Dan Stottlemyre, vice chairman of the Linear Group, Carlsbad, Calif., and former vice president of Engineering and President of Linear LLC, the leader in residential and commercial access control, emergency response and security solutions, retired from the company at the end of June. Starting a new chapter in his life, “One where I don't have to get up and go to work every day,” he says with a laugh, has given Stottlemyre a chance to reflect upon the people he has met, the lives he's touched, the products he's helped develop and the legacy he's leaving after 24 years with the company.
Stottlemyre's background as a software programming manager at Scientific Data Systems and Xerox, as well as his background in defense contracting, prepared Stottlemyre for the diverse needs of a security and access control company. In 1988, he joined Linear as vice president of Engineering, a position in which he took not only a pioneering supervisory role-overseeing a diverse multi-disciplinary team of hardware engineers, RF engineers, mechanical designers, and software and firmware programmers-but also a very hands-on role in the day-to-day workings of his department. “I actually helped out in writing firmware code,” he says.
When Stottlemyre joined the company, he saw an opportunity to marry his engineering team's expertise in wireless technologies with the generic door controllers, and championed Linear's expansion into the wireless perimeter access control market. “We had a résumé of top technology pioneered by Linear, and a world-class manufacturing facility at our disposal,” he notes. “Creating complimentary security products and systems that would continue to grow our business, and business for our dealers and distributors, was logical; I’m incredibly proud of the products and technologies I had a direct hand in championing and developing during those years.”
In 2005, when Stottlemyre was promoted to president of Linear LLC, he intentionally backed off that hands-on approach, though. “I made a conscious decision then to keep my hands out of engineering,” he says. “The worst thing you can have is a president running back into engineering and dabbling around back there. But this is a dynamic industry, and my years in product engineering prepared me to strategically lead a stellar team to develop new technologies and products for our customers.”
In his time as president, Stottlemyre's goal has been to continue the vision of the company’s founders, to maintain an innovative, high-technology company that was, first and foremost, customer-oriented. More than anything else, though, Stottlemyre takes the most pride from the very human legacy he has built in his nearly quarter-century with Linear: “I can go through a large list of products that I contributed to-truly innovative products-but in the end, my legacy is the people in whose hands I’m leaving this company,” he says. “We have a really close-knit organization, almost a family. They all work well together, and I'm quite proud of them.”
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