In 1989, Telefonix was founded with the launch of the company’s retractable phone cabling solution, Handicord (R). In 1992, Telefonix’s first aerospace cord reel, as part of the Airfone air-to-ground phone system, was installed on Delta Airlines. Since then, millions of our cord reels have been delivered to the world’s leading airlines for use with passenger In-Flight-Entertainment (IFE) systems. Today, Telefonix’s role in this industry has expanded as we design and build passenger control units (PCUs), servers, content loaders, video monitors, Android based handsets and custom aerospace devices.
Our retractable cabling technology can be found in many non-aerospace applications too. It was incorporated into the first wheelchair that transitioned a patient from sitting to standing, our retractable cabling for telephones has made its way into the Presidential motorcade, and another solution found its way into the La Scala Opera House in Milan. However, it is the company’s patented retail security system that most people have probably had their hands on. Today, our cord reel, loop-alarm security systems display, secure and deliver power to the many handheld consumer devices on display at retailers such as Best Buy, Verizon Wireless, AT&T Wireless, and many others.
Most recently, the Telefonix minds have taken on another mission to address unmet needs in the rapidly growing electric vehicle charging space with the launch of the L1 PowerPost EVSE, the first commercial Level 1 charging station with retractable cabling.
Since 1989, Telefonix has collaborated with customers on hundreds of products, and our list of patents has grown to over sixty.
OVER 25 YEARS OF HISTORY
Telefonix is a technology design and manufacturing company that creates product solutions for highly regulated industries in collaboration with new and existing customers. The company also works to identify and address unmet market needs with innovative product development under the Telefonix brand or in partnership with market leaders.
Explore the possibilities with us.
Our experience in cord reel technology and advanced product design and development has enabled our customers to deliver millions of successful products worldwide. Sharing our technology and our broad network with our customers allows us to work shoulder to shoulder in an inspiring environment based on trust.
In keeping with our tradition of collaboration, our formal partnership with PDT (Product Development Technologies) has given us access to their suite of research and design capabilities too. Click below to see how our stories have converged over more than 25 years.
Consider Telefonix an extension of your engineering and manufacturing team by allowing us to take on all, or just a part, of your project. While our teams are adept at managing large long-term project engagements, we also excel at complex, low-volume, specialized projects that are difficult to outsource.
Together we can make things better.
The end result of joint exploration is the development of novel products that have benefited such diverse industries such as aerospace, automotive, retail security, medical, communications, and hospitality, as well as the consumers they serve.
Proven technology, flexible design platforms, high customer satisfaction, and long-term relationships with large industry leaders make Telefonix the ideal partner for entrepreneurial companies seeking to be first to the global product market.
You probably didn't know it, but we're sure you've touched one of our products at some point.
Telefonix + PDT: Our Story
Paul Burke // Chief Executive Officer
From a very young age, Paul has been fascinated with how things work. As a 14-year-old boy, Paul used junked parts to rebuild a 1949 Ford into a working vehicle for his brother’s 16th birthday. Decades later, in 1989, it was that same ingenuity, drive and spirit that led him to incorporate Telefonix, Inc., which has grown into a global leader in a number of high-tech industries.
Throughout his career, Paul has worn many hats, from mechanic and inventor to engineer and business owner. He has developed and patented numerous product and application designs, maintained a global perspective by building long-standing strategic partnerships overseas and polished his skills in transforming customer needs into cost-effective solutions. Prior to founding Telefonix, Paul served as vice president of operations for Skokie, IL-based Anixter Brothers, Inc., where he managed a $26 million manufacturing group with seven plants and one thousand employees. Prior to that, Paul managed manufacturing and plant operations for several other companies on the East Coast. In 2005, Paul’s life work as a business visionary was honored when was inducted into the Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame.
Today, his passion for product development and manufacturing continues as strong as ever. As CEO of Telefonix, Paul still believes that the sky is the limit and anything can be achieved through partnership and teamwork. During the years of Telefonix’s existence, Paul’s desire to create, discover and just “find a way” has been the driving force behind the company’s success.
Gloria Burke // Board of Directors
Gloria graduated from Quinnipiac College in Hamden, CT, with a degree in Marketing and Business Administration. From there, she joined the officer training program in the U.S. Army. As a former Army captain and the first female member of Connecticut’s National Guard, Gloria has long brought discipline, direction and action to Telefonix.
In 1989, she co-founded the company along with her husband, Paul. From the beginning, Gloria has focused on administration, finance and human resources as Paul worked on product design and manufacturing management. Today, Gloria continues to bring energy, and focus to the team and works diligently to ensure that every employee feels that he or she is a part of the family. Formerly Chairman, she is now an active Board member.
When Gloria is not at Telefonix, she is actively involved in charitable work in the Waukegan community, most notably at the Staben Center for Women and Children.
Michael Kuehn // President
Michael has been an integral part of technology-centric businesses for over three decades. Upon his graduation in 1982 from Lewis University, Michael worked for his alma mater as a teacher in the College of Aviation. Aviation has always been at the core of Michael’s career, even during his college years when he worked for both Flying Tigers, and Swiss Air. In 1959, he had his first flying experience in a 1959 Cessna 175. After teaching at Lewis University, Michael managed an engineering and production group for MPC, Inc and acquired experience in the design and management of programs for both civil and military aviation customers. He has also held FAA delegated authority during his career as both a Designated Manufacturing Inspection Representative (DMIR), and Designated Engineering Representative (DER).
After MPC, Inc Michael joined a small start up in Oak Brook, IL called Airfone and began working for Jack “John” Goeken. He was there for the first phone call over the Airfone system from TWA L1011 and heard the last call from the commercial system in August, 2006 with many stops in between. During his 25 years with Verizon Airfone, previously GTE Airfone, Michael managed many complex programs across numerous business units on the regulated, unregulated, wireline and wireless sides of the business.
Michael retired from Verizon in late 2008 and in early 2009, after years of collaborating with Telefonix while Vice President of Strategic Accounts and Business Development with Verizon Airfone, Michael joined Telefonix as company President bringing with him a wealth of experience in aviation and telecommunications. At Telefonix, Michael draws upon his management and technical expertise to lead the company’s strategic planning, development, operations management, sales and manufacturing efforts. His proven ability as an innovator helps strengthen the Telefonix team and our customer’s experiences each and every day.
Allison Burke // Executive Vice President
After completing the full-time MBA program at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, Allison joined Telefonix - the company she watched grow from its very early beginnings in her family home. Allison brings a broad base of experience to the family owned business with expertise in program management, business development, corporate strategy, and technical management. After earning her bachelor’s degree from Boston University, Allison started her career with John Hancock Financial in Boston, where she began as a mainframe programmer, moving on to hold roles in both e-commerce program management and IT strategy.
In 2004, Allison joined Telefonix as Sales and Marketing Director before earning a promotion to Vice President of Sales and Marketing in 2007. Since 2009, Allison has served as Executive Vice President of Telefonix and currently oversees Finance, Marketing, Information Technology, and Legal.
Among her endeavors outside of Telefonix, Allison is a member of the National Association of Professional Women and the Union League Club of Chicago and can often be found on the tennis court before work or on the weekends.
Jim Costello // Chief Technology Officer
Jim has more than 25 years’ experience in the wireless communications industry, including over twenty years developing solutions for aircraft connectivity. Jim’s most recent position was with Row 44 as Vice President of Engineering. Jim started with Row 44 in 2006 when its Ku band satellite product was in its concept phase and recently left with over 500 commercial aircraft installed and its satellite service operational on four continents. Prior to Row 44, Jim was with Motorola as Director of Advanced Technology, and with Verizon’s Airfone business unit as Vice President, Product and Service Development. Jim graduated from Purdue University with a BS degree in Engineering and from Lake Forest Graduate School with an MBA.
Matthew Wilken // Chief Financial Officer
When Matthew joined Telefonix in May, 2013, he brought over 25 years of finance experience in predominantly manufacturing operations. He has worked in diverse industries that include publishing, wire and cable, stainless steel service, automotive and industrial equipment parts. He has demonstrated a proven track record in cost savings through continuous improvement initiatives, stringent controls, and meaningful performance metrics.
In addition to his numerous financial responsibilities, Matt’s recent reporting responsibilities have grown to include IT, Purchasing, HR, Operations, and Distribution /Supply Chain management.
Matt has a BA from North Central College and his Masters in Finance from Keller Graduate School of Management in March 2013. He and wife Tina have been married for 22 years and have three children – Jillian (17), Jack (15) and John (14).
Bobby (Bob) R. McClain // Quality Director
In 2008 Bob relocated from Akron, Ohio to join the Telefonix team. He has been involved in manufacturing since 1973. Having held multiple positions related to integrated manufacturing operations, he brings 4 decades of experience and initiatives to the Telefonix organization. He was educated at Akron University with a focus on Business Management. Having spent the first 10 years of his career in general manufacturing operations related to machining and assembly operations of rubber molding equipment and heavy earth moving equipment industries, he gained insight and experience into the detailed operations of a manufacturing operation. Bob then transitioned that experience into the military, aerospace and aviation industry.
Over the last 30 years he has held a variety of management positions in the aerospace and aviation industry which include, Quality Director, Program Manager (with international responsibilities), Accountable Manager (Part 145 Repair Station), Quality Manager, Quality Supervisor, Quality Engineer, and Manufacturing Process Engineer. He supports new product development programs and qualification testing efforts for new devices. This includes complete documentation and testing efforts for FAA-conformed devices. Bob also interfaces with the regulatory organizations that oversee and certify the Telefonix manufacturing operation. He has held three FAA delegated authority positions in his career: Designated Manufacturing Inspection Representative, Organizational Designated Airworthiness Representative, and Certificated Repairman. Continued dedication to excellence, and committed service to our customers and the industry, is a Telefonix creed that Bob supports and strengthens each day.
Sean Burke // Director, Airistar Technologies
After completing his bachelor’s degree at Boston University in 2003, Sean joined the air purification division of Telefonix, Airistar Technologies, which develops commercial air purification solutions for various markets affected by smoke, pollution and other airborne contamination. Sean has worn several hats at both Airistar and Telefonix since joining the company. He first began working for Airistar in a marketing role and from there expanded his role to also support Telefonix marketing activities. As Airistar grew, however, the needs of the business had Sean return full-time to the division supporting various functions within the operation ranging from sales to logistics and manufacturing. Today, Sean is heavily involved in all aspects of the air purification business leveraging his experience in technical sales, overseas sourcing, marketing, production and product management. Sean is currently enrolled in the Kellogg Executive MBA program at Northwestern University, and looks forward to graduating in the spring of 2015.
Mary Bruckner // Director of Operations
Having first joined Telefonix as the company's industrial engineering expert, Mary quickly proved that her analytical engineering background, manufacturing experience and thoughtful approach to process improvements made her the perfect candidate to take over the growing Telefonix manufacturing operation. Since joining the company, Mary has overseen the implementation of new production line layouts, a new warehouse management system and improved efficiency programs. With her growing team of expert managers, she works to ensure that the appropriate processes and people are in place to deliver on our customers' needs on time and to standards.
In her twenty years with Motorola, Mary held various positions in development, quality and manufacturing engineering, and later as a Technical Operations Manager in the Cellular Subscriber Group. Her leadership and technical skills ultimately propelled her into a director role in product cost reduction, business operations and product support engineering.
Mary is knowledgeable in Six Sigma, Lean Manufacturing and has held ASQ Quality Engineer Certification. She completed Masters of Science level work in Materials Science Engineering with an emphasis in polymer physics at Northwestern University and completed her Bachelor of Science in Ceramic Engineering at the University of Illinois. In her free time, Mary enjoys gardening, travel, and spending time with family.
Mary Ann Begley // Human Resources Manager
Mary Ann has been with the company since 2006 and is responsible for all human resource functions. Along with her team, she is responsible for recruitment and staffing, benefits, compensation, learning and development, employee relations and payroll. Mary Ann has played an integral role in finding the right individuals to join our team as the company has grown and her dedication to employee development is a true asset to employees and management alike.
Mary Ann has worked in the Human Resources field for more than 15 years. Prior to joining Telefonix, she was the Human Resources Manager for KaVo Dental Technologies located in Lake Zurich, IL. Mary Ann received a BA in Liberal Arts from Northeastern Illinois University and her MHRM from Keller Graduate School of Management. She has been a member of the Society of Human Resources Management since 2001. When not in the office, Mary Ann enjoys scuba diving, walking and relaxing with a great book.
Lee Grossman // General Counsel
While Lee is the newest member of the Telefonix senior management team, his work with the company pre-dates many of those on the team today. Lee has more than 25 years of litigation experience in the intellectual property field and has successfully represented Telefonix interests on multiple occasions over the last 10+ years. Now, as an official member of the team, Lee works tirelessly to ensure that the company's patent and trademark portfolios are properly maintained and expanded, as well as overseeing commercial contracts.
Lee graduated from the John Marshall Law School and received his undergraduate degree in civil engineering from the University of Illinois. He has been a partner at the intellectual property law firms of Niro & Scavone, Marshall Gerstein & Borun, Wood Phillips and Grossman & Grossman.
Interested in joining our team? Learn more about career opportunities here.
Copyright © 2017 Telefonix, Inc. All rights reserved. Telefonix is a registered trademark of Telefonix, Inc. For a complete Telefonix patent and trademark listing, please visit our legal page.
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