Growing our business – investing in people

January 2015 saw Mark Webster’s official appointment to the role of CEO. The subsequent months have seen a succession of critical appointments for the Company.

Hiring talent into the business to complement and grow our current teams skills and capabilities is a strategic priority for general management, sales, R&D, engineering, business development, lean manufacturing, and continuous improvement.

We have focused on selecting individuals whose skills and experience enhance Gooch & Housego’s heritage of expertise in photonics engineering and manufacturing.

We are investing strategically in teams dedicated to product development and process improvement:

  • Systems Technology Group (STG) to further strategic development in systems
  • QSHE (Quality, Safety, Health & Environment)
  • Supply chain management

Here are a few of our colleagues who have joined since the start of 2015.

Merrill Apter – Account Development Manager

Merrill-ApterMerrill joined us in January 2015 and is based at our Palo Alto facility. Merrill has dedicated his 25 year career to the laser and photonics industry. He brings substantial experience in OEM component sales, first as an individual contributor and later as a business development team leader in global organizations. Merrill has assumed a lead role developing accounts in the Western US.

Iwan Dodd – Director, Business Development A&D North America

Iwan-DoddIwan started in May 2015 and is based on the East Coast of the USA. Iwan brings 30 years of optical systems expertise, most recently in defense display applications. The addition of Iwan demonstrates G&H’s commitment to further develop Aerospace and Defense markets. We are looking to focus attention and increase the company’s market share in the sub-assembly and systems business with a number of key North American OEM’s.

Jihan Farzana – Stress Engineer STG

Jihan-FarzanaJihan joined the Systems Technology Group (STG) in Torquay in June 2015. Jihan graduated with an MSc in Astronautics and Space Engineering from Cranfield University in 2011. From there, she worked in aerospace and space-based organizations such as the Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and Rolls-Royce. She is fascinated by space related technology and is driven by recent advancements in the space sector. We are excited that Jihan will be able to apply her expertise in Stress Engineering and Space to STG projects.

Randy Gibbs – VP of Continuous Improvement

Randy-GibbsRandy joined G&H in April 2015 in the newly created position of VP of Continuous Improvement (CI) and is based in Cleveland, OH. Randy is tasked with responsibility for leading and delivering our global CI strategies. In support of our Performance Improvement Programme, he is to drive operational excellence across the company. Randy has substantial experience from a diverse range of sectors including electronics, pharmaceutical and medical devices. With a strong track record in team building, LEAN manufacturing, and Six Sigma implementation, Randy will lead our transition into a LEAN Enterprise.

Andrew McBride – Head of Global Human Resources.

Andrew-McBrideStarting in January 2015, Andrew has a wealth of experience in strategic HR development, gained from 25 years in the food and packaging industries. Andrew’s goal is to “put people at the centre of the value chain” in support of G&H’s plans for growth. Since joining, we have launched our first global employee survey which has provided great insights into areas for development. A priority project for Andrew is the identification and development of high potential staff.

Lee McPherson – Process Engineer, Glenrothes

Lee-McPhersonLee joined us in January 2015, bringing over 20 years of experience in the defense sector where he was responsible for process engineering in high power electronics for missile guidance systems, MOSFET semiconductor manufacturing, and Silicon Carbide technologies. Lee also has experience deploying Six Sigma processes. He has been instrumental to improvements at Glenrothes, driving the continuous improvement program at that site.

Vinnie Rodino – Sales Manager, Boston

Vinnie-RodinoVinnie was hired in spring 2015 after 10 years working in technical sales addressing optical components for telecommunications manufacturing.

Vinnie was attracted to G&H’s strong engineering capabilities and strategic commitment to customer engagement through innovative, custom solution support.

Gary Stevens – STG Optical Engineer

gary-stevensGary was appointed in April 2015 as STG Optical Engineer after starting with G&H (Torquay) as an Engineering Doctorate Student in 2011. Gary has recently completed his MBA.

Gary will continue to work on system level projects, such as EDFAs for satellite communications and fiber lasers.

Frank Weiss – General Manager, G&H (Orlando)

Frank-WeissFrank started in May 2015 as an accomplished RF, microwave and photonics technology executive. Frank brings 25 years’ experience in product development, marketing, and general management in commercial, aerospace, and defence markets. He has a strong track record in developing successful teams, identifying and developing key OEM and end-user customers, and executing strategic business plans. We look forward to benefiting from Frank’s guidance and experience as we grow the Orlando business.
We have also recruited colleagues into engineering, information technology and systems, operations, and R&D.

In addition to these key appointments, a number of existing staff have been assigned new roles to further our continuous improvement objectives.

Most notably:

  • Andy Back

    SVP Corporate Quality assumed responsibility for Quality / Compliance / Continuous Improvement

  • Fred Garderes

    VP Strategic Sourcing assumed responsibility for managing the Company supplier base

If you’re interested in joining G&H, please visit our careers page or look at our LinkedIn profile.