Escape to the Hills

I’m leaving for a short three day vacation this week in Hocking Hills. This is my biannual family reunion of my Great Grandfather’s family the Trouts. This will be our 7th or 8th trip down there, and I still have yet to go hiking at Old Man’s Cave, the local tourist attraction. I have always stuck closer to the pool and the golf course and away from the trail. Russ Bowman puts me to shame. He heads up there every year with his boys to go hiking and camping, and we tend to stay at a cabin which is more like a hotel with some wood paneling. To each their own.

For my parent’s generation the reunion is a chance to catch up with cousins that they spent summers with growing up. For my generation, it is a chance to meet and reconnect with our second cousins that we normally would only see at weddings and funerals. The three day reunion allows a longer more free flowing opportunity to see who people are. It is a different perceptive to get to know people that have a lot of history in common, but you only see once in a while. Most of the weekend is amazingly unscheduled, so you can come and go as you please.

This will be different for me. I’m taking my son who was born last August to meet his third cousins. It is different for a couple reasons. First, now I don’t just have to worry how I behave at the family reunion. I have to make sure my son doesn’t head-butt the other babies like he has been known to do at day care. Second, my family gets to see him grow up and learn stories about me when I was his age through the eyes of the people that were there and knew me best. I hope they stay away from a few stories until he is older, but probably not.

Getting together with the family reminds me of working here at EXAIR. As we witnessed with the Professor’s departure, and Dear Joe’s departure we see that some people might chose to not come into work everyday anymore, but they are always a member of our community. As time passes we are constantly reminded of their impact. With the Professor’s message we constantly drive to safe customers compressed air energy, and Joe always reminded us that we are here for the customer first, and if you can, help them in any way you should.

But, of course, the messages from those two individuals are the result of EXAIR’s company culture, our product’s ability to solve customer problems, and EXAIR’s commitment to customer service.

Contact an Application Engineer today to join our family of customers.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
@EXAIR_DW
DaveWoerner@EXAIR.com

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

Dear Joe…….

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Well, Friday, March 28, 2014 marked the end of an era here at EXAIR.  It was the official last day of Joe Panfalone, @EXAIR_JP, #DearJoe.  I know Joe has blogged about his retirement, but in case you didn’t know, he has been with EXAIR for 19 years straight.   That is almost longer than Professor Penurious’ Co-Op has been alive.

When I first started here at EXAIR four years ago Joe would always tell me, just remember kid, I voted for you.  The trick is he wouldn’t say whether he voted to hire me or not to hire me, just that he voted.   I have a feeling that I was to Joe, like Dennis the Menace was to Mr. Wilson.

No matter what the question or what he was doing, I wanted to know.  Joe was more than willing to tolerate all the questions, too. It’s almost like he has had kids before and that his patience has been tried before.  No matter what would happen, he would just keep going back to the fact that he voted for me.

Joe hasn’t only taught me a lot about applications, theory behind product, and how to skirt around HR, he has taught me how to be a better manager, not to sweat the small stuff, and that when you find something good you better hold on to it for dear life.

One of the many things Joe is known for around here is his extensive palate; in other words, he’ll eat anything.  Even my wife knows that if we have some leftovers or cake that we don’t want to eat ourselves, just send it in and Joe will eat it.  He even returns Tupperware clean as a whistle with a note saying “More Please”.

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The fact is, I am extremely excited to see Joe move on to the next chapter of his life.   I can only hope that it will be better than he has made all of ours.

One last thing, Joe did make the mistake of promising to meet up this Spring / Summer and help me teach my oldest daughter how to fish.  (Little does he know he’ll pretty much have to teach me, too!)

 

Thanks for everything Joe!

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

Passing of the Torch

I never realize how far reaching social media really is. When I announced my retirement I was overwhelmed by so many responses from my twitter followers. I try to post funny stuff as well an informational content. Sometimes I get a response to them and sometimes I don’t. What I did not realize is how many people are reading them but do not respond. My retirement announcement really drew them out of the woodwork. I am humbled and truly appreciative of the camaraderie we developed through cyberspace.

I am sure that the rest of our team @EXAIR_RB @EXAIR_DW @EXAIR_BF @EXAIR_KE @EXAIR_LE @EXAIR_NR  @EXAIR_DP  all will be as entertaining and informative so I would recommend that you follow them as I ride off into the sunset. If you like funny videos then follow @profpenurious and watch his videos on YouTube. Click here for a sample starring yours truly.

Joe Panfalone
Application Engineer
Phone (513) 671-3322
Fax (513) 671-3363
Web: http://www.exair.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/exair_jp
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/exair

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