Keith, can you start by telling us about your job at Olympus and what your position entails?
I am the Applications Engineer for the Washington, Idaho, Montana and British Columbia territories. My day to day duties include providing product support for clients, supporting the sales staff by providing presale support and creating proof of concepts. I am typically on the road 3‐4 days a week visiting clients, providing onsite support and working on large scale programming projects.
How long have you worked at Olympus and where did you come from?
Before joining the Olympus Team in December of 2006, I was a Retail Manager for an office supply chain.
How did you go from Retail Manager to Applications Engineer in Industrial Automation?
I was looking to make a change and knew someone that worked at Olympus and they really liked it. After meeting with Scott Hendrickson I started as a Lab Technician and went back to school while I was also learning on the job. After graduation I moved to Seattle to join the team as an Application Engineer.
What do you like best about working at Olympus?
I enjoy the feeling I get when I’m able to help a client solve a problem, and get them back to developing their application. Since our mission is “For Olympus Controls to be the first automationsolutions provider our clients contact” I feel like I am helping Olympus deliver on that promise.
Can you describe anything interesting or funny memory from working at Olympus?
In 2011 the company created the ‘Olympus Games’ as a way to get everyone involved, apply our technologies is a rather unconventional way and to have some fun. We broke up into three groups representing WA, OR and CA. During the 2011 Olympus Games, on top of our project requirements, Team Washington decided to not only add a self‐igniting torch, but also add fireworks to the presentation of our project. Things looked promising during early testing of the ignition system, but when it came time to present, the igniters (cans of Sterno) were not strong enough to light the fuses. Fortunately the actual project, which was a vision guided robot that would trace whatever image you placed in view, worked well. It was a lot of fun!
What do you like to do outside of work?
One of my favorite activities to do outside of work is to wake board, but in general I just like to be outside during the summer months (camping, hiking, etc.). In fact a couple of years ago I traveled to Kauai and camped for a week in the Kokee State Park in Hawaii. It was probably one of the best experiences of my life. During the trip I hiked to the rainiest point (on average) on Earth which is about 460 inches per year.
What are some key lessons you have taken from your career thus far?
The biggest key that I have taken away thus far in my career is to always do everything you can to ensure that your customers are satisfied.
Do you have a favorite Sports Team?
I have been a fan of the Portland Trail Blazers since the early ‘90’s. I also like following the Seattle Seahawks, and really enjoy going to their games.