I really don't know the players here, except by the mag article and KE's reputation. d-hlaw, I've little clue who you are other than one of 10,000 OSO family members. So the following thoughts are objective due to my ignorance.
#1 Most of the players in this who posted, posted informative explanations of the situtation, backed by facts or timelines, in a somewhat clinical manner (not including the bystanders who have already tried and convected JS based on hear-say). JS's post stood out as an exception to most of the players. It was aggressive, adversarial, and intended to hurt an individual on personal and professional level. It did little to clairify the situation(sp?), explane her role, or even attempt to comfort current and potential customers. It was both unprofessional and childish. It had a negative effect (affect?) on her credability with me.
#2 As a turn-around consultant for small manufacturers for almost ten years, some details of this whole relationship struck me very odd. Few founders of established paternialistic manufacturing companies are willing to bring in an outsider (especially a marketing person) unless they have to. First off, they tend to be engineers who suspect marketing is little more than sales, smoke, and mirrors. Second, they have developed a "God-complex" similar to what pilots and surgens(sp?) have. (HEY! I own my own established, paternialistic consulting company here, so back off!) That KEPP welcomed JS as a partner to "take it to the next level" struck me odd, and I wondered if there may be some underlieing reasons such as cash flow or profitability issues. On the surface, marrying a marketing partner with an engineering/operations partner makes a ton of sense, but it seldom happens in real, small-med manufacturers.
#3 My background is in finance and marketing, and have MBA's in each. So I have nothing against a marketing person getting involved with an established manufacturer. While not an engineer myself, I was raised by one, and have worked with over 100 of them over the years.
Some engineers can be socially retarded. Some marketers can be all foam and no beer, or focus on irrelevant appearance-issues being myoppic to underlieing causes. So like most things in life, the quality of the individual is more important than the role of the profession. (Yes, there is a point comming up soon!!) The concept of this marrage should have worked. Putting a quality marketer with a quality engineer/operator should result in synergy or the-sum-being-greater-than-the-individual-parts. I have no doubt that the KEPP/JS marriage lacked at least one quality element and also financial discipline.
Chart, I was always very curious of your #2 as well. Did not seem to fit into a normal protocal of successful businesses......
I have never met anyone on this board. Yet through chats here I feel like some of you are becoming distant friends. The internet is strange like that for bringing people thousands of miles away close together. I understand how bad that must feel when you find that people are questioning your credibility. Don't forget that protecting yourself is human nature. After reading all these post I honestly would have to say I would be on guard buying something from you or anyone who is involved in such a public topic.
This does not mean I wouldn't buy anything from you. I would just use a little more caution than normal. It is nothing personal against you or anyone else on this board.
You have handled this whole thing well. You have defended yourself only when needed, and have not attacked anyone. If you are the type of person I think you are, you will come out of this well. Not only will your name get cleared but people will have a higher opinion of you than others because they will know from experience how you handled yourself.
To sum it up:
1) I don't think you have done anything wrong.
2) Keep you head high and you will come out of this a winner (or at least not a loser.)
3) As hard as it may be, try not to let cautious people offend you.
4) Try not to let this get the better of you and put some hours on that fine boat of yours! A little R&R might be a good thing rather than reading these forums.
B-H ; nice post. very professional. i am sorry about the posts i have listed. but she just pushed the wrong button. and i know KEITH is away and can't defend himself.
keep your chin up. nice to see ya saturday. chubby-well-fed is beaming with his new boat ownership. nice ride. we just need to find alittle more speed . i told him to find a set of 17.5 X 30 five blade cleavers to try. i think this will help. it was a nice ride down from st. augustine. ocean was beautifull .
talk to ya soon
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