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Each week, Ari Santiago interviews a thriving CT manufacturing leader to share the positive messages around the industry with two goals:

1) To share best practices amongst manufacturing business leaders to help each other to grow and succeed

2) To spread the word throughout the state that manufacturing is a growing part of our economy and offers exciting opportunities for incredible, well-paying careers 


Ari Santiago is the President, CEO and Founder of IT Direct, a Technology Managed Service Provider in Hartford, CT. He has a passion for the manufacturing industry and the incredible impact it is making on our local economy. IT Direct focuses on providing its manufacturing clients the technology, support, and strategic guidance they need to not only meet their business goals but to drive future success. 


This podcast is brought to you by IT Direct -

Produced by Miceli Productions -

Apr 13, 2021

This Made in America episode follows the life journey of Richard Rubenstein, Chairman of Plymouth Spring!

Richard talks to Ari about the importance of work-life balance, knowing your business and industry, and how entrepreneurs can get their business started. He shares his experiences of turning around failing...

Apr 6, 2021

We are so excited to welcome such a strong workforce leader, Dr. Kelli Vallieres, onto this week's Made in America episode! She serves as the Executive Director of CT's Office of Workforce Strategy.

Kelli talks to Ari about some exciting updates happening within the Office Workforce Strategy, specifically the...

Mar 30, 2021

This Made in America episode features Barry Alexander, CEO and Founder of Aquiline Drones, and his exciting story about being a pilot and running a successful drone company!

Barry talks to Ari about the importance of treating drones as aircraft, how to vet the industry before starting an aviation business, and what it...

Mar 23, 2021

This Made in America episode features Kenneth Madsen, President of Dimension-Polyant, and his passion for sailing and manufacturing!

Kenneth talks to Ari about the importance of learning about manufacturing excellence, focusing on environmental impact, and listening to customers. He discusses his journey into...

Mar 16, 2021

This Made in America episode features Philip "PJ" Johns, CEO of Thermaxx Jackets, an engineer at heart with a successful manufacturing and technology story!

PJ talks to Ari about rethinking technology to improve the business, developing an app that benefits customers, and pulling together as a team. He discusses how...