Farewell from Professor Penurious

Myself, Dan Preston (AKA: Professor Penurious) and My Amazing Wife
Myself, Dan Preston (AKA: Professor Penurious) and My Amazing Wife

Life rarely ever goes as any of us plans it.  It’s full of peaks and valleys, and, on occasion, plateaus of peace and serenity.  Sometimes life is spontaneous and fun! Other times, chaotic and painful.  Some things, like who you fall in love with and spend the rest of your life with can’t be planned out ahead of time.  Some things, like education, careers, and retirement, can be.  And sometimes, things beyond us change those plans completely.  Occasionally, it’s for the worse, but I am inclined to think that, for the most part, it’s for the better.  So it goes.

After serving for 10 years as the Engineering Manager for EXAIR corporation, I will be pursuing a new course in life.  It wasn’t one that I sought, but rather, it sought me.  Friday, July the 10th marked my retirement from engineering. Today, I started training for the full time ministry.

When I first came to EXAIR, there was no doubt in my mind that it was answered prayer.  I had worked for small companies and Fortune 500 companies alike before coming here, and there was no doubt in my mind where I wanted to settle down and spend the rest of my engineering life.  I wanted to work for a small, family owned business that genuinely cared for its employees, that actually manufactured durable goods here in Cincinnati, and that was close to home.  I was blessed to find all three.

The work here at EXAIR was always interesting.  Developing new products, redesigning existing ones, tracking down root causes of failure and cost accounting are just some of the things I did here as an engineer.  And although designing custom products was always my favorite part of the engineering side of this job, where else could I get paid to be Professor Penurious? Good times indeed.

But what I really learned while working for the smartest guy I’ve ever known, is how a successful organization is run, en masse.  From the outwardly perceivable things like manufacturing, procurement, marketing, sales, order entry, accounting, etc. to the unquantifiable, like how to treat employees, customers and vendors.  Like the rest of life, sometimes it goes according to plan, and sometimes you fly by the seat of your pants.  But if you’re always honest, diligent and sincere, you can rest easy at night knowing you’ve done the right thing.  These are skills I’m confident will serve me well in my new job, and I’d like to thank all of you, especially Bryan Peters, for helping me learn them.

I had no intention of leaving EXAIR one second before I turned 59 ½ (if the stock market was good to me…)  I quickly became good friends with everyone here and even during difficult times, I knew this was the job for me.  It’s not that I wanted to leave here, far from it!  But my path forward is clear and undeniable.  I will miss the interesting customers and helpful suppliers, but mostly, I’ll miss the wonderful people I worked alongside this last decade.  I can say sincerely and without hesitation that I love each and every one of you.

EXAIR has changed my life for the better.  I hope that in some way, I have done the same for EXAIR.  So it goes.  So I go.

Dan Preston
Engineering Manager (ret.)
EXAIR Corporation

Farewell, So Long, Good-bye

If any of you know the lyrics to Neil Diamond’s song “Farewell, So Long, Good-bye” you probably are in in your golden years or approaching them. I have reached the ripe old age of 66 and with much consternation, the question of retirement arises.

When you are young, you fantasize of all the things you will do in your retirement years. But, when that day comes, you may experience an epiphany. Your body is not able to endure the long drive to those far and distant places you wanted to travel to. Mountain climbing and hiking the Appalachian Trail is out of the question. Sleeping out in the cold damp nights makes your arthritis flare up and by now you have had some body part replaced which limits your flexibility.  So all those activities you planned to do after retirement when you were young, take on a new perspective when you are old. Conventional wisdom would say to retire and do what you can while you still can.

On the flip side, there is the decision of actually leaving your job. Being retired you have no job. That’s an unnerving feeling of helplessness. Even though you have set aside a sizeable nest egg, you are vulnerable to the winds of economic change. Most of all, it’s leaving your co-workers that you have made bonds with over the years.  Now that you have the time to play, they don’t. It takes me to mind when I was single and my buddies were married. Family commitments prevented them from engaging in the things we did together when we were all single.

Yes everyone promises to keep in touch but that eventually wanes. So after retirement a new social circle of friends has to be developed. The thought of joining all those old guys for morning coffee at the McDonald’s or Thursday night bingo has absolutely no appeal to me.

So why would anyone want to retire? That is the question facing me.  I love my job, the company I work for, and the people I work with. But, the fact is that time is running out to do the things that I have long desired.  I am not getting any younger and I need to do them while I am still capable.

So it is with much consternation, that I am announcing my retirement. I will miss being with you all.

my-camper1

At the end of the March I will be officially retired.  I am packing up the camper and the dog to start my travels across the country.  Along with this comes the end of an era of the #DearJoe Twitter feed.  @EXAIR_JP will be retired much like myself, so make sure you follow the rest of the EXAIR team, (@EXAIR, @EXAIR_DW, @EXAIR_RB, @EXAIR_BF, @EXAIR_KE, @EXAIR_LE, @EXAIR_NR, @ProfPenurious)  to stay up to date on EXAIR offerings as well as a small amount of humor.  Let’s face it, none of them are as funny as I am, but they do give me most of my material.

Joe Panfalone
Application Engineer
Phone (513) 671-3322
Fax (513) 671-3363
Web: www.exair.com
Twitter: EXAIR_JP