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Long Beach – Advice Tidbits Received

If you keep your ears open and wits about you, there are so many smart people in this industry to learn from. Depending on the timing and your mental attitude you can take some of the advice as superficial or profound. Here are a few of my zen master moments after ISS Long Beach and the PPAI Expo in Las Vegas.

One such moment came after a rant about how I don’t like how some young folks do business (see reference photo of Grandpa Simpson yelling at clouds.) My friend and mentor Ben Petsy of Saati just looked at me, paused, and said, “millennials dude, deal with it” and walked away.


After a similar rant about being too busy and not being able to see everyone at the PPAI (see aforementioned Simpson moment) my friend Steve Valeri from Alphabroder paused, looked at me, and only said, “there’s a thing called an appointment.”

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I was inducted into the Hanes Hall of Fame, a great honor. However, just in case I might get a swelled head about it, Jay DeMarco of Rutland and Thomas Froelich of MHM Arioli have my back. Hanes, as a pretty funny joke, made fans with my face on them. Thomas just put one in his pocket and looked at me. Jay had the same idea. He put one in his pocket, silently walked up to me and pointed at the fan, gave a wry smile and then just walked on out of the hall. Point taken.

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The last piece of advice came from Jeff Sampson of Alternative Apparel while we were at the PPAI show. He coaches a kid’s ski team and took a bad fall last year and broke his back. One piece of advice he had was that he said he felt lousy that when he was in a wheelchair that nobody looked him in the eye and it was like he didn’t exist. I took this advice to heart and tried making an effort to look into the eyes of folks at Long Beach that happened to be in wheelchairs. One person in particular really responded and I think Mr. Sampson is right on with this advice.Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 7.04.54 AM


  1. I would actually like to hear the Grandpa Simpson rant. Sometimes, it’s great to hear what I am doing wrong as a millennial.

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