This week’s Industry Person of the Week is Mark A. Johnson, AODD Business Development Manager & OEM Southeast Regional Sales Manager at Iwaki America.
Q: How did you get started working in your field?
Mark: I worked on the inside sales order desk in 1992 at Webster Heating in my hometown of Frankfort, KY after college and then went back after Grad School as a Marketing Coordinator. We manufactured Gear Pumps for residential and commercial oil burners as well as Ignition Transformers. Eventually, we brought in Webster Pumps as a new product from another Sta-Rite (now Pentair) facility. The first time I walked out onto the manufacturing floor and watched pumps being made, I was hooked. 29 years later, I’m still in the pump industry and proud of that every day. Since then, I have been provided the opportunities to work for different size companies from small to large and from family-owned companies like Webster and Hayward to publicly traded corporations like IDEX and Ingersoll Rand. Each one provided unique experiences and opportunities for me to learn and participate in this industry.
Q: What do you love the most about your job? What are you most proud of?
Mark: I love the people in the industry. I have been blessed to interact with hundreds, if not thousands of people since I started my career. Even though I have changed roles and jobs over the years, many of them are still friends today. Those connections and friendships are what I am most proud of and if it weren’t for the pump industry, I would not have had the chance to cross paths with them and learn and grow personally and professionally.
Q: What advice would you give to someone considering this line of work or new to the field?
Mark: Jump in with both feet – this is the most understanding and accepting industry that I know of. It’s OK to admit you don’t know something and people are willing to help you learn along the way. Ask questions, be involved and be eager to get out into the field with work colleagues, end-users, distributor partners, OEMs and everyone you can. Attend the trade shows and conferences – in short, be a sponge and you will start contributing and soon you will be nurturing the next group of newcomers into this great industry.
Q: Can you talk about a project you recently worked on?
Mark: I am now tasked with working with and supporting our direct, OEM and Strategic Account channel partners. It is very challenging and a lot of work but is very exciting. Getting the chance to introduce our products to prospective customers and then monitoring the process of testing and evaluating our products is a great experience. Being able to discuss applications, technical aspects of the installation, performance specifications and overall fit, form and function of our products against the current competitor or helping with a new project is very rewarding and exciting.
Q: Anything Else you would like to add?
Mark: The old adage of “once you get into the pump industry, you can never leave” rings true with me and many of my friends and colleagues. Our business cards may have changed but we are the same people. As I get close to 30 years in this industry, I now say “you can never leave, but why would you?”
Connect with Mark on Facebook.
THANK YOU, MARK! WE LOOK FORWARD TO KEEPING UP WITH YOU THROUGH THE #PUMPTALK COMMUNITY!
KNOW AN AMAZING PERSON WHO IS MAKING VALUABLE CONTRIBUTIONS WITHIN INDUSTRY? NOMINATE THEM TO BE AN “INDUSTRY PERSON OF THE WEEK”!