NAPM-San Fernando Valley Supplier Night 2012 Really Was A Blast!

Michelle Moore of Inland Empire Components, Inc. at NAPM Supplier Night 2012

Once of our favorite customers sent us an invitation to attend the NAPM-San Fernando Valley 2012. The email subject line said “Supplier Night Will Be A Blast”.   Michelle Moore and I packed up our business cards and gathered a few back scratchers for the trip from Lake Elsinore to Granada Hills.   Michelle and I have had many adventures over the years including flying to New York and staying in Manhattan for a massive supplier event.

I put my expectations aside because if you’ve been around as long as we have you learn to enjoy the ride.

If you listen to John and Ken on KFI talk radio for any length of time you would think that California businesses have all packed up and moved to surrounding states.  The media would have you believing that it’s impossible to own a business in the Golden State.  One of the benefits of attending an event like the NAPM-San Fernando Valley 2012 is the reinforcement that California business people ROCK.

…yes, John and Ken have a point about retirement abuses and our village idiot government…but that’s another post. I’ve made a decision to turn the radio off and replace the negative with positive messages.

Michelle and I know how to have a good time.  We talked and laughed all the way to Granada Hills.  I mentioned to my partner and husband, Ron Jiron, about driving my Honda Odyssey up the windy road to the Odyssey Restaurant.  He told me when he was a young boy he lived near that street and would ride his bike down that road!

The stage was set for a magical night.

Our daily business activity includes cell phones, crummy VOIP phones, emails, faxes and computer screens.  Heck, the front door of our business is usually locked to avoid the wandering solicitor trying to unload some bad-smelling perfume and tasteless chocolate.

NAPM-San Fernando Valley 2012 Supplier Night began with booths for suppliers to share their capabilities and refreshments in the corner of the room.  The turn out was truly inspiring.

Check out the slide show of the event by clicking here.

People prefer to do business with people they like, trust and know.  Anytime I get out of the office and attend an event of like-minded people, this fact is always reinforced.  When we started our business in 1989, we didn’t have all the technological tools. While technology is convenient, it’s the human interaction that counts.

On the surface you would think the agenda for the evening was to buy and sell products and services.  The fact is, most of the people in the room have already mastered the art of business transactions.  What I experienced was a focused effort to support the NAPM-San Fernando Valley Scholarship Program designed to assist a deserving student with education expenses.

The evening was a microcosm of everything that is great about business.  The gathering demonstrated the power of professionals being able to execute an event on behalf of the community.  Our communities always benefit when we assist in lifting up the intelligent ambitious children longing for an education.

NAPM-San Fernando Valley organized a truly successful event. It appeared to me that the dinner room was packed.

As a former board member of The Professional Women’s Roundtable , Temecula, I was involved in organizing an event that include Erin Brockovich as the key-note speaker.  Organizing and executing the event was a challenging experience.  Not everyone on the planning committee saw eye to eye.  Coordinating such an event took focus, diplomacy and sheer sweat equity.

It takes a tremendous amount of effort and volunteerism to put events together.

I tip my hat to the board and organizers of NAPM-San Fernando Valley Supplier Night 2012.

The Hottest Product Since The iPhone? Rapid Digital Manufacturing Reviewed

The coolest thing I saw (besides my customers) at the Del Mar Electronics Trade Show 2012 was the latest in local 3D printing machines.  Ironically, I got a call from my brother who displayed more excitement then I’ve ever heard from him before.  He told me that he had just signed up for the new program called Rapid Digital Manufacturing over at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, California.  If you type in “Rapid Digital Manufacturing” into Google, the first entry in the natural search is the Saddleback College program. That my friends, is the wave of the future.

My brother, who happens to be a genius in my opinion, is very astute at pointing out future trends. Despite our differing conspiracy theory conversations, he has been fairly accurate over the years. The Rapid Digital Manufacturing program is challenging from what I hear.  It requires a unique set of skills to learn the software and multiple pieces of laboratory equipment.

Here’s the most interesting aspect of all this…there are jobs waiting to be filled once a person successfully completes the certificate program.  That revelation indicates to me that the hottest product since the iPhone may end up being the 3D printer.

YouTube took content creation to the masses by providing a platform for everyone to upload their vidoes .  I have experience at this first hand as my daughter has over 17,000 subscribers on her YouTube account.

MakerBot Industries’ Replicator won the best of emerging technology award at the Consumer Electronics Show and 3D Systems’ Cube 3D printer is MakerBot’s foremost competitor in bringing user-designed objects to the masses. Right now the prices of these printers are a bit high for mass distribution but as prices come down the uses for an at home 3D printer are amazing.

To get 3D plans for the 3D printer requires either knowledge of AutoCad to create your own design or MakerBot has a community site called Thingiverse which provides access to 3D plans.

My son who is 8 years old is constantly creating props for his videos.  These props include a life size chain saw, a black “United Express” credit card and he is working on a fake cinder block.  His prop requests are rapid and often.  He stated that he wanted a real hover board shown in the movie “Back To The Future” for his birthday and he wants it to really “hover”.  He drew plans on how he was going to make the first hover board work.  I told him he needs to take a Physics class as soon as possible.  Imagine millions of budding engineers and scientists having access to 3D printers in their garages?  Truly we are looking at a future generation being able to create products almost on demand.

MakerBot’s cool 3D printer is demonstated in the video below.

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