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Murty V.V.S. Yalla

New Position: President, Beckwith Electric Co., Largo. Previous Position: Executive vice president, research and development, Beckwith Electric Co., Largo

By Times Staff Writer
Published October 31, 2005

Murty V.V.S. Yalla had been preparing for his new role as president of Beckwith Electric Co. for more than eight months. In mid August, the responsibility became official.

"It's a challenging position," he said. "I've been with the company almost 17 years now. I started as an engineer and worked through vice president and now president. I do have quite a bit of expertise, technical expertise, but the new position brings me into other areas - manufacturing, quality control, human resources, finance - all of that."

For months before starting his new position, Yalla said he studied those areas of operations of the company, which sells products and services to the electric power industry.

"The transition was easier that way," he said. "I used to concentrate 80 percent of my work on engineering. Now 20 percent is engineering."

Yalla will continue to serve on the company's board of directors, as well.

As if the new position and new responsibilities aren't enough, Yalla continues to have commitments to two international organizations related to electrical engineering. He is the U.S. delegate to the International Electrotechnical Commission, a global organization created to develop international standards in the electrical industry, he said. He also is chairman of a committee of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, another commitment that demands his time and energy.

"It's a tough routine," he said.

Beckwith Electric's market is worldwide, as well. With an estimated 120 employees, the company has the largest market share of electric generator production in the world, Yalla said, and the U.S. market for transformer production.

A native of south India, Yalla said as a youth he would go to local electrical shops and buy used motors. "I used to bring them back home . . . and make little fans," he recalled. "I would make little gadgets out of the junkyard. I had this fantasy of making products for electrical power. That's how I became more engrossed in (things) electrical."

Yalla, 48, earned a bachelor's degree in 1981 and a master's degree in 1983, both in electrical engineering, in India. He traveled to Canada to earn his Ph.D., also in engineering, at the University of New Brunswick in 1987. For the next year, he taught a year of undergraduate school in Canada and then took a job with Beckwith Electric in 1988 as a design engineer.

He continues to teach, conducting professional seminars for his company.

Yalla said he was also attracted to Florida because of the similar climate to his native India, a far more compatible environment than Canada.

One of the rewards of his profession, Yalla said, is discovering that some of the research he did years ago in Canada, and since, has become integral to his industry. He holds four U.S. patents in the areas of digital controls and protective relays.

"When I was in university, I used to ask who was going to use all this math," he said. "I get the most satisfaction knowing that some of the techniques that I developed in my Ph.D. . . . is being used worldwide."

Yalla and his wife live in Palm Harbor. They have two children in college.

In his spare time, Yalla is active with promoting Telugu, his native language. Yalla estimated there are 300 to 400 families in the Tampa Bay area who share this language, and he is past president of the local Telugu association.

[Last modified October 29, 2005, 02:37:48]

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