Saeed Mogadam Announces Retirement
If you have attended the Wire Processing Expo or WHMA events over the years, you are no doubt familiar with Saeed Mogadam. Saeed is President of TELSONIC Solutions, LLC, and recently announced his retirement. A true gentleman, he is not one to talk about himself. But with some convincing, we managed to sit down with Saeed to discuss his career and accomplishments in the field of ultrasonic welding.
Saeed moved to the US at age 19 and enrolled in City College in New York. “At that time, they referred to City College as the ‘poor man’s MIT,’” he remembered. Studying engineering, he received his degree in mechanical engineering and went on to graduate school where he obtained a masters degree in mechanical engineering, with a specialization in fluid mechanics and heat transfer.
As fate would have it, Saeed would never use those particular engineering skills in his life’s vocation. “I finished school, and just about the time I was to begin my thesis, I was offered a job with Delphi Packard, and moved to Ohio,” he described. Upon his arrival, and knowing he had extensive research experience, they told him there’d been a change of plans. “I walked in the first day, and they said, ‘we hear there is this new process called ultrasonic welding.’ They wanted to get away from crimping and soldering and told me, ‘that’s now your job.” After much research, Saeed and his team introduced the technology to Delphi, and was instrumental in bringing it to the automotive industry in general.
Saeed became enthralled with the principles of ultrasonic welding. After a few years, he began to realize his options for really digging into the technology at Delphi would be limited, and began to look outside the organization. “I happened to meet the founder of Stapla Ultrasonics in Germany, a gentleman by the name of Dieter Golde, and told him I really wanted to start my own business, so together, we started Stapla Ultrasonics in the US.”
During his tenure there from 1986 until 2009, Saeed and his team made many innovations to the product line to meet evolving customer needs. The initial challenges with the equipment were daunting. He recalled that tooling changes for different splices initially took 45 minutes, “and all of a sudden, we got those changeover times down to 15 minutes,” he instructed.
Stapla was purchased by Strunk Connect of Germany in 1997, but Saeed was able to run his division somewhat autonomously for a number of years. As Strunk began to seek more direct involvement in their successful US operations, both sides began to feel there was no longer a good organizational fit, and Saeed and Stapla decided to part ways.
He then started a company called Sonic Solution Systems where he collaborated with Telsonic Ultrasonics of Switzerland. Saeed was doing what he knew best, adapting the Telsonic technology and equipment to meet the needs of metal welding in the wire processing industry. “Eventually, it became obvious the only way we could really work together and open up new markets was to marry the two, so I sold the company to Telsonic.”
Saeed remained at the helm as President of Telsonic Solutions, the division of Telsonic located in Massachusetts and dedicated to metal welding. In 2018, he decided it was time to form an exit strategy. “I had worked since I was 19 years old, even during school, and had never stopped.” His dedication to the industry kept him from spending as much time as he would have wished with his wife and family, and his plan would allow him to spend quality time with his family, especially his six grandchildren. He brought in Gustavo Garcia as his eventual replacement. Gustavo had some great industry experience with Leone and Schleuniger, and seemed the perfect fit. “Gustavo is a very highly technical person, very intelligent and very hard working, and will continue to grow the division,” Saeed cited.
Gustavo’s involvement has allowed Saeed to dial back his work schedule. Back in January, he went to a three day work schedule. Starting June of 2019, he will work in an advisory capacity three days a month. “It was the right way to do it, and for me personally, it gave me the opportunity to slow down but make sure everything is going well.”
Saeed truly represents the class and dignity of professionals in the wire harness industry. There aren’t many industries left like this, and there aren’t many guys left like Saeed. His hard work and dedication is greatly appreciated by the folks he has worked with. It’s no doubt his customers of many years also appreciate the insight and innovation he brought to the industry. We wish him much happiness in his retirement.