Interview: Greg Maury, President, Maury Microwave

June 14, 2013
For Maury Microwave's President, business is a family tradition stretching back three generations.

NF: Maury Microwave has been in your family for three generations, starting as Maury Associates in 1957. Did you always know you were going to go into the family business?

GM: No, Not really. I spent two years working part-time at Maury Microwave while earning my business degree—doing various jobs from paint prep and detailing parts to expediting and manufacturing planning and a quality-control project. I had no intentions of working for Maury Microwave after graduation. I wanted to find my own way with other opportunities—preferably in aerospace.

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NF: Never any thoughts of running away with the circus?

GM: Actually, I may have respectfully done just that! Upon graduation, I spent the first two-and-a-half years of my career with General Dynamics (Pomona, CA), where my grandfather, father, and uncle all worked in the mid-1950s before starting Maury. I then went to McDonnell Douglas (Long Beach, CA) for nine years. I returned to Maury full-time in 1996 and have been with the company ever since.

NF: Your grandfather originally started the firm and your father and uncle also held leadership positions, correct?

GM: Correct. My grandfather, Mario Sr., ran the business from 1957 until his passing in 1964. My uncle Mario Jr., then led MMC until his passing in 1995. My father, Marc, then ran Maury from 1995 until he stepped down as President and CEO in 2006. I took the lead in 2006. Marc remains our Chairman of the Board.

NF: How did it feel to be filling their shoes?

GM: Amazing and humbling! Because my background, skill set, and experiences were different from my father’s, I knew I would not be successful stepping into his “mold.” I had to forge a new paradigm. We worked through many challenges and growing pains, and I believe we are a stronger company today.

NF: At many companies, the goals, priorities, and culture change with every leader. Yet Maury has consistently been led by someone from the Maury family. What type of stability do you think that gives the firm in terms of its culture and goals?

GM: The two constant values we have always strived for are high standards of integrity and quality. We know that we have to continually earn and improve on those values every day.

NF: What type of work environment do you currently foster at Maury? Does it hark back to the company’s beginnings?

GM: We invest a lot of time working with our people to ensure that their life objectives and values are in alignment with the company’s objectives and values. We want our people to be happy and feel that we are all in accord. I rely on the expertise of our great people to execute in all areas of the company. I like to give our people creative freedom and space to do their jobs. I believe the foundation of our core values has remained since the company’s beginning. At the same time, as a great man once said to me, “If you are not re-inventing yourself every six months, you are not growing and thriving.” Maury has evolved from an engineering-project-driven company to a market-driven company that is growing year over year.

Catering To The Customer

NF: What services do you offer for a company in need of test-and-measurement system integration? And what do you do if that company is tied to one particular test-and-measurement equipment manufacturer and theirs is not the optimum solution?

GM: Our company identity is built around being our customers’ calibration, measurement, and modeling solutions partner. We offer services and turnkey solutions surrounding all three aspects: calibration, measurement, and modeling. With regard to system integration, we have standardized cutting-edge technology into repeatable turnkey solutions based on the most advanced Maury and partner-supplied IP. System integrations can include on-wafer, millimeter-wave S-parameter; load-pull and noise-parameter measurements; pulsed-bias, multi-harmonic hybrid-active load pull; or integrating our automated impedance tuners into customers’ ATE solutions. The idea behind our integration service is to offer our customers, who are really our partners, a finished guaranteed product that works right the first time.

On one hand, our final responsibility is to the customer—to listen to his needs and respond in kind. On the other hand, Maury is the ideal partner, as we are always open and honest. We will promote the solution that best meets our customers’ needs, but we will also work within the guidelines outlined by the customer—whether that includes nonpartner equipment or not.

NF: Maury has relationships with some leading test-and-measurement companies. Can you detail those relationships and explain how they came about—as well as the unique solutions that have grown out of these relationships?

GM: Maury has always been a company that has listened to its customers. Our customers’ requests (sometimes demands) have driven the direction of our development and partnerships in order to offer these unique solutions. In the 1980s, Maury developed a strong relationship with Hewlett-Packard (now Agilent Technologies - Components Test Division) as a primary source for calibration kits for its vector-network-analyzer (VNA) families, including the popular 8510. In the late ’90s and early 2000s, customers began requesting a more integrated solution with responsibilities from a single provider. This demand drove the evolution of our long-term relationship with Agilent Technologies, which enabled us to offer the most advanced turnkey solutions available.

In the early 2000s, customers started asking for more integrated measurement and modeling solutions—something that could take measurements, generate models, validate models, and help in the amplifier design and validation process. This led to the strong partnership between Maury and AMCAD Engineering, a world leader in advanced modeling and measurement techniques. Similarly, customer demands for wideband modulated impedance control for realistic signals, such as IEEE 802.11ac and Long Term Evolution (LTE), drove us to a collaboration and partnership with Anteverta-mw.

NF: Can other (competing) test-and-measurement companies work with you the same way?

GM: Yes. We actively promote partner-based solutions. If we stick with the principle that these other opportunities are customer-driven and we are authentic (honest and appropriate) in our communication with our partners, we will maintain strong relationships with them.

NF: Earlier this month, Rusty Myers chaired one of the oral sessions at the 81st ARFTG meeting in Seattle. Maury has apparently had a long relationship with ARFTG. Can you talk a little bit about how this started and how the relationship has developed over time—as well as the value of ARFTG to the industry?

GM: Maury has been involved in ARFTG from its early days. One of Maury’s founders (Mario Maury Jr.) presented many papers and served on ARFTG’s EXCOM during the ’80s, helping to develop the relationship between ARFTG and MTT ADCOM. Maury has consistently exhibited at ARFTG conferences. Over the years, many other Maury members also have presented papers at ARFTG conferences. During the ’90s, Gary Simpson was elected to ARFTG’s EXCOM and served for 16 years. Today, Rusty Myers is serving on ARFTG’s EXCOM.

ARFTG is centered on advances in measurement technologies and uncertainties. Many new measurement concepts are first introduced through ARFTG papers and, as such, many of the attendees to ARFTG conferences are leaders in their fields of technology with members from worldwide standards organizations. Every ARFTG conference invariably has papers related to VNA calibration, nonlinear measurements, load pull, noise parameter measurements, and NVNA. All of these topics are core to Maury’s business.

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NF: Do you have any advice for people leading family firms, who want to make sure their company continues to serve the microwave industry in future generations?

GM: Yes. Run! Run off and join the circus as fast as you can! On a serious note, whether your company is new or entrenched, you must clearly understand your vision, mission, objectives, values, and—most importantly—your exit strategy. “Begin with the end in mind.” Surround yourself with a strong CFO, marketing team, and good advisors. Expect from other family members objectivity, complete support, and clearly defined roles. If none of this works, then invest in a very large striped tent or a car wash!

About the Author

Nancy Friedrich | Editor-in-Chief

Nancy Friedrich began her career in technical publishing in 1998. After a stint with sister publication Electronic Design as Chief Copy Editor, Nancy worked as Managing Editor of Embedded Systems Development. She then became a Technology Editor at Wireless Systems Design, an offshoot of Microwaves & RF. Nancy has called the microwave space “home” since 2005.

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