12/28/2018 | 1 MINUTE READ

Some Lessons Learned from Chris Koepfer

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Chris Koepfer’s pending retirement has led me to reflect on how Chris has influenced my career with PM and the precision machined parts industry that he introduced me to.

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On Dec. 1 I celebrated my 15-year anniversary with Gardner Business Media (GBM), Production Machining’s parent company, and more than a decade working on PM with the brand’s founder and editor-in-chief, Chris Koepfer. Sadly, Chris will begin his retirement, by reducing his day-to-day involvement, on Dec. 31, after 18 years with the magazine and more than 26 years with GBM. His pending retirement has led me to reflect on how Chris has influenced my career with PM and the precision machined parts industry that he introduced me to. 

First, I’m grateful he has shared his wealth of knowledge about machine tools and the industry. Chris has patiently guided me through writing about and understanding some of the more technical aspects of machine tool processes.

But learning about these processes means moving beyond our office in Cincinnati. Chris always emphasized the importance of getting to know people who know more than I do about different aspects of the industry in order to learn from them. As a people person and someone who is genuinely curious about “all the things,” Chris has many friends and contacts in the industry, some of which have become mine as well, thanks to his introduction.

It goes without saying that Chris will be missed by many. His colleagues will miss conversing with him at trade shows, hearing his insight on particular industry topics or sharing a good laugh. Personally, I will miss our daily chit-chat about our families and other non work-related subjects, “extroverting” (his term for thinking out loud to generate story ideas) with him, asking his advice about how to share information with our readers and laughing with him about something he said—he could always make me belly laugh. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say it was an honor working with Chris.

Although we are losing a metalworking icon, as Chris Felix points out in his recent column, “A Toast to a Metalworking Icon,” about Chris’s retirement (a nice farewell), we have an excellent, talented replacement stepping up as the new editor-in-chief—Chris Felix.

To read Chris Koepfer’s recent column about his retirement, read “It was Never Only About the Writing.”

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