Celebrating Dedication and Achievement: Wishing Gary Spence a Happy Retirement

Today we extend bittersweet well wishes to the retirement of a valued member of the Juniper Systems team, Gary Spence. Gary has been with the company for 27 years, joining when there were only 12 people. His dedication to the company manifested in various management positions including Chief Engineer, Director of Engineering, VP of Engineering, and Chief Technology Officer. Gary has been a great asset to the growth and culture of the company. It is with great nostalgia that we are wishing him the absolute best in his retirement.

Gary knew he wanted to be an electrical engineer ever since he was five years old, carrying an electric frying pan or anything else with a cord and repeatedly plugging it into things. He first joined Juniper Systems founder, Ron Campbell, in 1983, at his previous company Omnidata International as an electrical engineer. During his time there he developed battery-operated data loggers and rugged handheld computers. From there, Gary transitioned with Ron Campbell to HarvestMaster (what is now Juniper Systems).

Gary’s contributions to the company over the years ranged far and wide. He arranged a team of four to drive to various log yards in Montana and northern Idaho where the handheld computers were being used for forestry applications. The feedback they received from this trip led to the conception and design of a new handheld computer, the Allegro.

Gary Spence Retirement

He networked with customers in the marketplace, contributing his knowledge of new technologies and working with product managers and design engineers in the development of rugged computers. He also helped the company receive and maintain a computer network by forming an IT group and he set up and maintained the company’s telephone system.

Gary traveled with the sales department to answer any technical questions from customers. He recalls an occasion when he visited a customer with CEO DeVon Labrum. While in a meeting with a dozen people, Gary and DeVon were quizzed on merits and issues with the products. Gary went the way of integrity by telling the truth:

 “As part of this discussion, they directly asked if there were other problems we knew of with the product that they had not discovered. Some may have been careful not to disclose any additional problems with the product, but I felt I needed to be upfront with them about any issues, so I let them know of two additional issues with the product that they had not yet mentioned.  I believe this was a bit of a test because after I mentioned these additional issues, they let us know that they were also aware of one of these issues and they wanted to see if we would be truthful with them.  They wanted to see if we would be a good partner to work with. This action resulted in a long-term relationship that has lasted for 20 years.”

Gary Spence Retirement

Gary fulfilled a childhood dream by joining the volunteer fire department when he moved to Mendon. After about a year, Gary was made Assistant Fire Chief and served in this position for the next 18 years. 30 enjoyable years of camaraderie among fellow firemen later, Gary retired from the department.

Gary’s favorite work treat is chocolate Twizzlers, a candy he often shares during a long meeting. One of his favorite hobbies is riding motorcycles. He has a Honda Goldwing and a road/off-road motorcycle that he and his wife love to ride for great conversation and nature exploration.

Gary Spence Retirement

Gary also likes to fly radio-controlled airplanes.

“I won’t say I’m very good at it, but I really enjoy just ‘boring holes in the sky.’”

Naturally, he loves to tinker with anything electronic and during retirement, he plans to communicate with people from all over the world with his ham radio.

Gary has been married for 46 years to his wonderful wife, Corette and they have lived in the same house for 40 of those years. Together they have five children (three sons, and two daughters) and seven grandchildren, all of whom live close by.

Gary Spence Retirement

Congratulations, Gary! Here’s to the next exciting chapter – may it be as remarkable and rewarding as the one that came before. Know that you will be dearly missed and wholeheartedly celebrated.

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