In Memory of Paul Lombardini

Folks, today I would like to shift gears from technical discussion and dedicate this blog to an exceptional individual.

Paul Lombardini, our Quality Control Manager, passed away on Tuesday, September 12, very unexpectedly.  This man touched the lives of everyone he came in contact with.  Writing this is surprisingly hard from an emotional standpoint, and exceptionally easy from a content standpoint.

Paul had a way of making everyone around him laugh.  Always smiling and constantly moving.  Never too busy for a lively discussion.  My favorite memory is kind of silly, but here it is.  Every day at lunch (weather permitting), I like to sit out in my car and enjoy the sunshine.  Paul would be outside “making the rounds” talking to folks in their cars.  I don’t know why I enjoyed it so much, but yesterday, not seeing Paul out hamming it up was tough.  He will be missed.

Here are the words of some of his other colleagues and friends at Joining Technologies. There is a consistent theme, and that tells a lot about the man.  Not everyone was able to contribute – some because they were not present, others because it was too painful to discuss.

Robert Kobak, Engineering Manager – “I worked with Paul for about 8 years.  Paul always brought his A-game, intense and passionate about his work.  If you were looking for someone to pattern yourself after, Paul was the guy.  I knew him to be a good friend, family man, father, and husband.  He always took care of the people that were important to him.”

Amy Nelson, Administrative Assistant – “Paul gave me lots of laughs. Loved coming in to work and laughing together.”

Laura D’Angelo, Contract Review – “I looked forward to talking to Paul every single day. His smile and positivity projected onto everyone around him. He will be missed so very much.”

Taylor Beaudry, Contract Review – “In my short time with Joining Technologies, Paul became a great friend and colleague. When you were having a bad day, you could always count on him to brighten your day. Paul was the definition of living life, and always knew how to have a great time. I looked forward to hearing of the new restaurants he discovered while traveling with his beloved wife, which he always seemed to share when you were already hungry. My heart goes out to his family as Paul will be dearly missed.“

Bruce Williams, Shipping Coordinator – “Paul always announced himself when he would come up behind you so that he wouldn’t catch you by surprise – ‘Right behind you’.  I always felt like he had my back.  He changed this department for the better.”

Don Brozowski, Quality Control Inspector – “Paul, you’re a great guy, a great friend, and I’m going to miss all the stories about all the oysters you used to eat with your wife, AND all the pictures of food we used to eat!”

Krystal Bressette, Quality Control Inspector – “I’m going to miss all the jokes.  It was always fun to come into work.  He changed the pace of your day with just one comment.  He could make you laugh.”

Samantha Pasha, Quality Control Inspector – “I’m going to miss him coming into QC all frazzled, and picking on him for running around like a chicken with its head cut off.  Also, giving me 5 different jobs needing to be done at the same time and leaving me to decide which to do first.”

Jessica Livingston, Laser Operator – “I will miss his sense of humor that kept me laughing during the day.”

Jameson Liro, Receiving – “He always knew the best restaurants for me to take my girlfriend to.  I’ll be participating in the Spartan Ultra-Beast event in Vermont in Paul’s memory.  It’s a 26+ mile obstacle course.”

Sean Mullen, Laser Operator – “Paul was always full of life, always upbeat, and kept you smiling.”

James Laclair, EB and Laser Operator – “Paul will be missed, but never forgotten.  He was a kind and very helpful person in everything he did.”

Roman Radionov, Laser Operator – “One time while setting up a job with very small parts, I was having a hard time seeing.  Paul let me borrow his glasses for the day.  He was always helping people.”

Cindia Rivera Hernandez, Laser Operator – “Paul was a great person and a very funny guy.  He had a great sense of humor and always walked into work with a smile.  I miss chatting with him and talking about our weekends over lunch.  I will miss him very much.  RIP Paul.”

Terry Dillon, Laser Operator – “Paul was always ready to help with a smile on his face.  His positive attitude is sorely missed.  My heart goes out to his family.  It was such a shock.”

Doug Tong, Manufacturing Engineer – ‘I’ve been lucky enough to grow a mentorship and friendship with Paul for the past 4 years. I’ll always be grateful for the countless instances of putting his neck out for me and his lessons, I admire his selflessness and ability to bring his 110% with a smile regardless of circumstance, and how he never failed to catch me off-guard with his brilliant sense of humor. It’s been an absolute honor and pleasure working and spending time with such a great man.’

Jay Drew, National Sales Manager – “Paul was the kind of guy you could talk to about anything.  He was a great co-worker and a good friend.  He will be more than missed by his friends at JT.”

Jim Broman, Maintenance – “To me, Paul epitomized our core values.  He was a consummate professional.  It was a real pleasure working with him.  He will be sadly missed, by everyone.”

Greg Miller, General Manager – “He always told me that this was the best place he ever worked, and I knew he meant it because he went out of his way to bring people he had worked with in the past and respected into the company.  When I interviewed him, he said that he had maybe 3-5 years of work left in him.  Over time as he became more involved with the organization and his passion for the success of the company grew, that grew to 5-7 years, and in my last discussion, he said maybe 10 years.  That showed his passion for the success of the company.  He was a technical expert, he was an accomplished leader, he knew when to be serious, when to roll up his sleeves and get the work through, but he also didn’t take himself too seriously.  There was always time for a good laugh, sometimes even at his own expense.”

Paul Bridge, Tool Room Manager – “Paul was a good friend and I always enjoyed his passion for life. He will truly be missed but he would want us to move on. He will keep an eye on us.”

John Britt, Lead QC Technician – “I had the privilege of working under Paul when he first came to JT, and helping him get acclimated to our company. He was a great fit immediately, in part because of his wealth of technical experience but even more so because of his personal character – hard-working, humble, dedicated to live life to the fullest. He helped everyone around him be their best selves.”

Dmitriy Stepanchuk, Machinist – “I think we would all agree that Paul was a great guy, but what I loved most about him was how happy he always was and how he always put a smile on everyone’s face.  I’m going to miss our little conversations.  I just want to say thank you for that and also thank you for bringing me into this company.  You will be greatly missed.”

Patty Pasha, Document Control Coordinator – “Paul was sunshine.  He was warm and welcoming to all. I don’t think there was anyone here that he didn’t leave an impression on. He cared about his Quality team and thought of them as an extended part of his family. He brought fun, laughter and his experience of Quality Control to Joining Technologies. He will be greatly missed.”

Caitlin Scott, IP, Legal and Contracts manager – “Extending sincere condolences to Paul’s family, friends and our staff, as we remember someone who was a hard worker, an exceptional manager and trustworthy team member.”

Trish Billick, Production Control Coordinator – “He was my roomie, a friend, my investment guru, and yes, a jokester.  We had a motto in our office ‘just get the [insert expletive] job done’, and we would laugh.  I will miss him dearly—RIP, Paul.”

Giovanna Carrington, Marketing Manager – “Paul was a very serious person at first, and then all you needed was a quick conversation to meet the real Paul. He was funny, kind and a true professional.  He was such an example for all of us, and he often mentioned how much he loved his wife and kids. He loved life. He will be terribly missed.”

Brian Crafts, Engineering Technician – “Paul was an exceptional man who always had a positive and uplifting attitude. The first day I met him it had seemed as if I knew him for years prior, due to his easy-going and extremely friendly nature. “

Carole Cipkas, Human Resources Manager – “There wasn’t a day that went by he wasn’t pranking myself, Amy or others and in our busy atmosphere, he always made us laugh until it hurt. He truly enjoyed his life to the fullest and talked often about his wife, his boys and the wonderful weekend adventures with his wife and family. His morals and ethics on work and family were refreshing and in line with our group. He became a friend, a mentor to many; never skipping a beat to offer fatherly advice, as well as a sounding board and a great reference for the newest flavors of vodka!  In the short time most of us worked with Paul, there was no doubt in any of our minds, he was such a special guy and we are all very grateful he was a part of our lives.”

Dave Hudson, President and CEO of Joining Technologies – “I met Paul in 1979 and we became very good friends. We both worked at Simon Container, Inc., a packaging equipment manufacturer in Agawam, MA. I was 18 years old and Paul was 21. Even at a very young age Paul was considered an excellent machinist and craftsman. He had a flair for pulling off good-natured practical jokes, and a love for live music. I looked up to him then as I do now. I recall feeling very lucky, blessed really, for having the opportunity to work with him again some 37 years later. I feel an odd distinction in that I both began and ended his career with him.  It’s hard to believe, but Paul joined us just under a year ago. He accomplished so much in so little time. He managed to touch every one of us, leaving behind a legacy of integrity, solid work ethic and good-natured humor.

I will miss my old friend. May he rest in peace, and may Gayle, Ryan and the rest of his family find comfort and serenity.” 

We’re playing music with lasers for the 4th of July

It’s almost the Fourth of July, and before we all head out to celebrate with fireworks and barbecues, I thought we’d do something a little different to kick off our first video blog.  What’s the perfect song for Independence Day?  The “Star Spangled Banner” would be a pretty good choice, right?  Well, how about the “Star Spangled Banner” played by a high power industrial laser! Check out the video below:

This is something I’ve been wanting to do for years, and it combines two interests of mine – music and lasers.  How was this accomplished?  Well, very briefly, the frequencies of the notes in the “Star Spangled Banner” fall within the frequency range of the laser.  I programmed the machine to fire the laser at the right frequencies to match the notes in the song, and matched the beam on time to the length of each note (imperfectly).

So, enjoy the music and “fireworks” from the sparks flying off the titanium and two alloys of aluminum.  Feel free to leave comments or questions in the comment section.  I think this was so cool we’ll have to do it again.  Happy 4th of July!

New leadership series helps women advance their STEM careers

If you’re a woman in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math), how do you navigate a career with few role models or mentors?

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, women are 50 percent of the overall workforce but only 24 percent of the STEM workforce. Moreover, 50 percent of women in STEM careers drop out in the first 10 years.

That’s a challenge that a Connecticut organization is working to address with a three-part professional development series for women called “B-Vibrant: Mastering Your Energy in the Technical Workplace.” The half-day workshops take place on May 23, June 7 and June 22 at multiple locations around the state.

The series is sponsored by BEACON (Biomedical Engineering Alliance and Consortium). Dave Hudson, President and CEO of Joining Technologies, serves on BEACON’s board of directors.

The “B-Vibrant” series is designed for women engineers, scientists, manufacturers, entrepreneurs and designers in all STEM-related roles. It includes sessions to help women define their vision and values for their career, overcome common barriers to success, and invest in their growth, development and connections.

BEACON Executive Director Terri Wilson said the idea for the workshops got started when an employee of a BEACON member company shared her frustration that women in technical environments have limited role models or mentors at the higher levels in their companies.

“While there are some diverse events for women, especially in colleges and universities for women entering technical fields, there seems to be a real gap in more robust training programs specifically targeting the professional development of mid-career women in manufacturing, engineering and STEM,” Wilson said.

For Caitlin Scott, Intellectual Property, Legal and Contracts Manager at Joining Technologies, having mentors at the company made a huge difference in developing her career. “Dave Hudson and Michael Francoeur (the company founder) have always been available when I want to strategize, need advice or to talk through a problem. We have a wonderful environment here for growing leaders, but not everybody is fortunate enough to have resources like that.”

Joining Technologies named one of Murphy’s Monday Manufacturers

U.S. Sen. Christopher Murphy of Connecticut has named Joining Technologies in East Granby, CT as one of Murphy’s Monday Manufacturers.

Murphy’s Monday Manufacturers “recognize the best and brightest of manufacturing in our state,” the Senator said.

“I am proud to honor an organization like Joining Technologies for their invaluable role in fostering our economy and supporting our workforce. The example you set as business innovator and community leader brings honor and distinction to the State of Connecticut,” Murphy said. “The manufacturing industry plays a crucial role throughout Connecticut communities, creating new jobs and accelerating our state’s economic recovery.”

Joining Technologies services include precision laser welding, electron beam (EB) and gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW), machine shop services and supply chain management. Using state-of-the art technology, Joining Technologies develops innovative, high-quality solutions for industries nationwide — including aerospace, medical devices, automotive, energy and national defense.

Go On. Give us a Good Challenge!

Got a project with technically challenging requirements? That’s just the type of project Joining Technologies specializes in.

For example, JT won a contract from the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command to design, manufacture and deliver a series of on-board battery power systems.

These systems support the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division. Joining Technologies leveraged its expertise in metallurgy, laser welding, machining and supply chain management to deliver the first prototypes to the Navy in 2016.

“We’re honored to have been chosen for such an important program for the Navy,” says Jay Drew, senior program manager at JT. “These power systems bring greater efficiencies to U.S. naval aviation operations around the world.”

Joining Technologies routinely seeks out customers with unique and technically challenging requirements.