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In a lot of ways EWI is not different than other companies. There are deadlines and budgets; cuts and investments to make; and a lot of the same stresses you have at your company. As CFO, I hear the same gripes I’m sure other controllers and CFO’s hear… “why can’t we do (fill in the blank)?”… “If we don’t invest in (fill in the blank), we’ll fall behind”.  The conversations are almost always respectful, but not always unemotional.

What makes EWI a great place to work is not necessarily apparent in the awards we won (2 time Best Places to Work). You have to dig a little deeper and its pretty cool what you find.

Reason 124
A pinewood derby car done by an accountant… You can hardly recognize it.

The people at EWI are incredibly bright, creative, and talented at what they do… And they care deeply about EWI’s mission: Creating the future of manufacturing through innovative technology solutions. They’re also (mostly) engineers… And they also (mostly) have a great sense of humor.

For example, our group of engineers in the design, controls, and automation group have an outstanding reputation for towing the practical joke line extremely well. Never going too far, but absolutely pushing it far enough. There was the filling of the COO’s exercise ball with water; listing a questionable item for sale on Craig’s list and putting another’s cell phone number on the advert; filling a manager’s cube with packing peanuts… I seriously could go on, but you get my point. Luckily (?) for EWI, the skills learned in this group port well into the other technology areas within EWI (i.e. designing equipment for a laser process creates some pretty great skills in an engineer). So the extremely talented DC&A alumni (they’re actually amazing at what they do) are spread throughout the building now. Accordingly, there continues to be a proliferation of practical jokes that play out by them and others.

Reason 123
Quite possibly the most arrogant license plate frame ever…

For better or worse, I have been on the receiving end of a few solid ones. Clearly I’m an easy target… I own a scooter.

About a month ago, after getting a new (to me) car, I proudly got a custom license plate and frame. Apparently a little too proudly as I unknowingly drove around with the modified custom license plate frame for 5 days. It was truly the perfect crime… who checks his/her license plate? And the frame was not over the top enough for someone to think it was a joke. So commuters around Columbus, Ohio were too busy thinking “that guy is an arrogant @#$%” to find the time to honk even once. Kudo’s to James Cruz, Engineering Manager, for capping off the joke by sending an “everyone” email indicating how to procure a high quality license plate frame.

Last week was Engineer’s Week… A five day celebration of all that is good with engineering and people who are stuck working with Engineers. The week was capped off with something familiar to EWI… A competition. Build your best pinewood derby car and we’ll race them Thursday night. Sadly my beast of an effort wasn’t able to win a heat, but I didn’t finish dead last (in every race).  And most importantly, I solidified my place as a non-engineer nicely.

It really was a great end to a great week celebrating a great group of people.

So why is EWI a great place to work and a great company for you to work with? Imaginative people who are passionate about technology, manufacturing and making our member’s successful… with a great sense of humor.  Give us a call if you’re interested in learning more about EWI or becoming a member (Leah Kohr at 614.688.5049).  If you’d like to discuss how to build a pinewood derby car in under 5 minutes please shoot me (Jim Tighe) an email.


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