Life sometimes has a funny way to take you places you didn’t anticipate, but eventually you realize it was all for a good reason.
This seems to be the guiding principle of Sure Flow Equipment’s Sales Manager Jim Mink.
Jim graduated with Bachelor of Science in Industrial Supervision with a minor in Industrial Engineering. Jim also has an Associate Degree in Aviation Technology and was certified as an Airframe and Jet Engine Mechanic.
Jim started in Chicago with a company called Taylor Forge. He was in a training program with the intent of becoming a Shop Supervisor in the plant. The program was set up so you spent 3 – 6 months in all the departments in the company; Quality Assurance, Manufacturing, Engineering, Sales, and Finance. The problem was well Jim did so well when he hit Sales, he never made it any further. Sometimes the economy just finds where your skills are best suited.
Jim has worked in the petroleum industry and has spent a great deal of time working with power generating companies, including nuclear power. He has dealt with just about every area of industrial production which gives him a unique background to help customers at Sure Flow. The foundation of Jim’s career has been finding solutions for customers regardless of the industry and that continues to be his focus at Sure Flow.
Whether it’s keeping in touch with long-time customers in person or introducing new customers to Sure Flow at trade shows, Jim is the day-to-day face of Sure Flow for many businesses.
Jim has seen many projects from concept to final products, some of which have taken years. “We’ve been involved with many hydroelectric plants that are phased in over years. The engineers involved know they will hear from me periodically to check on the status of the new sections, and they know Sure Flow will have the expertise to fabricate whatever is required for these new projects.”
Talking to Jim about some of his latest projects it’s quite amazing the variety of projects he’s been involved with, even just in the last few months. Whether it’s duplex assemblies to clean recirculating water for high pressure desuperheater sprays in a power generation plant or the backwashing of a hot solvent in a continuous cycle production cooling system, there’s never a dull moment when it comes to discussing recent custom fabrication with Jim.
“I’ve always loved working with customers to come up with designs for unique applications. There are just a mind-boggling variety of applications for the products we produce and I’m constantly helping customers use our expertise to solve challenges.”
With the diverse experience Jim gained early in his career he has experienced firsthand the “Sure Flow Advantage.” Jim says “We have a very streamlined management structure at Sure Flow, which means fewer layers to slow things down, so we are exceptionally responsive to customers. John (Wordsworth, President and CEO) is a ‘get things done’ kind of guy, so he won’t let anything stand in the way of making customers happy. Well, I should emphasize that our priorities are getting things done for customers, while always maintaining our stringent certification and testing standards. Nothing leaves the warehouse until it’s been certified and tested and we know our customer will be happy.”
While Jim has a wide variety of customers he deals with, he has a few customers who have been extremely loyal over the years and you can see why. Spending time with Jim you get a sense that he doesn’t leave the office until all the ‘t’s are crossed and ‘i’s dotted, and a solution has been found.
Leaving work doesn’t mean much relaxing for Jim. With 7 kids and 5 grandchildren there’s less and less time for those weekends on the golf course. Jim has two companions with him in the office most days. Cruiser is 10-year-old Labradoodle and Lucy is a 6-year-old Doubledoodle, which is half lab and half golden retriever. I suggest to Jim I’ve heard that poodles are extremely smart, so what is the result of breeding a poodle with the other breeds? Jim’s response is “A smart dog that will eat anything!”
Having Cruiser and Lucy at work most days forces Jim to get away from the computer and out of his office to get some fresh air which we all know keeps the mind focused and clear. And this sort of clear thinking is critical to finding the sorts of solutions Sure Flow customers demand.
“That’s what it really comes down to. Our customers have unique challenges. We offer unique solutions. And we have an exceptional team from concept to design engineering to manufacturing to testing that ensures that they will be happy with our solutions. It’s a pretty great way to spend your day!”