A sincere “Thank You” to all who have read this column during the past years. Perhaps some columns have made you snicker or snort in disagreement, but, I hope that whatever your reaction has been, you gained another perspective on situations, processes, management or the finishing industry. This is my last "Perspectives" column for Products Finishing magazine; however, I will continue to write for the publication on a regular basis.
Plant visits, trade shows and conferences will still be a part of my repertoire. So, if you have an idea for a finishing article that would work well in the magazine, feel free to approach me using my e-mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org). I will develop and write articles for the magazine at my home computer, much to the delight of my dogs, Fred and Barney. Fred is content to recline at my feet as I write. Barney, on the other hand, believes that I need balls, stuffed toys and chewies to do my job effectively. I’m sure we will work out some type of compromise.
I simply adore the people in the finishing industry. Perhaps that is too flowery a sentiment, but I have found people in this industry to be the salt of the earth. Many finishers run shops that their fathers, parents or grandfathers started. They know what it is like to get their hands dirty. They know what it is like to get up early and go home late, just to meet a deadline. They know what it is like to have your life invested in finishing, yet they are not selfish about it. They donate money and time to the industry, as well as advice and counsel to other finishers. Finishers share their knowledge as well as their difficulties. They work together, such as in associations, to challenge and change things that they know are detrimental to their businesses as well as the country’s economy. They are an example to other industries of drive, determination, dedication and success. They not only care about the industry; they care about each other.
Ralph Waldo Emerson described success this way: “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”
I want to thank all those in the finishing industry who have helped me laugh often and much; who have let me know when they think I’m wrong; who have given me confidence; who have allowed me to work with them to make this a strong industry; who have helped me succeed in my work as well as significant aspects of life.
I will certainly miss the daily interaction I have had with the industry, but I am opening a new chapter in my life. One that will lead to greater adventures, more laughter, more appreciation of life and a greater sense that I can make a difference, even if it is only in the life of one person.
Thank you, finishers.