President of Pullman’s SEL talks business, economics, creativity

President of Pullman’s SEL talks business, economics, creativity
Edmund O. Schweitzer, II Ph.D, President and Chief Technoloy Officer at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, talks about the importance of SEL in Pullman and about the benefits of being located in a small community like Pullman's.Photo courtesy: OLIVER MCKENNA | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

The founder of Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, one of Pullman’s largest employers, described to an audience in the CUB Senior Ballroom on Tuesday how the company is outperforming its competitors, and the philosophy it adopts to be successful in the electronic manufacturing industry.

Edmund O. Schweitzer III, president, chairman of the board, and chief technology officer of SEL, said taking advantage of opportunities, staying persistent and promoting creativity has made the company competitive on a global scale.

“We invent, design, build, manufacture, support the systems that control and protect the electric power systems in the world,” Schweitzer said.

He said the company’s advantages have allowed it to become one of the top competitors in the world, and the American business environment has helped it grow to what it is today.

“Economic freedom and political freedom are inseparable,” Schweitzer said. “Those give us the opportunity that no other countries enjoy to the extent that we do here in the United States of America.”

Emphasizing this freedom, Schweitzer stressed that students and faculty have a say in what happens around them.

“If the government needs to do something, we need to ask ourselves, is this really an issue of the state? The task is to go back to the first principle of the Constitution,” he said. “I implore you, as students and you as professors and leaders, to ensure that WSU focuses on fundamentals.”

Schweitzer said he adopts the philosophy of the saying, “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” He said staying persistent is better for fostering growth in a company than focusing on a few ideas.