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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. Now, we're expanding that conversation outside of the annual print listing with our monthly “Millennials On The Move” newsletter.
In our February spotlight, we introduce you to Roy Brown, the Rheem/Ruud brand manager and Ductless brand manager for Robertson Heating Supply!
PHCPPros: How did you get into the PHCP industry?
Brown: When I finished my six-year enlistment in the U.S. Navy as a military police officer, I started in the industry as an apprentice for a local commercial/industrial HVAC contractor. While I was working for that company, I was attending school at Stark State University for an HVAC associate's degree. One of my instructors worked for Robertson Heating Supply and told me it had an open position. So, in 2011, I applied and started in the warehouse as a manager trainee.
PHCPPros: What have been some of your career highlights so far?
Brown: For me, I think the biggest highlight is the way I have worked up through the company. I literally started in the warehouse loading and unloading trucks and putting inventory away. I have worked at our counters, driven trucks, and managed our branches when we had managers off for extended periods of time. Then in 2012, I interviewed and got a position in our engineering department. During my time in that department I was a Tempstar technical service advisor and a Rheem distributor service contact, and I also helped branches handle warranty claims. Additionally, I would do heat loss/ heat gains for contractors. As I moved up in the engineering department I took on more responsibility, eventually taking over our Bosch equipment line, LG ductless line, and Panasonic equipment line. Then in 2018, I left the engineering department and took on the new role of Ruud brand manager, moving to the executive department. Since making that move in 2019, I have also taken over the Western Pennsylvania territory handling the Rheem line as a brand manager. Most recently in 2020, I became the company's Pro Partner Champion, assisting our top Rheem/Ruud dealers who are participating in the Pro Partner program.
PHCPPros: Are you affiliated with groups and organizations in the PHCP industry?
Brown: Currently I am not, but I would like to be more involved in the industry. I do attend the local Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors — National Association (PHCC) shows every year, as well as the AHR Expo.
PHCPPros: Do you have any mentors in the PHCP industry or otherwise?
Brown: Yes — Kevin Duro, VP of operations; Scott Robertson, executive president; and one of our retired employees, Clay Dill, regional operations manager.
PHCPPros: Do you consider yourself a mentor?
Brown: It is hard for me to consider myself a mentor, but we just started a mentor program that I have wanted our company to have for a long time. I really try to work hard and lead by example — just like the values I learned during my time in the Navy. Those values, if you really care to make them a priority, can carry you through anything in life. So, I have joined that committee and volunteered to be a mentor in that program. I really try to help anyone who needs it when I can. It just feels good when you get someone as excited as you are with what you do every day. If I can help someone get to their end goal, that is a satisfying feeling.
PHCPPros: What does it mean for you to be featured as a PHCP Millennial On The Move?
Brown: Honestly, it means the world to me. I truly work hard every day not to get recognition, but to show that not all millennials are what most think they are. We are not rebels who are trying to cause issues and avoid work. We are the next generation of workers who are looking for new ways to help make changes to this industry and achieve things we never thought were possible. Even though the stereotype is that we do not work, at Robertson all of our millennials definitely do not act that way at all. We realize that we are the next generation, and we want to leave our mark just like the others before us.
Do you know someone you would like to nominate as a PHCP Millennial On The Move? Email PHCPPros Digital Strategy Manager Nicole Meyer at email@example.com!