At age 21, Henry Mesa worked in electronics by day and taught it by night.

He heads his own company now, providing high-tech installations for high-profile clients such as the Chicago White Sox.

“Learning new technology feeds my appetite,” says Henry Mesa, CEO of Mesa Electronics, Inc. “It’s rewarding to take a new product, buy it, use it, and test it out for myself.” PHOTO: Erin Mesa

For Henry Mesa, all it took was a high school elective for him to jump-start his career path in electronics technology. “I was taking a course in electronics because of my curiosity [about] how it worked,” Mesa recalls, now CEO of Mesa Electronics, Inc. (ME). “I ran into a fantastic teacher who inspired me to learn more.” After finishing at Devry University Chicago, Mesa spent his early career finding his footing in the electronics field.

Working at an unfulfilling job, “I switched over to a privately owned and family-owned company. My mentor there recommended I become a teacher,” he says. He followed his mentor’s advice, and took a teaching position at the local college. At age 21, he worked in electronics by day, and taught it by night.

Once the company moved to a different part of the country, Mesa saw an opportunity for him to form his own company. “Coming from a family of strong character and entrepreneurial spirit, I saw how they were able to fulfill their dreams,” he says. “Being a business owner seemed like a secure position for me.”

He took the leap and formed the Illinois-based Mesa Electronics. A consumer electronic and consumer provider for commercial projects, ME provides installations for health-care, sporting, food- services, and lodging facilities.

High-profile clients, such as the Chicago White Sox, have reached out to ME to install new state-of-the-art televisions throughout the ballpark. “They requested special solutions for the TVs that required a high-tech installation, such as synchronizing all TVs throughout the ballpark to be powered on and off through one breaker while also making them tamper-proof from the patrons,” he explains. “We came up with a solution to script software to develop an IC chip for this need.”

In order to achieve success for projects, ME is often integral in the design phase. The team will work with the manufacturer and give them a direct input and come up with a new solution. Such dedication and precision is mirrored in its most demanding sector: health-care facilities. Its work in health care has positioned the company as one of the largest LG health-care electronics provider in the greater Chicago area. “We commit ourselves to quality over quantity, and coupled with our attitude, it has propelled us to such a status,” he says.

Mesa also gives high praise to his talented group of technicians. The core of the group has been with him since ME’s humble beginnings in the 1980s. “Along with Bill Quigley, Tim Klinehan, and Casey Quigley, this team shines because of their education, personalities, and etiquette,” he boasts.

What this CEO loves most is not only his talented staff, but also working with people—his clients—and the ongoing education that is designed for this field. “Learning new technology feeds my appetite,” he says. And, of course, gaining first access to the latest technological electronic devices is a plus, he adds. “I just put in the latest 3-D TV in my house,” Mesa tells. “It’s rewarding to take a new product, buy it, use it, and test it out for myself.”

With a field that is constantly innovating, Mesa hopes that ME will continue to grow and expand, not only in technology, but also in business. “We’re looking to put sales reps in California, New York, and Florida,” he says. “Beyond expansion, our long-term goals is to get light manufacturing of TVs here in the [United States].” For ME, that forward-thinking goal may not be too far off.