Patricia (Patty) Goldman Inducted into IPC Hall of Fame


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patty2.jpgGoldman: I recall companies in the very late ‘90s who were booked solid and were expanding to keep up with orders. Some were pretty over-confident about it. But what they didn’t know was that their customers were triple ordering because they were afraid a supplier couldn’t deliver. And then of course the bottom fell out and everything moved out. So many of those companies are no longer with us now. And then you could see the supply base eroding. I kept saying, "Look at what is happening. We're losing our critical mass here." Pretty soon there was no copper foil made in the U.S. Then there was no flexible material made and now most laminate is made overseas. We were losing control, and of course, it went. I don't think anybody can argue with that.

I've seen some things over the years. When I first started, the industry with the strongest influence in IPC was the military. There were also a lot of captive shops—GE, IBM, AT&T’s Western Electric, many others. All the big companies had captive shops and oftentimes, multiple shops. Then that started to change, and they became less influential and the commercial companies became more influential. Eventually, all the big guys realized they didn't need to have their captive shops. They were always behind in the technology anyhow, at those captive shops. You’d think they wouldn't be, but they were behind in technology. Sounds counter-intuitive but that’s what I saw.

Matties: I thought the R&D was coming out of the captive shops.

Goldman: They had blinders on. Many did have their own R&D, which was perhaps best practice or perhaps not. But they didn’t really have to compete, so they weren’t constantly looking for the best technology, and then there was the NIH factor (“not invented here”). I could tell you a lot of stories. Maybe not best practice, but it was their way of doing it.

Matties: I understand what you're saying. It was good for them, but not necessarily good for the industry.

Goldman: Yeah. I was in a shop out in Ohio, NCR, when they still had a circuit board operation, and they were using this make-and-dump electroless copper bath. They would dump it every day! I thought, that's at least 20 years behind the times. They just had their own way of doing things, and they were not forced to change because they had a captive customer—themselves. They did not have to work to be more efficient and look for better ways of doing things. And it really wasn’t good for them either.

Matties: So here you are, 30+ years later, and you are now being inducted into the IPC Hall of Fame, and receiving that award. Additionally, I think you are the first female recipient of this award. Now that you've done that, what are you going to do next? Go to Disneyland?

Goldman: No, I’m a bigger fan of Disney World anyhow, as you know. [laughs] It is such an honor. But every time you receive an award from IPC, they put you back to work. When I got the President's Award in 1984, Don Dinella, Mr. Additive Circuits, said to me, "Now they'll really put you to work!" It's true. They do tend to tap the people that they know will get things done—why not?

So now I am thinking, this is a big one; they're really going to be tapping me for something or other. I know they call the Hall of Fame people “ambassadors.” I'll find out what that's all about.

Matties: I'm sure you will.

Goldman: One interesting thing I learned while I was TAEC Chairman, which I didn't realize before. IPC has its board of directors, of course, but the chair of TAEC is in on some of the meetings that involve giving direction to IPC. You represent all the chairs who represent all of the committees, which are of course the lifeblood of IPC. That was really interesting.

Matties: Well congratulations, Patty. This is great news and I’m happy to see you receive this award.

Goldman: It still seems kind of unreal, but such a huge honor. It seems a little unreal to me because of all of the people that have received this before me. All but the first two I know or have known pretty well—they are people I have always looked up to, that have done so much for the industry and have influenced so much. Several I would consider mentors, including Bernie Kessler, Don Dinella and Dieter Bergman. So I'm thinking, me? Really? Are you sure? Do I really fit into this august group? I hope I can live up to the examples set by those already in the Hall of Fame.

Matties: It was and is you, so congratulations. You deserve it.

Goldman: Thank you.

Matties: Are there any closing thoughts that you want to share with the industry?

Goldman: I've been asked to say a few words when I am inducted on Tuesday, and one of the big things I want to say, and we say it all the time, is to volunteer, to work on a committee or subcommittee. Don't just sit in a room and listen, but actually get involved. Not only can you help write and develop a standard that is important to you, but you can actually participate and have an effect and influence on how things are done and written.

If you're a passive bystander type person, you may learn some things, but you won't learn nearly as much as you can by getting involved, and of course, it just has so many benefits for you and your company.

Matties: Great. Again, congratulations, and thank you so much, Patty.

Goldman: Thanks. I am truly honored.

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