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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 December spotlight, we introduce you to Kevin Schink, Saniflo regional sales manager for the Northeast U.S. territory!
PHCPPros: How did you get into the PHCP industry?
Schink: My father worked for a manufacturers representative in the New York / New Jersey metro area for over 30 years, so in a way, I was raised in the industry. I wasn’t privy to the day-to-day operations and didn’t have extensive knowledge of the industry, but the thing that stuck with me was the people. The rep agency people, the customers, and contractors always seemed very happy. The atmosphere was always casual and fun, and that always stuck with me.
Soon after graduating from college, I met with a recruiter for the plumbing and heating industry that my father previously worked with and, eventually, I landed an interview with Saniflo. I loved how the company was positioned for growth — both for them and for me personally — and the young and exciting leadership that I met.
PHCPPros: What is your current professional role?
Schink: I have been a regional sales manager for five years now and have worked in many areas around the country. I recently settled in the Northeast — where I’m from, where I’m currently based, and where our products have great success.
PHCPPros: What have been some of your career highlights so far?
Schink: The year 2020, although difficult in many aspects, has been a bit of a career highlight for me, as well as our company. We were directly involved in the COVID-19 emergency response, where our products were used to transform expo centers and convention halls into alternate care facilities for coronavirus patients.
Specifically, I helped add 30 wash centers in the NJ Expo Center in March and April, using some of our uniquely capable pumps. We also aided in adding bathrooms in temporary housing that was established for medical staff in the Northeast.
It was chaotic and unconventional in how things were done, but we were able to scramble to assist in the treatment and recovery effort. It was good to be able to feel like a part of the solution. We have adapted well to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, and Saniflo is showing strong growth. I’d like to think that has something to do with the groundwork we’ve laid in the previous years, as well as having some outstanding leadership and products!
PHCPPros: Are you affiliated with groups and organizations in the PHCP industry?
Schink: I'm affiliated with multiple Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association (PHCC) chapters in my territory, as well as the Modular Building Institute (MBI). The MBI meetings and shows are always a highlight for the year, with lots of great and innovative stuff in the modular industry. I'm also a member of a couple of Facebook groups for plumbing industry professionals — mostly plumbers and contractors. It's great to see what they deal with daily, and it's helped me learn a lot while also allowing me to help them with Saniflo-specific issues.
PHCPPros: Do you have any mentors in the PHCP industry or otherwise?
Schink: I promise this isn’t sucking up, but I would say our senior leadership at Saniflo: CEO Regis Saragosti and West Coast Regional Sales Director Chris Peterson would be my mentors within the industry. They formulate strategies, implement them, and follow up. This has helped me tremendously in doing the same in my territories. They are still young themselves, so maybe they won’t want to be dubbed as mentors (think Mr. Miyagi), but I was very young when I started, and that aspect was influential for me: Like, “look where they are now. I can be there soon if I follow their lead.”
Also, I’ve worked with many great reps across the country that I learned a lot from in terms of this industry and in general.
PHCPPros: Do you consider yourself a mentor?
Schink: I do not consider myself a mentor at the moment, but I’m not sure that’s for me to decide. I’ve only recently had someone within Saniflo working under me, and I try to pass along as much knowledge as possible to him and share what was passed down to me. But, I consider myself more of a leader than a mentor. I think a mentor title has to be earned; I hope to be considered one in the years to come.
PHCPPros: What does it mean for you to be featured as a PHCP Millennial On The Move?
Schink: It means a lot because my superiors thought to nominate me. I believe that is a significant honor. In terms of the millennial part, I hope to be judged by the scope of my work, what my coworkers and reps think about working with me, and not by my age.
It is not a millennial-dense industry, so I understand I may be representing more than myself when dealing with people. But I don’t really think about it, and I try to be myself. Any recognition, although not expected, is always nice, and it does feel good to be featured!
Do you know someone you would like to nominate as a PHCP Millennial On The Move? Email PHCPPros Digital Media Specialist Nicole Meyer at email@example.com!