The 3 Cs: Connection, Community and Content
Christina Fuges, Editorial Director, MoldMaking Technology; and Technical Programming Director, Amerimold Expo, discusses that through 23+ years of serving the mold manufacturing marketplace and covering its challenges and effective technology solutions how she has learned that the people side of the business is just as important.
Employee Spotlight Profile
Christina Fuges, Editorial Director, MoldMaking Technology; Technical Programming Director, Amerimold Expo, Gardner Business Media
As the founding editor and Editorial Director of MoldMaking Technology (MMT) for Gardner Business Media, I have had the opportunity and privilege of being intimately involved with a critical niche of the manufacturing community: moldmaking. My expertise lies within content and community development, education and engagement, along with marketing and communications. Through 23+ years of serving the mold manufacturing marketplace and covering its challenges and effective technology solutions, I have learned that the people side of the business is just as important.
The MMT brand was started to give moldmakers a vehicle to share, and not only that, we lean on them to help direct the stories we tell and the information we share. This is their industry, their magazine. MMT is for the industry by the industry—maybe indirectly, but the influence is very strong.
MMT is committed to bringing our audience what's new and what works in mold manufacturing by focusing on the needs of today's mold builders. Anything from successful business practices to manufacturing strategies can be found in a technology article, application story, shop profile or tip of the month that applies to today's mold shop owners, tool and mold manufacturers, injection molders and OEMs. We address the complete lifecycle of manufacturing and maintaining a mold—from design to first shot.
An essential part of content development is MMT's Editorial Advisory Board (EAB), which helps guide the brand's direction. The board comprises authorities with expertise within their respective business, industry, technology and professions. They advise me on timely issues, trends and advances in the field, offer editorial thought and direction, review and comment on specific articles. They generally act as a sounding board and a conscience for the publication. I believe the EAB sums up the foundation of the MMT brand—leaning on community experts for content development.
Let's face it; we are a media company. We are not experts in the fields we cover—that is where relationship, community and networking play a pivotal role. When producing content for MMT, it's not all about getting just the right word; it's about getting the right information to move mold manufacturing forward. Travel, events, visits, tours, conferences, dinners, drinks, and yes, the occasional convention in a remote tropical location have been essential vehicles for building relationships to learn this industry, its craft and its science.
My first American Mold Builders Association convention back in the late 1990s (in the Bahamas😊) was my first real introduction to the personal side of moldmaking. I met owners of leading mold shops, their spouses and children. Many of whom have retired but passed the business onto their children, who I've seen grow up over the years.
Then there are trade shows. Those are invaluable opportunities to connect in person. I've missed those this past year, which makes Amerimold this September 21-23 in Rosemont, Illinois, all the more exciting. Since 1999 this has been the event for mold builders to come together to learn, share, and network. It's also been the place where MMT has recognized and honored leading mold builders of this community through our annual Leadtime Leader Awards competition. We present the winning team with an award during a special presentation ceremony at the opening of our networking party. It is always a special moment and reminds me of how blessed I am to work on the MMT brand to serve this awesome community.
These things have also been critical to becoming a part of the community, building trust and making lasting connections that become extremely valuable when providing timely, relevant content to help this community survive and thrive for generations to come. Speaking of generations, I have to give a shout-out to MMT's 30 Under 30 Honors Program, which due to a great response, is now an ongoing online campaign recognizing moldmaking professionals under 30 years of age who are making an impact within this community. The cover story of our June issue is about our 2021 Class of 30 Under 30 honorees.
When COVID-19 hit last year, I was forced to find a new way to continue connecting with this community. Hence, MMT Chats—video interviews where I virtually sit down with various mold manufacturing community members for quick conversations about industry trends, technologies and hot topics. With challenge and change comes opportunity. 😊
So, in the end, for me, it's always been about connection, community and content—in that order.
If you have feedback or insight to share, ideas or leads to suggest, please feel free to reach out to me.
Need more information?
Christina Fuges, Editorial Director firstname.lastname@example.org
MoldMaking Technology https://www.moldmakingtechnology.com/
Amerimold Expo https://www.amerimoldexpo.com/
About the Author
Christina M. Fuges has 28 years of experience in trade publishing. She has been MMT's Editorial Director for the past 23 years. She was a founding partner of Communication Technologies, Inc. (CTI), which launched the publication and its annual trade show, the MoldMaking Expo (now Amerimold expo). She also was editorial director for CTI's three other trade publications: Time-Compression Technologies, Continuity Insights and Emergency Number Professional. MMT was acquired by Gardner Business Media in 2004, where she continues to serve as the brand's Editorial Director. Christina is also the Technical Conference Director for the annual Amerimold Expo. Before MMT, Christina was with Witter Publishing as Managing Editor for two critical cleaning publications: Precision Cleaning and Parts Cleaning magazines.
Christina's passion is building community within the audiences her publications serve by providing relevant print, digital, social and conference content focused on technology and business issues while working cooperatively with technology suppliers, mold builders, industry associations and educational facilities.
She is the current secretary for the Society of Plastics Engineers Mold Technologies Division, which exists to foster growth in the moldmaking and design profession by encouraging the training of moldmakers at the apprentice level, supporting the continuing development of established moldmakers, and by gathering and exchanging information on materials and mold performance.
Christina also works with other moldmaking trade associations, such as the American Mold Builders Association and PLASTICS, on special projects such as the MoldMaking Matters educational video series.
Christina moderates panels and speaks at industry trade events on workforce development, mold manufacturing, and the brand's annual Leadtime Leaders Awards program.
Christina uses various media outlets to help educate her audience, including industrial video projects highlighting shop innovations, guest spots on IMTSTV for IMTS, and Plastics TV on the NPE Network to discuss moldmaking trends and technology.
Most recently, she hosts MMT Chats—quick casual but insightful video conversations with leading mold builders. She has also co-hosted The Manufacturing Alliance podcast onsite at mold-building facilities and trade shows to spotlight mold builders across the country. Kula Partners interviewed Christina for their Kula Ring podcast on how she uses podcasts to share stories and personal connections to break down the brand barrier. She was also a guest on The WAM Podcast to talk about the origin of MMT and her journey as a woman working within the mold manufacturing industry.
Christina received her bachelor's degree in telecommunications from Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Christina lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband and son, all active within their church, school, and the local community.
When she's not working, she spends time raising awareness for Williams Syndrome, which is a genetic disorder her son has. Christina also enjoys being outdoors, day-hiking, fast-walking, cruising back roads in her Jeep, binge-watching original Netflix series, and planning family events. She loves music, the sun, and relaxing by the water or on a beach.
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