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ChelseyDrysdaleLast week, I attended my first IPC Designers Council Cascade (Seattle) chapter meeting, where I was greeted by a welcoming group of designers and long-time industry experts, including the featured speaker, Dock Brown, co-chair of the IPC DFX committee, and Tim Mullins, the chapter’s president.

Prototron Circuits hosted lunch in a small lecture hall on the beautiful campus of the Lake Washington Institute of Technology in Kirkland, WA.

Read more: IPC Designers Council Chapters Help Members Stay Connected, Informed

Mike BuetowWhat’s in a name?

We probably ask that question about 10,000 times over the course of our lives. It often starts with our own. How many times did you complain – loudly or under your breath – about your own name? “Mine’s too common/uncommon/plain/weird,” etc. A name is just a name, but for many juveniles, it’s their introduction to branding.

I attended a parochial school for eight years. At one time, no fewer than five of the 20 or so boys in my class were named Michael. And “it wasn’t me, it was the other Mike” could only fool the nuns for so long. At one point, probably around third grade, in the faintest of hopes to distinguish myself, I remember telling classmates and teachers to call me by my middle name: John.

That didn’t take either. And so went my early attempts to raise my “personal brand.”

Read more: Just Who is the Designer or Engineer of Today?

Mike BuetowLast month, a California jury awarded a resident $289 million, finding he had developed cancer from exposure to a popular brand of herbicide.

What, you may ask, does a guy who used Roundup to kill weeds around school buildings in the San Francisco Bay area have to do with me in the printed circuit board industry?

A lot, potentially.

I had the pleasure in August of interviewing Brenda Baney for our PCB Chat podcast. As some readers may remember, Baney previously was a regular in these pages. She was an excellent columnist: knowledgeable, opinionated and articulate. After two decades at Delco, she now runs B Cubed Consulting, where she provides expert guidance on conflict minerals, RoHS and REACH product stewardship, and the International Material Data System.

Read more: Buying Other People’s Problems

Mike Buetow

Have you looked at the H.R. 5515, better known as the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019?

Read more: Defense Bill Attacks (Some) Industry Problems

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