Monthly Archives: October 2009

My office is full of dogs and clowns!

Happy Halloween!  Today is the day of the Big Pumpkin!  Today the ZINO Society team attended a casual celebration luncheon  in the hallowed halls of the Large Conference Room at our 12th floor executive suite offices at the Fairmont Olympic HotelCruella DeVille and her Two Dalmatians (What!?  No spots!!!!) and the ZINO Clown all enjoyed the food, camaraderie and foolishness.

100 Women in Tech

It was very nice to be included again this year as one of the 100 Women in Tech as selected by Puget Sound Business Journal Tech Flash.  There was a recognition event on Wednesday evening this week where the 100 Women in Tech in attendance were recognized by Emory Thomas, PSBJ Publisher.  About half of us were there!  Christine Chen, former Q13 Fox News Anchor moderated the program and Lucinda Stewart of OVP Venture Partners, Trish Millines Dziko, ZINO Society member and Executive Director of Technology Access Foundation, and Yoky Matsuoka, associate professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Washington all participated on the  “100 Women in Tech Expert Panel”.

From the panel, an interesting “a-ha” was the grim statistics shared with the audience about the percentage of women who actually do go into technology or science related career fields. Trish made the point that “women should be investing in women and that we can’t wait for someone else to do it for us”.  Good advice!

 

Retiring? Yes. Shy? No!

Last evening, Ken and I attended the Retirement Party for Bob Cremin.  Bob is retiring from Esterline Technologies Corporation after 33 years and the last 12 as the CEO.  He will remain affiliated with Esterline as the Chairman of the Board. 

The invitation to the event invited us to join Bob for the party at the Bellevue Arts Museum but exclaimed that it was the only time we would see the word “retiring” in the same sentence with his name, whether we call him “Bob”, “Dr. Death” or “Crems”.  You would definitely not call Bob Cremin shy and retiring!  We are so pleased that we have become such good friends with Bob and his wife, Joan, over the past few years.  They both are an important part of our life.  You can see from the photo above that he is just the slightest bit unusual, which is what we appreciate!

It was a lovely party with accolades from many who have worked with Bob along with a delicious dinner of rack of lamb and lentil ragout catered by Kaspar’s.  Dancing followed the program, but by then Ken was ready to go home so we did not stay to trip the light fantastic.  There was a wonderful slide show that was running during the cocktail hour that included many great photos of Bob and Joan over the years (lots of different styles of glasses and hair) with business associates, family and friends.  Several of the photos were from past cruises that we have taken together.  Some of the other “fellow cruisers” in attendance at the party last evening included Michele & Dan Heidt, Arlene Wright & Beni Turan, Carol & Spike Anderson, Diane & Gordon Kuenster, Jan Rogers, Kathie Price, and Susan & Chuck Andonian.

Following the roast and accolades, Bob spoke briefly.  There were two important take-aways for me.  First, Bob is known for his accessibility and availability to talk with people on the shop floor as well as his managers.  He said that he believes and trusts in people’s ability to make good decisions if you listen to them and then get out of the way and let them do their jobs.  I think this is a philosophy that is well worth emulating and cultivating.  Second, he also spoke about how important his family is to him and how much he appreciates the sacrifices they made while he was away from home and travelling all over the world turning Esterline into a $1.5 billion company.

Congratulations, Bob!  We look forward to seeing what your next adventure will be.

And the 2009 ZZIF fund winners are . . .

This week, we announced the winners of the ZINO Zillionaire Investment Forum funds at our October 20th ZINO Society Roundtable meeting. After extensive due diligence with the ZZIF fund investors and agreeing on what turned out to be a difficult decision, we are so pleased to award $120,000 split equally between Enroute Systems Corporation and MicroGREEN Polymers, Inc. CEOs Keith McCall of Enroute Systems (right photo) and Tom Malone of MicroGREEN Polymers (left photo) were on hand for the announcement and to accept “zillions” of dollars. $60,000 in real dollars will be transferred to each of their accounts within the week.

And in case you are wondering, the reason the decision was difficult was because we had such quality companies selected as finalists and there were very good reasons why each one could have been selected as a fund winner. The other finalist contenders were Photon Machines, Inc., Giftango.com, Harbor Wing Technologies, Inc. and Zero Crossing.

We wish all six of our finalists great success as they continue to build their businesses!

Customer First Spirit – GO ZINO Team!

Just returned from the Seahawks game where unfortunately our Seattle Seahawks were brutalized by the Arizona Cardinals.  I think the final score was 27-3.  Ken and I had the opportunity to attend as guests of Tod Leiweke, CEO of Seattle Seahawks, which gave us the chance to go on the field prior to the game and sit in the Club Suite during the game.  It was awe-inspiring to watch (and listen) to the crowd as each player was introduced and see how emotionally pumped up they were to play.  Tod and his team have managed to make attending a Seahawks game a powerful entertainment experience between fireworks, the Seagals, music and the big screen.  The crowd noise was deafening whenever the Cardinals had the ball and there were at least 4 or 5 delay of game penalties for which the crowd proudly takes total credit.  Tod has mentioned that Qwest Field is the loudest stadium in the league.

Since the game itself was not much of a contest this time, what I really enjoyed was watching the amazing attitude of all the valets, ushers, food service people and VIP guides.  Every person that we came in contact with was positive, friendly and had a warm and caring attitude trying to make our experience first-class.  As host of the Club Suite, Dick Thompson went out of his way to welcome each guest as they arrived and make them feel comfortable.  As a business person, I think there are some powerful lessons that I can take back and use at ZINO Society.

Maybe the crowd noise won’t be deafening at our next Roundtable meeting or investment forum, but our ZINO Society team can positively extend ourselves to our entrepreneurs, members and guests to make their experience exceed their expectations.  GO ZINO Team!

Zipping Across the Big Island of Hawaii

Ken and I just returned from a week on the Big Island of Hawaii with friends, Susan & Gary Neumann, Diane & Gordon Kuenster and Suzy & Moe Krabbe.  We enjoyed beautiful weather.  We had the opportunity to play a couple of rounds of golf at the Arnold Palmer designed Hapuna Golf Course and at… Continue Reading

Slogging Through the Due Diligence

Over the past few weeks following ZINO Zillionaire Investment Forum, we have been conducting due diligence for our ZZIF 2009 Fund Finalists.  It is a fascinating process and especially interesting to try to understand exactly what the entrepreneurs have in mind for their future growth and how they hope to scale their businesses.  We like… Continue Reading