Ming Chang, founder of MC Consultants, with sons Jaxon (left) and Parker.
Of the projects I’m working on, I’m most excited by… I’m working on three projects: Motion Composites, Amysystems and NXT Seating. I’m excited about all three because they provide something unique to the marketplace, and they’re far from me-too products. They’re exciting, up-and coming companies bringing different ideas and features to the marketplace.
Of the challenges facing CRT right now, I’m most concerned about… The easy answer is always funding. Specifically, how will the Medicaid market be affected? States’ reimbursement is a reflection of the economy of each state, and some Medicaid budgets were funded by the Affordable Care Act. I watch it closely.
The technology segment I’m most intrigued by is… robotics. I think in the next 72 months, we’re going to intersect with robotics. I think it can lend a lot of technology to us, but there’s no traction between mobility and robotics right now. I see exo demos at most rehab facilities, and the companies in that space understand there is room for additional improvement. I have used robotic arms driven by power chair joysticks. It’s all early technology for the time being and it’s expensive.
An industry segment that’s really hot right now is… Custom seating. For a long time, custom seating was losing wide acceptance. Several companies revived custom seating, and it seems to be a segment that’s getting a lot of attention right now. And custom manual. If you require a K0005 chair right now, there’s not a better time, because there are several companies manufacturing excellent K0005 chairs.
As an industry, we’ve really gained ground on… product selection. When you look at power mobility, look at all the choices we have today compared to the 1990s. Look at all the choices we have in seating, from out of the box to custom molding. The product selection today in every segment contains multiple manufacturers compared to 20 years ago. Dealers aren’t forced to manufacture their own products anymore. We continue to evolve away from being a cottage industry.
My favorite thing about the CRT industry is… the people. I was laid off July 3, 2009, in the middle of the Great Recession. I remember saying to myself, “I’m done with this industry.” The next thing I know, people are calling to see how I’m doing, people I was competing with days ago. Tell me another industry where that would occur. There’s sincere compassion, not only for the consumers. We look out for each other.
I really admire… people who have the ability to persevere. I think of my family, I think of my parents, people who continually reinvent themselves and show grit. Those people are all around us all of the time.
My favorite recent industry event was… the Motion Composites sales meeting. It was a hoot. That was over the summer. We learned a lot and we had a lot of fun.
My favorite tradeshow venue/city are… Vancouver, ISS. I remember the first time I went and just fell in love with the venue, the city, the people. It was easy.
My favorite business travel hack is… I really didn’t want to reveal this, but I haven’t paid for a phone charger in several years, because if you go to the hotel lost-and-found, you’ll find one. There, I said it.
If I could give my younger self a message, it would be… don’t buy Cleveland Browns season tickets. Save more money. Appreciate the people around you, because people will leave your life suddenly that you didn’t expect.
In five years, I expect to be… hopefully, older and wiser. I don’t sense the same youth movement as when I was coming into the business. It’s a good industry. I won’t be in idt forever, and I hope there’s more people to pass the baton to.
I want to be remembered by this industry as… someone who really cared about making a difference.
The last great meal I had was… Dim Sum at Hong Kong Lounge 2 in San Francisco. My 90-year-old uncle insisted on taking us, and I didn’t put up a fight.
People who know me would be surprised to learn… I was part of the ABC [A Better Chance] program. The program matches minority students performing well in urban public schools [with] a school that will accept you on a four-year scholarship. Wilbraham & Monson accepted me, and it changed the course of my life.
Where we are today usually stems from a handful of events. If I wasn’t accepted into that program, my life would have been dramatically different.