WAM
#108 Who is Winning the Tech Race? With Rebecca Fannin, Founder of Silicon Dragon Ventures

#108 Who is Winning the Tech Race? With Rebecca Fannin, Founder of Silicon Dragon Ventures

May 19, 2020

Relations between the US and China are at a low-point right now, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic among other things, but how is that affecting global innovation? Today’s guest on the WAM podcast is an innovation expert, author, public speaker, and media entrepreneur, Rebecca Fannin, who is the founder and leader of Silicon Dragon Ventures. Rebecca’s journalistic career began in Silicon Valley during the dot-com era. Following the venture capital trail to Asia, she was one of the first American journalists to write about China’s entrepreneurial boom, interviewing Jack Ma of Alibaba and Robin Li of Baidu, among others. She’s a regular media commentator and publics peaker, focusing on investments and emerging technology companies. Rebecca has just published her third book, Tech Titans of China, which documents the rise of China's tech companies and intense competition in the sector. In this episode, host Rosemary Coates and guest Rebecca dive into how Rebecca started her company and where it has led her, as well as the recent decision to take the events component of her business online due to COVID-19. Rebecca gives us her perspectives on global tech and innovation and how they affect manufacturing, as well as how the tech race between the United States and China may be hindering collaboration and innovation. Make sure not to miss out on Rebecca’s interesting approach!

#107 Why There’s No Such Thing as Overnight Success with Kelly Costello, Founder of Puppy Cake

#107 Why There’s No Such Thing as Overnight Success with Kelly Costello, Founder of Puppy Cake

May 12, 2020

It’s not a birthday unless there’s cake! Why shouldn’t that be true for dogs too? Today’s guest is Kelly Costello, founder of Puppy Cake. Her lightbulb moment came when she was looking at old cake mix advertisements for a client and thought, "Wouldn't it be great if they made that for dogs too?" Realizing that dog owners across the globe wanted to treat their dogs like family and provide them with healthy and safe treats, Kelly established Puppy Cake in 2007. Puppy Cake's products range from personalized dog cakes and mixes to ice creams and cookies, plus dog toys and apparel too. Kelly has a passion for both dogs and manufacturing, personally overseeing the manufacturing of all the Puppy Cake products. In this episode, we discuss some of the challenges that Kelly encountered on her journey to success, the tips and tricks she learned along the way, and the myth of ‘overnight success’. Kelly shares her perspective on ‘bootstrapping’ versus big loans and talks about her experience on Shark Tank. She also has some advice for entrepreneurs looking to start their own manufacturing company, so make sure not to miss this episode!

#106 Product Lifecycle Management with Lucy Blackley, CEO of Bombyx PLM

#106 Product Lifecycle Management with Lucy Blackley, CEO of Bombyx PLM

May 5, 2020

At the intersection of fashion and engineering, today’s guest was inspired to found her own
startup focused on simplifying the lifecycle of products. In this episode of the WAM Podcast, host Linda Rigano speaks with Lucy Blackley, CEO of Bombyx PLM: Product Lifecycle Management, about fashion, digital innovation, and seriously motivated women! Lucy discusses with us her move from the fashion industry to founding her own PLM startup, and the importance of developing simple, affordable, and scalable software systems from the point of view of people in product design industries. Bombyx PLM’s system is useful for startups, SMEs, and corporations alike, and – while a lot of people still don’t understand exactly what garment technology is – Lucy explains that PLM systems can be applicable to nearly all industries that produce a physical product. Tune in to find out how!

#105 Hazard Girls™: The Power of “Can” with Charli K. Matthews

#105 Hazard Girls™: The Power of “Can” with Charli K. Matthews

April 28, 2020

Welcome to the first episode of Hazard Girls™, the show that explores the inspiring professional journeys of women in non-traditional roles. In this episode, your host Emily Soloby of Juno Jones speaks to Charli K. Matthews, the founder and CEO of Empowering Brands, the founder of Empowering Pumps & Equipment, and Empowering Women in Industry. Charli is a truly dynamic individual who has had a fascinating career path, from working in the pumps and equipment industry to the creation of her brands. For her, it’s necessary to look beyond the equipment to the people manufacturing and using it, because without the people, relationships, and support across the industry, none of what they do will be possible. Charli talks about the state of diversity and inclusion in the world of manufacturing, bringing to light those invisible challenges that women inevitably come up against, which is the very reason for creating the Empowering Women in Industry brand. Having formed a supportive network, Charli hopes to encourage women to pursue careers in manufacturing and to equip them with the right mindsets and skills to succeed in the industry. Put simply, her vision for the network is for it to be there for women in the industry in whichever capacity they need. Tune into this interesting episode today!

#104 Why Manufacturing Today Is Not What It Used to Be with Tanya DiSalvo

#104 Why Manufacturing Today Is Not What It Used to Be with Tanya DiSalvo

April 21, 2020

Have you ever tried to get through a day without using or coming into contact with a manufactured item? It’s pretty impossible! Manufacturing is such a big part of our day-to-day lives and we don’t always recognize that. Today’s guest on the WAM Podcast is Tanya DiSilvo, she’s the president of Criterion Tool, in Brookpark, Ohio. Criterion Tool is a female-owned, non-union, precision machine shop that strives for excellence in machining for the “No Failure” industries of Medical Device, Aerospace, Defence and Photonics.

Tanya received her Bachelor’s in Marketing, from Bowling Green State University. In addition to managing a precision machine shop, Tanya is the past president of the Cleveland Chapter of the National Tooling and Machining Association, a past board member of the Alliance for Working Together, along with holding memberships in Bio-Ohio, Wirenet, and the Precision Machines Products Association. Tune in to today’s episode to hear more from Tanya and her role in empowering women in the manufacturing world.

#103 Combining Innovation and Manufacturing with Julie Austin, Creator of Swiggies

#103 Combining Innovation and Manufacturing with Julie Austin, Creator of Swiggies

April 14, 2020

They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and this was certainly the case for Julie Austin, creator of Swiggies, a range of wrist water bottles. After going for a run and passing out from dehydration, she came up with this innovative solution to a problem she knew many people had. In this episode hosted by Amy Nicklaus, we learn more about Swiggies as well as Julie’s other activities. As a sought-after keynote speaker and author, she wears many hats. She shares stories of her speaking engagements, what it’s like being a female inventor at these conferences, and how she holds her own around other geniuses. Julie also talks about accidentally falling into manufacturing and how it was a steep learning curve. Having no prior knowledge in the space, she found her way through trial and error. Along with this, she also touches on the importance of asking for help, why she wrote a book, and what’s on the horizon for Swiggies. As a woman of many talents, Julie’s story is an inspirational one, so be sure to tune in today to hear more!

#102 Making Solutions Affordable and Accessible Through Perisense Inc., with Dawn White.

#102 Making Solutions Affordable and Accessible Through Perisense Inc., with Dawn White.

April 7, 2020

We are excited to share today’s guest and her company with all your manufacturing businesses, especially those who are small to mid-sized. Today on the WAM podcast our guest is Dawn White, the founder and CEO of Perisense Inc., based in Ann Arbour Michigan. Perisense is a company that manufactures sensors to deliver performance and productivity data from legacy manufacturing assets and convert it into actionable intelligence to improve quality and results. Dawn shares with on how she started Perisense Inc. and how the company is working towards making things like the industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things more accessible to small mid-size manufacturing businesses, particularly those that operate a fair number of legacy manufacturing systems. So stay tuned, you don’t want to miss out!

#101 Medical Device Contract Manufacturing with Noreen King

#101 Medical Device Contract Manufacturing with Noreen King

March 31, 2020

This week we welcome Noreen King of Evolve Manufacturing Technologies to the WAM podcast. Contract manufacturing is different from other types of manufacturing in that products are designed elsewhere, and then the contract manufacturers get the blueprints to assemble the goods. They have to source the parts and work with various partners to ensure compliance. Manufacturing medical devices is an even more stringent manufacturing process, and Noreen King, Evolve’s CEO is here to talk with us today on this topic. In this episode, Noreen gives us an overview of the company’s history and how they moved from the semiconductor space to medical devices. We learn more about what it takes to manufacture these devices. While most manufacturers are profit-driven and put pressure on the production process, manufacturing medical devices requires extreme discipline. Each material component has to be FDA approved, which means that no materials can be changed. With the stakes being so high, it is no wonder the standards are so strict. Noreen also talks about how Evolve’s equipment is being used in the COVID-19 crisis as well as the new self-testing kits they are producing. We learn more about labor expenses, how Evolve thrives in Silicon Valley, and much more. Tune in today!

#100 Manufacturing Excellence with Elisabeth Weissenrieder-Bennis

#100 Manufacturing Excellence with Elisabeth Weissenrieder-Bennis

March 17, 2020

Welcome to the 100th episode of the WAM podcast! On today’s show, host Frances Brunelle welcomes Elisabeth Weissenrieder-Bennis, the Executive Vice President of Weiss-Aug. Weiss-Aug is a company that provides custom insert molding, precision metal stamping, and assembly solutions to the automotive, medical, electronic, and semi-conductor industries. Beth has had over 15 years in the metal forming industry. Weiss-Aug has also experienced substantial growth over the last decade with leading and launching plants in both Mexico and locally in NJ for a life science division focused on surgical devices. She is very passionate about promoting women in manufacturing. In 2017 she was named Metal Forming Magazine’s Woman of Excellence in Metal Forming and Fabricating. Stay tuned to today’s episode to hear more about Beth’s role in manufacturing and what their company is doing with regards to skills acquisition, education, apprenticeship, and promoting women in manufacturing companies.

#99 Why The Key to Innovation is Failure with Kimberly Wiefling

#99 Why The Key to Innovation is Failure with Kimberly Wiefling

March 10, 2020

Today on The WAM Podcast, host Rosemary Coates welcomes Kimberly Wiefling of Wiefling Consulting. Kimberly is known throughout Silicon Valley as the Guru of Innovation. She is a physicist by training, a techno-nerd, and an extraordinary networker and today, we discover how she has come to be one of the most respected business owners by her manufacturing clients worldwide. We can all agree that innovation and creativity are essential to the evolution of any business. But what type of mindset and environment fosters innovation and creativity most effectively? According to Kimberly, nothing kills creativity and innovation quicker than perfectionism, and that making mistakes, taking necessary risks, and failing is the fastest way to rebuild it! In this episode, we hear fascinating examples of how Kimberly has encouraged failure amongst manufacturing companies across the globe and the outcomes that this shift in thinking has produced. We also discuss the new-collar jobs that are emptying factory floors worldwide, challenges of transportation, sourcing locally, and why creativity and innovation are needed more than ever before to solve and evolve the world of manufacturing today.