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This past summer in preparing to move the family business to Danbury, Tim Holland unearthed a steno notepad from 1984 in which his father Bill had jotted down the business plan for Parker Medical, which sells systems for imaging machines that detect breast cancer.
“The business will be started with the introduction of a dedicated mammo tube — followed by x-ray high voltage cables,” Bill Holland Sr. had scrawled. “Other novel x-ray component products will be introduced in the future after the mammo tube and cables are established.”
Holding the steno pad Friday at Parker Medical’s new Danbury headquarters, Tim Holland drew a laugh from some of the 75-plus employees he leads as president and chief operating officer of the company.
“I’m not sure what happened to the mammo tube,” Holland said. “But the sentence that strikes me here — ‘other novel component products will be introduced in the future after the tubing’ — that’s exactly what he did.”
Parker Medical makes high-voltage cable assemblies inside breast-cancer imaging machines sold by General Electric, Hologic and Philips, as well as thousands of other components for computed tomography (CT) machines and others. Some of the company’s most complex products can take days to put together by multiple people, including testing and inspection.
Tim Holland said that the need for extra space drove the decision to move from Bridgewater where Parker Medical had long had facilities. At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company secured extra flex space in Brookfield as well to create a duplicate assembly line, allowing for better spacing between employees and a continuity of production should either facility be hit with a viral outbreak.
For its new headquarters, Parker Medical considered locations in Brookfield and Westchester County, N.Y., but Holland said the Danbury building fit its needs best.
“Keeping manufacturing in Connecticut was dear to my dad, dear to me,” Holland said. “It was a matter of availability and opportunity.”
Himself a former x-ray engineer with GE, Bill Holland started Parker Medical in 1984. He died April 24, 2020, at age 91 of complications from a fall.
“While he was at GE, he developed one of the first x-ray tubes for mammography,” said Christine Holland, one of the seven sibling co-owners of Parker Medical who leads business development.
The company’s new home was used previously by Belimo which makes valves, actuators and sensors for heating and air conditioning systems. Belimo moved in 2015 to a nearby building that is more than twice the size of its former facility.
Parker Medical is located a short distance from a Hologic facility that makes some of the most advanced 3D mammography scanning machines available today.
State Rep. Ken Gucker, D-138th, recalls touring the Parker Medical building while in grade school to see the operations of Metallic Arts, a one-time maker of commemorative medallions for presidential inaugurations, military awards and others.
“You got to push this little button and it would stamp this memorial for the day,” Gucker said Friday. “It brings me back to why it is so important we have buildings not staying vacant, but actually having people working in them,”
Alex.Soule@scni.com; 203-842-2545; @casoulman