Did you know Anthony “Tony” Harris went to Harvard Business School? Many people don’t realize that Harris, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Campbell/Harris Security Equipment Company (CSECO), holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the prestigious university. Those who know Harris also may not realize that he received an Honorary Doctorate from his undergraduate alma mater, Purdue University, in May.
Harris came into Engineering in a roundabout way. Originally, as a high school student, Harris was interested in architecture and had planned to pursue that as a career. A teacher encouraged him to consider engineering, however, and that’s what he did. Harris attended Purdue University and graduated in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.
While a student at Purdue University, he was the founding president of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). This student-led organization has grown from its humble beginnings to include over 27,000 members. It also boasts chapters on five different continents and is the largest student-run organization in the United States. Harris remains active in the organization he helped to found by serving as the chair of NSBE’s national advisory board.
Harris has also put his MBA to good use. Before purchasing CSECO in 2006, he was the project and design engineer of Standard Oil Company in Indiana, held several positions in sales and marketing at Ford Motor Company before becoming president and CEO of Sonoma Ford Lincoln-Mercury, as well as holding several positions with Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and as Vice President of Marketing for the Calpine Corporation.
Purdue University has honored Harris as the 1999 Outstanding Mechanical Engineer and Distinguished Engineering Alumnus in 2008. He was also recently invited to a position on the new Purdue University Strategic Advisory Council.
Along with maintaining a close relationship with his alma maters, both Purdue University and Harvard Business School, Harris is active in his community. He serves as a member of the Advisory Board of OneCalifornia Bank, FSB. He has served as a member of the board of directors for the Oakland Museum of California, and has been appointed to the African American Advisory Committee for the California Board of Education.
As President and CEO of CSECO, Harris oversees the design and manufacture of contraband detection equipment. Their signature piece, the Buster K910B Density Meter and contraband detector, is considered to be the ‘go-to’ equipment law enforcement agencies turn to when they need to detect contraband. The Buster, along with their CT-30 Contraband Team Detection Kit and FV Series Fiberscopes, are used by United States Customs and Border Protection, the US State Department, US Department of Homeland Security as well as state and local police agencies across the country and many international Customs and Border agencies.
Learn more about Anthony “Tony” Harris by reading the article Harvard Business School printed about him. You may access the article by following this link: https://www.alumni.hbs.edu/stories/Pages/story-bulletin.aspx?num=2927.