Profile of Owner, Jim Potts
Jim Potts, President of PCI, has owned and operated PCI for over 20 years, married for 17 years to MaryAnn a Californian and a beautiful vivacious woman, together are raising 3 rambunctious boys. Jim from a early age has been motivated by motor vehicles and continues to search for, collect, restore or build, race and share these projects with family and friends. The technology and skills gained from these projects plus an engineering degree and experience from working as a aerospace engineer has lead him to start PCI. Jim started PCI in California and later relocated to West Texas on the family ranch (www.mottcreek.com).
I was born in West Texas and Dad ( Frank Potts) was a Mechanical Engineering student at Texas Tech University . In the early 1960’s, computers were emerging as the next technology boom and dad happen to be specializing in this field. He worked and we lived in many great places, which allowed me to see different types of engineering and experience different lifestyles which enabled me to meet many people from different backgrounds/walks of life.
I remember when I was in 1 st grade dad worked for GM in Detroit , MI . Since dad’s main job/responsibility was developing computer models for automotive suspensions, he would pick me up from school in a GM prototype car which had a couple of knobs on the dash for a steering wheel. IBM came calling and sent dad, with the family, to San Jose , California . A great place to live. His engineering group worked on developing disc drives for computer memory storage. This system was called Winchester Disc Drive, which became the foundation/basis for the hard drive that’s included in your home computer.
Still specializing in computers, dad moved on to work for ISS. And even though San Jose was a great place to live, moving to a home on 2 1/2 acre lot in the midst of giant redwoods, in the Santa Cruz Mountains , was even better. Evenings and weekends were filled with home improvement projects, with my brothers and I helping where needed. We were eventually given our own project to work on.
Tulsa , OK was our next home. Dad worked for Telex as an engineering group manager. Even though dad remained in the computer disc storage field, this position was more about managing people than about engineering. This was to be my dad’s last job as an employee.
My grandfather became sick, being diagnosed with cancer, my parents opted return to West Texas to take over the operation of the family cattle ranch, Mott Creek Ranch. By this time, I was 14 and in 8th grade. I had been in a school with 200 kids in my class and was coming into a small town school with only 32 kids in whole 8th grade. This was a bit of a shock, however, living on the ranch full time was great. A detail I left out of this story was every summer, from the age of 6, I lived and worked with my grandparents on the ranch. At first I just rode around with granddad in pick-ups or on horses, but I was the #1 gate opener and little handyman to my buddy granddad.
My senior year in high school I assisted in the construction of the family home, built-in pool and large shop.
The fall of 1978 I started at Texas Tech University as a Mechanical Engineering student. Then I worked as a Jr. Engineer with “Hovey Kelly Design” In Palo Alto, CA (now IDEO Design) I assisted engineers on packaging design on products in the computer industry (apple mouse), prototypes and first articles. I continued on at TT and worked parttime as a Kawaski motorcycle mechanic, specializing in wreck repair and custom modifications.
After graduating as a Mechanical Engineer in 1985 I worked as a Engineering Liason for Mojango, Inc. (owned by Frank Potts) and helped interface MSC PAL (FEM Software) to McNeal Swindler Inc.
In 1986, I went on to work for a cutting edge medical composite manufacturer, Composite Horizons located in West Covina, CA. While working at CHI, I was promoted to Medical Product Engineering and Production Manager. My job description entailed working directly with clients developing prototypes, tooling design, first article acceptance and production tooling and staff training.
In the latter part of 1987 at Northrup’s Mantech Division I secured the position of a Mechanical Engineer developing advanced composite materials for structures and RAM systems (radar absorbing materials) for the B2 Stealth Bomber. Having had a top secret security clearance projects were so secret I didn’t even know what I was working on. But if I did know and I told you I’d have to kill you!
In 1989, I left Northrup to start my own business, thus Potts Composites, Inc. was born.
As of 2006, PCI has been in business for 17 years continuing to solve complex structural and imaging problems with advanced composite materials.