Name: Paul Nicholas
Position: Vice President Services Sales/Program Management
Years with the company: 8 years
1) What was your childhood like?
I was raised by a loving mother and father. A traditional Blue-Collar family. My Dad worked two to three jobs to raise a family of five children. My mother worked in the home full time raising her family. Looking back, we never really had a lot of money, but I never missed a meal and experienced a wild and free childhood with lots of friends and playing outdoors.
2) Who was a hero to you growing up? Why?
My real-life hero is my father. What I truly admire about him was his willingness to take a chance in the middle part of his life. He left a career at Newport News Shipbuilding after 25 years of service, accepting a full-time role serving as pastor in a small country church in Suffolk, Virginia. The move was great for the family, and God blessed his ministry for 35 years. Dad was patient with me, allowing me to make mistakes and then lovingly reviewing how I could do better the next time. A beautiful father and leader.
My fictional hero is without a doubt, Rocky Balboa. My father was even involved in the introduction, taking me to see the third movie in the franchise back in 1982. I was sixteen at the time and very impressionable. I’d been hanging with the “wrong crowd,” and my Dad knew it. He also knew my love of sports. Taking me to see Rocky III was one of the best times we had as father and son. It helped me make the decision to stay away from alcohol and drugs and develop the discipline needed to take care of my body.
3) What are your hobbies?
I love to lift weights, when my joints allow at my age. Boxing is another interest I have; hitting the heavy bag 3 times a week is a must for me. Taking walks with my wife Dana Lee is an all-time favorite, and I have recently launched a new passion in writing fiction novels. I currently have my first novel in publishing and a second manuscript scheduled for completion in June of 2020.
4) How did you end up in metrology? Did you go to school for it?
Initially, I graduated from Newport News Apprentice School at Huntington Ingalls Shipbuilding, as a nuclear pipe fitter. Five years later, I was able to obtain a position in the Shipyard as a Metrology Technician. There I learned the metrology end user trade; using API laser trackers, theodolites, total stations, and photogrammetry systems.
5) How did you come to be at API?
I kept a relationship with Ron Hicks, who I worked with in the Shipyard for ten years. We discussed a sales position for API in the contract measurement services division. Once the opportunity became available, I was able to come aboard and serve in multiple roles for the company.
6) What are your roles and responsibilities with API?
I’m currently leading the Services Sales Division along with Program Management. Our team sells contract measurement services throughout the U.S. to include Laser Tracker Services, MTC Services and
Laser Scanning and 3D Modeling. We also manage the service projects alongside the Operations Managers at API.
7) What sets API apart from other metrology companies in your mind?
Our Service Engineers are very well-rounded in their abilities. They have supported many different types of projects and can use their vast experience to ensure success every time. I love the sense of ownership that we all have together. It’s not just 40 hours a week for me and my coworkers. We all stop at nothing to deliver the right solution to our customers.
In metrology, one size does not fit all. API understands that and delivers metrology solutions on many platforms. I love that we are a solutions-based company, with the ability to offer products and services to our customers.
8) What API Product or Service are you most excited to tell people about?
I like where API is heading with regards to automation and in-line inspection. Our customers are maturing and demanding more for their business processes. API is listening, working to design the right solutions tailored for each customer.
9) What about API’s future excites you?
The 3D metrology market is still, for many companies, a new way of thinking. Exploring and penetrating new markets, sharing our capabilities and building new relationships with clients excites me most. I love being able to contribute to the growth of a great company such as API.
10) What does “Nothing Beyond Measure” mean to you?
For me, it means that myself, my team, and our leadership are genuinely interested in going the extra mile for our clients. Our team is always looking for ways to improve our services and our products, in order to give customers, the greatest measurement experience they can achieve.