2024 marks the 70th anniversary of the suburban Chicago-based rep agency Hart, Travers and Associates (HTA). The Midwestern agency’s longevity is well into the third generation of family-owned leadership. Starting with Morris Hart in 1954, continuing with his son Tom Hart, and the current four-partner leadership team, HTA has embraced a people-first philosophy that has withstood the test of time.
The 16-person agency is led by Chris Travers, Reggie Layoff, Michael Hart and Tiffany (Hart) Moscicki. We sat down with Moscicki to talk about the agency’s past, present and future success, and how its long-term AIM/R membership has impacted its business.
Alan Cohen: What are some of the best practices still used at HTA today due to being an active AIM/R member?
Tiffany Moscicki: AIM/R has exposed us to helpful ideas and solutions throughout the years as both the working environment and technology have changed. At one of the first meetings my father, Tom Hart, attended, a fellow member discussed the need for an inside sales staff. Prior to the meeting, our outside sales staff were responsible for everything before, during and after the sale. The first inside staff member, Sally Schlaman, was hired shortly afterward.
Years later, the HTA principals purchased office computers and software after sitting through a software vendor presentation at an annual AIM/R conference. Most recently, we partnered with IS Quotes for our project quoting and tracking after meeting them as a vendor at a conference.
Jessica Kolaitis: What do you value most with your AIM/R membership?
TM: More than any other benefit, AIM/R has allowed us to network with fellow reps and industry manufacturers. For me, this has stretched to Women in Industry-type events that have produced lifelong friendships for me and many of our employees.
AC: What is something unique to your company?
TM: Our multi-generational relationships, both at the customer and the manufacturer level. As we enter our 70th year in business, we will also celebrate our 70th year representing an original manufacturer. And we have another manufacturer that HTA has represented for more than 40 years.
The same can be said for our customer base. Many relationships with our wholesaler and contractor base can be traced back to the fourth generation. These have become relationships that extend far beyond business.
JK: How does your company define success?
TM: Customer first is our business. We proudly claim to be the local market experts. We are problem-solvers. Of course, growing market share and revenue for our manufacturers are paramount, but we also believe that the family type of culture we’ve created has been our defining success.
We have amazing co-workers, and we make each other better. People work for people, and people buy from people. If this continues, Hart, Travers and Associates will be successful.