A Tribute to the Life of Michael J. Hart: 1952-2007

Michael (“Mike”) J. Hart, the former president of EMCO (The Electro-Mechanics Company), died in a car accident during the morning of July 13, 2007, near his home in Humble, Texas. In a brief instant, a wife lost her husband, four children lost their father, and the EMC industry lost a man who shaped its growth and will leave a lasting imprint for years to come.
During the mid 1980’s, Mike bought EMCO (the Electro-Mechanics Company) and transformed it into one of the most successful EMC equipment suppliers of its time. (It later became the core of present-day ETS-Lindgren.) He went on to found Professional Test Services, EMC Automation (now TDK RF), and Quantum Change, the creator of TILE!® Software.
Mike was known for his generosity and treated employees like members of his own family. When one of his engineers developed incurable cancer, Mike kept the man on payroll as a full-time employee until he passed away. If an employee was having a tough time financially, Mike would take the needed money out his own pocket without any thought of being paid back.
Of all his accomplishments, Mike would be most proud of the people he hired who went on to make their own mark on the industry. A few of those include Ed Bronaugh, Dave Staggs and Steve Berger. Every year, Mike also invited a number of young engineering students from overseas to intern at EMCO during the summer months. One of those interns now heads the regulatory test lab for his country. Another is the founder and owner of a successful EMC distributorship in his country.
Mike was a practicing Catholic and lived his faith. No matter where he traveled, Mike attended mass. As a devoted family man, Mike, together with his wife Sally of 35 years, raised four children. Lara will graduate from medical school next year. Jessica is returning to college to finish her degree. Natalie graduates from college this summer and hopes to become a police detective. Mike Jr. is a Marine corporal and serves as an avionics technician in Iraq.
Mike was an active member of the EMC Society and just recently helped form a new EMC Chapter in Houston. Ironically, Mike was returning home from the 2007 IEEE International Symposium on EMC in Hawaii (his birthplace) when the fatal accident happened. It provides some comfort to know that Mike spent the last days of his life on the island of his birth, with his daughter Natalie, at a Symposium for an industry he helped shape, among friends who loved and respected him.
The loss of Mike Hart is great. He contributed so much to our industry, and had so much more to give. Mike forever lives on in our memory.
Editor’s Note: Michael J. Hart was interned on August 28 with full military honors at the Arlington National Cemetery for his service as a Captain in the U.S. Marine Corps.

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