Key Employees Bios
RAHUL SHUKLA: President & CEORahul Shukla was born in the state of Gujarat, India as the eldest son of a journalist.
Rahul entered engineering college in India at 15, where he edited the students journal, led the college debating team, published short plays and fiction, won the "Best Student of the Year" award, and ranked first in the state-wide bachelor's degree examination in mechanical engineering.
He came to the USA in 1971, received his MS in Industrial Engineering, entered a PhD program at Rutgers University ; and took a full time summer job at S. S. White (then a subsidiary of Pennwalt Corporation) as Quality Inspector in 1973.
From there, he worked his way up to Draftsman, to Methods Engineer, to Manager of Industrial Engineering, to Director of Research & Development.
Realizing that no scientific formula for designing flexible shaft ever existed, Shukla obsessively carried out countless experiments and research studies on the subject for the next seven years. In 1983, as Director of R&D, he hired engineer Adam Black III to head his research team, and coaxed him to develop mechanics of designing flexible shafts. Adam Black submitted his thesis on the subject to the Stevens Institute of Technology in 1988, and became first and only PhD recipient on the topic.
Shukla then developed "Perflexion"-a computer program based on Dr. Black's formulas to "control parameters of flexible shaft that nobody knew even existed"-making S. S. White the only company in the world with a sophisticated software to design flexible shaft with scientific precision. Rahul Shukla, along with Dr. Black, is considered one of world's foremost authorities on flexible shaft design.
In 1988, when the parent corporation of S. S. White put the Company up for sale, Shukla liked the product so much that he bought the company; and the erstwhile Quality Inspector became President & CEO of S. S. White Technologies, Inc. What started out as a summer job culminated into a fulfilling career of over 32 glorious years.
With a glint in his eyes, Rahul Shukla quips: Find people smarter than yourself and leave them to do what they do best. He uses his sense of humor as a shield as well as a weapon. His compassionate "macro management style" has inspired fierce loyalty and sense of pride in his officers and workers alike. He never tires of admiring "some of the brightest people in business" in his management team.
A computer techie, photographer, motivational speaker, sportsman and a movie buff, Shukla is also a born storyteller. A collection of his short stories was published in India in 1995. A DVD of his mo tivational speech " Success Is A Journey And Not A Destination " published in 1995, is available free upon request through this website.
Rahul married Meena Rawal in 1976. Their son Akash, 22, shares his Dad's interests in photography, music and engineering.
BRIAN PARLATO: V.P. of Sales & Marketing
Brian Parlato received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Polytechnic University, NY and his MBA from Adelphi University, NY. Brian worked as a design engineer for several years and gravitated towards marketing projects where he was able to combine his engineering talents and passion for selling. He joined S.S. White in 1992 as a Marketing Specialist for the Flexible Shaft division and quickly rose to the position of Director of Sales and then Vice President of Sales & Marketing.
"Brian," says Rahul Shukla of his right hand man, "is a sophisticated, articulate individual and a brilliant strategist."
Brian was first to recognize the changing landscape of Flexible Shaft applications in the medical field and was a driving force behind S.S. White's 1999 acquisition of Snap-On Tools orthopedic division. He has also pushed to maintain the company’s dominant position in the aerospace field. Brian has focused the S.S. White sales force on providing creative solutions to customer's unique problems. This approach has helped build strong, long lasting, relationships with many key customers who repeatedly look to S.S. White to for creative solutions.
Brian and his wife Mary Beth have four children with whom they spend long hours hiking, camping, bicycle riding and exploring the outdoors. Brian is a scout leader, sings in his church choir, and enjoys the arts, music, and reading.
CAROLYN KETCHAM: Director of Corporate Quality & Policy and Director of Special Projects
Carolyn Ketcham graduated with a BS in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte.
Hired by Rahul in 1993, Carolyn quickly schooled herself in the mechanics of manufacturing as well as management. She worked her way up through several departments, unflinchingly eliminating waste in both material and human resources. She was promoted to Human Resources Manager in 1995 where she drove standard work to all departments and hired many of the bright individuals that S.S. White employs today.
Soon, she became so technically proficient that she was promoted to the post of Director of Corporate Quality & Policy in 1998, where she systematically went about to secure all requisite third-party quality certifications for S. S. White such as ISO9001:2000; AS9100 and ES9100; and QS9000. S. S. White is an FDA registered Medical Device Facility; and has been approved by the FAA through an ASCEP audit to FAR21, Subpart K requirements. In 2003, she was also given the additional responsibility of Director of Special Projects, handling such responsibilities as contract negotiations, bank transitions and other corporate projects.
Carolyn loves to travel, ski, fish, read and write. A quintessential 'shore' girl, Carolyn can usually be found on weekends on her boat with her husband, Bill Scharfenberg.
RAJEN SHUKLA: Director of Finance & Systems
Rajen Shukla started with S.S. White in 1989 as an Inspector like his brother Rahul. Rajen has a Bachelor's degree from a university in India and is vastly self-tutored in computer science. Fortunately, he has none of those geeky traits we all dread--except a mild addiction to black coffee.
He worked his way through the engineering division. He was then transferred to the IT desk as an Applications Developer to work on Lotus Notes and Windows NT server. He organized the IT department and became Director of MIS in 2001. Additionally, Rajen has recently taken over as Director of Finance. Also recently, he became the proud parent of his second daughter Jeeya, with his wife of ten years Neha. Rajen delights in spoiling his first-born Juhee.
Rajen loves Italian food (linguini with oil and garlic). He is an amateur Karaoke artist, crooning "Roses Are Red My Love" soulfully. He is also fond of Indian musicals and can belt out an oldie if asked nicely.
Dr. ADAM R. BLACK: Research & Development
Adam Robert Black III, PhD, the Flexible Shaft Guru at S.S. White, was born in Hackensack, NJ. He did his Masters in Mechanical Engineering from the Stevens Institute of Technology in 1977.
He was new to the field of flexible shafts when Rahul Shukla drafted him as senior research scientist in his R&D team at S.S. White in 1984.
Adam toiled day and night for four years over the complex mathematical subject of designing flexible shafts and in 1988, submitted his doctoral dissertation "Mechanics of Flexible Shafts," the first and only one on the subject in the country. He received his PhD in mechanical engineering from the Stevens Institute of Technology; and was now firmly established as the world authority on Flexible Shafts. Based on Dr. Black's formulas Rahul Shukla wrote the computer program "Perflexion" for designing Flexible Shafts.
Dr. Black doesn't like to be called Doctor Black (he prefers "Adam"), his coworkers have come to realize. Man of few words, Dr. Black is like a calculator: he supplies the precise answer to what you ask. If you want to know more, you have to ask more. He is addicted to challenges-he will pick the toughest problem first-since challenges are his intellectual elixir.
When he is not explaining the behavior of exotic metals like monel and inconel to a colleague, he is working out some mathematical puzzle rattling in his head. Modest to the extent of self-effacing, Dr. Black makes a worthy counterpart of Dr. White.