner.

Today, John, Mark, and the Stress Analysis Services team of 11 sales engineers that sell Interface force and torque products in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Western Pennsylvania, Upstate New York, Illinois, and Wisconsin. SAS serves a wide variety of both OEM and end-user test & measurement customers in the automotive, aerospace, heavy equipment, and medical markets.

What John appreciates most about Interface is their reputation for performance and quality. He mentioned that Interface built their reputation in the aerospace industry and weren’t very well-known in the other industries located in the Midwest when SAS started representing the line as part of their overall sensor, instrumentation and service offerings. Through the strong partnership between Interface and SAS working as a team in the region, Interface is now known as a top manufacturer of precision quality products and force measurement solutions available from Stress Analysis Services.

“Over the past 15 years Interface has worked with us to build their global brand across all industries.  That success has been built by developing close rep/customer relationships and a commitment to respond quickly to customers’ challenges with innovative products and sometimes custom solutions.” – John Guy

When John is not working with some of the largest automotive providers and OEM customers, he can be found spending time with his wife, two daughters and wonderful grandchildren.  John’s eldest daughter is special education teacher and is married with three children. His youngest daughter actually works for John at SAS as a sales engineer and is currently pregnant with her first – congratulations!

John and his wife Janet enjoy biking around Ohio and Michigan together usually logging about 140 miles per week on their Cannondale road racing tandem.  John is also an avid tennis player, play 3+ times per week and captaining a USTA team.

In our Faces of Interface interview, John ended our conversation with a quick note recognizing his outstanding team at Stress Analysis Services, saying he appreciates their hard work, dedication, and commitment to putting the customer first. We couldn’t agree more and certainly appreciate our extended family at SAS!

We are committed in working hand-in-hand with our representatives in helping Interface customers get the exact products that match their precise requirements. We truly couldn’t have gained the success and notoriety Interface has earned as a leader in force measurement solutions without our expert representatives around the world.

Tune in to our blog at www.interfaceforce.com/blog/ every month for another Faces of Interface profile. We love putting these together and hope that you enjoy learning about the outstanding people that keep us going strong!

 

 

 

 

Celebrating Independence and American Manufacturing

As we celebrate Independence Day 2020 at Interface, we are also celebrating our history as an American manufacturer.  We are a company founded in 1968 that started with a vision to engineer and build precision and quality products made in the USA. We remain steadfast in honoring our commitment to remaining an US headquartered manufacturer.

Our first production facility was opened in 1972 in the Scottsdale Airpark in Arizona. Through our 52 year history and growth we have expanded in this location, which features a high-production manufacturing facilities, an accredited calibration laboratory, a multi-faceted machine workshop, and our corporate offices.

At Interface, we know manufacturing is critical to the US economy. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) stated that in 2019, U.S. manufacturers accounted for more than 11% of the total output in our economy and employed more than 8% of the workforce. Additionally, the total output from U.S. manufacturing in 2018 was $2.3 billion.

Manufacturers in Arizona account for 8.61% of the total output in the state, employing 5.96% of the workforce according to NAM.  It is our depth of respected talent and valuable experience that enable us to continue our driving focus on innovation, engineering and production of the world’s most accurate, reliable and quality performance load cells and force measurement solutions in Arizona. In 2019, Interface was recognized as the Manufacturer of the Year in Arizona, a great honor for the entire Interface team.

Our force measurement expertise is vital to a number of industries where U.S. regulatory compliance is necessary. This includes aerospace and defense, space and launch sectors, medical, industrial automation, new IoT technology and automotive. We have worked with global businesses in these industries, along with test and measurement, for more than five decades. Over time, we have earned several industry-related regulatory compliances to serve both local and international customers. It is represented by our commitment to quality.

As we celebrate the Independence Day holiday, our team is also are taking a moment to celebrate American ingenuity, innovation, and recognize the outstanding manufacturing presence in the USA.

“America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination, and unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.” ― Harry S. Truman

We take pride in being an American women-owned and operated business, and we look forward to what our 2nd 50 years bring us.

Faces of Interface Featuring Raymunn Machado-Prisbrey

Raymunn Machado-Prisbrey has spent his entire professional career at Interface. His first job was right out of high school, where he was hired to work on the assembly line at night. During the day he attended Arizona State University as a full-time student and after four years graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering.

After graduating, Raymunn was a shoo-in for an engineering job at Interface as he was already well-versed on all the products and knew all the people. He has held his current job as a Production Engineer for four years and continues to grow in his role.

His connection with Interface started long before he joined the company. It’s generational. While he was growing up, his dad worked at Interface and regularly brought him to company picnics and events. He got to know several of his father’s co-workers who would eventually become his own teammates. It’s this family atmosphere that Raymunn enjoys the most.

“The people are what make this job great.” Raymunn Machado-Prisbrey

Raymunn was always drawn to engineering and he knew right away that he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps. He has a persistent fascination for how things work and enjoyed helping his dad work on cars and ATVs. He loved school and was gifted at math. Pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering was a natural fit and working at Interface aligns with his goals of personal development and life-long learning.

In his current role, Raymunn works closely with the sales team to help turn customer requirements into reality. He designs load cells and helps in the entire process of their creation. He also handles the calibration and electrical adapters for load cells, an area he earned a unique perspective from working on the calibration floor out of high school. He strives to make a positive impact on the production personnel’s job with each new design since he’s been on both the production and engineering sides of the manufacturing business.

While Raymunn is very proud of several of the projects that he has worked on while at Interface, he notes that designing custom load cells for the Giant Magellan Telescope was the coolest. The lens on the telescope itself was 8.4 meters, an incredible feat in engineering and a unique challenge for Interface.

Raymunn loves the strategic aspect of his role. He likes collaborating with a team to solve customer problems. Many of his other favorite projects relate to unique customer circumstances, where he had to think outside the box to come up with the best solution. Load cells going on mountaintops in Chile, load cells that needed to withstand a huge temperature swing, custom load cell geometry and load cells that needed to exist in a vacuum were some of the examples he cites. Raymunn loves a challenge, and it is this aspect of his job that keeps him constantly engaged and inspired.

When not working at Interface, Raymunn is an avid backpacker and loves to camp and get away from the city. He enjoys four-wheeling, target-shooting, and mountain biking. Basically, anything that involves exploring the outdoors. He also loves to travel and has recently visited Germany and Mexico with several additional trips in the works.

Our Greatest Resource is Our Team Members

Labor Day is important to Interface. It is our time to celebrate our most valuable resource, our talented team members. We appreciate every single person that has been part of our 51-year-old history. They are what makes us thrive, each and every day.

Our talent is diverse in skills and experience. It takes a wide range of resources to design and build the best precision force solutions in the market place.

At Interface, we are proud of the work we do and the products we provide our clients. Our force measurement tools and technology are recognized as the Gold Standard for accuracy and reliability, because of the hundreds of top-notch engineers, production team members, sales and application engineers, administrators, partners, reps, and distributors, who pour their heart and soul into their work.

On any given day, you can find our experts keenly soldering strain gages, calibrating every load cell, shipping crates of our LowProfile load cells, meeting with clients to design new OEM solutions, engineering new products and supporting our internal and external customers from our headquarter office. It takes a vast group of committed team members to do what we do, and do it well. And that is worth celebrating this Labor Day!

Our employees have been able to achieve success at such a high level because of our focus on the core values we use to define ourselves: ownership, integrity, imagination, and accountability. It’s ingrained in our culture and what we strive to represent throughout the organization.

These values dictate the way our teams interact with clients and one another, and it guides the success of our product development and R&D efforts. There are a shared vision and a common goal which makes collaboration and innovation easier, which helps us to promote a great place to work.

As a premium supplier to the critical infrastructure projects, the aerospace and defense markets, we are also happy to avowal that Interface products are “Made in America.” We take pride in leveraging American labor and contributing our economic success to the U.S. GDP. The National Association of Manufacturing (NAM) presented the following facts on the state of U.S. manufacturing, and Interface is an integral contributor to these milestones:

NAM Facts (Source):

  • Manufacturers contributed $2.38 trillion to the U.S. economy in the fourth quarter of 2018
  • Over the past 28 years, U.S.-manufactured goods exported have quadrupled
  • Manufacturers in the U.S. export nearly half of U.S. manufacturing output
  • Taken alone, manufacturing in the U.S. would be the eighth-largest economy in the world

America’s manufacturing labor force turned America into a powerhouse in the mid-1800s. They started the industrial revolution and became the backbone to American success throughout the next 150 years. It’s critical to our country’s future to celebrate and support manufacturing and labor.

We invite you to check back in every month and read our Faces of Interface blog where we celebrate the individual leaders helping us to achieve our innovation goals. The special series tells the stories and background of some of our most brilliant people. Check out the latest edition here.

Happy Labor Day, and remember to rest and relax. We appreciate all you do Interface Team!