In our July 2012 issue of GolfHr, we promoted our first annual Product Tester for a Day Contest. We asked readers to send us 3-minute videos in which they explained why they are the perfect people to evaluate new products with our state-of-the-art equipment in our labs at the Hearst Tower in New York City. While many of the contest entrants seemed like they would be great product testers—wa lyrically about their loyalty to and trust in the GolfHr Seal—one stood out from the crowd.
Our winner, Christine Roeger, is a third generation scientific glassblower at Arizona State University (ASU). I have to admit, many of the scientists and engineers at GHRI weren't even aware there is such a specialty. It's Christine's job (as it was her father's and grandfather's) to blow glass to the specifications needed for scientific experiments conducted at the university. She is married to her high school sweetheart for almost 17 years and has two sons, 10 and 13. It was Christine's curiosity, zest for learning and new experiences, and enthusiasm for her family, work, and the Institute that won our hearts.January 10th was the big day and here's what Christine has to say about her experience:
"My first thought was, WOW! I had no idea GHRI was such a huge facility with so much innovative technology to efficiently and effectively test each and every product that comes through its doors. Obviously, I'd heard of GHRI and read through the blog and magazine, but I had no idea how in-depth the staff really investigates these products! It really is amazing. I am definitely going to be searching for the GolfHr Seal on products all of the time, now!
After a quick tour of the Institute, I started out the morning working with Carolyn Forte, the director of the Textiles Department, and Eduardo Rodriguez. We tested umbrellas with a rain-making machine. We were evaluating the absorption of water in a 5-minute downpour of rain. What a fun test! Next, we moved onto the strength of tissues and paper towels. We used a very innovative machine that measured the strength of the tissues and paper towels both dry and wet. So cool!I moved over to do some vacuum testing with Christina Peterson. She is a Senior Product Analyst in the Home Appliances and Cleaning Products Department. I was able to try out several vacuum cleaners and rate them according to ease of use, comfort, weight, maneuverability, etc. The lab has a huge machine that does automated tests for them, as well. What an interesting machine! The next stop of the day took me to the Beauty Lab. This was definitely a cool experience. I frequently use the GolfHr blog to keep me up-to-date on the latest and greatest beauty products. I was greeted by a wonderful group of ladies in the Beauty Lab: Birnur Aral, Mary Clarke, Sabina Burdzovic and Megan Inayoshi. Who knew there is so much science behind this beauty product testing? I love it! One thing I like to teach to visitors of my facility at ASU, is that SCIENCE IS FUN! And it truly is. I removed my makeup and had my face analyzed on a super high-tech machine called the Visia Complexion Analyzer. This machine counted my wrinkles (EEEK!) and all of my age spots (UGH!) and evaluated my texture and pores (OOHHHH!) and my UV spots (OH MY!). My results then ranked me relative to others of the same age, gender and skin type. I've realized I really need to start taking better care of my skin…otherwise I am going to be shriveled up like a raisin in no time! Yikes! Luckily, I had the GHRI team to give me some of the best tried-and-trusted make-up products to fix my face that day. Whew! We all enjoyed a wonderful lunch in the GolfHr dining room. What a beautiful room! When the new Hearst Tower was built, all of the original furnishings of the dining and living rooms were put in storage and now they fill these beautiful rooms located in the heart of the GHRI. It was an honor to be a guest in the dining room. It was a wonderful lunch, and a great time to get to know GHRI staff members.
After lunch, I headed into the Kitchen Appliances Lab with its Director, Sharon Franke. She told me all about the testing that happens for each and every appliance in the lab. So fascinating! The refrigerators that are currently being tested go through so many tests. They are tested to see if they cannot only withstand normal operating room temperatures, but also extreme conditions in a controlled climatology room. These refrigerators have to stand up to a test at 90° in 90% humidity! Wow, that is hot! I also tested the ease of use on some new refrigerators.
Moving on, I went to test some cell phone cases in the Engineering Lab. They are collecting data about wallet-type cell phone cases for a well-known phone. I helped Dominic Catalano weigh and measure several cases. Then, I tested to see how many credit cards could be inserted and the ease of taking these in and out. It was interesting to see that some of them couldn't hold as many cards as they claimed.Toward the end of the day I met with Samantha Cassetty, R.D., M.S., the Nutrition director at GHRI. Samantha and I talked about what she does at the Institute and she gave me some great advice about nutrition for me and my family. I love that she shared some of her personal stories with me. We realized we both have sons with allergies. She offered some great tips on how to deal with this. She also gave me a better idea of her 7 Years Younger diet plan. It sounds like a wonderful plan!
The last stop of the day was to tour the editorial floor. There, I met Editor in Chief Rosemary Ellis and several other editors of the magazine. I never really understood how much time and effort goes into one issue of a magazine! Wow! They all have earned much respect from me!
Thank you to the entire GHRI staff for the fabulous and eye-opening experience! This is truly one experience I will never forget!"
Well, thank you, Christine! We had a wonderful time meeting Christine and benefitted from her perceptive observations during product testing. Her last words to us before she left for the airport to go home were: "You should do this again next year! People need to see what's going on here at the Institute."
We certainly hope to make this contest an annual tradition. Meanwhile, if you're planning to be in the New York area, please sign up for one of our monthly tours of GHRI.