Stanton Rak: Patient Leaders Nurture Growth

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Stanton Rak, principal at SF Rak Company, discusses his new IPC President's Award. He says a successful leader must demonstrate passion for what they do, and that working in an IPC leadership role requires a unique approach to collaboration. IPC’s diverse membership means leaders must cultivate patience and be open to relying on the expertise of their fellow professionals.

Stan, congratulations on receiving this award. This award is all about leadership, so perhaps you could talk about being a leader in IPC and why it’s important.

IPC provides an excellent opportunity for industry members to come together, build relationships, participate in networking activities, and enhance their professional careers. As a leader in IPC, one can directly influence the sustainability of the electronics manufacturing industry at large, as well as one’s company, career, and the careers of fellow colleagues. So, it’s very powerful being a leader in IPC; it essentially ensures the sustainability of the industry, yourself, and those around you.

What committees or subcommittees are you involved in?

From a leadership perspective, my main role is as the Technical Program Committee chair for the IPC APEX EXPO Technical Conference. I’ve been a member of this committee for eight years. For IPC APEX EXPO 2022, I was co-chair along with Bev Christian; this year, my co-chair is Udo Welzel of Bosch. We have a committee of 20 technical experts from industry who’ve helped us develop a three-day program. We’ll have 72 technical papers and 15 posters presented this year. There are 35 Professional Development Courses planned that were developed by IPC Training with some oversight from our committee. We also have two special sessions planned on hot topics—advanced packaging and e-mobility.

What do you feel enabled you to become a leader?

First, it’s important to have a passion for what you do. In my case, it was science and technology, as well as collaborating as a team to achieve a common goal. It’s also important to have decent organizational skills, the ability to listen to others, and to demonstrate that your work adds value. There are a few notable differences between being a leader in the corporate world vs. IPC. In the corporate world, I worked with technical experts and specialists from a very large organization comprised of 30 factories, in 16 different countries, with products being manufactured for 12 different business units. The challenge was how to standardize the electronic assembly materials throughout such a diverse organization. I had to balance preferences from the business units, plants, and regions of the world, as well as individuals. We formed cross-functional teams that worked across organizational lines and geographical regions to create a data-backed consensus for the standardization of our manufacturing materials.

To read this entire conversation, which appeared in the 2023 edition of Show & Tell Magazine, click here.


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