Jay Miller brings extensive executive leadership and medical technology industry experience to his new role as the president and CEO of Nortech Systems Inc., the Maple Grove-based provider of engineering and electronics manufacturing services.
Miller, whose appointment took effect on Feb. 27, had served as Nortech's interim president since Jan. 1 and as an independent director since May 2018.
Miller's predecessor, Rich Wasielewski, who had served as president and CEO since 2014, retired after 15 years with the company in a move announced in August.
"We've got a really strong leadership team, great employees, great customer relationships and very strong vendor partnerships," Miller said. "The opportunities in the medical device, defense and aerospace and industrial markets are fantastic, so I'm really excited about it."
Miller previously served nearly 17 years as a CEO with companies in the medical imaging industry and is on the boards of a number of medical imaging and medical device companies.
His experience in marketing and business and product development is expected to help Nortech expand its engineering services offering, which has fueled the company's strong growth in the medical market in recent years.
Miller previously was CEO of Imris, Deerfield Imaging Inc., Zonare Medical Systems and Vital Images Inc., all in the medical imaging industry. He also worked in the medical divisions of Siemens and General Electric
Miller has master's degrees in business administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and in biomedical engineering from the University of Virginia and a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Dartmouth College.
Q: What are you focusing on in leading Nortech?
A: As soon as I took the interim president job, we engaged in a very rigorous strategic planning process. Through that I discovered that the team is even stronger and the opportunities are even better than I thought. David [Kunin, chairman of Nortech's board of directors] and I agree, as does the rest of the board, that with the right strategic plan and the right focus that we can drive top-line growth reasonably aggressively and bottom-line growth even faster, and that is the goal.
Q: What challenges does Nortech face?
A: There are always external influences. We worry about tariffs, of course. We worry about the economy going up and down. But candidly, we have within our control the ability to grow the business independent of those things. We've got so many opportunities and such a huge pipeline of potential business, especially in the medical device space. We're lucky in the Twin Cities to have such a great infrastructure and community and history and culture in the medical device space that the opportunities in that space alone for this business are huge.
Q: How is your marketing background of use to you at Nortech?
A: My upstream and downstream marketing skills I think are helpful for the businesses. On the upstream side — product development, engineering development, looking at new technologies we can bring to bear across all the segments of the market — I think I can bring some value there. On the downstream side, I can help drive leads and help the sales folks close business and further develop some of the great customer relationships that the company has.
Todd Nelson is a freelance writer in Lake Elmo. His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.