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  • J.D. Solomon

The Three Big Things I Took Away From This Week


Michelle Henley and the brothers Latino.  Communicate with FINESSE.
Michelle Henley, Bob Latino, Ken Latino, and Mark Latino at SMRP 2022

Surprise, Surprise. This year’s national SMRP conference was in my hometown, Raleigh. In my profession, we do not get many national conferences. This week was both convenient and refreshing.


Here are my big takeaways:


Bob, Ken, and Mark Latino are three special people.

The Latino brothers are all technical gurus in their own right. And all three live in the long shadow of their father, Charles, who was one of (maybe the) founding fathers of the reliability profession.


This is the first time the three brothers have been together at a technical conference in many years. Bob considers me a friend, so I got to hang out, eat some meals, and have a few drinks with the three Latino brothers. They were just being themselves, but it was special for me. All three are good people and good brothers.


I never met Charles Latino, but I learned much about him this week. He was not just a great professional. All three of his sons are a testament that he was a great man.


(and bless her, Mrs. Latino was a great, patient woman too!)


Michelle Henley gives a damn good presentation.

I have seen her in action a couple of times now, and each time the material is a little different and I learn a little more. I guess that is why she always plays to a full house. Like the Latino brothers, she comes from a great pedigree (her father was Winston Ledet), but she has cut her own path and added her own unique flair to the profession.


It was good spending some time with her, and I look forward to her upcoming writing on women in reliability and STEM.


Many organizations and roles are changing.

I had the opportunity to lead two well-attended workshops this week and was a bit surprised at the number of people who have recently seen organizational restructuring or changes in their own roles. Perhaps I am either biased or sensitive due to post-COVID effects or the Great Resignation, but there was an increase. Those changes mean, more than ever, we need to focus on the basics when training and transferring knowledge.



Attending conferences is much more than the technical information that you learn.

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