A WOMAN IN A MAN’S WORLD!
Near the end of the Great Depression in a small rural community in the State Tennessee and in the County of Anderson a baby girl was born, Edwina Sue Beets. Her early years were filled with much sickness and pain as she was stricken with Polio, or sometimes better known as Infantile Paralysis. In and out of the hospital while having many operations and having to walk around with a very large brace, school was not attended on a regular basis. She was given the nick name of Penny, by her Dad, which has followed her since. All of her friends and relatives got ahead of her in the education process but as the years went on, she decided that she “would” catch them and graduate from high school at the same time she would have, had it not been for the Polio in her life. And that she did, as well as along the way became most active in community events and the spokesperson for the March of Dimes in Anderson County. She was also the first Miss Anderson County and won the State of Tennessee award for her electric fence application.
A graduate of Cooper’s Institute of Business she started her working years in the bookkeeping field. She also worked for two different Physicians and at Abbott Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. She transferred to Chicago with Abbott and moved from there to Memphis Tennessee, then to California and then to Atlanta, Georgia. In Atlanta, in 1979 she started working with a very small company, Proto Systems, who employed 6 total people and was one of the first companies to start building printed circuit boards. They also started a magazine called PC Fab. She became the South East Regional Sales Manager for the Printed Circuit Board Company, something completely unheard of, a woman selling printed circuit boards. This was not taken well by all of the “good old boys” of the South and as far as can be determined, she was the “first woman” to sell printed circuit boards in the South East.
After working most successfully with Proto Circuits, she was approached by a company from Maryland, Cutronics, and was asked to help them establish a printed circuit manufacturing plant in Atlanta. She chose to help them from the ground up, assisting with the floor plan for the plant, decorating and planning and directing and staging the Grand Opening. She was made the National Sales Manager for Cutronics. After only a short number of years, being extremely successful, Cutronics was sold. At that time several other printed circuit board manufacturers contacted her and wanted her to build their business as she had done with the past 2 manufacturers.
At this time 1985 she decided that she would not build a business for anyone else, but would start her own manufacturer’s representative company, Technical Circuits, Inc. with her primary thrust being the printed circuit board. A pioneer and trendsetter, Penny Webb, a visionary was far ahead of the times when she started the company. Under funded, under staffed and with only the desire to make it work, she was one of the first females to start her own manufacturer’s representative company with its thrust on the printed circuit board business. Again this decision was met with a lot of criticism by the good old boy community in the electronics business. At this time she also co-founded an organization, Women in Electronics, which was to provide the women in the electronics business a networking as well as an educational source. Women in Electronics has held a number of money making projects to provide scholarships to young women in the Universities and colleges, getting their education in the electronics field. They have provided over $225,000.00 to many deserving young ladies since their inception.
When she started Technical Circuits, Inc. she decided to also market sheet metal fabrication and plastic injection molding. Her thought was each printed circuit board goes into some type of enclosure so while working with the engineers on new projects, she also provided a source for the enclosure. Again this was met with much clamor from the good old boy community, as no one before her had done that. Technical Circuits, Inc. is a small disabled female owned manufacturer’s representative company. It will be 30 years old in 2015, and many of the good old boys have long left the business due to the ups and downs of the industry, however Technical Circuits, Inc. is still going strong. Technical Circuits, Inc. has stood the true test, the test of time. Technical Circuits, Inc. is classified as electro-mechanical, custom fabricated specialist, promoting products that require interface with engineers and designers on the front end of a project. Technical Circuits prides itself on its reputation and its ability to provide a level of service that is second to none.