Radiant at 30 – Staff Stories: Employee #13
Doug Kreysar joined Radiant in 2000 in an engineering role. He was named Chief Operating Officer in 2005, and in 2019 he became Chief Executive Officer to lead Radiant into the future.
In 1999 I was living in Michigan. I heard of Radiant when a friend of mine joined the company—it was small, but I was interested in the technology. I had dinner with Ron Rykowski [founder] when he was in Detroit, then went and interviewed with the team.
About six months later they were ready to bring me on board, so I joined in 2000, a week or two after they’d hired Gary [Pedeville]. It’s funny that they talked to me for six months but hired Gary first, he beat me! But I guess it shows Ron was a computer scientist at heart.
Gary was employee #12 and I was #13. The company had a good year in 2000 gaining more business in both optical design consulting and in sales of ProMetric® and Radiant Source Model™ software. The team was expanding too—it was an exciting time. But we still had only about $1 - $2 million/year revenue. For an all-company meeting we just gathered at Ron’s house, in his backyard.
At the time I joined, we had one office in North Carolina and one in the Seattle area. Rick Albrecht [former employee, designer of the SIG] had been with the company early on. He came from Kodak in Rochester, New York, but he wanted to be in North Carolina because of family, so that’s why we had a North Carolina office. We had two people in sales and three people doing consulting—I was one of them. The office was small with just five of us and a small lab where we could do demonstrations and tests.
Go West, Young Man
As the business started to grow, we needed to expand and organize our production and do better supply chain management. It was becoming difficult to get inventory when we needed it to ship our orders on time. In April 2001, Ron came to visit and we talked over these problems. I had come out of the automotive business and had experience with engineering and production disciplines at a much larger scale and knew ISO-9000, etc.
We said to Ron, “What if we did production in North Carolina and Doug runs it?" And Ron said, "You know what? That's not a bad idea, but what if we do production in Seattle and Doug comes to Seattle?" We needed to have production close to development. Today that’s still critical: we have development upstairs and production downstairs so folks can talk to each other all the time.
It was the right request from Ron, but it was funny because I woke up that morning having no idea that I was going to come home and ask my wife to move to Seattle.
Duvall One and Two
Our first Seattle area office was in Duvall, WA—we called it the Allen Street office, next door to a dentist. Nobody except Ron and Gary had private offices, we all sat together with the inventory in a main area. When I took over production, I also took over technical support, so I was the lead tech support guy in 2001—I picked up the phone.
As business expanded, in 2003 we moved to our second Duvall location, over a Domino’s Pizza. It was a new building and we were the first tenant so we built it out with a conference room—that was exciting, our first conference room! We doubled our space, and then we doubled our space again in 2008 when we moved from Duvall to the office on Redmond Ridge.
Production Grows Up
At that location, we had a production room with clean tiles, filtered air, and positive pressure, but we didn’t have a full cleanroom at first. In 2010 and 2011 we started to get some very large orders. Each order more than doubled our production volume, so we had to double our space, expanding to take over the rest of that building.
We built a clean room in 2011. It was essential for the amount of business we were getting. One quarter in 2012, we hit our highest volume ever, we had maybe 60-70 people in production then. We were running three shifts: day, evening, and weekend. When Jens [Jensen, current VP of Product Development] joined in 2010 he saw we were still doing a lot of manual work, so he spurred us to start automating more production, which we did with the G-series and the I-series cameras.
During 2011, I spent a lot of time in China as we set up our office there. It was one of the most satisfying things I’ve done in my career—learning about China, working with consultants, hiring key employees, and collaborating with the whole team there to establish our first international location. It was so wonderful! For six months I spent the most of my time in China until Stone [Jiang, current VP of Global Sales] came on board.
Doug (third from left) at the opening of the Radiant Shanghai office in China in 2012. Left to right: Stone Jiang, Rich Dietz (then CFO), Doug Kreysar, Karen Zheng, Paul Carragher (then CEO), Robin Li, Hubert Kostal, Franky Zou, Li Sun, Hoyt Yang, Tailen Huang, Harry Zhou.
We made a big investment in the China team to sell to Chinese customers. We established a China-led sales team, China demos, and had the China engineering team doing pre-sales with TrueTest™ and showing Chinese customers how it could work for their specific needs. It was our goal to make TrueTest flexible and expandable and our field engineers could learn to use it and adapt it for customers in Asia with different needs. It was an exciting time.
In 2012, we also opened a Korea office to work with some large Korean customers. It’s taken time to make headway into the Korean market, but we’ve had success with mass-production inspection. And more recently we’ve had great success with OLED demura in Asia.
Joining Konica Minolta
We were acquired by Konica Minolta (KM) to join their Sensing Group in 2015—it felt like a good fit between their product lines and our capabilities, we were excited! KM has been very supportive of our growth and development, investing in new offices and facilities, such as our current building [near downtown Redmond]. We moved here in April 2018, after 10 years at Redmond Ridge. Now we have more space for production, for all our engineering, support, and business teams, multiple lab spaces, and room to grow.
The Future Looks Radiant
Looking ahead, we’re continuing to grow our display metrology business and light source measurement. There are always new displays coming out, new AR/VR devices, new light applications, etc., so we keep developing our systems and capabilities. Our Advanced Vision business is just starting to grow; I think in five years it’s going to be as big as light and displays.
It’s imperative we keep advancing our technology, but Radiant also has to keep with its roots. Number one, we have to continue to be the premier software in test and measurement for 2D light measurement devices. And of course, we must continue to produce the best cameras for the application.
We succeed because we are passionate about our customers' success. Even when customers come to us with big challenges and a lot of demands, it’s a compliment that they believe we can do it. We have a smart, creative, and flexible team and it’s just such a pleasure to work with everyone here.