“If we don’t do what we do, you can’t do what you do!”
With a touch of the unexpected, I found myself standing as a champion for the world of manufacturing. Engaging with a group of investors, whose interests were primarily software and commercial real estate, I felt an odd sense of obligation to defend the very backbone of America’s success — our manufacturing industry. Their interest sparked as they were introduced to the astonishing investment opportunities within aerospace, defense, space, satellite, and medical manufacturing supply chains. But it was a sobering moment, revealing how the global pandemic had exposed the vulnerability of our domestic supply chain.
It’s a distressing spectacle to see the dwindling American manufacturing industries, once the heart of our nation’s prosperity. The urgency for a national resurgence, a rally to rekindle our manufacturing strength, is more vital now than ever. Manufacturing is the essence — the fabric that weaves together American values, innovation, production, and global leadership. As citizens, I believe we each have a role to play, an obligation to actively participate and contribute to our nation’s sovereignty, national security, and the beacon of hope we represent to the world.
Life, with its myriad of characters, is abundant with dreams, ambitions, and visions. But these often lie dormant, shadowed by fears of uncertainty or a lack of direction. Such fears, along with the chains of limiting beliefs, were obstacles I battled through my own journey.
This shared experience ignited my drive to create tools designed to elevate the human spirit, intellect, desire, dream, vision, and mission.
The first 25 years of my adult life, I was committed to being a significant contributor to the American manufacturing machine. This commitment required several years of focused effort to debunk many of the beliefs I held about the world that were simply not serving me. I allowed mentors to guide me, to help me get out of my own way, and they helped me rewrite my story, turning my failures and losses into teachable moments.
In 1988, as a 19-year-old kid, I started my company, known today as Dylan Aerospace. I had no idea what I was doing, or what I was getting myself into. I started out contract welding, and building specialized tools, then quickly turned my focus to CNC turning and milling, supporting ultra-high pressure waterjet technologies and aerospace OEM’s. In my early days, I was fortunate to have incredible MFG and engineering talent around me and learned quickly to shut my mouth and open my ears and mind, to learn from the smartest people I had ever met. They became mentors, personally and professionally, and changed the trajectory of my life. Thank you, Doug, Gene and Chad!
“If you treat the MFG business as though you invested $100,000 in an Ivy League college education, it will take very good care of you and your family for the rest of your life!” This was the advice of Doug Schwab, one of my earliest mentors. And so, I went all in on manufacturing and Doug was right.
Those years were a whirlwind of highs and lows, marked by personal and professional triumphs and trials. 54 NORTHWEST AEROSPACE NEWS
Yet, in the midst of the chaos, I managed to accomplish a few significant milestones. I married my amazing wife, Lisa — just celebrating our 29th — raised two wonderful children, Ashley and Dylan, and became an all-season outdoor enthusiast.
After a decade-long sabbatical, where I focused on becoming a world-class dad, husband, overcoming my addictions and rebuilding my life, I returned to find my efforts had been fruitful. I transformed my physical and emotional health, rebuilt relationships, and reinvented my aerospace manufacturing company. I also published my first book, “Your Life Is Not Your Fault…Until It Is,” and built an AI software platform for creating content.
Today, I am an author, investor and mentor, eager to help our extended MFG family reinvent their businesses. My last decade has been a journey of personal development, an exploration into the human experience, and the elevation of the human condition. I used Deming’s continuous improvement model, “Kaizen,” as the cornerstone of my approach to thrive in all aspects of life.
I invite my fellow MFG supply chain experts to view life through my lens, to experience my journey and the lessons learned, through the MFG Masters program. My mission is to help you win across all aspects of your life. This requires the right tools, the right mentors, a clear vision, and an emotional connection to your mission.
Our life’s journey will be challenging, but the rewards are immense. Let’s embark on this journey together by joining the I LUV MFG movement. It’s time to rewrite your story, step into your potential, and become the Masters of MFG you were born to be.
As MFG experts, what we do matters! Who you are matters! Your next step matters! Choose wisely.