Q: Greg, what well-known music groups did you work during your years manufacturing speakers?
A: Too many to remember them all, but there is one that really stands out. In the mid 1970’s there were a number of nationally known bands that played in Champaign Urbana, Illinois. Both rock and roll and jazz. I recall one day I went home early from work because I had a bad cold/flu bug. I worked at a local music store then. That store sold guitars and pianos and also operated and rented out several large traveling sound systems that worked all over the Midwest. I was soundly asleep when somebody began knocking loudly on my apartment door. They didn’t stop knocking. Gradually I woke up and dragged myself over to the door. When I opened it I saw a small thin African-American man with a huge afro haircut. He looked at me and asked "Are you Greg Danner?" I managed to groan out a weak "yes". Then he shook my hand and said "That’s great! I’m Herbie Hancock. I just got back into the USA after playing in Europe for 3 months. I’m scheduled to play tonight in Champaign but my sound system got damaged on the plane and the people at the music store told me you are the one person in Champaign who might be able to fix it. Would you be able to come with me to the venue and take a look at it please?" My sickness evaporated in about 3 seconds. We stopped at the music store, grabbed my tools, and off we went. Herbie’s sound system was almost new. He purchased it in Italy during his tour. There was one capacitor broken off on one circuit board. Wow! I was lucky! Most problems aren’t that easy to find. After a few minutes with my soldering iron everything was working again. I could see the relief on everyone’s face. There was about an hour to go before the performance was scheduled to begin. And that was a great concert! I sat on the edge of the stage, watching Herbie play his Fender-Rhodes electric piano and his ARP 2600 synthesizer. A lot of the tunes were from the Headhunters album.
Q: Which is your favorite Cetis phone and why?
A: The 9600MWD and its relatives. Getting a cordless phone to work right in a hotel environment was a monumental engineering challenge. Between 2000 and 2006 I recall testing and evaluating more than 20 different samples of cordless phones. I rejected all of them. They simply weren’t ready for the hotel guest room. But hotels were already buying cordless phones from our competitors, even though those phones barely worked. So in 2007, TeleMatrix/Scitec (newly merged) set out to create a new cordless phone that would truly be good enough to put 500 of them into a hotel and have them all keep working. A year’s worth of late nights in the engineering lab, for both myself and our engineers, finally paid off. The 9600MWD came out in 2008 and has been a best seller ever since.
A: I love my family and I love music. I have my wife of 32 years, 3 adult children, 1 grandchild, and soon a 2nd grandchild. I’m blessed that all of the children live nearby. When it comes to music I mainly enjoy listening to it, both live and recorded. And I’ve made some attempts to perform too. My wife and I both belong to our church choir.
Q: What have you liked most about working at Cetis for 15+ years?
A: More than anything I enjoy the people at Cetis. This is a company that people build careers with. Several of my colleagues were already at Scitec when I was hired in 2000. The Founder and CEO, Dr. Sun, is a terrific leader. That’s why so many people at Cetis have continued to work here for so many years. We work hard together. We work efficiently together. We get a lot accomplished. And we enjoy our work. I feel honored to have played a role in this company. And I actually enjoy my work more today than I did in the past. Part of this is due to the incredible advances in electronic technology and knowledge that have taken place during my 40+ year engineering career. Today I have tools and equipment that I couldn’t have dreamed of, let alone afford to buy, as recently as 5 or 10 years back. This is truly a great time to be doing electronic design work.