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98 PCB007 MAGAZINE I AUGUST 2023 What was your path to Pro-Tech? I learned the business from the ground up at TRC starting in 1997. I worked in shipping and as a receptionist. Eventually this led to working with engineers and gave me a practi- cal understanding of design vs. manufacturing. We were doing some exciting work. We built the antenna on the Mars Polar Lander and the first GPS system for the Tomahawk Cruise Missile. Five years in, the owners of the company wanted out, so I bought TRC. at was a tough period as work was moving to Asia. We dropped from 55 employees to 13. e only way we survived was to work across multiple industries, keep turning out quality products, and take on work from 10 small shops in Min- neapolis that had gone out of business. In 2018, TRC Circuits created American Cir- cuit Corporation to purchase Pro-Tech Inter- connect Solutions LLC. Pro-Tech was 10X big- ger than TRC. In 2022–23, we combined TRC with Pro-Tech and have 83 employees at one facility in Chaska, Minnesota, as Pro-Tech Interconnect Solutions LLC. Pro-Tech is a 100% Owned and Operated Certified Woman Owned Small Business. What interested you in this industry? I enjoyed working with engineering groups from all over the world to build their boards with the challenge of emerging technologies, running rapid prototyping, and seeing them progress. For example, 3G to 20G in the man- Member Profile Q&A: Melanie Bera Anderson ufacturing of cellphones, industrial controls, and the continued advances by the Depart- ment of Defense in various technologies. Where is the industry headed? If we want this industry to grow, we need to get the same kind of support and attention that semiconductors have received. We need the boards built in the U.S. and have the semicon- ductors put on in the U.S. If we get the PCBS Act passed, it will help companies like mine to upgrade facilities and equipment to improve technology. e equipment needed to produce American Made Advocacy PCBAA

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