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In keeping with this month’s HARDI focus, I spoke with a proud HARDI member, Cameron Grimme. Rising through the ranks was no small feat for this fourth-generation business owner. His unwavering pride and unique set of skills from his previous job make him the perfect business leader.
Danielle Galian (DG): What is your background?
Cameron Grimme (CG): I went to high school at St. Xavier in Cincinnati, and earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Kentucky.
DG: What were you doing prior to joining Johnstone?
CG: I was working for a mid-size accounting firm in Cincinnati. I spent three years there, mostly in tax, before deciding that accounting was not what I wanted to do long term.
DG: How did you get into Johnstone?
CG: I’m part of the fourth generation of our family business. Our company started in the 1800s, making tin-ware for soldiers in the Civil War. Eventually that morphed into manufacturing metal ductwork, followed by distribution of HVACR products.
DG: How did you become vice president of the company? Was that always your goal?
CG: Obviously, my last name went a long way in my rise to vice president, but I’ve been involved with the company in some fashion since I was in grade school. I’ve had intentions of joining and leading the company since I was a teenager, and haven’t waivered too much from that plan.
DG: What do you like the most about your role?
CG: I really enjoy my ability to impact the company’s financial health by using my past career experience. Being able to introduce new ideas and concepts from my education at UK and experience in accounting have been extremely helpful.
DG: Describe some challenges you face in your role.
CG: Some challenges I face in my role include the increasing amount of regulations in our industry. It can be extremely difficult to plan and forecast with little knowledge of which direction the federal government is going to go in regard to refrigerants, efficiency standards, etc.
DG: What are your hobbies and interests outside of work?
CG: I enjoy golfing (a lot). I’m also in a bowling league, and a bocce ball league. I have a one-year-old puppy that keeps me busy outside of work as well.
DG: Do you have a quote or motto to live/work by?
CG: In our business, our goal is to enhance lives through providing solutions. It seems generic, but it is easy for our folks to remember. And, we don’t look at ourselves as “box movers,” but more of partners that our customers can rely on to solve their problems.
DG: What advice would you give someone looking to work in the industry?
CG: It isn’t always necessary to learn about HVACR products and services, as much as it is to learn about being an effective leader. The HARDI Emerging Leaders program has been a great opportunity to network as well as work on self-development. There is currently a great deal of need for talent in our industry, so don’t wait.
To learn more about Johnstone Supply of Cincinnati, visit www.johnstonesolutions.com.