Author: Noah Graff

I came into contact with Edwin Nyuysever Mbinkar a month ago, when he sent an email to Graff-Pinkert inquiring about an expensive Mikron 5-axis machining center on our website. He explained that he was the manager of a High Tech Centre (British spelling of “Center”) in Cameroon, and he wanted his school to have the first 5-axis machining center in the country. I was intrigued by his story, so I looked for a reasonably priced machine for him. I located a Haas 5-axis in Wisconsin and then queried some dealers and industry experts about the practicality of exporting a machine…

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Today’s podcast is an American Dream story. Our guest is Dulio Arellano, owner of Premier Swiss, a Tornos shop in Addison, Illinois, which he founded in 2017. Dulio came to the United States from Mexico when he was 18 years old. After working in various machine shops, Dulio got a job as a technician at Tornos USA. At Tornos, Dulio developed skills and relationships that gave him the foundation to start his own business at the age of 34. Scroll Down to Listen to the Podcast Main Points of the Interview: (3:20) Dulio discusses his company, Premier Swiss, a job shop…

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This Sunday will be my first Father’s Day—the first one in which I am a father myself, which I have only been for about two and a half months. Sometimes when I look at my infant son Abe it makes me marvel how I get to work alongside my dad in two businesses. It’s mind boggling to imagine Abe as an older kid or young adult who I could engage as an intellectual equal. Child rearing has made me reflect on some of the similarities I share with my dad. Growing up, my dad’s go-to song to calm us and…

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Today’s guest on the podcast is Matt Wardle, owner and President of JD Machine Corp. in Ogden, Utah. JD Machine currently produces around 4,000 active part numbers, serving a diverse group of sectors, which include aerospace, defense, and medical. Matt says he sometimes envies other machining companies who have a more narrow focus on the types of parts they produce because it simplifies their operations. Yet, he insists that producing a diverse group of parts is the best path for his company to have longterm success. Scroll down to read more and listen to the podcast. Or listen on your…

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You might think chopping up steel bars would be a fairly mundane business, but for one of the biggest choppers of them all, it’s been, well, awfully choppy in recent years. Last week, Central Steel & Wire broke ground to become our neighbors in the Southern Suburbs of Chicago. Central Steel & Wire has been synonymous with steel distribution in the Midwest since its founding in 1909 with seven employees by Mandel Lowenstine. His son Maurice joined the firm in 1933, and his younger son Jim joined in 1945 after winning a bronze star in World War II.  Jim took…

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I am a bullet, penetrating all resistance! I embrace my discomfort zone!  I try to say this statement to myself out loud every morning. It is part of my I Am List I created with my life coach. The principle is that if you repeat something enough it will eventually become your reality. I’m blessed with a lot of natural gifts to help me reach fulfillment and success in my life—at least I think so. I believe I’m smart, creative, and open minded, and I feel like I have a natural ability to connect with other people. But, I know…

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The country is pulling apart. It’s a mess here.  I don’t think so.  This Memorial Day weekend reminded me of how remarkably bound together we are. Sometimes it takes a dark tragedy like the shooting in Uvalde, Texas, to awaken even the hacks in Washington that we must finally do something to prevent mentally ill kids from firing AR-15 assault rifles in schools.  The copycat massacres are bringing Second Amendment zealots and gun restrictionists together at least on the fringes. I find some hope that the terror may finally be bringing us a bit closer to a consensus. *** The…

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Our guests on today’s show are Michael Ottenweller and Terry Hanson, of Ottenweller Company, a medium-sized fabrication and machining company headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Ottenweller is a 108-year-old fourth generation family business. I spoke with Michael and Terry about how a family business can grow and thrive for over a century and continue to find new quality talent. Scroll down to read more and listen to the podcast. Or listen on your phone with Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite app. Follow us on Social and never miss an update! Facebook: https://lnkd.in/dB_nzFzt Instagram: https://lnkd.in/dcxjzVyw Twitter: https://lnkd.in/dDyT-c9h Main Points Ottenweller Company was…

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I am celebrating the 60th anniversary of my high school graduation with the Class of 1962 on Zoom this Thursday.  I remember a surprising amount from my four years at the Lab School, part of the University of Chicago. A lot of the kids had family affiliated with U of C, but more than half the class came in to avoid lousy public schools in the surrounding neighborhoods. I didn’t talk much as a kid, but I loved sports and found a niche as an athlete. It was a dramatic change from my grammar school that had 48 in a…

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