From Cambodia to Washington State: A Harrowing Journey to America and Electric Mirror

Expressions Blog

by Scott Ouk, Production Supervisor

My name is Scott Ouk and I am a supervisor at Electric Mirror and am thrilled to oversee the production of Mirrored Cabinets, and manage our custom chassis, main line chassis, and custom mirror assembly lines.

 Scott Ouk on the line

Me on the right with Michael Guirguis who works on the chassis line in the wire harness division.

My journey to Electric Mirror began in Communist Cambodia where I was born. Some of my family escaped in 1977 while I was just a young boy. I had lost my father when he was confronted by a soldier, who had followed my seven-year-old brother home. The soldier had seen my starving brother steal a piece of fruit and demanded that my father turn him over for punishment. My father refused. He begged and pleaded for compassion and understanding, but none came. Finally, he offered himself up as a trade. The soldier agreed. We never saw my father again. Some of my family decided to attempt to escape. We made it, when we crossed the Mekong River. My cousin carried me over on his back. Later, my mother, three brothers, and sister made it to the United States through a church sponsorship program. Here my mother found work in a print shop and worked hard to provide for us children. She overcame great challenges there, not the least of which was learning the language while working.

Scott Ouk with family over the years

My family over the years. From left to right, soon after we first arrived, then when I was a teenager, and finally a recent Christmas.

When I turned 18, I found a job at a glass shop where I had the opportunity to teach myself how to use the glass cutter. I had seen that the machine was being used incorrectly, resulting in waste, production delays, and loss of revenue to the company. The manual was available so I began studying it, and learning how to use it on the job. I was motivated to learn it, use it professionally, and take on more overall responsibility. That was where my passion to work hard and efficiently first came about.

Scott Ouk with Cheri

Cherryben “Cheri” Self, Model Room Chassis Supervisor, and I going over some order details.

When I joined Electric Mirror in September 2012 some of my skills were being under-utilized. As a production supervisor elsewhere, I was trained in “lean methodology,” a process and mindset to become as efficient as possible with energy, materials, labor, and costs. Although Electric Mirror was building beautiful products, I saw the opportunity to teach my team to do it even better.

Scott Ouk with Jerry

Jerry Sithar, Model Room Manager, and I reviewing production scheduling.

Minutes matter when it comes to production and these principles have reaped benefits. Now in 2015, Electric Mirror produces nearly four times the number of chassis in a day as compared to 2012, allowing us to handle the demand for our industry-leading Lighted Mirrors and Mirror TVs. Now, even as we transition to our new 110,000-square-foot headquarters, our production is ahead of schedule.

Creating the highest quality luxury products with speed and efficiency, delivered on time to our customers is the mantra I preach. Having the opportunity to teach and use these efficiency principles on the production floor at Electric Mirror is my proudest accomplishment… so far!