Karen: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook and I’m Karen Love. I’m the host and cofounder of the show, and today I’m here with Jeff Applegate, the president of Blackwell Plastics and also the chairman of the Greater Houston Manufacturing Association. We’d like to welcome you back, Jeff.
Jeff: Thank you Karen, it’s a pleasure to be here.
Karen: Thank you, and I’m really interested in knowing about the benefits of belonging to the GHMA. Can you share some of that with me?
Jeff: Sure. It may help if I share a little story, a little bit of the history. About seven years ago, we started the Gulf Coast Medical Device Manufacturers and we did that because we’ve got the largest medical center in the world. They spend over $2 billion in research and development and they were trying to commercialize medical devices and what we saw were these medical devices were being commercialized all over the country but not here in Houston.
So we asked the entrepreneurs, “Why are you commercializing those devices not here in Houston?” and they said, “Because we can’t get it done in Houston,” and we’re saying, everybody is here we’re just in our little silos and we’re not connected. So one of the benefits of it is if somebody’s trying to get something done, when you have a community of manufacturers that can connect you to what you need to get done, so if you’re coming to me as a plastics manufacturer and you need engineering, you need design work, you need regulatory work, you need sheet metal, PC boards, contract manufacturing, I can connect you with those people because we as a community, we visit each other’s facilities, we know each other and we know who to navigate you to to get your project done.
Karen: Wow, it sounds like you are a really big resource for the people of Houston that are in manufacturing.
Jeff: Well we hope so. We want to be there for everybody in Houston and it’s also, selfishly, it’s a benefit for us if we know where to get things done because as small manufacturers, it’s sometimes tough when you don’t have a lot of resources.
Karen: Fantastic, well I’m glad you came to the idea of doing it for sure, so thank you.
Jeff: Thank you, Karen.
Karen: Now this has been another Thought Leader production brought to you by PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook and I’d like you to tune in next week for another chapter.