Patrick Maloney is the Director of Sales for Coburn’s and a fourth-generation business owner. He oversees the residential/commercial plumbing, HVAC, waterworks and electrical sides of the family business. Patrick spoke with me recently about his role with the family company and shared some advice for the next generation!
DG: What are you the most proud of at Coburn’s?
PM: We just celebrated our 80th anniversary. And our tagline for it was “80 years of good company.” What we’ve been able to do throughout 80 years is diversify but always keep the customer expectations and customer services at #1. Our employees are also extremely important to us, and there’s a lot of longevity that we have with them. It’s a Coburn’s family. And in talking to our employees – that’s the feeling they have as well.
DG: What’s your favorite part about working in the family business?
PM: It’s fun to work with the family, and at the same time it gives our general managers and vice presidents a family feel as well.
DG: Who is your biggest influence, either personally, professionally or both?
PM: Professionally, it’s Don & AJ Maloney, our President and Vice President. Don’s my Dad. They’re brothers and they’ve worked together for a long time. It's nice to see the dynamic between them; they feed off of each other. But they work differently, too. And for me, to be able to see how they work is extremely beneficial.
DG: What are some challenges working within the industry?
PM: I think the biggest challenge is finding the right people. And going back to what we said earlier, it’s exciting to hear our employees being excited to come to work.
DG: It’s apparent that innovation is key to the success of Coburn’s. Is there a particular form of innovation from the company history that you like best?
PM: Computers. That’s changed everything for us. Throughout high school and college I worked in the warehouse and was able to experience how we operated with paper — paper tickets, paper pricing; everything was handwritten. And now we can track up to the minute where the material is, who’s buying it, who’s selling it, what’s trending. It’s phenomenal.
DG: Do you have a fun story to share about the business?
PM: My first summer working in the warehouse, the contractors would throw their scraps in one of the loading dock pits. And whenever it was full, we’d go in and empty it. I was working with Ductboard and had no idea what fiberglass was at the time. They brought a 50-gallon drum, and I had to get in there and start cleaning this stuff up. And I said, “how do I do this?” And I was 14-years-old at the time. And they said, “how do you think you do this?” So I just jumped in the pit and gave it a big bear hug. They were laughing, and I had no clue until about a minute later all the itching started. But you’re one of the guys!
DG: What are your interests outside of work?
PM: My big interest before kids was golf.
DG: What do the contents of your bookshelf say about you?
PM: I think it would say that I’m always trying to learn.
DG: Are you a sports fan? Favorite teams?
PM: Yes! I went to TCU in Fort Worth so college football is my #1. And the Saints since my family is from New Orleans.
DG: What advice do you have for somebody looking to work in this industry?
PM: We are in a very good industry, and there are a lot of opportunities. Be persistent and don’t be afraid to accept challenges.
For more information visit www.coburns.com