WATERVILLE — Dan Grosz’s day flies by just as fast as changes occur in his chosen field, technology.

The new president of Pinnacle IT on Common Street isn’t complaining. He loves software development and the rush of challenges that come with it.

“I’m so busy — it’s like I come in and I look up at the clock and it’s six o’clock at night and I say, ‘Holy mackerel, where did the day go?'”

Grosz, 55, is a soft-spoken, focused and articulate man with a big resume.

He comes to Pinnacle, whose owner, Pamela Kick, was named 2011 Business Person of the Year by Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce, with many years’ experience. He has been an IT executive for companies such as VIP Inc., Hit or Miss Inc., The Timberland Co. and Xerox Corp., and founded and owned Pacific Project Development Ltd., in Hong Kong. Previously, he worked for Bank of America in Hong Kong, getting his start in the technology field in the early 1980s.

He joined Pinnacle because it is a fascinating company that has done interesting things, he said. He was impressed with the technical competency of staff, as well as the business’ focus on customer needs.

Kick, Pinnacle’s former president, who now is executive vice president of sales and operations planning, said Grosz’ presence is driving Pinnacle to the next level.

“It’s really being able to move the company forward with today’s technologies and being able to expose Pinnacle more on a national basis because Dan has a lot of contacts nationally as well as internationally,” Kick said.

Grosz has seen a lot of changes in the business over the years.

“Where it is today and where it’s going — I think that we really are just in the beginning of the information revolution,” Grosz said. “In fact, the pace of change is growing faster and faster and it’s actually growing at an exponential rate.”

Look at how personal computers, for example, proliferated, Grosz said.

“It took 20 years for PCs to become pervasive. You look at mobile phones; it took five or six years before we had mobile phones, and Smart phones took one or two years. Ipads came out and within a year they became pervasive.”

Within a couple years, everyone was using MySpace, but then Facebook arrived and in no time its use exploded, Grosz said.

“So, you have these waves of significant change and they’re coming faster and faster. This year, I’m hearing maybe Facebook isn’t as hot as it was and maybe they’re doing something else.”

The field is exciting and fascinating, but extremely challenging in terms of keeping up with the changes, he said.

The exciting part comes when a company like Pinnacle can develop a phenomenon like the Pinnacle Reader, a cutting-edge application running on a tablet, Grosz said.

“It’s really on the cusp of where mobile technology has gone,” Grosz said.

Grosz had just spent time with a sales representative who visits supermarkets and previously carried around 70 pounds of catalogs before getting a Pinnacle Reader.

“Now, he’s got this little svelte iPad and he logs on and he’s got everything he needs right there and flips through the catalogs. It’s a great product and it’s starting to take off like hotcakes nationally.”

Pinnacle IT has offices in both Waterville and Bangor and employees 20 in addition to contractors and does business all over the U.S. The company works with companies such as L.L. Bean, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Maine Public Broadcasting Network, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association and Pine State Trading.

As president, Grosz said his main responsibilities are to customers and staff.

“The core job is to make sure customers are looked after and they’re happy and we generate new business, and to push the company in a strategic direction. And there’s nothing more fun than working with a good, cohesive, high-performing team.”

Grosz, who lives in Vassalboro, was born in Israel and moved to the U.S. when he was six, traveling on the last traditional transatlantic ocean liner The Olympia.

“I remember crossing the Mediterranean and stopping in Greece and in Portugal and in Halifax before we landed in New York — and just being amazed by the skyscrapers in New York as we came into the harbor.”

He grew up in New Jersey and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science before getting a master’s in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

He went to Honk Kong and stayed 10 years, initially working for Bank of America and serving customers around the Far East.

“It’s how I got into technology. They assigned me projects that included computers.”

He knew nothing about them at first, but learned quickly and eventually would own his own company.

He is former chairman of the Automotive Industry Aftermarket Association Technology Committee and has garnered several awards, including the 2007 CIO Decisions Mid-Market Leadership Award and the 2008 Polk Inventory Efficiency Award.

Grosz said he is impressed with Waterville and was thrilled to find the Lebanese Bakery on Temple Street, which serves falafel and humus and reminds him of his childhood.

“It think Waterville’s got a real sort of Maine, small town spirit and everyone knows everybody else — a real sense of community. The physical beauty of the area is amazing.”

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

 

 


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