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Design007-Nov2019

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56 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I NOVEMBER 2019 Scott: The company is big on hiring interns; we hire a lot of them. Many decide they either want to do something else or they just leave, but if they're good and we like them, we hire them. With interns, you constantly get a fresh pool of people, which keeps the compa- ny full. I came in as an intern under more ex- perienced engineers, and have been there ever since. Shaughnessy: I'm happy to hear that there's in- novation like this going on in Pensacola. What do you like most about the industry or your job? Scott: In general, home automation is a very quick-moving industry right now. Even in win- dow coverings, there are constant changes. At the old company, we did roller shades, which are constantly evolving. I think we helped push that forward with other companies in the industry. Now, we're into track draperies and rod draperies. We're hoping to push that mar- ket forward too. Shaughnessy: You were able to stay in your hometown, which a lot of Pensacola people will tell you is hard to do. I had to move to At- lanta. Are you the only designer in the com- pany? Scott: We have a few interns, as I said, which helps. But for the most part, I design the boards that we use from start to finish. I figure out what's going to be on the board, how it's go- ing to work with the program, and how it's go- ing to work with the mechanics. I lay out the board, send the board out to be manufactured, get it tested, ensure everything's working, and prepare for production. Then, once it gets to the production stage, we hand it off. Shaughnessy: You send it out to be fabricated, but you do the assembly? Scott: We assemble the final components; the board itself is normally assembled by the board house. But once we get the board in, we assemble the whole product. Shaughnessy: What are some of the changes you see in your technology? Scott: The ZigBee controller is a little older at this point, but it's still growing. Hopefully, we'll stay innovative with things like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. There's a lot going on, even in win- dow coverings. Shaughnessy: Do you have automated blinds at your house? Scott: I do. I tested them out when I first start- ed, and I like them. Shaughnessy: That's cool. How many people are in the company? Scott: We have about 25 people. We're just now getting into the full swing of produc- tion, so we're going to slowly build up pro- duction and a call center with more jobs. The nice part is we've been an R&D company up to this point. As I said, it's growing quite a bit still, and probably will continue to grow for the next two years. Shaughnessy: Do you ever go talk to students at UWF to get young people into the industry? Scott: Occasionally, I'll attend job fairs, talk to students, and find out what work interests them. Working with all the interns, we also get to see the direction that the school is going. Shaughnessy: That's great to hear because there's not a lot of industry in Pensacola; most people I know are lawyers or in hospitality. Scott: It's picking up slowly. There are only a handful of engineering companies in the area. Hopefully, we'll see more industry soon. Shaughnessy: Thanks for your time, Curtis. Scott: Thank you, Andy. DESIGN007

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