Pouring Metal

Forged from Steel

Recently attended the grand opening of the new Mando facility in Hogansville, Georgia. The run of show started with paying respect to several Korean War veterans, and led all the way up to the raising of flags and cutting the ribbon. I was fortunate to get a tour of the foundry and casting facility. There is something about the melting of metal that gets at the root of human ingenuity and progress. I am continuously fascinated by the sheer amount of products that are manufactured in the southeast, and the innovation and technology that helps get it done.

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San Diego

Just wrapped up the BIO International Convention in San Diego. From the Welcome Reception on the USS Midway, to the incredible life science companies that are changing the face of healthcare, it was well worth the time. Seeing Richard Branson speak was interesting as well. Here are a few pics:

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Lifecycle Center

Georgia’s Creative Economy

It is nearly impossible to move about Atlanta, or the majority of the state for that matter, without bumping into some aspect of Georgia’s creative economy. I’m not just talking about the High Museum, or the lesser known Michael C Carlos Museum on Emory’s campus, but everything from film to animation to street art and beyond.

This creative industry generates more than $29 billion of annual business revenue according to a 2012 study by South Arts, and it does not appear to be slowing down.

“From cutting-edge street art to community-inspired and public-transport projects, the arts scene in Atlanta is thriving.”

The Guardian: “Top 10 galleries, art attractions and events in Atlanta”

“Home to a number of significant cultural venues, Atlanta is a hotspot for contemporary art of all mediums and a fascinating destination in the heart of Georgia.”

The Culture Trip: “Atlanta’s 10 Best Contemporary Art Galleries: Profiling Georgia’s Culture”

“Where one might expect to see San Francisco or New York City at the top of this list, Atlanta was a little surprising; but when considering it ranked in the top 15 in all five of our categories, it was certainly deserved.”


MyLife.com: “The 10 Best Cities to be an Artist”

To make matters better, the USA Today ranked Atlanta’s Castleberry Hill as one of the top 10 city art districts.

Take a gander at the above links and them come have a look around.

Flying Bluebird

Collaboration

Male Bluebirds

This is a bird box in my backyard where a pair of bluebirds are nesting. I am quite familiar with the male and female, but over the weekend I noticed the presence of another male. After watching a little further I noticed the one male helping the other with gathering food for the chicks. I thought that was a little odd. Turns out that when young males can’t find a mate they help their parents.

Test Your Health IQ

Georgia_HealthIQ

This is a way of combining responsive design with an interactive quiz and a robust SEM and social media strategy to drive qualified traffic to your tradeshow booth.

It took a lot of effort coming up with the strategy – finding the budget – soliciting partners and sponsors – establishing terms and conditions – and marketing it via paid and organic social media as well as SEM. Results were strong and ultimately two winners were selected.

Background

Each year Georgia attends the world’s largest health IT gathering: the Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference. The Hospital Management Systems Society (that later became HIMSS) was in fact founded in Georgia. Today, HIMSS is an organization made up of healthcare providers and technology suppliers (vendors) with chapters across the nation.

This year we wanted to create a fun and interactive means of educating tradeshow attendees about the life science assets that Georgia has to offer. The idea for a Health IQ quiz was born. Participants were able to take the quiz on any desktop or mobile device of their preference, as well as share scores on their favorite social media channels. Winners had the potential to win a getaway to Savannah, Georgia or a year’s supply of Coca-Cola products.

All submissions and anyone using the custom hashtag #GAValueChain were displayed on a large flat screen as a live social media stream.

While the tradeshow and contest are over, you may still enjoy testing your health IQ knowledge. Have you been eating your Georgia Peaches? Give it a try here – Georgia.org/HealthIQ

Nicaragua

Nicaragua

More pics here

Gents,

I’m here in Atlanta with a few inches of snow and ice on the ground thinking about our recent surf trip to Nicaragua. Looking back I am a bit amazed that it all came together. Of course, it would not have happened without significant determination, especially considering the hurdles of wives, kids, work, money, schedules, weather, and the world. Even then William’s trip was cut short with his grandmother’s death. And Nathan, coming off the heels of Rolling Stone’s 50 Best Albums, managed to rupture his ear with a blow from his surfboard. Glad he could surf through it.

But how did it come to this?

Of course, it all started more than 25 years ago on a scrappy little windswell at Folly Beach. We rented a couple of boards from McKevlin’s Surf Shop back when the old man was still alive. We were hooked, and so began the ocean obsession.

In contrast to the powerful and pleasing aroma of surf wax, I can still smell the old Charleston buses that cost a quarter to eventually make it out to Isle of Palms, surfboards tucked in the seat next to us. We would surf all day.

Our parents had some understanding of the obsession because every now and then we’d get a new surfboard, skateboard, or managed to swing a pair of booties and gloves for those cold winter sessions. A trip to Florida here and there, and I’ll never forget surfing with Matt Kechele and Charlie Kuhn in Hatteras near Rodanthe Pier. They pulled aerials while we watched in grom-like amazement.

We competed a little in the Eastern Surfing Association contests, Coach Kowalski shouting directions from the beach, and we managed to get first place when Mikee Rawlings didn’t enter. For whatever reason that didn’t last. Maybe our parents were afraid we’d take the surfing lifestyle too far?

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Then there was Wrightsville Beach where we lived for 2 different summers. We were all in boarding school, so it was a real chance to cut off the neck tie and live life unhinged. How our parents let us live alone in a beach town at the age of 16 I’ll never know. At night we worked hard to convince girls we were in college, and in the morning we rode our bikes across the island to work as bus boys and housekeepers. But we surfed whenever there were waves.

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College came and went and few, if any, waves were caught together. New York, Lake Tahoe and Charleston were all too vast of distances to organize an impromptu dawn patrol session. When we’d see each other over the holidays, cocktail parties and late night benders were the source of camaraderie. We got married. Life sped on.

Our friendship is not tied to surfing, for we share time and a place we call home. And whether we are backpacking around Europe, sitting in a deer stand, or sharing a glass of Sauvignon Blanc on the streets of Brooklyn, we find plenty of things to give each other shit about.

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But Nicaragua got under my skin. It reminded me how much I love surfing, and how much I enjoy sharing it with you guys.

When are we going back?

Sincerely ~ Robert

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