Catching Up with Circuit Connect

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When I met with Circuit Connect President Bob Lazzara and Director of Operations Paul LaLiberte, I was first struck by the passion they both have for their customers, as well as for their customers’ businesses, using the innovation they have today, as well as what they can develop together with their customers. They don’t just invite, but urge their customers to come and visit them in their very well-equipped facility in Nashua, N.H.

When I visited recently, they could not wait to show me some of the boards they had built in conjunction with their customers, from a modular power rail for an M4 carbine and cutting edge wind generator electronics, to a specially developed heavy copper PCB for a company launching a new line of cordless lawn care tools. They pride themselves in making their customers technological dreams come to life.

This is a company that is not afraid to come up with the next best thing. They feel a very unique and admirable sense of obligation to their customers and hence the entire American electronics industry as a whole. This is also a company that thrives by putting their customers first when it comes to the way they do business. I have been known to gripe a bit about companies that refuse to bring the customer to the table when it’s time to talk about how they do business. But in the case of Circuit Connect, the opposite is true. The customer is not just a constant presence at the table, he is actually seated that the head of that table!

Dan: Tell me a little bit about the history of the company—how did the company get started and how long have they been in business, etc.

Circuit Connect:  The company was started in 1990, and its roots trace back to CuTronics in Baltimore, if you remember them.

Dan: Sure, Walter Johnston’s company right?

Circuit Connect: Yes, exactly. In fact, the company was started by Walt, Glen Castle and Rick Clutz. Walt later sold his interest to Bob Sites, who subsequently passed his shares to son, Mark. In 2014, Mark sold his shares to co-owner Rick Clutz.

Dan: So now Rick and Glen are the owners?

Circuit Connect: That’s right.

Dan: So it can be said that you guys have pretty deep roots in the East Coast PCB industry.

Circuit Connect: That’s right.

Dan: You have a philosophy that I want you to talk about. Tell me about that.

Circuit Connect: We feel that it is important for us to work with people and companies, enabling them to build the best end products they can build. We like to get involved in a project from the very beginning, when it is right there on the drawing board to help develop the overall product and how the circuit boards fit into it. We find out everything we can about the product, how it is going to be used, what it does, how long they expect it to last, what will the next generation look like, and what their plans are for the product in the future so that we can help with not only the design of the product, but most importantly, the design of the PCBs. Many times, by knowing everything about the end product, we can help their designers create a board package that will fit perfectly into that product and meet all of the company’s needs.

Dan: Man, talk about the customer being at the table. Can you give me an actual example?

Circuit Connect: Yes, absolutely. Here’s one: We worked with one manufacturer in developing a powered rail for the military’s M4 carbine. The device permits a number of electronic devices, such as lasers, range finders and night vision apparatus, to be powered from a single robust source, allowing these units to quickly go from belt-to-barrel and power up and be ready to use in seconds. We developed the boards that went into the rail, working side by side, at the table as you say, making sure that our client had absolutely the best end product possible.


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