January 4, 2017

Meet Doron Shapiro, R&D Engineer at Aligned’s Inertech, who spends much of his free time playing upright bass in a jazz band.

This blog post is part of our ongoing employee profile series showcasing the people that make Aligned a special place to work.

As a child, before musical icon Herbie Hancock started playing jazz, he loved to figure out how things worked, taking things apart and putting them back together again. Before starting a fulltime jazz career, he studied electrical engineering in college. Hancock says it was his inquisitive and analytical nature, not a talent for music, which helped him learn jazz.

Inertech’s Doron Shapiro can relate to that. Doron, who holds 17 U.S. patents related to commercial refrigeration, spends much of his time away from work playing upright bass in Danbury Street, his jazz band. In 2011, after 30 years of playing the electric bass, Doron became curious about playing upright bass. After a lot of practice and learning, he is now an evangelist. “Switch to upright bass,” he urges any musicians. “Bass is the captain of the ship.”

After a long career, still time to learn

Doron, who lives in St. Louis, has been an R&D engineer at Inertech for three and a half years. He comes to the company as a veteran of several large organizations, including five years at Anheuser-Busch Companies and 24 years at Hussmann Corp., once a division of Ingersoll-Rand Climate Control Technologies. His patents include titles like “Two Stage Transcritical Refrigeration Systems,” “Distributed Intelligence Control for Commercial Refrigeration,” and “Control Method for Modular Refrigerated Merchandiser.”

Doron joined Inertech for the opportunity to learn about another type of cooling system – for data centers. After decades at large companies where work was narrowly focused and finely defined, Doron says he enjoys the change of pace at a smaller company. At Inertech, he says, “You do what needs to be done. And take responsibility for everything.”

Jazz with a heart

Doron carries the concept of responsibility with him off the clock too. Danbury Street plays weddings, clubs, and occasional charity events in support of a non-profit called Pound Pals. Pound Pals provides free spay and neutering services for low-income families and assists in providing medical care for homeless animals.

Doron’s passion for music began when we was a teen and through the years he has played in several bands. In the 1970s and 1980s, he played in a rock cover band called Condor and a rock/country cover band called Justin Thyme. In the 1990s, he played with an original band called Here, which released a CD, Take One. In the early 2000s, he hooked up with a jazz and pop cover band called City Heat.

Today, Danbury Street plays jazz from the 1920s through today. And lately, they’ve been playing a lot of Christmas tunes. Doron chuckles as he describes how fun it is to play the melody line for “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”

A trio of Danburys

Doron laughs as he describes an interesting series of coincidences in his life:

  1. “I’ve been playing in jazz band called Danbury Street for the past 6 or so years.”
  2. “My home is at the corner of Weil Avenue and Danbury Avenue in St. Louis.”
  3. “I work for Inertech in Danbury, Connecticut.”

Just coincidence? Surely. “But,” Doron says, “I like to think it’s good karma.”