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Positively powerful

March 1, 2014

Kisha Moldovan builds relationships with sincerity and enthusiasm to boost business and advance the industry. “I don’t think about other awning companies as competition or in any way as a negative, because the more people who are spreading the word about awnings, the more we all have an opportunity to be successful,” says Kisha Moldovan, …

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Smart—and comfortable—clothes

February 1, 2014

Wearable technology requires pairing reliable functionality with a comfortable garment. What if a person’s heart rate, respiration and body mechanics could be monitored during various activities without being observed in person or via video feeds? What if that data could be collected and evaluated remotely? Dr. Tom Martin, co-director of the Electronic Textiles Lab at …

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The failsafe questions

John Conroy ensures project success by asking the right questions. “We design projects by thinking about how they could fail,” says John Conroy, owner of House of Canvas, Ottawa, Ont., Canada. “By considering all the things that could possibly go wrong, before even starting the project, we minimize surprises.” While in high school, Conroy began …

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Solutions in motion

January 1, 2014

 “Make your customers remember you. Make them laugh—but don’t be a salesman,” says Andy Moon, CEO of Baraboo Tent & Awning, Baraboo, Wis. “It’s your presence that makes an impression. Be a problem solver and help your customers out.” Moon grew up in and around the custom awning, canopy and marine business, in a company …

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Urban renewal

November 1, 2013

City officials are choosing fabric structures as part of revitalization programs that energize struggling urban neighborhoods—to spruce up degraded spaces, provide shelter and act as inspirational focal points. “We get a lot of requests from architects for urban renewal projects,” says Architen Landrell’s Jason Smith. “Tensile structures are brilliant for urban renewal because you can …

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Comfort, inside and out

For just this once—think inside the box. Shade structures can be installed inside—managing comfort, while enhancing decor. An emerging market in the United Kingdom may again be paving the way for other parts of the world. “About four years ago we began designing internal tensile structures in the domestic [residential] market,” says tensARC Ltd.’s Dr. …

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Design and branding

Awnings have long been an effective way to brand a business, but other kinds of shade structures are emerging as an additional option, especially when organizations understand that branding isn’t only about company colors and logos. Shade structures can be a creative option to communicate branding as a message of a company’s (or a city’s) …

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Energy efficiency and sustainability

Is more heat in a home or office a good thing? It depends on the season, of course. As more people turn to solar and geothermal systems to heat and cool their homes and places of business, ambient heat gain can be a challenge—one that can, to some extent, be addressed by well-designed shade structures.Duvall …

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Thompson uses creativity to drive business

August 1, 2008

Cynthia Thompson leverages her creative instincts to build a flourishing tension fabric structures business. “Business owners need to be inventive and fast moving and I think we’ve gotten sluggish,” says Cynthia Thompson, founder and owner of Transformit in Gorham, Maine. “I think we’re looking to creative people to put the juice back into our world.” …

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Chism uses technology to improve business

July 1, 2008

“You’re only as fast as your slowest person or procedure,” says Roy Chism, president of The Chism Co. Inc. in San Antonio, Texas, who doesn’t seem to have a “slow” speed in his process improvement strategies. Since 1988 when he purchased an automated plotter cutter with the serial number “007,” to installing a software program …