We’ve been having a little fun too
PEER NETWORK OR LIFELONG FRIENDS?
Mark Williamson, Management Trainee, Houston
Every time I meet a management trainee from outside of Texas, they always have the same
reaction. They’re always impressed with level of friendship and camaraderie we have here in
our group, and the relationships we build with each other aren’t an accident. At least three
times a year, (Spring, Summer and Fall) the management trainees in our region get together.
This Spring, we all took a couple of days away from the world of plumbing wholesale, and met
up at a retreat style conference center just outside of Salado, Texas. We spent some
classroom time learning from a couple of leaders in our region, but we also took some time
catching up with each other.
One of the most beneficial aspects of the Management Develop Program is the peer network we
develop. We spend time telling stories about how we’ve won at work, some others about how
we’ve learned lessons the harder way, but most importantly, we develop a core group of
allies that we’ll have throughout our career. One stressful part of starting any new job is
not knowing anyone or not having any support. Through events like the Spring Fling, we
foster a support group that is only ever a phone call away. As we progress through our
development, we always have a group of people who are one or two steps ahead of offering us
guidance through our own journey. All of us are going through the same program across the
region, but are learning best practices from the various leaders that we work with.
Throughout the program, I’ve made some great professional connections with the other
trainees, but I’ve also been making some great friends. Whether it’s over a game of pool or
corn-hole, or sitting around the bonfire having a drink, we’re all sharing our lives with
each other. Personally, I’ve gotten engaged since I started working for Hajoca, and a couple
of the trainees were the first guys I went to for advice about what married life would mean
to me. Experiences like we had at the Spring Fling helped develop us as future leaders in
the company, and helped us create stronger bonds with each other. The peer network we create
across the region is part of what attracted me to Hajoca, and I think it’s why we have a
training program that rivals any other across the country.
VENDOR MEETING AT HORSESHOE BAY
In October, 2016 I had the distinct pleasure of attending our strategic vendor
meeting at the Horseshoe
Bay Resort in Marble Falls, TX. This was the perfect venue for hosting a group of
that included our PCMs, Management Trainees, and our closest vendors. The overarching theme
the three day conference was to work together in developing a pathway to achieve our
beneficial goals. I'm always amazed and encouraged by our company's emphasis on the
of relationships, not only with our customers, but also with our vendors and manufacturers.
Our week started with a friendly competition among the management trainees on the
Horseshoe Bay professional
18 hole miniature golf course. The camaraderie is second to none; we always have a blast when we
together even though we are spread out across the state. We spent the following morning with a few
our strategic vendors discussing the importance of vendor-supplier relationships focusing on how we
better serve each other's strategic priorities. The afternoon comprised a trade show where we were
to spend more time with vendors as they showcased their products. The evening ended perfectly with
catered alfresco dinner with the entire group.
The final two days of our vendor meeting consisted of round table discussions with our key
I have never seen such willingness and commitment by so many organizations to find mutually
pathways to growing business together. This is what makes our company unique. We realize it's not
about us and that it takes the entire supply chain working together to be successful. I can't
mention that the trip wasn't all business and we always find a way to infuse some fun into our
In between round table discussions, we had our choice of playing a round of golf on one of
Bay's four beautiful courses or competing in a skeet shoot - no poor choices there.
Rich Stokes, Management Trainee, Austin
DEVELOPING RELATIONSHIPS WITH OUR VENDOR PARTNER, DELTA FAUCET CO.
This month I had the privilege of traveling to Indianapolis, Indiana to visit
Delta Faucet Company
with a large group of trainees from Moore Supply Co. Personnel from the sales teams of
Faucet and Southwest Sales, a rep agency in Texas, served as our hosts. The goal for the
was to introduce us to the Delta Faucet Company, its values and its culture. After our
flew in from different areas around the region we met for dinner. This dinner included the
CFO, and many members of the Delta Faucet Executive team. At this dinner it became very
of the value Delta Faucet placed on the business relationship between our two companies.
On day two in Indianapolis our group boarded ground transportation to Delta Faucets home
office. As we all
walked into the foyer of their building, we received a standing ovation from those on the Delta
that were in the building. This represented well over 150 people and lasted for several minutes. We
felt the genuine desire to continue to grow the relationship between our two companies. The bulk of
day was spent learning more about their vision and their future. Not only were we given a total
of all the lines of faucets they manufacture but we were given a behind the scenes tour into their
and development departments. After signing confidentiality agreements we were allowed to visit with
design team and see what faucets they were working on. We held the mock up models and looked at
of new ideas they had. We heard about the methods in which Delta Faucet comes up with new designs
enhance their offerings to better serve their customers. We were given the ability to see working
side by side and understand the features and benefits of each one. Delta Faucets product offering
a bright future based on what we all saw and learned.
Delta hosted dinner for us at the brand new facility, Speedway Indoor Karting and 1911
Grill. The business
is just blocks away from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and next door to the Dallara race car
facility. The Delta team treated us to a large amount of time to drive the karts around the track
speeds up to 45 mph. Although no records were broken (as well as no bones) we all had a great time.
was a special treat to meet the owner of Speedway Indoor Karting, Ms. Sarah Fisher, of the Indy
League. For those that don’t follow the sport she was one of the youngest IRL drivers to race
Indy 500 and had a very successful career before she became one of the first female car owners.
The next day the team from Delta Faucet Co continued to invest in us by providing a half
day Franklin Covey
course. This was a huge benefit as we all want to be better stewards of our time in the business
be able to focus on the priorities of each day. Many long term relationships were formed with the
team that will benefit both companies moving forward as we both continue to grow. Thank you Delta
for treating us all to a very informative, educational, and fun visit.
Blake Westmoreland- Management Trainee
A GROUP THAT GIVES BACK
In late October I had the privilege of working with my fellow Texas Hajoca
our time for an amazing organization, Habitat for Humanity. The time together was held in
north Houston area and included an ample amount of fun, fellowship, and hard work. On the
of the 28th all Texas Hajoca trainees met at Top Golf for a night of competition and
The following day was to be our philanthropy event with Habitat for Humanity.
On the evening of October 28th I met 15 others at Top Golf in Spring and helped kick off
our night of festivities.
Think driving range meets dart board. We took a little time to warm up and get comfortable with
the ball short and long distances before dividing into teams. Uh oh….teams? That means we
to compete! We’re all friendly in the group but I’d be lying if I said we all
secretly wanting to WIN. A little healthy competition is good right? Let’s just say my team
come in first or last place. Combining the fun we had with the game and the great food, it was a
night. We enjoyed the comradery and friendly competition, but it was also nice to discuss what was
on in each of our lives personally and professionally. We had some new trainees join the team this
and we all take pride in welcoming them to the group, learning about them and sharing our journey
the company thus far.
Thursday the 29th was beautiful. The weather was cool with clear skies and ended up being
a perfect day for
some sweat intensive labor. The Habitat for Humanity group had finish out tasks for us to complete
multiple houses within their housing subdivision. We initially split into three different groups:
assembling blinds, and yardwork. I was chosen to be part of the yardwork crew. We were tasked with
a level and clear yard space for new grass sod to be placed at a later date. We grabbed shovels,
and other tools and began tearing up the overgrown weeds. After some time working we realized there
a large block of concrete that was poured directly in the middle of the yard. Rather than give up
decided to grab sledgehammers and try to bash it enough to eventually break it all out. Picture a
of sledgehammer happy guys not wanting to be defeated by a block of concrete. As we took turns
the hammer we quickly realized that we didn’t have the energy or the muscles to clean out the
block of concrete within our limited time frame. Since quitting was not an option, we decided that
next best thing was to rent a jackhammer, because every guy finds an excuse to play with power
One trainee volunteered to grab one from a local hardware store while the rest of us found other
around the jobsite. For the next few hours we continued clearing the yard, laying soil, and busting
with the jackhammer until the task was complete. The other groups were touching up paint and
blinds. We were all extremely satisfied with the progress we had made and that our group helped
families that day. Though our impact may have been small, this event reminded me of some of the
reasons why I chose to work for Hajoca and why I’m proud to be a part of such an amazing
All of the efforts put forth that day will go a long way for Habitat for Humanity and will help
and develop our future leaders within Texas. It was an honor to work alongside my fellow friends
Habitat for Humanity and I’m greatly appreciative of the opportunity. I’ll be eagerly
the next philanthropic event we have!
Taylor Gilbert- Management Trainee, Houston
In April I was fortunate enough to travel to Montgomery, AL with my fellow
management trainees. The
trip was an educational and relationship building trip to Rheem’s Manufacturing
The trip started off with all of the trainees from Texas flying into DFW Airport and
a single plane to Alabama. It was a cool experience to have the majority of the plane
for just our company. Once on the ground we headed to a welcome dinner hosted by Rheem at
The atmosphere and food were amazing!
On day two the education began bright and early with a recap of Rheem’s history and
by Matt McLaughlin (National Account Manager) and Jeff Reimer (Region Sales Manager). The plant we
in had a conference room that was dedicated to the water heaters of the past. I thought it was
to see how technology in the industry had advanced over the years. We continued the day with
conversations about marketing, technical support, future changes, and a plant tour. If you have
been inside a live running plant it is something to behold. The temperature had to be well into the
with fire and huge moving machines around every corner. We were escorted through several of the
lines and saw how the products were made from start to finish. After seeing all of this first hand
have a new found respect for the people that make the heaters we sell. The night ended with our
picking us up for a local minor league baseball game…..did I mention we travel in style? We
two private suites full catered with snacks and drinks for the evening. We were even slotted for a
of the wacky events that happen between innings. The group managed to partake in sumo wrestling and
water relay challenge!
Our last day we headed back to the manufacturing plant for one last experience. Rheem was
nice enough to
bring in tankless water heaters and let us strip them down and build them back up. Although
sure those heaters will never work again after we touched them…it was a great experience to
how these machines operate. It can be challenging to try and sell an item back at the branch when
don’t know much about it. This experience helped me build some lasting relationships and
up my product knowledge on Rheem heaters. It also didn’t hurt that we were able to cut loose
bit on the trip.
Corey Bugay- Management Trainee, Arlington