When it comes to hiring employees, finding knowledgeable, motivate individuals that fit in with our company culture is always the number one priority. Unfortunately, that can be easier said than done. This was the case when we were granted a territory and market expansion from our manufacturer ABB in the summer of 2016.
Before the expansion, we repped and sold ABB variable frequency drives (VFDs) in CT, Western MA and a few NY counties for HVAC and Water/wastewater applications. With the expansion, we were granted permission to sell and rep ABB VFDs for water/wastewater applications throughout New England. With our current ABB Sales Engineers residing in Connecticut, busy within their own territories and/or other product lines the need to hire someone was obvious. We needed someone more centrally located in our new territory and we needed someone with the time and energy needed to break into this new market.
It took us several months and a couple trade shows before we found the right fit for this position, and we’re happy that Larry Scola was the right person for the job. Larry definitely had his work cut out for him when he first started. Making a name for yourself and for a company new to any industry or territory is never an easy feat. Luckily, Larry had prior experience working in the water/wastewater industry, and ABB VFDs are well-known within many industries so starting to form connections came a little easier to him than most.
Larry spends most of his days hitting the pavement by getting out and meeting professionals within in the industry. He also makes connections via email and phone – anyway he can spread the ABB VFD/Flow Tech Gospel. He began gaining traction through connections he met while exhibiting at tradeshows and through people he’s met while facilitating lunch and learns. In his short time with us, he has created the foundation to build many relationships and generate future sales.
As with all our new employees, we thought it would be valuable for our customers and followers to learn a little bit more behind the guy responsible for varying the flow of New England’s water/wastewater industry. Take a break and take a read to learn more about Larry Scola…
1. What made you decide to pursue a sales position?
Believe it or not, I was never interested in sales and never considered myself a salesperson. I enjoy solving problems and improving processes, and that’s what I consider what we do – solving problems at plants and improving their processes.
2. What made you decide to go into the construction/water wastewater industry?
Most people turn on the faucet or flush the toilet without ever thinking about how the water gets to the sink and where it goes when you flush even though they are necessities in our lives. I got my municipal wastewater treatment operator certification when I was in college and that’s what made me start thinking about the industry.
3. How many years have you been in the industry?
On and off for over 21 years.
4. In what other industries have you worked?
Maritime industry – I was a licensed captain and operated several casino boats and ferries. I also owned a real estate appraisal business for 10 years.
5. What University/College/Technical School did you attend?
I got my undergrad degree from Massachusetts Maritime Academy and my Master’s Degree in Project Management from Granite State College.
6. What do you like best about working in this industry?
The wastewater industry joke is that it is a “crappy” job, but someone has to do it. Truth is that the people I get to interact with on a daily basis are the best part of the job.
7. What made you decide to accept your position with Flow Tech?
I enjoyed being an account manager for a manufacturer but was away from home traveling a lot. The position at Flow Tech allowed me to continue doing similar work, in the same industry, but also be at home nearly every night with my family. I also got great first impressions from Brian and Rich, and really like that FT is a small business as opposed to a large global corporation.
8. Why do you like representing ABB Water and Wastewater drives?
When I was considering the position at Flow Tech, everyone that I spoke with in the industry told me that ABB was the premier drive manufacturer. Simply put, ABB is the best and it’s great to represent the best.
9. Did you have a mentor, foreman or instructor that helped you or made an impact in your developing career? If so, who was it and why did they help?
There were many people over the course of my career. However, coming into Flow Tech I knew the water and wastewater industry but was not a “drive” guy by any stretch of the imagination. Several friends that I have in the industry knew Brian Robinson and told me he was “THE” drive guy in the region. It has been a privilege to learn about VFDs from Brian over the past six months.
10. If you could give advice to people looking to pursue a career in sales/water/wastewater/construction what would it be?
The sales business is really all about relationships. If you want to be successful, you need to be a people person and get involved in the industry organizations and associations. Don’t be put off by the “gross” aspect of wastewater, the reality is that the workforce in the industry is aging and there is a shortage of young professionals coming in to take over as folks retire. As such, there is tremendous opportunity in the industry right now.
11. What are your hobbies or what do you like to do in your free time?
I enjoy fishing, camping and golfing, but most of all spending time with my family. Having 3 kids ranging from 10 to 18 years old means I really don’t have much “free time” anyway with all of their activities. Huge Bruins and Pats fan too.
12. If you could be a superhero who would you be and why?
Iron Man because he is cool and has awesome gadgets to play with.
13. If you could travel anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
Australia primarily because I haven’t been there yet. Hawaii, England, Egypt, Russia, and India for the same reason. The place I have been that I would most like to go back to, however, is Italy.
14. If you had to eat one thing for the rest of your life what would it be and why?
Hmm, tough one. Right now I would say sushi, but I think I would get sick of it after a while. However, I could never get sick of my wife’s gracy and meatballs.
15. Any additional comments or unique things you’d like us to know?
I am very grateful to the Flow Tech family for welcoming me in and giving me the opportunity to do what I love without having to sacrifice time with my family to do it.
We couldn’t be happier with Larry’s progress so far and are very fortunate he decided to join the Flow Tech team. Since his start, Larry has gotten involved with numerous water/wastewater industry associations. He and Flow Tech are a regular supporter of the New England Water Environment Association (NEWEA). This past summer he volunteered at their golf outing, he’s attended many of their Poo & Brew events. He’ll be in attendance at their next one of February 15, 2018, and Flow Tech is proud to be the sponsor of that Poo & Brew event. He will also be exhibiting this month during NEWEA’s Annual Conference in Boston, MA at booth #191. If you’re in the area or attending the show definitely stop by to meet him in person or feel free to email him. Larry has also been visiting job sites helping with consultations and basic start-ups.
For more information about Flow Tech and our career opportunities contact us today at 860.291.8886, or email Nichole Petersen. You can also visit us on the web. Don’t forget to follow us on social media: Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube!