Juhani Perhonen started at Atostek in August 2021 and is currently working on the East Coast of the United States. What kinds of things has he done during his varied career, and how did he end up at Atostek?
Atostek’s latest recruit Juhani Perhonen has previously worked on quality management, regulations and health technology, among others. He has a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. At Atostek, Perhonen now bears the title of Chief Business Developer, and his job description includes business development and customer acquisition in North America.
The US is not completely unknown to Perhonen, since, during his career, he has already worked there a few times, several years at a time. During the past fall, he has been exploring promising candidates for customers and partners.
“I’ve spent so many hours speaking English that I’ve started to dream in the language! It would, of course, be nice to get new customers from these candidates. As a newcomer, I just have to be patient and believe in what I do,” says Perhonen when describing his feelings at the moment.
From Chicago to Dallas
Perhonen moved to the United States for the first time in 1996 when his wife, who was working as a researcher, got a job there.
“One of the first things I did was grab a local newspaper and start scanning it for jobs related to quality. A Chicago-based printing company was looking for someone competent for a quality-assurance project, so I decided to apply for the job and ended up getting it shortly afterward,” describes Perhonen.
The printing company did, however, start having problems soon and Perhonen had to find a new job. By chance, he learned that Nokia Networks was looking for a quality manager for the company’s Dallas site.
“In Chicago, I happened to come across another Finnish family. The man in the family was working at Nokia Networks and told me that the company had an open quality manager position at Dallas. I was interviewed for the job on Friday, and early Monday morning I got a call informing me that I had been selected for the job,” reflects Perhonen.
The family had to move from Chicago to Dallas. Perhonen was faced with completely new duties as the quality manager for the MSC & HLR product line at Nokia Networks’ Dallas site.
“At first, I didn’t know anything about software development. I had no idea about it whatsoever. However, I soon realized that I was able to utilize much of my previous work experience in the software development processes. After all, a quality system is a quality system regardless of the technology, and the ISO 9001 standard, which I was already familiar with, was also followed at Nokia Networks,” says Perhonen.
Long career in health technology
For the past 15 years, Perhonen has worked as an entrepreneur, consultant and business coach in the field of health technology. In Finland, Perhonen has participated in a wellness technology project and run his own health technology company, among other things. During his second stay in the United States, the work was related to the coaching of start-up companies working on medical devices.
“After starting my own health-technology company, I really immersed myself in regulatory issues. In my company, I took care of everything that was needed for getting the CE mark for a wireless ECG group monitoring system. I also drew up all the ISO 13485 and ISO 14971 documents myself and monitored the subcontracting-related matters,” sums up Perhonen.
During his career, Pehonen also came acquainted with Atostek.
“In the past, I had collaborated with Atostek in various projects. Last spring, I read on the Keskisuomalainen newspaper that Atostek had opened an office in Jyväskylä, Finland. I contacted my acquaintances working at Atostek and here we are,” Perhonen says and gives a laugh.