Everyone Has A Story
Paula Lalli 04.04.2018
You know the saying, “I’ve never met a stranger.” Well, that’s pretty much me. I find people’s stories fascinating: the good, the bad, the fun, and the not-so-fun. The simple everyday stories of their lives. I’ve been intrigued with meeting new people and learning about their journey for as long as I can remember.
My inquisitive nature, and passion for understanding others and what makes them tick, was a springboard for my career choice. It led me straight down a path to study mass communications in college. Since then, I’ve worked in various communication roles in television, newspaper, non-profit, academia and most recently, manufacturing, and have enjoyed every minute of it.
Change Is Good
As much as I enjoy what I do for a living, I became restless four years ago and decided it was time for a change and challenge in my career. So I walked through the doors of Okuma to interview for the marketing communications specialist role, having limited knowledge about machine tools and manufacturing. I thought they were typical, everyday tools such as a screwdriver or wrench. Yikes! I can laugh about that now. But soon enough, I would learn exactly what they were, what they had the power to do, and the creative magic they possessed.
The Magic of a Machine Tool
Fast forward to present day and it’s a completely different story. I know the difference between a lathe, mill, machining center, double column and a grinder, and the technologies that lend a hand in perfecting a part, from a block of raw material to the flawless, finished piece.
In short, I’ve done my due diligence. I’ve asked A LOT of questions and still do, some of my colleagues may say too many (insert laugh). But I now have an understanding about machine tools and have come to appreciate the beauty and science of making chips. Who would have thought I’d appreciate the workmanship and crafting of a metal part?! Certainly not me.
One of my favorite parts of my job is speaking with our customers. I’m fortunate to be able to speak with our customers regularly and hear their stories of how our machines have helped them build and expand their business, cut a unique part, solve a manufacturing challenge and even be the catalyst for lifelong friendships.
Stories Worth Sharing
Every customer story I hear is unique and worth sharing. And I am lucky enough to do just that in my role at Okuma. I share our customer stories with the manufacturing world through our website, industry publications and social media.
I’ve learned how Richard Childress Racing was able to manufacture a prototype motor plate for Cadillac, how two brothers launched Accurate Fishing to manufacture high-end twin drag fishing reels, to a former NASCAR driver-turned-shop-owner who decided to take a leap of faith and manufacture parts for the aerospace and defense industries. I’ve heard how a cattle farmer diversified his business portfolio to include manufacturing parts for the oil and steel industries during the slow months of cattle farming. And these are just a few.
Every day I continue to learn about the magic of machine tools and the power they have to open up possibilities for our customers and the world. I know 2018 will be filled with even more Okuma customer success stories, and I’m looking forward to hearing and sharing all of them with you! Stay tuned, and be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Paula Lalli is Marketing Communication Specialist, Okuma America Corporation.