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During productronica 2019, Barry Matties chatted with Kurt Palmer about his new role as president of Burkle America, the work they do with Schmoll Maschinen, and why customers in North America must continue to invest to keep up with the technology and be profitable.
Barry Matties: Welcome, Kurt. First, can you talk a little bit about your position at Burkle now?
Kurt Palmer: I joined Burkle North America in January of 2019, so I have been with the company for 11 months. I initially joined as a person that was going to manage the PCB sales for the North American market, including both the Burkle press equipment and all the Schmoll equipment we provide to the PCB market. But fairly quickly after accepting the sales role, I was offered a different position as Burkle North America president. It was a rapid change of positions after accepting the initial role. Now I’m responsible for overseeing a team of 24 employees as well as the sales and direction of the company for the future.
Matties: And in North America, Burkle does not just do PCB electronics, but you also do solar, photovoltaics, woodworking, and plastic cards. You have a pretty broad portfolio of products.
Palmer: Especially with the Burkle side of things, those are all part of our portfolio.
Matties: What was your background before Burkle?
Palmer: It’s all been in the PCB industry, including consumable and equipment sales, so I’m not going to let that go; I will continue to stay involved in that business because I grew up in the industry. I graduated in the late ‘80s from college and started working for the family business, selling copper-clad laminates, drill bits, etc. After 30 years, we made the bittersweet decision to sell the business to one of our supplier partners. I stayed on for three years through the integration and then decided to join Burkle earlier this year.
To read this entire interview, which appeared in the December 2019 issue of PCB007 Magazine, click here.