John Wordsworth, CEO Sure Flow Equipment
While sorting through a box of photos last weekend I found some shots of old and memorable times!
In 30 years of travelling to many countries all over the world including Singapore, South Korea, China, Ireland and England I developed friendships and relationships. Business is not only about the order, it’s about the association. That, and long-term and continuing commitments and friendship.
Jimmy Miller was a sales representative for us in Mobile, Alabama. We struck a deal and became friends forever. Here’s a picture of Jimmy and my wife, Janet, at a Southern barbecue 19 years ago.
Sales people like Jimmy are one of the reasons the American economy has gained such a position of dominance in the world. He simply did what had to be done to get the order, and make the customer happy. If he got a call from a customer on a Sunday afternoon who needed a product “now”, Jimmy would go in to the office to pick it up and drive it right out. Operating in the south, many of his customers were in the oil and gas industry. The cost of having a refinery or drilling rig non-operational can be huge, and Jimmy was well aware of this and made sure that when possible no amount of paperwork or other challenges would slow down the product getting to its destination with great urgency.
Jimmy operated in a tough market and was exceptional at what he did.
I loved his “barbecues”. He would bring in big drum barbecues and huge numbers of crawdads. I was new to these fresh water lobsters which I had never had before, but they were a real delicacy. Jimmy was a typical Southern salesman who worked hard and played hard but unfortunately, he passed away while still just a young man!
He was a great friend and like all good business people he was always looking for a higher discount and a better price. This can be challenging to deal with, but it’s part of the business world and what made Jimmy great.
Jimmy worked a great deal with Sure Flow employee Mike Robinson, and they were good friends as well. Mike was our check valve specialist and liaised with Jimmy a lot.
Mike eventually acquired the nickname “Rat Boy”! There were many theories on its origins. Mike wasn’t very tall and could be very wiry and wily when it came to work. He moved quickly through the warehouse checking inventory and dimensions for customers. Often times it might have been to sneak a cigarette without other employees knowing… although we all did.
Mike was also wily in his early morning arrival at the fax machine to retrieve overnight orders that had come through. He knew our system and how to work it efficiently, and we were a better company because of his enthusiasm for our product line and his willingness to help customers get exactly what they needed, quickly and efficiently.
Here’s a picture of Mike and me in Mobile Alabama.
Mike passed away at a young age, like Jimmy. They both carried the Sure Flow flag. They sold all our products. We miss them dearly. My heart goes out to these two great friends; God bless them. I along with all the Sure Flow family miss them and their families.
Sure Flow Equipment continues to be well respected and the ‘go to’ supplier of industrial valves and strainers for a wide range of industries over a huge geographic area. Members of the Sure Flow team like Jimmy and Mike are one of the reasons for our success. This is their legacy.
Jimmy and Mike had a great ride! It should have been longer, but it was a great ride.
As my late father said,
“You can never have enough friends”