It has been my pleasure to work with the folks at the Vanamatic Company since the late 1980’s as a  steel supplier technical representative, as a PMPA staffer, and as a friend.

A passion for improvement is what drives the folks Vanamatic.
A passion for improvement is what drives the folks Vanamatic.

I can say that over a big chunk of those 60 years, there were a few things that remained constant- fair dealings, honest communications, and an unrelenting focus on continuous improvement.
I was not at all surprised  when I got a call from Jeff saying that they were going to have something to announce and could I help them with it.
Of course there is something new at Vanamatic.
They are always working on ideas for improvement.
I was surprised when they told me it was a brand new website for the company’s 60th anniversary.
60 years was quite a surprise.
It has not been an easy time for manufacturing these last 60 years.
Frankly the last 8 years were pretty tough.
The Rise of China at the beginning of the new century wiped out a lot of the companies that were not very serious about their business.
Congratulations to Vanamatic for 60 years of leadership through continuous improvement. Improvement of people, process, and culture.
Oh, and improvement to the their online presence through their new website.

My contributions were recognized, valued, celebrated. So that’s what its like to be part of a team…
Our fivesome finished 6 under par.

Who invited the guy in the pink shirt?
Who invited the guy in the pink shirt?

With me on it! Yes it was a scramble. Yes I was charitably given a 40 handicap. Uhh-huh, I’m the guy in the pink shirt.
My fellow golfers were better at driving. Chipping. Putting. Drinking. Especially drinking! But that’s okay. We used a couple of my drives.
My goal from the back tees, was to put the ball in the air farther than the front tees. I often succeeded. And a couple of times, I really succeeded. Those shots were celebrated. I no longer felt like I wasn’t contributing. And we used one or two of them.
My goal, on the chip shots, was to follow through, and keep my head down. A couple times it worked. We actually used some of my chips. I felt like I was part of the team.
On putts, I was usually the first or second guy to putt. Why not use my putt as “sacrifice” to the G-d of the Lay of the Green? That allowed the better players to calibrate their putts.  (Kind of like we do at PMPA for our member shops- always looking ahead to help you determine what lies ahead). Even the worst putter in the group (me?) had an important job to do.
We finished 6 under par. If I hadn’t been there, maybe they would have done better. Maybe not. But I will tell you, the guys in my fivesome made my day, and reinforced  for all of us the lessons of what is important when you are on a team.

  1. It’s important to contribute.
  2. It’s important to recognize everyone’s contributions.
  3. It’s important that everyone knows that their contributions are valued.

I’m not a golfer. But at Vanamatic’s 2009 Hacker’s Open, I was a member of a team.
It felt great. Thanks Chip Strawbridge, Mike Mishler, Aaron Pollock, and Scott Wiltsie.
Yay Team.