Name: Ron Hicks
Position: Vice President, Sales and Service
Years with the company: 11
1) What was your childhood like?
I lived in the country, so my friends and I traveled all over on our bikes exploring. We left in the morning and didn’t come home until dinner. We always took care of our chores early and had the remainder of the day to do what we wanted. My parents used to take us camping, sometimes every weekend during the summer.
2) Who was a hero to you growing up? Why?
Mickey Mantle. My Grandfather played for a Yankees minor league team, and he and my Dad were big fans of Mickey, so I naturally was too.
3) What are your hobbies?
Spending quality time with my family. I’ve also played Fantasy Baseball with the same group of guys for the past 15 years. I enjoy going to professional baseball games.
4) How did you end up in metrology? Did you go to school for it?
At the Apprentice School at Newport News Shipbuilding, I had an assignment in Industrial Engineering. It was for a new technology, Industrial Photogrammetry. The company eventually used me to get the program up and running. We became a highly functional Dimensional Control Department with over one hundred personnel.
I earned my bachelor’s degree at night while working with the technology in shipbuilding, mainly nuclear power aircraft carriers and submarines. This work really helped prepare me for my next job.
5) How did you come to be at API?
API was one of our suppliers at Newport News. I liked the technology and its smaller size and versatility. And they were interested in helping me solve problems. I had a direct line of communication with Dr. Lau and Joe Bioty.
Joe mentioned to me that API was looking to start a Services Division. After about six months, I decided to take the new position as head of Services. Going to work for API really opened my eyes to the entire Metrology Industry. At the time, I was doing Marketing, Sales and building a fabulous team of expert personnel.
6) What are your roles and responsibilities with API?
Currently, my position is Vice President, Marketing & Programs. My areas of responsibility include Marketing, Product Management, Programs, Rest of World Sales, and GSA Administration. I find this position very challenging and informative. For my previous 14 years with the company, I always worked in the field running North American Services or Sales. Recently, I’ve had the honor to spend a lot of time in our HQ learning the product side of the business. I have gained an entirely new appreciation for the work everyone does at our HQ location and our Marketing in Plymouth, Michigan. I have been amazed by the amount of work and coordination that goes into our products daily. API is truly a fantastic company.
7) What sets API apart from other metrology companies in your mind?
API is the best kept secret in the industry. Our products are rock-solid. Our contract services are extremely capable. We’re making our customer service a global leader. Many company’s like to say they are a Solutions Company, but API truly is. We offer innovative products and services. We excel at applying our technology and processes to difficult customer projects. We also have great industry partners and representatives that expand API’s reach significantly.
8) What API Product or Service are you most excited to tell people about?
I can talk all day about what we offer, but I think our Machine Tool Calibration needs more attention. We have the best equipment and software available to error map and calibrate anything from a simple three-axis mill to a large, complex five-axis gantry requiring volumetric compensation. And if you need a service team to do the calibration for you, we have the best, most experienced team on the planet.
9) What about API’s future excites you?
I’ve seen API make great strides. Our products are mature, and our services are exceptional. The most exciting thing to me is the people. They are highly motivated and know their jobs very well. We are working very hard to bring new and exciting products to market that will benefit and enhance our customers’ ability to get their work done. We are ready to compete.
10) What does “Nothing Beyond Measure” mean to you?
I believe it really sums up API very well. We solve metrology problems with our products and services every day, all day long. That’s what you get.