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July 2017 • The PCB Design Magazine 43 Brad Heath VirTex Near the end of the first full day of meetings I got a chance to talk with Brad Heath, presi- dent and CEO of the EMS company VirTex. Patty Goldman: Brad, I understand this is your first IMPACT event. At the end of our first full day, what are your impressions? Brad Heath: It's like drinking from a fire hose. It's a full day, with full sessions. Just very com- prehensive. Goldman: What did you think of this morning's speakers? Heath: I thought they were great. They ad- dressed all the different areas that really impact what we're doing. We had discussions with the Department of Education, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Defense. It was truly impactful. Goldman: I was impressed because they all said, "We need to hear from you." Every one of them said, "We want to hear from you. Here's what we can do. Here's how you can contact us." Heath: We heard the same thing up at the EPA, where they said, "We need to make stuff move faster." We tell them the problem and they say, "Why did we do that? We need to consider why we put this regulation in place." If it doesn't im- pact [the environment], if it doesn't change any- thing, but you spend a lot of time and ef- fort doing paperwork for it, that doesn't make sense. It should only be applied to the people who need to go do it. For one ex- ample, they took the reporting level from 25,000 pounds down to 100 pounds. All types of people must report now, who didn't before. They're looking at, "How can we do it dif- ferently?" Again, I hadn't been here before, but I've been really surprised by how receptive peo- ple from the different departments were—want- ing to hear what the industry has to say, and wanting to understand our concerns, our needs, and how they can make a difference to help us create more jobs. Goldman: I can understand a little bit better this morning why they were working with us, but with the EPA there certainly has been an adversarial attitude in the past. Heath: You bet. What I've been told is that since the new administration came in, the time to get a meeting, the willingness to take meetings, and the willingness to do things, listen and move stuff forward, is just remarkably different. Goldman: You know, I told a lot of people, "This is the year to go to IMPACT." This is the best opportunity to get our message across, with ev- erybody so willing to listen, and almost begging for information. Heath: Right. They're saying, "Here's my email, if you have ideas send me this information. We don't know enough about this. You need to send us the information you have so we can look at what we can do about it." Goldman: I wanted to ask the fellow from com- merce, if it made a difference to hear from indi- viduals versus, say, IPC representing everybody. IPC represents the whole industry, but does it make a difference to hear from individuals? My guess is yes. The more individuals they hear from, the more companies they hear from and the bigger the impact. Heath: I would guess that's probably especial- ly true if they start hearing the same patterns and the same trends over and over from dif- ferent individuals. Even though most of us in Brad Heath

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