Interview With Shane Whiteside - CEO of Summit Interconnect and Chair of the IPC Board of Directors

Uncategorized Jun 15, 2020

Earlier this year the IPC’s Board of Directors decided to add a full voting board seat to an IPC Student Member.  Charlene Gunter du Plessis, senior director of the IPC Education Foundation reached out to Dr. John Mitchell, President and CEO of IPC and Shane Whiteside, CEO of Summit Interconnect and Chair to the IPC Board of Directors about this decision and what this new role entails. 



The IPC Student Member, Paige Fiet, President of the IPC Student Chapter at Michigan Technological University was elected as the first IPC Board of Directors Student Member Liaison. She is pursuing an Electrical Engineering degree with a Biomed Application. She is currently a summer employee at Calumet Electronics, an IPC member company, to develop a deeper understanding of printed circuit board manufacturing. For the full interview with Paige – click here.

Charlene connected with Shane separately to learn more about his journey within the industry, his advice to young professionals in finding a job, and insights in emerging technologies over the next 5 years.



Charlene: “What are the goals and aspirations of the IPC Board of Directors?”

Shane: “The Board supports the organization, looks after the interests of its members, and makes sure that the strategy, direction and financial operations of the organization are executed in a manner that benefits our members.”

Charlene: “As the newly elected Chairman of the IPC Board of Directors - What makes our organization's mission powerful for you?” 

Shane: “I have been honored to be part of the IPC Board for almost 15 years and have seen the organization broaden significantly. What was once an organization of standards and a tradeshow is now influencing education and advocacy throughout the industry. We have really evolved and improved the training and certification programs, which put more emphasis on the globalization of our association to benefit all members. Operating on a global scale provides equal influence for everybody no matter where the industry operates, and which products are being built.” 

Charlene: “What interests you most about our organization”

Shane: “I’m honored to be part of the IPC Board of Directors because of how it has developed and scaled to become influential around the world. The somewhat newer initiatives in the areas of government relations, training, and certification have transformed the organization to represent the entire electronics supply chain from raw material suppliers throughout to OEMs. The progress in these areas continues to improve each year.”

Charlene: “What was the highlight of your career thus far?”

Shane: “Learning from different experiences and working with so many interesting people has been the highlight of my career thus far. I have worked for years putting together great companies in the printed circuit board industry, previously with TTM Technologies and now Summit Interconnect. I take a lot of pride in the accomplishments of growing these companies.”

Charlene: “As President & CEO of Summit Interconnect - What advice do you have for young professionals, especially students in finding a job?”

Shane: “My advice is to find a job that aligns with what you’d like to do in your life long-term, rather than finding a job for right now. Your school education may be over, but your lifelong education is just beginning. The skills that are going to help you advance in your career aren’t taught in the classroom but will be taught by the company and managers that you work for in your first job. It is important to find something that aligns with what you think you want to do long-term in order to achieve success. I advise to ask questions during your interview process to try to assess the company culture, the personality style of your managers, the people that are interviewing you to determine if the job is worth pursuing, or if it would be better to pursue other opportunities.”

Charlene: “How important is it to you to provide young professionals like Paige Fiet (newly elected Student Board Member) the opportunity to serve in this capacity?”

Shane: “The Board of Directors is excited to have a voice for the new constituency of university students that are interested in a career in the electronics supply chain. We certainly feel that Paige will have a great individual experience but we look forward to learning more about what influences the students. The Board has a lot of diversity representing the electronics supply chain, but most of the members are late-career professionals, needing to think back many years to determine what would appeal to students. I look forward to Paige’s contributions and ability to provide a fresh voice in this new focus area for IPC.”

Charlene: “Define “Servant Leadership” in your own words”

Shane: “Servant Leadership becomes increasingly important as you get higher in an organization. To me it means you align your leadership style and actions so everything that you do is for the purpose of supporting the organization and its stakeholders. Servant Leadership is looking at your organization and supporting it as an entity that is going to continue to evolve after you are no longer the leader. The leader has to look after its best interest and long-term growth. It is certainly the leadership style that I strive for and it is important for long term success for any organization.”

Charlene: “As a professional - what do you think are the emerging technologies over the next 5 years?”

Shane: “Our industry is focusing on several emerging technologies. One perpetual trend is increasing circuit density. The processes to create and deliver increased circuit density is going to continue to evolve. Another trend is the hybridization of printing technology and circuity formation. We can casually term it “printed electronics.” There is an application gap between traditional printed electronics, PCBs, and other types of circuity, and that gap will start to close over time. The evolution of new materials will support increased digital speeds and improve RF/microwave performance. Adding to that will be the integration of connectors, cables, and components to move signals faster, reduce the size, and use less power. The evolution of the cohesive approach to design at the appliance level will continue to push this technology forward.”


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