Avionics News September 2019 - 34

AVIATION ACES

Continued from page 33

possibility, researching everything from trade barriers to
hiring key staff.
"I went over to the United States and looked for the
right location," Denk said. One of his international
customers had built a subsidiary in Chesapeake,
Virginia, and according to Denk, "I found out it was
a good place for us to set up activities here. Among
the factors favoring Chesapeake was the availability
of staff, a robust industrial area, a time difference of
only six hours with Germany, as well as lots of nearby
universities, including Annapolis. So I made a proposal."
Denk received his work visa in June 2018 and has
now established a full-service office in Chesapeake.
"I am an electronics engineer, and my heart is selling
electronics - to create new solutions," he said. As for his
sales philosophy, Denk said, "I don't want to sell based
on price; I want to sell based on technology."
Pointing out that TQ stands for technology and
quality, Denk said, "That means we have to keep one
step ahead and sell quality products - and quality
means both for the products and for the service to our
customers. We want the customers coming back, not the
products."
Interestingly enough, TQ was founded 25 years ago
on-site at a working dairy farm.
"At the beginning, cows outnumbered staff, as
there were three people - the two founders and
one employee," Denk said. "Today, we have 1,700
employees, including 200 engineers who are developing
products."
The commercial and general aviation industry are
both key markets, and Denk knows that introducing TQ
Aircraft Electronics to the United States is a big task.
"We have different languages and different cultures,"
he said. "Our goal is not to sell European products to
Americans, but to see what Americans need. We want to
have your mentality and speak your language."
The cross-cultural exchange goes both ways, however.
Employees in Chesapeake go to TQ headquarters in
Germany for three months. Currently, there are eight
employees in Chesapeake, which includes a mix of
American and German engineers.
"We are still learning to understand each other,"
34

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september

2019

he added. "I joke that we can have one meeting with
the Germans and Americans interpreting the meeting
differently."
In June, product management staff was increased by
the arrival of more engineers from Germany. For the
aviation side of TQ, the United States represents threefourths of the market.
Not surprisingly, TQ strategically showcased two
products at AirVenture Oshkosh in late July: the KTX2
ADS-B transponder - for which the FAA certification
process is complete with AML STC expected on over
500 aircraft models - and the KRT2 Transceiver, which
is already FAA certified. Both are EASA certified and
well-known in Europe for their small size, light weight
and excellent engineering.
"To be engineered and built in Germany is very
important to us, as total quality, longevity and
robustness are a part of our DNA as Germans," Denk
said. "We simply won't build anything that is less than
the very best it can be."
As for life in the United States, Denk said, "I
definitely like it." What's difficult, though, is that his
wife and adult children remain in Germany. Denk has
a son who is 26 and a doctor and a daughter who is 24
with a master's degree in health care.
"My family and my church and my friends are in
Germany," Denk said. "I've made a lot of friends
here and found a new church, so it will be hard to
leave whenever that time comes. I now feel at home
in America, and I'm excited about the amazing
opportunities here."
As for life outside of work, Denk remains active in his
church and supports missionaries in Ethiopia who run a
local school. He also enjoys working outside and scuba
diving.
For the future, Denk said that he and his staff must
have what he calls "open ears and open eyes" for the
challenges he faces in the United States, and particularly
in general aviation.
"We have invested a lot of money in our products, and
our founders have invested in our future," he said. "It
really is a wonderful time to be coming here." q

To learn more about TQ Aircraft Electronics,
visit flytq.com.


http://flytq.com

Avionics News September 2019

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