Patti Perspective
October 31, 2014
Boo! Happy Halloween from Patti Engineering. While we don't have a spooky, scary update for you, we do have some really great insights to share on the Father of the PLC, Dick Morley. A man who thrives on discovery, Dick is a legend in his own time!

On the spotlight front, we are recognizing our Sales Assistant, Terry Adams. We can always count on Terry to lend a hand when we need her!
The Father of the PLC - Dick Morley  
A legend in his own time

The father of the programmable logic controller (PLC), the spearhead behind massive advancements in engineering, Dick Morley is a self-proclaimed "hermit" and "workaholic." He really does not consider it work - his love for discovery still drives him to long hours on a daily basis. Dick Morley changed the face of our industry with the PLC. He is a pioneer in the areas of computer design, artificial intelligence, automation, and futurism. He has more than twenty U.S. and foreign patents, including the parallel inference machine, hand-held terminal, floppy disk, motors, and personal rapid transit. Dick has been a tremendous inspiration for our industry and we are just delighted to have the chance to feature him in our newsletter, sharing a bit about what we learned from him during a recent meeting.

Dick is an extremely intelligent man whose lifetime work has contributed greatly to the advancement of technology. He "retired" in 1995, but continues to write and work on a variety of tech-related projects. The PLC idea came from a hangover on January 1, 1968. Yes, really. Not only was he battling a serious New Year's Eve induced hangover, he was facing the wrath of procrastination with multiple deadlines for proposals he needed to complete that New Year's Day. "In my frustration working on all of these proposals, I noticed distinct similarities," explained Dick. "It was then that a light bulb went off and I knew there had to be a better way to control similar types of machines. That revelation led to the concept of the PLC."

"We had some real problems in the early days of convincing people that a box of software, albeit cased in cast iron, could do the same thing as 50 feet of cabinets, associated relays and wiring," said Dick. He certainly found his way around convincing people, as Dick was an original founder of Modicon (now part of Schneider Automation, Inc.). He also helped to found more than 100 high technology companies. He has been recognized with many awards, such as the Franklin Institute's prestigious Howard N. Potts Award, Inc. Magazine's Entrepreneur of the Year and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers' Albert M. Sargent Progress Award. He was also inducted into the Automation Hall of Fame.

Our Director of Marketing, Georgia Whalen and Executive Vice President, Sam Hoff, spent a day with Dick last week. They were curious to learn all about his professional successes, personal hobbies and interestingly enough, whether he had any regrets. He said his biggest regret is not writing earlier in his career as it's a big passion of his now. Why did he wait so long? Dyslexia. It held him back early on in his life, but with today's software editing and voice recognition software, he relishes writing. He puts this hobby to good use through writing for four industry publications, as well as contributing to multiple books - his own and otherwise.

How does Dick describe himself? Quite frankly... "I am balding, overweight and handicapped. A workaholic and a geek with a good sense of humor. My presentations usually make some in the audience smile while causing others to be angry. And fear not, questions are always tolerated. A recommendation - have several cups of coffee before listening to anything I have to say," he said.

In his personal life, Dick misses his late wife of 56 years, Shirley. They first met when she caught his eye at a bar. She was arm wrestling - with men - and winning! Dick immediately thought, "That is the kind of woman I want to be with!" They were married for decades and spent most of their years together happily secluded in a sparsely populated area of New Hampshire. With his loss of Shirley two years ago, Dick has inherited Shirley's two dogs, Baby and Duffy, who keep Dick Company while he toils away.

Of German heritage, Dick spent his early days on a farm in Massachusetts before relocating to in and around New York City. He attended MIT for four years to study Physics and lived in Cambridge before moving to his large property in New Hampshire with Shirley 43 years ago. He is big on privacy, so his 90 acre property that was previously a stage coach stop "back in the day" is just perfect for him. He calls the original home on the property "Shirley's house," because he spent most of his time in his office - the old barn on the property which he renovated back in 1986. At the age of 82, Dick still works 10 hours a day, six days a week. He takes Saturdays off to go see a movie, but it's hard for him to pull away from his work.

Dick does not let his remote location slow him down. When there was a lack of efficient internet access in his area, he took matters into his own hands and built his own internet tower. To allow for his neighbors to enjoy the same internet access, Dick offers the opportunity to connect to his tower in exchange for fair monthly fee.

Another fascinating fact about Dick is, that in addition to having two biological children, one of which farms on a parcel taken from his property, he and Shirley raised forty children. Yes, forty! Typically coming from troubled homes in their teens, Dick and Shirley took in children and raised them as their own. It all started when their daughter brought home a "latch-key" teenage girl who needed a good home. Shirley was insistent that they take her in and she became their first foster child. The community learned of their generosity, and sought them out to help other children, teenagers and even young adults. Dick informed us that the only stipulation they insisted on in court before they would take in a child is that they would NOT receive any monetary compensation for it. They wanted it to be clear to the child that they were not taking them in for the money. This set the right tone for the new member of the family.

It was a pretty amazing day that Georgia and Sam spent with Dick. They can't thank him enough for his time and we hope you have enjoyed this short recounting of some of the things they learned about him!

On a side note, Sam picked up a few arm wrestling tips from Dick! Dick likely learned these from Shirley!

~  Download the PDF~

Patti Personnel - Terry Adams
This month we are shining the spotlight on Patti Engineering's Sales Assistant, Terry Adams, who works for both Patti Engineering and our sister company LEID Products. She has the critical task of assisting the sales team with CRM, SharePoint and overall proposal document management to keep our sales systems and "war room" information updated.  In addition, Terry works at our tradeshows, assists the sales staff to stay efficient and even acts as the backup admin in our Auburn Hill, MI office.

Terry has been with the company for nearly two years. "Terry is an integral part of our company and sales team," commented Executive Vice President Sam Hoff.  "Terry has a great work ethic and we know we can always count on her to lend a hand when someone on our team needs help."

Previously, Terry worked at FANUC Robotics for more than 25 years. She was the receptionist for five years, in the Training Department for eight years and in the Automated Systems Group (ASG) for a little more than 12 years. A pretty impressive resume!

Terry grew up in Troy, MI and then moved to Oxford. She has called Lapeer, MI home for the last 22 years. She earned two associate degrees, an Associate degree in Social Work and then she switched gears and earned her Associate degree in Mechanical Design from Oakland Community College. Terry went on to continue her education at the University of Michigan Flint. Over the years, Terry has completed courses to earn certifications related to her work.  She has certifications in Robotics Programming, Maintenance Troubleshooting, PPG Paint, Intergraph System, AutoCAD and Solid Works!

Similar to Dick Morley, who we are featuring in our newsletter article this month, Terry lives on a farm, an old dairy farm built in 1914. Through the years she has taken care of dozens of animals, all of which she considers pets, she even names them!  At one time, Terry was up to 62 pets - two Heifers, one cow, three sheep, one angora goat, two dogs, three cats and 50 chickens! She tried to shear her sheep in previous years but admits it's not her calling. She now has a professional come by to shear them and trim their hooves as needed.

Terry has a rather large extended family. She has a younger brother, older sister, several nieces and nephews, 13 great nephews and 4 great nieces. Terry's parents will be celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary in January!

As for hobbies, "I really enjoy working around my farm, out in the yard, in my gardens, barn, around the house and the outbuildings. In terms of sports, I love to go shooting," said Terry. "I also like to go to the drag strip when I can find time and at one point I was crewing on a friend's dragster."  In addition, Terry volunteers at Forgotten Harvest, Mamon Ride (a Halloween event for special needs children), and she even finds time to serve as a referee for the Regional Nano Lego Robotic Competitions.
 ~ Download the PDF ~  
We work as partners with our clients. When you need an expert to help solve automation challenges, we are here to add value to your solution - enhance efficiency, increase productivity, and work with your team as a trusted resource. Visit our website for more information on our areas of expertise, or call us (248)364-3200 for a free initial consultation.

Thank you for your interest in Patti Engineering.

Best regards,

Georgia H. Whalen
Director of Marketing
Patti Engineering

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