It’s been one crazy busy year! #SOLIDWORKS #3DXW20

It’s been one crazy busy year!

I’m not one to normally review a year or even look at the “new year” as a fresh start.  I will say that I’m a big believer that you best move forward by understanding your past!  But I would normally associate that, with design & manufacturing.

I keep saying it’s been one busy, slightly out of control, crazy year.  Both in my business and personal life,

Work is going through one of those, once in a ten/twelve year cycles.  The main European vehicle manufacturer, which we manufacture in, if they have not already, will all release their new products range, within the next twelve months.   The previous year we were in full development phase, spent much time reviewing products and settling on designs, for our future new product range.

These designs will be the basis for all new future products, until the next cycle comes around.  This year saw that development turn into the manufacturing phase, all whilst the development continued to produce more & more new products!

If we weren’t busy enough with our Motorhome development,  somehow we mange to slip in a couple of Special Purpose Vehicles as well.  As I said, it’s been busy! To see the full range of products we have been working on, have a look at the Van Motorhome & Special Purpose vehicle range on the TRAKKA website

We certainly have seen many highs this year, especially as the new products have come in to production!  With the highs, sadly, we have also experience a few darker days!

TRAKKA, sadly and suddenly, lost it’s founder & Managing Director, Dave Berry earlier this year!  I have worked with and for Dave & the Berry family since 1981.   We collaborated on so many projects!    He could drive me insane, with crazy ideas and constant last minute change of mind!    We at times disagreed & argued like an old married couple.  I’m not sure how he tolerated me some days, with my vehement opposition to some ideas and changes he raised!    But is was always in the search to create and build a better product.  We would talk design concepts, manufacturing and developing design ideas for hours!

We spent days on end, racing a number of different TRAKKA campers (yes you read that right) through the outback of Australia, all in the name of building a better product (and having some fun and adventure along the way!)

Unfortunately Dave’s passing wasn’t the only one that had an effect on me, this year!    We saw the passing of my father-in-law, at the age of 97.  A man who lived a full but hard life, from his childhood & youth in the Ukraine, through the brutality of the War, then immigration and raising a family in Australia.

Far more sad and tragic was my daughter loosing her friend to cancer at the age of 36!  A wife & mother who leaves behind a seven year daughter (my daughter godchild).   If you can, support a charity!  Give generously!   I don’t ever wish to go to another funeral for someone who has lost a battle with cancer, especial one so young.   A couple of friend of mine, from the SOLIDWORKS community, Ed Gebo & Earl Hasz both ride the Pan-Mass Challenge, (I’m sure there are many more, as well).  If you don’t have a charity to support, then this is as good as any to throw a few dollars towards.

But lets get back, to the positives!

I’ve been tremendously honored to be acknowledged this year by peers and industry!

First at this years (and we now know to be the last) SOLIDWORKS World 2019 in Dallas TX.  I was honored to be acknowledge as a recipient of the Michelle Pillers SWUGN Community Award.  A great honor, but more so, as I got to share this with my friend Betty Baker.  SWUGN Committee member,  LA Crosse, Eau Claire, Winona Area (LEWA) SOLIDWORKS User Group Leader and STEM advocate!

I said at the time “As I look down the names of past recipient I’m proud to say that I know most of them and more so are pleased to be able to call them my friends.”

There is no greater honor than to be acknowledge by your peers and I’m as proud today as I was on the day of this acknowledgement

If this award, this year, wasn’t enough, it was followed up mid-year by the Caravan & Camping Industry Associations – NSW 2019 Awards of Excellence, as the recipient of the Employee of the Year – Trade.

It was a little strange to be awarded for going to work and doing a job that you’re paid to do!   But again it was a great honor to be acknowledge by an industry that I have worked in, for the majority of my working career!



So if work was crazy busy how did I manage to escape for three (well four really counting SOLIDWORKS World) overseas trips!   Maybe that what added to the craziness!

First I turned 60! in May.  I find that hard to say, and to believe myself.  I’m not sure what really has happened to about forty years of my life, …. family ….. work ….. life in general, it all seems to pass by, way too quickly.   Which is why it seemed necessary to celebrate this “milestone”

I guess a milestone called for something memorable!  The magic of the Canadian & Alaskan landscape was certainly that.  A most wonderful adventure and truly stunning parts of the world.

It’s easy to appreciate the natural wonders of this world!  They are there in front of you and it’s easy to take it all in.   But it’s the people you meet along the way, which makes this world what it is.  The SOLIDWORKS community has introduced me to so many amazing people and brought some wonderful friendships!  Which is how I found myself in the beautiful seaside towns of Rockport & Gloucester, Massachusetts early October for Dan & Kay Ferrucci-Herzberg wedding!

Dan, SOLIDWORKS User Group Leader of the Boston Area North SolidWorks User Group (BANSWUG) & perhaps more importantly, the organizer of the yearly CAD Monkey Dinner.  Best described as the unofficial start to what was SOLIDWORKS World and now 3DEXPERIENCE World.  This years event in Nashville is at The Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, Saturday, February 8, 2020 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM CST.  Ticket available

Which brings us to last week and to wrap up the year, when I managed to escaped Christmas and spent the week in Queenstown, the Fiordlands National Park and hiking the Milford Track, New Zealand.  With the added bonus of the company of my daughters.   This is truly a magical part of the world!

So if this year was a crazy, thought provoking, educational, entertaining, tiring year, full of spectacular scenery, a touch of sadness and much reward, then what is next?

3DEXPERIENCE World 2020 is not that far away.  What it brings, I’m not sure!  But over the next few weeks as I start to get organised for it, I’ll let you know my thoughts!


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