No matter if you are away for a few hours, a few days or, god forbid, a few years, there’s something nice about running into someone from your world when you are half a world away from home.
So it is here at the Farnborough International Airshow. We are about 3,000 miles away from home and today, it was pretty much like Old Home Day here at our booth.
Sam Campagna and Susan Siegel with the very cool holograph at the Albany International booth this week.
We started the morning with a nice chat at the Albany International booth with Sam Campagna and Susan Siegal. The booth is pretty neat, with a holograph of AI’s use of advanced composite components. They caught us up on construction of the new plant in Rochester (it’s going well) and how business has been this week at Farnborough.
(Sam told us there were times when there was a line of people waiting to speak with the team here about AI’s products and their applications. That’s the kind of information we like to hear.)
A few minutes after that, Jim Geary, the vice president of sales for New Hampshire Ball Bearings in Peterborough circled back to say hello. While NHBB does not have a booth here, Jim was walking around the show to connect and make connections, which, weeks, months or years from now will turn out to be minutes well spent here in England.
Jim wasn’t gone for 10 minutes when Michael Hanrahan, president of Hitchiner Manufacturing in Milford popped in for a few minutes. He, too, spared a few minutes between appointments to connect with us and tell us that business for his company is growing busier.
And as we manned our corner at the airshow, we were amazed at the people, in their travels down the aisles, who stopped and shared their New Hampshire moments – the British man who went to UNH, the woman from India conducting research for her doctorate who visited the Lakes Region while studying in Boston, the Alabama official whose brother lives in Concord, the caterer who remembers stopping at a New Hampshire rest area (and OK, the liquor store) enroute to summer camp in Maine.
What do these connections have to do with being at an international airshow? It’s an obvious, if not fond and nostalgic way to begin a conversation and talk to people from all over the world about the things that are special about New Hampshire. It has been a good way to introduce our colleagues sharing the booth to these new connections and who knows? Maybe one of these folks will want to come back and bring his or her business here.
Back to our booth, the two gentlemen who were politely waiting for their boss to finish a meeting a few steps away said they had never been to New Hampshire, but know the story from the movie What About Bob (when Lake Winnipesaukee, for purposes of filming it, was “moved” to Virginia).
Their boss, however, was very familiar with the Granite State.
“My wife and I honeymooned in Sugar Hill 36 years ago,” said Gov. Robert F. McDonnell of Virginia. “We have many fond memories of New Hampshire.”
We don’t have much swag to give away, but we gave the him a magnet for his refrigerator, which reads ‘Live Free or Die.’
It also invites him to expand his company to New Hampshire.
Division of Economic Development