Smokin' Ladies Cigar Club - Knoxville, Tennessee
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Have Cigar Will Travel

Bringing Manufacturing Home

It has been awhile since last I posted. As I mentioned before, I am going to start sharing some of the initiatives that I have the pleasure of working on with my clients. Two big efforts have opened up a whole new world of opportunities:

  • Visionary Center for Sustainable Communities - a non-profit that will provide mentoring for small businesses and education and outreach, specifically in manufacturing, for communities across the United States
  • Visionary Fabrication and 3D Design - a new entity that will provide additive manufacturing services, primarily in metal

My most recent travel found me in Chicago, IL for a week for the International Manufacturing Technology Showcase (IMTS), a conference and tradeshow for the advanced manufacturing industry. It also showcased additive manufacturing, more commonly referred to as 3D printing. Here, I had the opportunity to meet with major players in the additive manufacturing world. Check out the conference website for more information (

My father went to University of Chicago for his PhD in chemistry. He'd often talked about the architecture, as did my mom. So I finally got a chance to see it. My first trip, back in December 2013, was a bit on the cold side, and very quick, so I only got a chance to see a small portion of the Magnificent Mile. The second trip, just a few weeks ago, found me wandering along the riverwalk down to the Navy Pier, where I had a chance to enjoy the Tall Ship Windy. 

This past week showed me the areas of Gold Coast and Old Town, both enjoyable locations for food, wine, and cigars. I do have to say that the McCormick Place, which housed the IMTS conference, was HUGE!!!! If you have a conference in this venue, be sure to have on some good walking shoes, as there is a lot of ground to cover.

But back to food, wine, and cigars (oh, and beer)... I had the pleasure of visiting two tobacconists while in Chicago - Up Down Cigar, which is a icon in Chicago. It has a great "hometown" vibe and inside its doors is a wonderful selection of very fine cigars. Pull up a stool inside to enjoy one, or head out back to their quaint patio area! The second one is Biggs Cigar Emporium, which just opened a few weeks earlier inside the old Biggs Mansion. The shop is in the basement and offers cigar lovers a number of great cigars to choose from. With pub chairs and TVs, one can definitely kick back and relax!

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