20 Nov Challenges and Power of Industry Association Leadership
Mold making is an exacting process and our guest today is an expert at that. She is also an expert at industry association leadership and is helping to drive the effectiveness of industry associations in Canada.
In this week’s The Faces of Business Episode, our guest speaker was Jeanine Lassaline-Berglund. Jeanine is the President of the Canadian Association of Mold Makers & Automate Canada. Jeanine is helping the Canadian Association of Mold Makers deliver more a new value to their members. She is helping the association become amore integral part in the businesses they serve. She is also driving effectiveness of industry association leadership across North America.
The conversation of the episode started with Jeanine talking about how she started a career in mold making. She said that she initially started from the bottom and came out from a military career to toolmaking, manufacturing supervision, and engineering.
Aside from this, Jeanine said that in her engineering career path she was doing great and she enjoyed it. She also said that a part of her secret sauce of success was that she actually understood manufacturing before practicing it.
Further, into the conversation, Jeanine talked about her career and how industry association leadership helped her out. She said that at the time when she started her career, the company heads were also on the floor and were reachable.
However now, she thinks the industry association leadership has shifted horizons. Moving on, Jeanine also talked some more about this topic when Damon asked her about her role at automotive companies. Moreover, Jeanine also argued that when it comes to industry association leadership, just listening to the concerns of the people is what keeps them floating.
She also mentioned that for her, it all comes naturally. But even if someone has to practice this, just hearing the concerns of people can make people feel so much better. According to her, as a floor supervisor, she asked people this, and there were so many instances where people mentioned that no one has ever asked them this before.
Therefore, Jeanine said that as a part of industry association leadership, listening to the issues of people is what matters. Here, she also shared a story of her leadership as a floor manager. Jeanine said that when she was a supervisor, someone told her that she doesn’t need to come to work anymore.
This took her off guard, but that person meant it as a compliment because as soon as Jeanine used to come into work, things just automatically started working. Therefore, it was the aura of Jeanine and her leadership that made people work. According to her, that is what a good leader does.
The conversation ended with Damon thanking Jeanine for her presence.
Jeanine Lassaline Berglund
Jeanine Lassaline Berglund is the President of Automate Canada. Before this, she worked at Canadian Association for Mold Makers for 8 months. Within this role, she worked as the President of the company.
Before this, she was the President and Certified Coach Practitioner at STEPSTONES. Moreover, she was also the Director of Operations and Production at Cannabis Co-Pack. Before this, Jeanine also held the title of Fractional COO at various companies.
As for her education, Jeanine has a Masters of Cannabis from Cannabis Training University. Moreover, she also has an Industrial Machining Apprenticeship from St. Clair’s College. Additionally, she is also a Certified Master Coach Practitioner and holds a number of other important certifications as well.
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Challenges and Power of Industry Associated Leadership
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Jeanine Lassaline-Berglund, Damon Pistulka
Damon Pistulka 00:05
All right, everyone, welcome once again to the face to the business. I’m your host, Damon Pistulka. And I have with me today, none other than Nene last lien, or Glen, with the Canadian Association of mold makers. I mean, welcome.
Jeanine Lassaline-Berglund 00:25
Thank you so much, Damon, I have been a huge Well, I can say longtime fan first time. Attendee.
Damon Pistulka 00:33
Right. All right. Well, I don’t know about that. So so we’ll see. We’ll see if I’m still I’m still in your good graces at the end, then we’ll, we’ll see how it goes. That’s so awesome to have you here today. Because a couple things. I love associations, because most people don’t pay enough attention to associations. We’re going to talk about those a little bit more. And mold makers. Hmm, I grew up doing that I literally started out when I was in college, worked my way through college, I started sweeping the floor, in the tool room in the molding company.
And I started then I started to draft by hand. Yep, more fun. And the other big old thing with all that, I did that for four years while I went to school until we finally I actually was the one that bought the CAD system and did that as it gone. But I mean, it’s always been a passion of mine, I stayed in molding almost 15 years. Love the industry. Still, just yesterday, I talked with the the the now owner of the company that that I worked for all those years ago. It’s just it’s just a fascinating thing.
And and when you look at the complexity of the tooling, and when you look at the kind of equipment it takes to build it, the precision that those tool makers have, when they when they make that stuff and the way it fits together. And oh my goodness, it’s to me, it’s just it’s a labor of love. But they get to do it every day. I think
Jeanine Lassaline-Berglund 02:02
of it like moving puzzle pieces in precision timing in order to be able to, you know, when you think about how these things operate, and the time that it takes to put things together and how it creates unique features. It really you’re absolutely right. It’s fascinating and much like you I kind of started at the bottom to I came back after a very short military career and was enrolled in an engineering school. It started drafting just like you but also started as an apprentice mold maker. So I am I’m a journey person.
I that’s where I started. So yeah, this will this will bring back memories for you. I remember drafting so once I got off the floor because I was a bit of a distraction on the floor. Like was the only girl working there. We didn’t have they didn’t even have a restroom for me.
Oh, god. Yeah. So we had like a, we had cinderblock walls that they had strung some wire between and you know, we had like some shop coats hanging up there. And that was kind of like my little zone. But anyway, long story short, once I moved up into engineering, I was doing drafting. I started out and I thought I was the cat’s meow. Let me tell you, I was in AutoCAD version three and DOS. And I had a digitisation board. I thought I was flying the space shuttle I was so I was so sweet.
Damon Pistulka 03:22
Yeah, yeah, I remember those days. And that’s, that’s awesome. Because, you know, we really, you gotta think about that the molding industry was already well established in those days. Yeah. And now I continue to talk with my people, my friends that are still in the industry, the technical people that are working with the plastics, the people that are working in the production of the stuff, and it’s just amazing how it continues to, to grow, to grow and advance and accelerate the learning and the knowledge about plastics.
Jeanine Lassaline-Berglund 03:52
Well, I gotta tell you, like part of the, I believe part of the secret sauce of my success, was that foundational learning and really understanding manufacturability. So once I got to different levels of responsibility, you know, having that keen sense of what works and what doesn’t work, and what’s doable, and what’s not doable? And how to lead people through that ended up serving me really, really well.
I wouldn’t, you know, I remember at the time thinking, what the heck did I do? But you know, as you look back now, you’re thinking that was probably the best learning opportunity that could have had, and I was working with people who were, you know, superstars in that industry, unbeknownst to me at the time, and the value of their guidance at the time was priceless, but you know, when you’re young you don’t appreciate those things.
Damon Pistulka 04:41
Yeah. Yeah. That’s amazing. That’s amazing. That’s the similarity is really crazy. It’s really crazy for me too, because the, the i It’s the third now they’re into the third generation of the business that I started with and the the founder would would literally sit dealt with me for an hour here and there and just talked to me about business.
And I look back at that now. And I’m like, that was the most valuable thing that I probably had at that time in my life because I didn’t grow up in a, in a family where there was business I didn’t grow up in, you know, where my, my parents really knew. My parents certainly didn’t know, manufacturing. But just like you said that those people are that interaction with those real foundational people in the industry are so cool.
Jeanine Lassaline-Berglund 05:33
Yeah. Well, and, you know, I’m sure you had the same experiences. You know, when I started the owners, primarily, we’re still working in the business, you know, they were on the shop floor, they were approachable. You know, I, I, I dare say today that that might be hard to find. I remember once I hadn’t met the owner of that company yet. I’d started with a firm and, you know, had been there for a little bit, you know, maybe a month, I don’t even know. And we were working in a place.
And this is terrible to say, but we had a bit of a rodent problem. And so there was this little guy that came in and was you know, I knew he was the exterminator because I’d been introduced to him, and I didn’t think twice about it. And then when I saw him the next day, you know, I gave him a little wink and a nod and you know, just had a little chuckle with him about the rodents and went on my day.
And a colleague pulled me aside and said, you know, do you know who you were just talking with it? I said, Yeah, it’s the exterminator. He was here yesterday. He’s like, No, you’re dumb. That’s the owner of our company. This like, oh, well, you know, we had the thunderbay dinner jacket on and the rubber boots and a heavy Australian actor, Austrian accent, I thought for sure that was him.
Damon Pistulka 06:46
That’s awesome. Well,
Jeanine Lassaline-Berglund 06:47
they were pretty unpretentious back in those days, for sure. Exactly,
Damon Pistulka 06:50
exactly. And that’s why so we got a couple people. We got Gail listening from Windsor. So and Gail is an
Jeanine Lassaline-Berglund 06:57
awesome support. Honestly, she is also a member of the Canadian Association of mold makers board. So, you know, she does amazing things with us behind the scenes. She keeps me humble. And she helps me, you know, improve my confidence on things like we’re doing today. I’m very much and have always been a behind the scenes whiz. And this is really the first time that I’ve been out in front, so I really appreciate her every day.
Damon Pistulka 07:25
Really? Yeah, she’s awesome. She’s awesome. And we got anglers here saying hello. I love anger. Yeah, anger. Thanks so much. And yeah, just great. And you’re right. Gail is such a great influence. And and just shows us how to get out. Get out and do what we should do. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Love it. So then you’re you’re working in the molding? And, and you you somehow, then you’re then is that when you went to GM? And were working at GM after the molding or
Jeanine Lassaline-Berglund 07:57
Yeah, yeah. So I finished my apprenticeship. And then I did what every young woman does, they follow their love, you know, their love their prince charming. They follow them, you know, around the globe, but not quite around the globe. But certainly, we did a northern tour of Canada. He at the time was an air traffic controller. And so the only thing we could get was, you know, northern northern postings. And so we lived, what I like to I was an expatriate in my own country, like, it was kind of weird.
But anyway, we did that for a number of years, had a couple of kids. And it came to a point in our lives where we both grew up in really big, extended families and thought, you know, our kids don’t know their cousins, they don’t know their aunts, and uncles, you know, maybe it’s time for us to consider seeing what we can do closer to home. So I came back to the Windsor area, and I just, you know, started connecting with people that I had known from the industry. And within a week I had five job offers.
And so I just took the one that was going to be best for my family and called my husband and said, you know, pack up the kids put in for transfer. It’s time that we lived. We lived in an area, we raised our kids in an area outside of the Windsor area, probably about an hour. So I spent the better part of 15, almost 20 years commuting over an hour to work. And he did as well going the opposite direction. So that’s when I started with GM. And I was at Ford and I was at Chrysler. So I you know, and spent a tremendous amount of time also in the supply chain. So yeah, I really enjoyed those years. Yeah.
Damon Pistulka 09:33
So what were some of the things you were doing at the automotive companies? Well,
Jeanine Lassaline-Berglund 09:36
um, you know, as a floor supervisor, I gotta tell you one story here, you know, floor supervisor. And I have always really enjoyed working with people I love, you know, connecting with them and understanding what makes them tick. And, you know, we can talk about, you know, the whole leadership development stuff, and that’s really not what it was about. For me, that kind of came naturally.
But you know, just talking to people and listening to their concerns and finding out what they thought about things. And it surprised me the number of times that people said, you know, nobody’s ever asked me that. But so I started in floor supervision. And I was in every department, I was in the paint department, I was in body and white.
For those of you who don’t know what body and white is, it’s basically where everything gets welded and assembled together and the shell of the vehicle. I was in paint department, did I say that already, I was in chassis, it was an engine, wow, it was in final car. So you know, i i in a few different models. So it was kind of an exciting time. But then I also was in the foundry for a while. So I was everywhere. And I got really good at being a really good supervisor. So they would send me in the, you know, the later parts of my career, they would send me in when a group kind of needed cleaning up.
And I remember a colleague saying one time, you know, they just have to announce that you’re going to a group, and it starts to clean itself up like that. That’s the kind of reputation. And then at some point, somebody said, you know, you don’t even really need to come to work. And I was like, why? What are you talking about? He says, When your purse runs the department, you go in, in the morning, you get all the board setup, you put your purse, on the desk, and make sure the office light is on and you go upstairs for a cup of coffee. And magically people come in, and they just start working.
But you know, it was a great compliment to me, because I didn’t need to use a lot of discipline to get there. And that was really heavy perspective back in those days, you know, you were always trying to hammer those that didn’t want to conform to what was going on? Yeah. And, you know, I had my fair share of that, too. I didn’t take any, I didn’t take any flak. But yeah, it always occurred to me that, you know, there might be three or four people that really caused you a lot of heartache, but the rest of those 100 people are really watching to see what you do with that. And those are the people’s respect that I really wanted to earn.
Damon Pistulka 12:03
Yeah, you’re right. You’re right. And that’s, that’s so key in leadership is really the consistency. And, and doing the right thing, because everyone is watching every single second. Yeah, and, and that’s, that’s one of the things that Yeah, that’s really cool to hear it because it’s, it’s just one of those, it’s just one of those things that a lot of newer leaders don’t understand.
It’s it’s like, you’re you have to end today, it’s a lot different to in the fact that we’re supposed to share more personal stuff and that kind of thing. But I still think as a, as a leader today, you can share that personal stuff, along with the expectation of, I’m sharing the personal stuff with you right now, still means you have to perform what you’re supposed to do and your work day, and do your best there. Otherwise, it just not gonna work out.
Jeanine Lassaline-Berglund 12:56
And I think that’s what, you know, it miss, it’s missed on a lot of people that, you know, I used to have. So this old guy, his name was skip, he was like, 105, when I started a GM, and he, he was like, I don’t know, general form, and I think for our whole department, and you know, he would come and pick me up on the golf cart. And he’d give me advice all the time, because I think I spent my first three months at GM crying every day after my shift.
But anyway, I digress. So he would come, you know, he kind of took me under his wing and and, you know, taught me some real valuable lessons. And you know, one of them was that, you know, you’ve arrived as a as a leader, when you can have relationships with your people, but when they cross the line, you still can, you know, yeah, you still need to do what your job. And I remember that kind of ringing in my ears a couple of times that, you know, and there’s no reason why we have to be enemies. It’s not about that it’s you know, we can have a genuine human connection. But I have my job and you have your job. And the expectation is that we both
Damon Pistulka 13:56
do them. Yes. Yes, that’s that’s that that is such a great way to explain it. Because leaders do need to do that. Right. And yeah, it’s it’s great to share. But at the end of the day, it’s about are we doing what we need to do. And if we are, it’s awesome, it’s even better. But when we don’t, it’s it. We have to as a leader, you have to take care of it. Because in some of my past, I was actually doing turnarounds and companies. And that’s when you’re in the the worst of the situations in some respects.
But you have to save the company to keep the jobs of the people you can. So the things that yeah, you know, laying people off whatever you have to do to get the company running right. It is because you want to keep the rest of the core of the company working and going forward. But Angular talks about this real quick, though she says I don’t know if there could be a little rodent problem.
Jeanine Lassaline-Berglund 14:47
Well, I think if you spend enough time in the Danks of manufacturing like some of us have a small rodent problem is actually the least of your worries in some respects. I think things running certainly had its challenges back in the day, for sure.
And yes, that’s where things have really come a long way to, you know, manufacturing was that, at least when I started, I’m sure it might have been the same for you, Damon, that, you know, these weren’t ideal spaces to work in, you know, and there are some dirty jobs that still need to continue to go on. But for all intents and purpose manufacturing, as an environment has changed significantly. Right on housekeeping, you know, the focus that spent on housekeeping as a way to prevent injury and health health issues, as I’ve really seen that progression of that over the years for sure.
Damon Pistulka 15:44
No doubt, you can eat off literally eat off and most floors and manufacturing facilities. And even if it’s something that’s, that’s, you know, like a wood place that’s doing woodworking, they still are very, very clean with the facilities just because of the safety aspect. And the long term maintenance too. That’s another thing that really, really makes a big difference. Yeah. But yeah, you’re really you’re right, you know, manufacturing today is not what it was 20 years ago, 30 years ago, 50 years ago, for sure.
And one of the things that I often talk to people about is attracting young people into manufacturing. Because, like you, myself, wonderful careers and manufacturing, these young people that get out and don’t consider manufacturing. And consider the fact that, hey, if If college is great for me, and I’m in science, or I’m in business, or I’m in marketing, do I want to do manufacturing, because that industry is something that’s really interest interesting, rather than I’m gonna go out and work for, you know, mentioned, X, big software company, where they were, they aren’t making something like, cool, like cars, or, you know, whatever. And it’s
Jeanine Lassaline-Berglund 16:59
about the tangibility of gratification at the end of the day, right? Yeah. And I say the same thing. You know, the thing that’s beautiful to me about manufacturing, and particularly, so I spent a lot of time I mean, I’ve worked in really large and very global firms, but the majority of the time that I really enjoyed, where were where I was in a smaller space, and I knew that just by showing up that day and doing my job, that I could have an impact. And if that’s something that’s important to you, then manufacturing, particularly in the small to medium sized enterprise is the place you want to be.
Damon Pistulka 17:34
Yeah, yeah. And especially when you like that, that satisfaction of doing something because you can you kids can get out of high school, and they can go to work for manufacturers in a couple of years of doing it, they can have a very nice career. Yeah. And they can, they can go home at night, knowing that they’ve done something, they can see the progress of their work in that day. And, and it’s safe, and it’s clean. And it just, I just can’t
Jeanine Lassaline-Berglund 18:02
Well, and you know what, all manufacturers need HR people, they need it. They need finance people, right? This is not we’re not talking about printers that were, you know, technical in nature, like the one that I had, you know, and they need people who have strong people skills and can talk to people and ask questions.
And that was the other thing I want to say to you, too, you know, on that side of things, asking questions, instead of there is a tone here with manufacturing that, you know, it’s if I if I step out of line, I’m going to get hammered. You know, I would always tell Junior supervisors, at least, you know, don’t go off half cocked right away, you know, ask a question, like, what happened? What were you thinking?
What made you make that decision? You know, and, and starting that conversation, and that holds true in every position. And I think, you know, when we’re talking about young people in careers here, I think it’s important to engage them in those discussions as well, where and I don’t know about you, but you know, being born in the Windsor area, and having, you know, an awesome career, that was pretty much that whole area, right? I worked in the Detroit area, and, you know, but I was always within 100 I’m going to call it kilometers, so roughly six miles of work, you know, in and around the area.
Um, it to me seeing that the nature, particularly of automotive manufacturing was really cyclical, right, we have really good years, and then there’s a crash and then we have really good years, and then there’s a crash. And I think that for parents maybe who had less professional careers in manufacturing, the nature of that instability has caused them to guide their, their kids or their grandkids away from manufacturing. And, you know, that’s, that will always exist and it doesn’t matter what business but when we talk about manufacturing, we’re also not only Talking about cars.
Yeah, yeah, right.
Jeanine Lassaline-Berglund 20:02
It’s so broad. Oh my gosh,
Damon Pistulka 20:06
some of these diversified manufacturers now a lot of places aren’t in just one industry but like here where I’m at in the in the northwest, you know, arrows Manafort, huge. Yeah, it’s huge. And if you’re not in it, you’re not, you’re not going to have the business you knew you could have and that’s, that’s what drives that. But there are a lot of diverse manufacturers a lot of different, as you said, different skill sets needed.
From A to Z literally, in those those manufacturers. I mean, they’re hiring doctors and nurses think they speak for silver facilities. I mean, it’s, it’s it literally just about you could think of it and they probably hire people to do it. So that’s awesome. And one of the things we have my kick is here today with us as well. somebody
Jeanine Lassaline-Berglund 20:51
you love Mike. Mike is also a director with Cam. Mike hosts, I got to tell you, Mike hosts one of the funnest golf tournaments that I’ve ever been at, I have a buddy and she and I used to attend every year without fail. And we would have so much fun. It was unbelievable. And he is a workhorse this guy. He is constantly tirelessly behind the scenes being the best ambassador for our industry that you can imagine. He No, he knows everybody. That’s the other thing. He’s been around long enough. And he’s not that old. But he’s been around long enough. He just knows everybody.
Damon Pistulka 21:32
Oh, he’s been busy at it, then. That’s for sure. That’s awesome. Well, great to have you here today, Mike. And we got Gail’s got a gale talked about the golf tournament, she said, You know, it’s made the annual golf tournament epic. That’s great. And then also our
Jeanine Lassaline-Berglund 21:49
historian, I should say that so cam cell is celebrating its 40th. year, this year, the association is and Mike has been with it since the beginning. And is our historian so he’s got always tons of stories to share and lots of pictures. And he was you know, in many ways, primarily responsible for our ability to be able to take a bit of a tiptoe through the tulips at our AGM last month.
Damon Pistulka 22:15
Nice. Nice. That’s awesome. Because when you look back at these industries, it really is the the history is really something and, and the Canadian Association of mold, mold makers, I’m sure is no, like many, where you look back and you go, Oh, my God, it’s really something now. So as you look at mold making, what are some of the things that you look back and go, Wow, it’s changed so much.
Jeanine Lassaline-Berglund 22:45
Um, you know, like you, you’ll remember when we were working on mill machines, or or lathes, or, you know, a lot of the equipment we were using to cut metal was basically two D, three, we were lucky. Right now we’re talking about five axis six axis where, you know, unmanned machining is very prevalent in the industry now, which means you don’t need to have an operator standing there running the equipment, they run on programs.
Now, there is some intuitive intelligence in these machines and pieces of equipment now that are collecting data. And when we talk about cutting metal, we’re always trying to optimize the amount of time that we can take to cut metal, and the precision to which we can cut it. And gosh, that that’s the other thing that’s come such a long way, you know, there was a time when we would have to cut metal to three, maybe even four times in order to reach the tolerance that was needed for the for the precision of the work that we were doing, or the surface clarity of it.
That can be done in nanoseconds today. And it’s amazing to me, you know, there’s a lot of toolmakers there was a saying back in the day that you know, if you were toolmaker and you weren’t missing, you know, the tip of a finger or something, you weren’t very good at your job. You know, today I’m looking at, you know, young people entering this now and they’re like, they don’t even come dirty, like, clean like their uniforms are clean when they leave work. Like what the heck’s that all about? I used to have like scars in my hands from Blue Chips and you know, it you name it, I probably, you know, hurt myself yet. But
Damon Pistulka 24:22
yeah, it happens in an instant. That’s for sure that that the it is that’s awesome because you know how you just you just unloaded a lot of stuff there because when you look back at the years ago, 2030 years ago, when you’re trying to hold very tight tolerances it is it’s like, you know, it’s slow, slow, slow, so
Jeanine Lassaline-Berglund 24:44
it’s back and forth and back and forth, back and forth. And all of that is you know, waste and time that the industry can afford anymore. That in think about Damon think about just the intricacies of pieces, you know the design elements of things that you can produce in One shot now, as opposed to two or three different progressive shots, right?
That the ability to be able to put features into, you know, pieces of plastic that help either with design or cosmetic feature are, that is amazing to me how we can now, you know, we were talking before the broadcast started now about thinking about mold making today, you know, it was rather static, when we were there, you know, it opened,
there might have been a few things that pointed out of it, or lifted out it was being being Bob’s your uncle, you know, today with slides and mechanisms that are coming in and out at different times of the plastic injecting into the tool to create features or, or even hidden features that you you know, are you can’t see, unless you’re looking for it is amazing to me how how we put that together in this day and age.
Damon Pistulka 25:51
Yeah. Yeah, because that that wasn’t even considered, considered, you know that. And when you look just I was anything you look at now, and you, you literally look at the complexity of the, the tiny, whatever you want to look, it could be that remote control that runs your TV or, or some vacuum cleaner or something that the the features, the way that they’re integrating different materials, different
Jeanine Lassaline-Berglund 26:16
materials, you know, staple pieces, there’s inserts, now that they can put into things and mold around it, you think about two shot three shot processes, where there might be different kinds of plastic or material that they’re shooting in at different stages, you know, parts are coming out more complete and with more features than they ever have in the past.
Damon Pistulka 26:35
Yeah, yeah. And that drives the complexity of the tooling that it takes to make them. So the mold makers are the ones that get to figure out how to do that. That’s right. That’s right. So about how many members are there in the Canadian Association of automakers?
Jeanine Lassaline-Berglund 26:49
Um, you know, we’re probably at the lowest point we have ever been. And I think a large part of that is due to the COVID crisis. You know, there’s a lot of folks that have had to tighten their belts. So we’re, we’re under 100. But you know, we have some, we have some pretty aggressive targets for this coming year. And going along with that, I mean, we this is the discussion we’ve really had, when it comes time for a company to tighten their belt. And you know, this as well as anybody does, they take a look at where they’re spending their money.
And if they’re not paying membership dues to be a part of an organization or an association, it’s because they don’t see value. Yeah. And, you know, for us and the livelihood are the lifeblood of what we do, you know, is around being able to provide value. So if we’re not providing value, that should be speaking volumes. So it’s not just about the loss of membership and the loss of that revenue. It’s about, you know, how is the industry changing? And how are we going to stay on top of that, in order to support people so that they feel like there’s value. And that’s a large part of the conversation and a lot of the strategic activities that we’ve been taking on lately.
Damon Pistulka 28:02
That’s, that’s awesome. Because someone told me the other day, they said, it’s different if you’re selling somebody selling something to somebody personally, because they may not have the money for it. But in business, they have the money for it, if it’s something they think is is valuable that they need. That’s right, they will come up with the money for it. That’s basically what they said.
So I think you’re you’re running into some of the same situations that every association is in it’s it’s no different. I don’t think across across the globe, probably honestly. And so what are some of the things that you’re excited about in in in leading this new new wave in the Canadian Association of mold makers? And and what do you really look towards the future and go, Man, there’s some good stuff coming?
Jeanine Lassaline-Berglund 28:53
Well, one of the is being able to provide let’s, let’s take it back. I mean, aside from the strategic work that all associations do, which are heavily rooted in, you know, marketing a sector is is high on their list of things to do. Being an advocacy body, you know, for government policy, or, you know, social policy, those are always going to be important things that associations do on behalf of members and why it has some value for membership. But that can’t be the only reason.
Yeah, you know, when we look at again, our Association does well, because a lot of the companies that we have inside of the association are still considered small to medium size enterprises by employability standards. So we’re not necessarily talking about dollars, we’re talking about how many people do and even in the space there, you know, in comparison to let’s say, maybe some other industries, you know, there is As a lot of pressure and a profit margins can be really, really difficult. And so being able to help them plug the gaps in their own operations, is one of the ways that we provide value.
So the things that we’re most excited about, is being able to provide, you know, opportunity for learning. Just like every industry, you know, skill development, we have been talking about skill development, for the better part of 20 years, we’ve been talking about the loss of skilled trades for the better part of 20 years. You know, and and we haven’t been successful at moving that dial as much as maybe we had hoped. But there’s a lot to also be said, for supporting skill development inside your building. Yeah. And, you know, we’re not suggesting here that we’re going to offer, you know, the latest and greatest on on molding techniques.
But you know, being able to help you offset your costs for things that you have to do is one way that we can provide value. So finding ways to consolidate learning opportunities for legislated training, for instance, or expertise on other areas of your business. So what about r&d? In Canada, we have a program called MSR and EDI it’s a rebate program with our revenue agency, a Canadian revenue agency that provides a payback for money that you spend on research and development, it is one of the ways they’re hoping that it stimulates innovation into commercialization that was the roots of that in the first place.
So, you know, they might not understand all the ins and outs of those programs. So making sure that we have learning opportunities for that. Or, you know, how about even quality certification programs, you know, quality, and total quality management are still things that are important, you know, and maybe leadership development, we’re not 100% sure yet, and a lot of it will be determined by the feedback we get from members, I’m where the biggest hole businesses are. So you know, our goal here is to provide services that help them stabilize their businesses. That that’s one way that we’re really looking to move the dial forward this year.
Damon Pistulka 32:14
That’s, that’s cool. Because it you do have to reinvent yourself a bit. Right? I think because it’s it’s one thing to put on a trade trade show. Let people come to it. Okay, that’s he, to me, that’s an easier way. Right? Put the trade well known. And that’s well known. Right? Yeah, exactly. And, but to really get in with your members and go, What is it that I can do for all of you that will, yes, burden, allow you to sleep better at night, things that will make your life better, make your businesses better, and really get to the core of it, if you do that, that’s long term value, that you’re going to be able to drive to the association. Yeah,
Jeanine Lassaline-Berglund 33:02
exactly. So those are the things that we’re really looking at. And then, you know, on top of that, trying to create a community, you know, it wasn’t that long ago, where our particular association would host dinner meetings, and it was an opportunity for members to get together and have face to face discussion, and, you know, kick the tires on, you know, whatever was whatever ton machine was, you know, happen to be the latest and greatest and who was doing what and you know, there’s, there’s always an eye towards competitiveness, let’s not be crazy, there was a time, you know, where I didn’t talk about where I bought my Kleenex, because that was a competitive advantage.
But, you know, it was an opportunity for people to have these face to face discussions, and they would occasionally bring in a guest speaker to talk about something important, you know, COVID, if for no other reason is forced us to look at different ways to connect with people.
And in lieu of having these face to face opportunities. And so we’re spending a lot of time understanding that, because the value side of that is the membership dollars go further if we can find more cost effective ways to deliver that same experience, and continue to garner that same excitement without having to spend the kind of money we’re spending for in person services. So where it makes sense, we’re looking at doing those things, too, and creating that community.
I mean, in a perfect state of would love to see more collaboration between members. And so we’re starting to do that as well. So we have some board committees now that we’ll be taking on, you know, some of the things that there’s only two of us in the association that are managing things day to day. So yeah, you know, our time gets used up very quickly. But if we can leverage that activity across committees, it’s another way to get people involved. It’s another perspective for us to be able to collect an opinion or data or whatever it is, and we You know, we get the opportunity to build on the momentum that people can create.
Damon Pistulka 35:05
Yeah. Yeah. Cuz collaboration is, I mean, well, for some of those slides, you know, you look at collaboration, we never did it, right, because everybody’s a competitor, but But realistically now,
Jeanine Lassaline-Berglund 35:19
yeah. And maybe it’s not so much collaboration as it is coopetition. There you
Damon Pistulka 35:24
go, there you go. That’s probably a much better word. You’re really anyone from the ground around the globe can do what you can do today. Yep. So just like, just like anything else, so you really have to understand that. So, you know, why don’t you work with people, you know, and like and trust and and try to do the best that you both can. And I think that when you look at some of these businesses that are going back and rethinking this, there are ways that they’re going to collaborate even in molding, right?
Because, okay, what if somebody has a huge project that’s coming down the pipe, and, hey, I only make molds to this size, or for this kind of, you know, application, but they’ve got the 17 other ones that they need for this and other sizes and application, that’s where these people can be, can be getting on the phone, and keeping that stuff exactly within the group, or they want it to be, and, and making or even making
Jeanine Lassaline-Berglund 36:19
your girls like, you know, love doesn’t even have any capacity or or that’s not really our expertise. But I know, it’s Joe’s expertise, and having that when the opportunity comes to Joe, he’s going to give it back to you. And I think, you know, I think those are ideals that have always been somewhat embraced inside this group.
But as the group continues to grow, and as we fill our, as we as we grow into the shoes that we’ve built for ourselves as a national organization, you know, that backyard, back over the fence referral system only works with people who know and trust each other. I mean, those are old sales adage, as we’ve had for a long time, how can we develop that, in pockets where the cluster of these activities continue to develop, and it can still be organic, to a certain degree, you know, we’re going to be we got some funding dollars to, to actually put together a program that I can’t talk too much about right now.
But yeah, essentially, for your listeners today, it you know, it’s called cam connects. And it essentially is going to be creating an online environment, where we can take advantage of some of the things that we know how to do, and, you know, support each other. But the other thing here is that as we get, as the industry comes back around, remember, we talked about it being down and down, and we’ve all lived through, you know, lowest cost producers and global industry now and seeing the effects of that when we’re facing a global pandemic.
And, you know, issues like reshoring, USA or reshoring, Canada, are starting to garner some support. This is one way that we can do that in our own backyard. I mean, I’ve been saying that for years that the buyer, you know, automatically goes online and thinks to look for bolts at the lowest cost made in Asia, before he thinks to look at who’s in his own neighborhood. And it’s just the way business has developed right and giving each other the opportunity to have those conversations, you know, I think is a place for it to start. Yeah,
Damon Pistulka 38:27
no doubt. And I think about this too, because as you were talking about this, you were talking about helping the members work together to be more successful. I think that one of the one of the values that association could really bring to these members is to help them understand how to facilitate referrals, how to do it, because let’s face it, most people in business are there, they’re in their business doing their thing,
Jeanine Lassaline-Berglund 38:56
but rightfully so. Oh, yeah. Yeah, rightfully so. But that’s where the association plays a role. Yes, in facilitating that. Right. So we have that at our disposal, we know that we can send out that opportunity alert, you know, to the members of our community, and say, is anybody interested in this, and we’re already doing that right now with other things like, you know, requests for media, or requests for information on projects.
You know, we academic requests that come in from time to time, we’re already pushing out those as opportunities, you know, in subtle ways for manufacturers to connect to their community or to build their brand, you know, yeah, getting is a heavy part of what we do. But at the same time, this is this is about changing behavior. And this is about engaging in the change of behavior to recognize that this is a community and you can be competitors, and still be in the community and have a thriving community with some coopetition.
Damon Pistulka 39:54
Yeah, yeah. And that’s awesome. Because I just I just think about the way that you can help people collaborate. at the level they could and like you said, you mentioned a couple of things, sharing opportunities amongst the group. Yeah, this shared learning opportunities on some of the the regulated stuff, I think it’s got to be huge, because when you look at, hey, I’ve got 40 People in my facility, but this is really expensive training. Well, now, if I can have two facilities come together, three facilities come together and sponsor the same training. That’s a huge savings for well, and
Jeanine Lassaline-Berglund 40:26
even simple things like, you know, we have a clinician and an HR professional, who are going to be delivering an information session on how to interpret the COVID regulations and be able to apply them to business, right? We’re just testing like, what what are those? What is the threshold for tolerance, I can fire somebody if they don’t want to get their vaccination, like, you know, all these questions that employers struggle with, you know, it’s difficult as singular entities to be able to find the answers, particularly if they don’t have well seasoned HR department, right.
So we want to be able to provide those kinds of services, but in a community kind of way. And it’s it’s really taking advantage of the ideals that started this community in the first place. And just growing them to a point where we’re recognized as experts in this particular area, but this is how we support our experts.
Damon Pistulka 41:16
Yeah. Well, you gotta be having fun.
Jeanine Lassaline-Berglund 41:19
I am having a ball. I mean, every day is different, I won’t Kijun there’s a tremendous amount of work that comes with growing at this pace. And putting all of this together, because itself has really taken a leap from, you know, being a group of, of what I’m going to call working board members to now being a full fledged grown up board of governance that guides the Association on the direction that it needs to take.
And that’s, that’s still that’s still a, it’s still that we still have some growing pains with that, but they’re not in a bad way. It’s just, you know, going to testing the boundaries of where we want to go because the world is really big right now. The options are really plentiful right now. And what I keep reminding people is, is even if we make a decision today, and it’s the wrong decision, it’s just a place to start. Yeah. Right. Exactly. Because because we’re not setting things in stone here.
Damon Pistulka 42:17
Yeah. No decision. No progress. A decision. You’re gonna have some progress, even if you want to change it tomorrow. Yep. Good stuff. Well, I just want to thank James, for being here today. Thanks so much. I know you’ve been listening in a while. I just want to get get that we had some more comments from Gail and anger. Thanks so much. angers, like, oh, my gosh, tip of a finger missing, not for me. I hate to tell it. I got all mine, too. I got almost lost that one right there.
Jeanine Lassaline-Berglund 42:48
This one actually got married. I think I got it almost halfway through. Showing up at my wedding. My wedding rehearsal with the priest and like, this was like, as big as a tap towel. Holder was terrible.
Damon Pistulka 43:04
Yeah, you could tell. We were. Yeah, we
Jeanine Lassaline-Berglund 43:07
could we could probably share some we can.
Damon Pistulka 43:09
I tell you what, though. That’s where it is. That was years ago. That’s not like that now that focus on safety and cleanliness? Is it? I mean, the amount the amount of work worker injuries are so much less comparatively in the manufacturing. I mean, like multitudes less. Yeah. When you can’t even really, really fathom how much less it is today. But that’s,
Jeanine Lassaline-Berglund 43:32
that’s why legislation is in place. And we know that, you know, it’s sometimes it feels like it’s a must do, and it’s the cost of doing business, but it’s also the right thing to do. Yeah,
Damon Pistulka 43:42
yeah. Well, so I’m trying to think of a couple other things, you know, just so Gail Gil said something about a cab story. And I just thought here was that here it Gail wants to hear a cab story. I’ve got to hear it.
Jeanine Lassaline-Berglund 43:58
Well, if you haven’t figured out at this point, you probably never will. But I’m a bit unconventional when it comes to most things in life. For whatever reason, I’ve always been wired. Well, my family will say I was wired wrong. But let’s just say I’m wired differently than most people. And so and one of the things that I struggle with, even as a mature adult is making sure I think before I say it’s it’s a terrible, terrible habit that oftentimes there’s a step missing in the cognitive whatever is going on there.
Anyway, long story short, I have. I’m not proud of it, but I have. I’m pretty tenacious, and when I need to get stuff done, sometimes I take a few shortcuts so and I’m hoping that they don’t have any government people listening.
But one of those times when when I was living north I had to I was applying for a government job. And that government job I didn’t have any experience. I had no freaking clue Whether it was the Ministry of Natural Resources, so a bunch of tree huggers and I was in policy development, I applied for this job, I had no idea what I was doing. I lied during the interview, I got robbed. And I spent the next week at the library trying to study up on stuff, so I could at least perform my job anyway.
We it was also a time when I was working for a director. So it wasn’t even like I started at the bottom I was, you know, anyway, um, she was well known for not good reasons with the ministry. She was a spinster. She had never married or had children. She was a career woman she was, she was tough. She was just really tough. And, you know, she didn’t have I wouldn’t call it a personable approachable personality. And she was running, you know, a major division in policy development for natural resources. And I was her. I was her EA at one point, I was doing multiple things.
But EA for her when she came to the office was one of the things that I did. And I had worked there for months. And I hadn’t even received an email from her saying, Hi, nice to meet you. That was all business all the time. So she flew into the area and came to the office this day, and marched her way in. And then there was a parade of people coming and going all day out of her office. And it came time for her to leave. And she came out and stood in the doorway. And I mean, I was young.
So you know, I was shaking and nervous a little bit, and probably not paying as much attention to myself as I should have been. But she said, I need you to call me a cab. So I literally spun around in my chair in my cubicle and said, Okay, you’re a cab, and then spun back around, and I thought, Oh, my God. Mater has. So this became the thing of legend in the office. And I thought for sure, I had lost my job that day, I’m livid. I really honestly put my head down at my desk, she went back into her office.
And I was like, I can’t recover from this. I don’t know what the heck I’m gonna do. Anyway. It was a little bit of time had passed. And I was just started packing up because I thought this is it. She called me into her office. And I was, you know, cowering and apologetic about the whole thing. She said, Just should just just shut up and sit down. I’m like, Okay. And she looked at me. And then she got this little smirk on her face. She said, That is the funniest thing that has ever happened to me. And we, after that day, it was history that I’m telling you, that is not a chance that anybody should take. Yeah, yeah, that that’s the cab story.
Damon Pistulka 47:45
That is an awesome story. It it is it is that is great. That it’s just great. Well, it’s
Jeanine Lassaline-Berglund 47:51
just one of so many, one of so many, you know, we could tell, we could probably talk a number of times about you know, I’ve been fortunate enough to travel the globe. And I may have traveled the globe many times, but my luggage has seen way more than I have. Because it would get lost frequently. But I remember being in the interior of Ohio, and not having any luggage and I was there called doing a quality audit, a five day quality audit for my company, and I didn’t have anything and the panic that sets in like men can get away with it.
Right hotels have stuff that you need. But you know, when you’re a girl and you’re thinking about all the things you need to get ready in the morning, you’re not so lucky. So I’m standing in the all night Kmart at the $1 cosmetic counter. With me and a few probably ladies of the evening. Yes, I didn’t want to purchase everything because I already had it. But there’s a million stories like that, that and you know, asking for the wine list and being told they have a bottle of red. And they had to check the back to see if there was some clear. Like there’s a million of them.
Damon Pistulka 49:00
You know that? That that is the one of the things that manufacturing companies are not in typical metropolitan settings where you would want to travel.
Jeanine Lassaline-Berglund 49:10
Yeah, they’re never in Fiji or Canada, or Yeah. No,
Damon Pistulka 49:16
we’re not a lot of people that don’t have other things to do. Yeah, no, not so much. That’s usually where they’re at. I know. It Janine, it’s been so awesome to have you on today. If
Jeanine Lassaline-Berglund 49:27
we could talk for hours, there’s so many more things we could talk about.
Damon Pistulka 49:31
I know and we have to have you come back because I’m thinking that we just, we want to come we want to check in next year and see how the Canadian Association moment we need to talk about automate Canada. I mean, yeah, we’ll save that one too. Yeah, we’ll save that one too. But we’ll talk about that another time because I really want to see what you’re doing next year, you know, halfway through next year. Let’s see how it’s going. Let’s see what what your members are doing. That’s exciting.
Let’s figure that let’s let’s get some buzz going in the in the moment. baking industry in Canada because, hey, two things one, bring attention to it, too. We want to bring young people into it. I mean, I just think there are so many good jobs for people that want to want to get into these technical technical fields, and, and really set themselves up for nice careers that that it would be awesome. And, you know, maybe we have to have a some Canadian Association of mold makers day for young people to come and find out what the what the industry is all about. What’s funny,
Jeanine Lassaline-Berglund 50:35
you mentioned that because we have some stuff on the way for that, too, including programming. We’re gonna be launching student memberships this year, and define student programming so young people can connect with with manufacturers directly. So I’ll be happy to talk to you about that when we do it.
Damon Pistulka 50:51
Where do you get ready for it? We’re getting back on talking about it. Because you know why slowly, we are going to get some young people involved in manufacturing, because if if I can go down doing anything, that’d be awesome.
Jeanine Lassaline-Berglund 51:02
Alright, listen, and you have an open door like you ever find yourself over on this side of the country, you just come on, and we’ll always have room for you.
Damon Pistulka 51:09
Well, believe it or not have been in Windsor a few times. So. Yeah, but good stuff. So Janine, thanks so much for being on today. We’ve got Janine Laflin Bergland. With the Canadian Association of mold makers. If you didn’t hear her talk, you need to go back to the beginning and start over. Listen to what she’s talking about the industry, the history and what’s happening today.
Thanks so much for being here. And thank you so much for having me. Peace out, bro. You bet. You bet. Well, if anyone wants to talk to Janine Hey, check her out on LinkedIn. You can find her on this post there and we will have her details are also the Canadian Association moldmaking details on the website when we put the blog post up. Thanks, everyone. We’ll be back on Thursday.