In 1987, Josam Company was transitioned to the current ownership and management of the Holloway family. Paula Bowe was right there when the manufacturer of quality plumbing and drainage products made the change.
As vice president of Sales & Marketing, Bowe along with her peers in the management team and employees have earned an upstanding reputation and many long-standing relationships. In the following interview, PHCPPros sheds light on some of Bowe’s experiences as a woman in the plumbing, heating, cooling and piping (PHCP) industry.
Look for an in-depth feature on Bowe in the February issue of Plumbing Engineer magazine!
PHCPPros: How did you get into the PHCP industry?
PB: I didn’t necessarily say this is what I wanted to do one day. My mom had worked for the Holloway family and they gave me an opportunity to work at Josam. When the Holloway family bought Josam, they asked my mom to come over from the supply house side. At that time, she was getting ready to retire and the Holloway family gave me the opportunity to move over with them to Josam. I did, and I started out in customer service, and collections. What better way to break a young kid in than by putting them in collections? I also worked as an order entry clerk for the pipe, valve and fitting house. Eventually, I got into the sales side of the business.
PHCPPros: Do you have a woman you consider a mentor?
PB: On the work side, I can’t say that necessarily. But my mom is certainly my mentor. I was raised by both a hard-working mother and father who instilled in me great work ethics. I’ve learned from the Holloway family as well.
PHCPPros: Do you mentor other women in the PHCP industry?
PB: Any opportunity that I find a young woman in this industry, which is unfortunately not often, I love to get her aside and talk to her. I look at being a woman in this industry as an advantage, not a disadvantage. Once a customer in front of you knows that you are knowledgeable and committed to carrying out your promises, you can command their attention very easily.
PHCPPros: What does it mean to you to be recognized as a woman in the PHCP industry?
PB: It’s quite humbling to receive this honor. I want to thank the Holloway family for giving me the opportunity to grow with this company and allowing me to show them what I was capable of.
PHCPPros: Is there anything else related to women in PHCP that you want to add?
PB: Don’t ever let anyone intimidate you. Everyone gets up and puts their pants on the same way each day. Whether it’s rich, poor, male, female, we all get up and have a job to do every day. I don’t think it matters who or what you are, just go out and do the best you can.