His earlier career with a puck helped break the ice with our customers
You've probably seen Mike Taylor's name on the blog before and now you get to find out about the man himself.
Job titles don't always give a complete picture of what a person does. Take Mike Taylor, who is officially one of our account managers in sales and service. Most of the time he manages accounts for valves and fittings, but he also wears a few other hats.
For instance, we've flown him all over North America to conduct energy audits for clients. He's been trained on hose advisory services, too. In fact he's done a variety of jobs in his 16 years with Edmonton Valve.
Like most of our staff, Taylor started in the warehouse picking parts for orders and getting familiar with our inventory. Then he helped us start our mobile inventory management service. Taylor was in charge of building the routes and schedules. After managing mobile inventory for a while, he moved over to customer service for a few years.
A sales territory opened up when longtime associate Jim Begg moved over to the training side of the business, and Taylor move into Begg's old job.
"I don't call him Jim; I always call him Mr. Begg," Taylor says. "He did such a terrific job of managing that territory that I got really lucky taking over."
Even though Taylor joined us fresh out of college at age 22, this is his second career. The first was as a midget hockey player. He started out playing for his hometown Medicine Hat Tigers, and finished up his playing career with Bonnyville.
How does a person move from hockey to valves and fittings? Well, his father owned a steel company in Medicine Hat, so Taylor grew up with some knowledge of how industrial companies work. His brother started an engineering company. When Taylor was ready to pick up his college diploma and start a sales career, he asked his brother to name the best companies to approach. The list was short: only four names, and at the top of the list was Edmonton Valve.
"I pulled in to Edmonton Valve to drop off my resume at the front door," Taylor recalls. "They don't normally take an interview from somebody who drops off a resume, but somebody had canceled that day." He ended up talking with company president Keith Johns, and soon was on board.
Playing hockey gave Taylor an unusual advantage when came to work for us. When he started our mobile inventory fleet, he took care of the western side of Alberta.
"I had played in a lot of those towns, and a lot of the Junior Hockey teams are supported by corporate donations. A lot of the donors are oil and gas companies," Taylor says. " When I started with the mobile truck, I ran into a lot of people who supported teams I played for or against."
It was a great way to break the ice, so to speak.
We've received some dividends from hockey too. For the past 12 years Edmonton Valve has been part of a yearly industrial hockey tournament. Taylor has helped run things both at the team and tournament levels. It's a great chance for him to work with some of our customers in a relaxed setting where they can get to know one another better.
Not surprisingly, Taylor is also one of the top scorers in Edmonton Valve's lunchtime hockey games. But having already proved his talents in midget hockey, Taylor sees it more as an opportunity to have fun.
Taylor lives south of Edmonton in the compact community of Beaumont. His neighbors include a couple of other Edmonton Valve associates, and their children have grown up as friends.
"They have been raised by the culture of Edmonton Valve, which is a highly respectful company that takes care of their employees and their families," Taylor says. "My family has always been floored and amazed by the understanding and generosity that Keith Johns has always had toward family."
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