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Manufacture 06/09/24

Q&A with Shane Whiteside, CEO of Summit Interconnect, and Ben Chia, founder of

Welcome to our chat between CEOs of Summit Interconnect and’s website, originally posted on’s website. We dive into Shane Whiteside’s background, exciting opportunities in engineering, and some of his most celebrated technical achievements.

Background & Experience

I served in the US Navy as a Submarine Nuclear Power Operator on the USS Houston stationed in San Diego and Pearl Harbor, HI. After the Navy, I began my career in sales in the PCB manufacturing industry, where I began a deeper dive into the broader electronics industry.

Five years later, I moved to operations roles at TTM Technologies where I worked for nearly 15 years. I was the Director of Operations & General Manager at TTM Santa Ana, leading manufacturing expansion and sales growth. I became the Chief Operating Officer a few years later, leading TTM’s organic growth and managing its strategic acquisitions.

Over the years, I’ve also had the opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors for organizations including IPC, Zentech Manufacturing, AvaSure, and PCBAA.

What is Summit building?

Summit’s goal is to be the best manufacturing partner for our customers. Our broad portfolio of PCB services meets nearly all a PCB designer’s needs, from early-stage prototypes to mid-volume production and quick-turn assembly. Additionally, we constantly invest in advanced technology processes and equipment. Over the past few years, we’ve also focused on optimizing our business processes and building differentiated and sustainable platforms to help us serve our customers even better.

What does the the Peter Sarmanian Corporate Recognition mean to Summit and the PCB industry at large?

Summit was founded in 2016. Being honored with the Peter Sarmanian Corporate Recognition award only eight years later is a great recognition for the incredible work so many of our employees have put forth in supporting IPC and developing standards.  In fact, more than 115 Summit staff members are Certified IPC Specialists (CIS), Certified IPC Trainers (CIT), or Certified IPC Designers (CID) to such standards as IPC-A-600 and IPC-6012. IPC has supported our organization along the way as well. We look forward to many more years of engagement with the association as it develops standards and quality programs for the electronics industry.


Opportunities in Manufacturing

What are the biggest challenges in American Manufacturing overall? Within and outside of the PCB industry.

One of the biggest challenges in American manufacturing is engaging the newer generation workforce. Fortunately, I think a lot of progress is being made in acquiring and training talent. As manufacturers, we are constantly improving how we develop our workforce internally and appreciate the support of industry associations such as IPC’s Emerging Engineers program.

Another fun challenge is investing in our operations to align with the rapid growth of the evolving PCB designs. In PCB fabrication, the US lacks newer, purpose-built factories to build these designs like those overseas. Yet, as our market continues to grow and draws more investment capital including government support, I believe North America will maintain its leadership in building smaller-volume PCBs with high-reliability compliance requirements or for quick-turn commercial applications.

What technical project/achievement in the past 100 years do you admire the most?

The most impressive technical project / achievement in the past 100 years is the Falcon 9 reusability. The multidisciplinary talent, risk capital, and sheer ambition required to pull off the feat are difficult to fathom, and the breakthrough will pave the way towards the full commercialization of space (and beyond).

How do customers and potential employees get in touch with you/Summit?

Our website is a great way to get in touch with Summit. It has emails and phone numbers for sales or technical support. We encourage engagement with customers as early in their design cycles as possible. This way we can help avoid common missteps and facilitate an efficient manufacturing process that delivers exactly what you need when you need it.

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