Jeremy Friedman is the VP of sales and distribution at Brecco Corp. We spoke to him to get his thoughts on the industry, his role as a leader, and to get some advice for those just starting out in the indsutry.
Danielle Galian: Can you talk about your background – education, where you grew up, work experience?
Jeremy Friedman: I grew up in West Orange, New Jersey and worked summers with my grandfather who is a plumbing and heating contractor. After attending Binghamton University and getting a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from the School of Management, I got a junior level sales position at a plumbing distribution company. While working there, I continued my education, getting my law degree from Rutgers University and passing the bar in New York and New Jersey.
DG: How did you get your start in the industry and in particular with Brecco Corp.?
JF: As I mentioned, my grandfather is a contractor and I have an uncle who does plumbing and was doing plumbing supply sales. He thought that it would be a good fit for me and that was almost 10 years ago. I started off as an inside sales representative and became director of sales when the opportunity to run Brecco came along. It was exciting to be involved in something poised for enormous growth. Brecco has been expanding its national footprint and has opened two new locations – New Jersey and Jacksonville in the last 6 months, and I’m very excited to be a part of that.
DG: Describe your current role at Brecco Corp.
JF: I am currently the vice president of sales and distribution at the Brecco Corp., a manufacturer of Fire Protection and Waterworks valves, fittings and accessories. I am responsible for business development and managing a network of sales reps throughout the country. Additionally, I focus on procurement, product development, business operations and company expansion. Recently, we acquired the assets of a fire protection and waterworks manufacturer to diversify our product line and enter the waterworks market.
DG: How has your prior experience in the industry helped you in your current position?
JF: Having a technical understanding of the products from working in the field and spending a lot of time traveling the country meeting with customers provided invaluable experience. The value of any business is ultimately tied to the customer relationships and all of my experience made that the priority, focusing on their success one at a time.
DG: What are some of the challenges, considering the current social and political climate, of working in the industry?
JF: As we source and ship our products globally, we rely heavily on imports. Our new administration is discussing increased tariffs and duties on all imported products. Such a tax would be pushed through the channel, which will ultimately increase the selling price. The challenge is to keep on finding creative ways to keep our costs low to maintain competitive pricing while offering the best quality products.
DG: What are some advantages?
JF: As a large company who does do some of its manufacturing in the U.S., we are always analyzing which other product lines we can produce domestically. I do believe that expanding our domestic manufacturing is a very realistic and viable option, which will always allow us to stay ahead of the curve.
DG: What are your hobbies and interests outside of work?
JF: I’ve always played sports growing up, and I’m an avid hockey fan! Despite my New Jersey roots, I am 100 percent a New York Rangers fan and am constantly going to games at Madison Square Garden.
DG: Is there a motto or phrase you find yourself referring back to?
JF: I don’t necessarily have a motto, but I certainly live by the thinking that goal planning coupled with adaptability are key components to success.
DG: Who is your mentor or someone you look up to?
JF: I’ve always looked to my grandfather as a mentor and to this day he continues to be a major influence in my life. He’s had to overcome a lot in his lifetime, and despite challenges, has built his own successful business from the ground up. He’s also taught me the importance of the human component to business, which has been invaluable in my success.
DG: Advice for those just starting out in the industry?
JF: My advice to anyone starting in the industry would be to be adaptable and to use every step of your career as a learning opportunity. Stay hyper focused on your long-term goals without losing sight of the short-term steps to get there.
For more information on Jeremy and Brecco Corp., visit www.breccocorp.com.