Jacqueline Hochheiser, Corporate Communications
On September 26, Mini-Circuits members came together after work hours at the Knapp Street office in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn to celebrate Ron Beagle’s retirement after 33 years of loyal service. As with many prominent and long-standing members of the Mini-Circuits community, especially those who joined the company in its early stages, Beagle is a paragon of the Mini-Circuits way and the core values of the company, which have carried him far in his career.
Beagle was a veteran of the war in Vietnam where he served in the infantry and saw combat. Before joining Mini-Circuits he’d worked on crews on offshore oil rigs and describes his younger self as “something of a roustabout,” which may partly explain the no-nonsense, get-it-done energy he radiates now. While he never graduated college, he speaks with an eloquence and conviction that can only come from a lot of life experience.
He was first hired at Mini-Circuits in 1989 as part of the sales department to review customer orders and catch any errors. Reviewing an order from Magnavox early in his tenure, Beagle noticed that the document defining the customer’s requirements for a custom part didn’t match the information on the actual purchase order. He’d only been on the job a few weeks and was still learning about the industry, but he took the issue to Mei Yu, an engineer who was managing the applications department at the time, and it turned out to be a major mistake. He’d caught it in time to make the necessary changes and still deliver on time.
Coincidentally, Mei Yu was leaving for Singapore to get married and didn’t plan to return. When she notified Harvey Kaylie of her departure, she also mentioned how Beagle had discovered the discrepancy and saved the Magnavox order. Kaylie approached Beagle in short order and asked if he wanted the job that Mei Yu was leaving. With no formal engineering training and only a few weeks under his belt, Beagle took the opportunity.
One of his first projects in his new role was for GE, who called about a problem they were having with a diode for a space application. Beagle had another problem: he didn’t know what a diode was.
“I told them to give me some time, and I’d come back to them with an answer,” he remembers. He tracked down Radha Setty, a senior engineer, and asked for a crash course.
“I’ll never forget, I asked Radha, ‘What’s a diode?’ and he looked at me and said, ‘You’re in applications?’ I went home and started laying aside cash because I didn’t think I’d last very long, but here I am thirty years later,” he laughs.
Beagle went on to overhaul the process for detailing customer requirements for custom parts, known as the “01 Page.” He wrote the operating procedures for the applications department, supported thousands of customers with technical problem solving, and mentored many young RF engineers for whom Mini-Circuits applications was a launch pad for their careers. Beagle’s experience, and his success throughout his 33 years with the company before retiring in 2022, epitomizes the unorthodox approach to how Mini-Circuits appraises people, their potential, and their value to the business.
“This is a unique company,” Beagle says. “Harvey built it that way. I’ve looked at the job descriptions at bigger companies. As I read those job descriptions, I realized I could never have applied. They would never have interviewed me because they had to have credentialed people. You had to have a master’s degree to fold a piece of paper. Mini-Circuits provided opportunity. If you could do the job, and Harvey discovered you could do the job, he would give you the job.”
Despite breaking the mold for the profile of similar roles in other companies, Beagle excelled as manager of the applications team and inspired members on his own team and throughout the organization. These sentiments are echoed in the recounted stories of Beagle from members across the company.
“I’ve worked with Ron for five years. He was my first supervisor that really emphasized the customer and got me focused on who the customer is and what we do for them. At Mini-Circuits, I truly believe that supporting the customer, and making it easy for the customer is one of the pillars of the organization, and Ron embodied that mission. He made sure we responded to customers in a way that wasn’t just robotic. He taught us to be authentic, understanding and empathetic. One of the biggest things I learned from Ron is the focus on the team. Ron was a leader and would put himself in front of any negative outside forces that might impact the team. He would take the brunt of the negativity or the concern and direct it towards what the team can do better to improve next time. That’s definitely something I’m trying to continue, because I’ve always respected him for that.” – Jeremy Cortez, Applications Manager
“I want to say that I’ve always appreciated how I could depend on Ron. He is always quick to let us know when he’s taken an action and when he thinks it’ll be done. I’d get him on the phone, and he’d explain everything so well, it felt like speaking with a professor. You wouldn’t just get the answer you needed but often learn something. There are countless people that we meet throughout our lives and forget as soon as they are gone and then there are people we meet that leave a lasting impact, people who you’ll never forget. Ron is one of those people whom I will never forget and will miss working with. It won’t be the same around here without him.” – Larry Bilyeu, Key Account Specialist
“My memories of Ron over the last years are with great admiration. I will miss his knowledge of our products and his always prompt response time. He is old school, but it’s the “good school” of the way that business should be handled – personal and in a timely manner! Ron was never condescending when having to explain something techy. He always wants to make sure that the sales staff understands the details. I can remember one time that he got a little cheeky with me when explaining something in engineering terms that I was not understanding. Once the phone call was over and a few minutes had passed, he called me back to apologize and wanted to explain further in a way that a non-engineer would understand. He has a warm heart and will be very much missed. I pray that he has continued health into his retirement and really enjoys his time in Philippines.” – Robin Osbern, L2 Account Manager
Beagle remains grateful for his experience at Mini-Circuits and the opportunities it granted him. “When I got to my 25th anniversary, I sent emails to Harvey and thanked him for 25 years of continuous employment,” remembers Beagle. Even considering all he’s accomplished in his professional role at Mini-Circuits, he is most proud of his family and the stability that the company gave him to support them.
“Shortly after I joined Mini-Circuits, I got married and had two children. And unemployment looks a lot different when you’re married and have a family. My largest accomplishment in my life is that Mini-Circuits allowed me and my wife to raise two children.”
Mini-Circuits and its many members that have been touched by Beagle’s professionalism, wisdom, humor and guidance wish him the best in retirement. After 33 years of loyal service, Beagle has helped the company grow exponentially, and has raised the next generation of applications leadership. He has also laid the foundation and given the tools to those who will carry on his work and continue to improve. Happy retirement Ron!