Lisa D. Block is the Chief Revenue Officer for Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies Global and serves on the Board of Directors for Women in 3D Printing. A gifted speaker, author, and entrepreneur, with a background in corporate sales and leadership, her career expands over several industries including fashion, education, automotive design, and manufacturing. With over 25 years in business, her most praised attribute is her ability to use her many gifts to shift company culture and customer experience for the better.
In addition to her natural business acumen, Lisa’s knowledge about issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion have positioned her to be a key player in crucial conversations so needed in our world today. Most recently, she served a three-year term on the Diversity Advisory Committee for Plano ISD in Plano, TX. With representation of more than 35 countries, this committee serves over 65,000 students and 6,500 staff and faculty in one of the state’s most diverse school districts to date. The self-proclaimed CEO or “Chief Encouragement Officer” seamlessly integrates her passion for business and her love for people. Although she holds many titles, roles, and responsibilities, Lisa is most proud to be called mom, where she serves a life sentence to an extremely talented, beautiful, and opinionated teenager.
What is Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies and what is the story behind it?
Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies has been a global industry leader in additive and hybrid manufacturing since 2012. Pioneering a solution to marry the freedoms of additive with the precision of CNC machining, Hybrid has developed unprecedented solutions combining of additive deposition, subtractive, and inspection technologies. This extends the capabilities of the everyday CNCs and robots without compromise, unlocking the value of newer technologies, while still leveraging best practice value creation using more traditional methods.
How can a company like HMT be a leader in equity in our industry?
In my opinion, HMT needs to do more of what they have been doing. The thing that most attracted me to HMT was the fact that they were intentional about hiring the right people for the job regardless of their racial groups…. I truly believe that if people want diverse teams with the best of the best, it should not be forced or performative. The people you are recruiting can tell whether or not you want a diverse team.
People don’t want to be a line item on your reports, or a buzzword you can mention in the media, they want to be a true team member whose feedback is welcomed and considered.
Do you have any (fun or not) stories about your career to share with us?
One of my favorite stories starts when I sold a machine to a University for their lab. All of these gifted and talented scientists had chosen a custom system for their R&D efforts. Everything was planned down to the tiniest detail. When we came to do the onsite inspection prior to installation, we were touring the facility and noticed that the professor forgot one very important thing. Whoever purchased the machine never factored in how the machine would get into the lab. After looking around a bit, we wanted to soften the blow so we expressed how beautiful this high-tech lab was. They were very excited about our enthusiasm and then we asked the crucial question: “How are you planning to get it into the door?” They were stunned. You can tell they all were so frustrated that no one noticed this necessity when the lab was being built. This machine was over 20,000 pounds, fitting it into a standard door was not possible. Needless to say, the installation was delayed another 12 weeks because they needed facilities to build in a roll up door.
Have you run into any challenges from being a woman 3D printing?
Absolutely. There are times when I still run into cultural obstacles that truly emphasize my gender. Some countries are still not in the place where they allow women to speak or make important decisions so there are times when prospective clients or partners will attempt to go around me and speak to my bosses because they are men. Thankfully, we are a united front and my bosses do not allow that kind of behavior to fly. Their cooperation has been a game changer.
What advice would you share with someone looking into a career in additive manufacturing in 2023?
Get started. I always say that AM found me. It just always seemed to pop up in some way, shape, or form in every company I ever worked for. I will not tell you that I was intentional about finding a career in AM, because I wasn’t, I was just working in business and the industry presented itself to me. I am beyond grateful for it though. It was kismet and I have never looked back. However, currently there are so many resources available for people to pursue AM with intention. Take advantage of all of them. Women in 3D Printing would be a great organization to begin with.
What is the best advice you were given in your career?
I will share a few… The first, is my personal standard for life. My late mother told me this: “Lisa, you only have two things, your word, and your reputation. Be fierce about protecting both!”
The second is from an old boss of mine: “Act like you belong in the room because you do.” Don’t ever make someone question why you were the choice. Be loyal, work with integrity, and opportunities will find you.
As a leader, quite a few people are looking up to you. I’d like to know who inspires you?
I am incredibly inspired by people who can get the job done every day. I know it’s a boring answer but it is truly the most transparent answer I can give. My late mother gave me a greater appreciation for people who can get things done against all odds, when no one is praising them and when no one is looking. You know, the people who just wake up, splash some cold water on their faces, and handle it! Life is hard, and if you allow it to, life will constantly cause you to question yourself. My heroes are the ones who get it done regardless of what stands in their way. There is a level of bravery there that most can’t and won’t begin to understand. I’m in awe of those people and if you are reading this and that resonates with you, then you are next level and I applaud/salute you for your efforts.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I am a proud member and contributor to this industry. AM has been good to me and my heart’s desire is for the industry to somehow be advanced because I was a member of it.
Quickfire: Please respond to these questions in one sentence:
- Favorite 3D tool? AMBIT(™) MULTI… hands down the most flexible DED tool out there!
- Favorite moment in your day job? When I sip my first swig of morning coffee and review email with Lofi music in the background.
- What’s on your 3D printing wish list for the next 5 years? The best wishes are kept secret. 😉 oh…but I’ve got plans!