Bassett Mechanical strives to Create Customers for Life®, and we know it takes the expertise of each one of our 400+ Bassett Mechanical Family members to provide an unrivaled experience for our customers. We’d like to introduce you to the brilliant men and women in our company who have dedicated many years to serving, guiding, caring, and giving their all to deliver the highest quality solutions for our customers.
We’d like to introduce you to Jon. Jon is an HVAC Project Specialist and has been with Bassett Mechanical for 26 years!
Hi Jon! Tell us a little bit about how your 26-year journey with Bassett Mechanical began.
Hi! After receiving my associate’s degree in electronics technology, I was hired for a role in the technology industry. After a short time, I was looking to move my career in a different direction and was approached by my father-in-law who suggested opportunities at Bassett Mechanical (where he was working at that time). Interested in learning the trade, I started as a pre-apprentice and worked through the program to become a journeyman 5 years later.
It sounds like joining the trades was a fitting path for you! Where did you advance from there?
Once I became a journeyman I was able to run jobs and work on different projects. One project that the company received was for an aluminum welding/fabrication job creating aluminum elevator cars. This job (besides being really unique and interesting to do) turned into about 4 years of work and I was asked to put together a crew to manage the project over its life cycle. At about the same time that the project wrapped up, our company started its LEAN journey.
As a result of those initiatives, I was put in charge of creating our tool shadow boards. It was great to be part of such a big and exciting change. Although they’ve been updated since, it’s fulfilling to know that I had a part in creating something that is still in use today!
Upon the completion of the tool boards, a Bench Fab Foreman role was created to accommodate the expansion of our growing business. After 2 years in that role, I was approached by our department leader about an opportunity to be a Service Project Manager (a very different career shift for me). I was hired for the role and have spent the last 11 years as a Project Specialist.
You’ve had a lot of different experiences over these 26 years! What are some challenges you faced?
Taking on a Project Specialist role during the time the recession hit came with a host of various challenges. Companies across the board were evaluating their businesses during the economic downturn and it was my job to help them find solutions, take care of their needs, and support them as their HVAC provider. I had to work hard not only to learn a new role but also to navigate a changing customer landscape at the same time. There was a lot of pressure. Luckily, I had a very wise co-worker and mentor tell me “if we can weather this storm and help our customers weather this storm, we will all come out the other side and things will skyrocket”. It was great advice. I was glad to have been able to help our customers through that time when they really needed us.
What do you contribute your success to?
I contribute my success to the great people that surround me. We work hard and we play hard. Our team fosters success, and it’s contagious. Being around people who are working hard to be successful really drives me to be better and to continue to work hard. We support each other and cheer each other on with a good competitive drive to continue to be better. We couldn’t do all that we do without all the different people and roles at this company. We have great people and great teams that support each other.
What education or support is provided to help you continue your growth?
Over the years I have been able to take job-specific classes and leadership classes. I have also been mentored by other leaders and managers who were willing to share their insights and best practices with me. Our industry changes quickly, so I also participate in quarterly technical training. I’ve received different hydronic and various other certificates to ensure I can continue to best serve my customers. I appreciate the opportunity to continue to learn and grow with this industry.
What did you learn from each of your past roles that prepared you for your role today?
Early on in my career when I was a pre-apprentice, the best advice I ever received was when I was working with a journeyman onsite. That journeyman said to me, “We serve the customer. You do what needs to be done. If you make a mistake you take responsibility for it. You don’t defend it, you don’t make excuses for it, you just fix it.” This advice held a lot of meaning for me as I entered the real-world. I learned really quickly to grow up and take ownership of things. I learned that there would be no patience for arrogance or pretending to know everything. I was fortunate enough to be told by some really good guys what was expected of me, and I’ve lived that every day of my career since.
You talk about “the good guys” who taught you things along the way. Who else has helped you grow to be the person you are today?
My coworkers in the HVAC project area have really become friends and mentors to me. We have a relationship where we try to put ourselves in each other’s shoes and learn from each other. My team has been a great asset to me and we are each willing to go to bat for each other. I have also had managers and leaders who were honest and transparent with me. They noticed the hard work I put in and believed in me. I owe where I am today to some of my past managers and the opportunities they have given me.
Why do you love working for Bassett Mechanical?
I am in a career that I love and is filled with different challenges and opportunities every day. But most of all, Bassett is a fun family atmosphere and I get to work with a lot of people who have earned my respect. I am very grateful to Bassett as a whole. I have grown a lot of friendships and learned a lot here.