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In 2019, PHCPPros launched the “Millennials On The Move” honorary listing in Plumbing Engineer, PHC News and The Wholesaler magazines. The listing was created to shed light on what is now the largest generation in the workforce, while also launching bigger conversations on topics such as industry recruiting, talent retention, leadership development and more. This year, we're expanding that conversation outside of the annual print listing with our monthly “Millennials On The Move” newsletter.
In our September spotlight, we introduce you to Lexi Sullivan, kitchen and bath design expert for Immerse!
PHCPPros: How did you get into the PHCP industry?
Sullivan: I grew up in the industry with a master plumber for a dad, who owns several companies in the St. Louis area. I went to college in Chicago at the Art Institute of Chicago for Design. Obviously, Immerse was the perfect fit for me. After all, plumbing is truly both form and function.
PHCPPros: What have been some of your career highlights so far?
Sullivan: Being featured in STL Design Magazine for a project with a female architect, Ann Wimsatt with Cite-Works Designs, and being featured on the cover of The Luxury Report magazine in June 2019.
PHCPPros: Are you affiliated with groups and organizations in the PHCP industry?
Sullivan: Yes — Luxury Products Group (LPG) and LPG NextGen FLEX (Future Leaders and Entrepreneurs Exchange) as well as the Decorative Plumbing & Hardware Association (DPHA).
PHCPPros: Do you have any mentors in the PHCP industry or otherwise?
Sullivan: My mentor would be the leading expert in the kitchen and bath industry with decades of experience, Immerse founder, Leigh Suffian. She grew up in the industry in her family’s company, Atlas Supply, and is the third generation to run the successful company. Leigh lives her philosophy, strict business to business sales. Involvements and achievements include such honors as 2020 Top Women Business Owner - St. Louis, sitting on the LPG Advisory Board, and Waterworks Showroom of the Year for 2017 and 2018. When I asked her what her biggest accomplishment was, she stated she feels most proud of assembling such a respected group of individuals that have made such an impact on the greater St. Louis designer and builder businesses. Her advice is to be ever evolving; Immerse was born during the recession in 2011 and has continued to thrive during the pandemic of COVID-19.
Anne Kelleher is another mentor who has played a huge role in my success in the industry. I started off as her assistant and learned everything I know from her. She is one of the most talented sales people I have ever encountered. She worked beside me, helping me to help her. Not only was I working my butt off, but I was being combed into what my company needed. Like the Karate Kid, “Wax on, wax off.” She never made me lesser than her, but instead an extension of her success.
PHCPPros: Do you consider yourself a mentor?
Sullivan: As a member of LPG NextGen, we work to aspire and educate ourselves and other people breaking into the industry. Our mission is to shape the future of the luxury plumbing, lighting, and hardware industry by empowering the next generation(s) of emerging leaders. We provide fresh and valuable insight to help educate new and veteran professionals for the members of LPG.
PHCPPros: What does it mean for you to be featured as a PHCP Millennial On The Move?
Sullivan: For me, being featured as a PHCP Millennial On The Move means another platform to inspire others to be a part of such an amazing and forever-thriving industry. In this day of instant gratification, the younger generations are switching jobs every one to three years — but why? While generations before us are retiring with 20-plus years with the same company. I think promoting and growing such an essential career path is extremely important.