Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present the Masshole of the…huh? Oh, my bad. Allow me to present the 2011 User Group leader of the year, Edson Gebo. While I know he won this award well over a year ago, I couldn’t think of a better way to get ‘Masshole’ into the title. How did such an ugly, knuckle-dragging Masshole earn such an award? If Richard Doyle wasn’t such an honorable man, I’d assume blackmail or bribery on Ed’s part. Sadly, though, it must have been some sort of group psychosis. Nonetheless, Ed won the award and, because of this, I felt compelled to interview him.

Ed grew up in Spencer, Massachusetts, a small town about 40 miles west of Boston. While he was formally educated at Worcester Vocational and Worcester Industrial Technical Institute, most of his hands on common sense skills were taught to him by his father.

His first engineering job was at Heald Machine while he was attending Worcester Tech. Ed just loves mechanical design. In his words:

Being able to create something from a thought, idea, or a roundtable brainstorm session with others just rocks!!!  Creating those ideas using SolidWorks in a digital form, using tools like DFM, Simulation, FEA, or 3D print SLA prototypes to improve the idea, create tool paths with Mastercam to machine the idea, and produce drawings so the idea can be assembled, is just wicked cool!

Ed spreads all of this passion around southern New England as a self-employed mechanical designer, working at various companies designing in SolidWorks and even helping them with their installs. If you’ve ever met Ed, you can probably imagine the positive attitude that he brings to each job and the lasting memory he leaves behind.

Ed’s love of SolidWorks is what drives his commitment to the SolidWorks community in New England. He’s the representative for the Eastern SolidWorks User Group Network, he’s an executive officer of ConnSWUG, he was co-chair of CMNC-SWUG and he was one of the guys behind the first NESWUC on 2009. If SolidWorks were a drug, Ed would be an addict. It was because of all of this that Ed was named the 2011 User Group leader of the year. As much as it pains me to say it, it was a well deserved award.

Outside of SolidWorks and designing, Ed loves spending time with his daughter, Brooke, as well as playing ice hockey, softball and golf. Naturally, being a Masshole, he’s an avid Red Sox, Patriots and Bruins fan.

All kidding aside, Ed is a very good man and someone I consider a friend. Thanks for taking the time to be another one of my victims, Ed.


Picture stolen from Twitter, where you can follow Ed at @edsonius.

Anyone who has been around SolidWorks for a while has probably heard of Lou Gallo. If you haven’t, you’d better head on over to SolidWorks:HEARD! after you’ve finished reading this.

Lou originally hails from the northwest suburbs of Chicago where he grew up playing hockey and risking life and limb doing the things we used to do as kids before video games took over childhoods. All of his death-defying stunts were tempered by erector sets, remote control cars and a grandfather who owned a machine shop. Additional, Grandpa Gallo also rebuilt an FM-2 Wildcat (see the actual plane here). These things obviously influenced Lou’s career path.

It wasn’t until college that Lou was bit by the CAD bug. He spent 7 years using Pro/E and CadKey before trying out SolidWorks in 1998. He moved to Arizona in 1999 to work in the semi-conductor industry, buying his first seat of SolidWorks from DDi. When the semi-conductor industry took a dive in 2001, Lou reached out to DDi for job contacts and ended up getting hired by them as a contractor. He’s been there for 10 years now and stays for the challenge. Lou enjoys helping users solve their problems. To be the best at it requires him to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to technology and Lou loves technology so he’s always on the cutting edge.

SolidWorks:HEARD! was born of Lou’s fascination with technology, specifically blogging technology and his want to deliver tips and news while on the go. He started recording in late 2005 and hasn’t stopped. He started doing a weekly show in January 2006 and continues because he loves it. Lou has done nearly 400 shows to date. The biggest challenge Lou faces is choosing topics related to SolidWorks that can be understood via audio, no easy task there. If the need arises, he has a blog to take things further.

All in all, Lou is the most prolific CAD podcaster that I know of. His casts have helped countless numbers of SolidWorks users and you should add yourself to that number if you haven’t already.


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