Will Friend, Raytown South High School, 1979
After graduating as Raytown South High School’s 1979 valedictorian, and having accumulated college credit through a National Science Foundation Program stressing technology studies, Will Friend attended the University of Missouri at Columbia on a Curator’s Scholarship. While still in high school and on his daily run along a city street, he noticed a three-man crew drilling holes to locate sink holes in the roadway. He devised a method to accomplish the same job with equipment in a pickup truck and only one employee. This device was patented, and he earned enough money to put himself through college with enough left over to buy a new automobile.
While still in college, Will was employed as an Electronics Technician with Alpha Labs, a small electronics design, repair, and research firm. In 1983 he left Alpha Labs to begin Inelect, Inc. which he sold in 1985 to Mexico Plastics, staying on as Chief Electrical Engineer. His designs greatly increased plant productivity. He also started an out-of-house design service which provided an additional profit center.
In 1987, Will was Vice-President of Engineering for Dymacory, Inc., and in 1990 was part of a start-up company, Qualitron Systems, where he was part owner and Vice-President. His computer systems were sold to agriculture, automotive, defense, medical, oil and other industries. In 1995 he took a job with TechVova which had no openings but they created one for him. Later he worked for Sphere Communications, Inc., Impact Technologies, and Nu Horizons Electronics Corp. In 2003 Will started Friend Consultants to provide consulting for Siemens Medical, one of the largest medical companies.
Will is married to Laura, a fellow physics classmate at the University of Missouri who has always been very supportive. She is truly "the woman behind the man."