Adam F. Zink

Regional Sales Manager—Southeast, Bradford White Corporation

“Our proud philosophy of supporting the professional throughout our entire industry is critical to Bradford White’s success. It’s at the core of everything we do.”

Bradford White Corporation, including Bradford White Water Heaters, Bradford White – Canada, Laars Heating Systems, and Niles Steel Tank, provides water heating, space heating, and storage products. Bradford White Corporation has earned a trustworthy reputation by being dedicated to meeting the needs of their customers.

When did you get into the industry, and how has it changed since that time?

I started in 1997 with Ferguson Enterprises in Orlando. The biggest change is that we are much more connected to each other with email, texting, and social media. It’s more important than ever today to follow up consistently and as quickly as possible. Sometimes though, it seems like returning a phone call has become a lost art for many.

What do you consider to be your company’s best asset?

Along with the unbelievably talented and knowledgeable people we have throughout the company, our proud philosophy of supporting the professional throughout our entire industry is critical to Bradford White’s success. It’s at the core of everything we do.

How would you describe your business philosophy?

Stay customer focused. If you listen to your customer and pay attention to their needs, there is no reason you can’t be successful. Obviously, you must have an excellent product behind you, but with that and a genuine interest in helping your customers, you will succeed.

How does it differentiate your company from others?

We get immersed in the business lives of our customers. We have a strong field presence and it helps us walk in our customers’ shoes. I am told time and again by our customers that Bradford White is one of the most visible manufacturers they work with in terms of visiting their business and getting involved in industry activities.

Where do you see your company in five years? 10 years?

I believe that Bradford White will continue to grow over the next five to 10 years in terms of the products and support services it delivers. What I don’t see changing is our commitment to the professional installer or the industry at large.

Where do you see the industry in the next 5-10 years?

As I think we can see happening now, is a greater integration of technology into how people are running or growing their businesses. Technology used to be related to the product end, but there are few aspects of business today that can’t be run via a computer program or app, from managing the books to training.

What advice would you offer someone just starting in the workforce?

I would tell them that this is a wonderful industry you decided to enter, and I would strongly suggest they watch, listen, and learn from the many outstanding professionals, whether you are a contractor, wholesaler, rep, or work for a manufacturer. The people in this industry are not selfish and love to share their knowledge and experiences.

In your opinion, what are some ways to get younger people interested in careers in plumbing?

I’d like to somehow see trade schools gain an additional spotlight as an alternative option to higher education. Learning a trade is a truly viable way toward business ownership and can lead to an extremely successful career.

Did you have any mentors when you first started in the industry?

Ed Hughes, whom I worked alongside at Briggs for a decade. His calm demeanor, above-average listening skills, and the desire to always be a sounding board to a younger generation is something that I will always appreciate and constantly try to emulate in my career.

Alma mater: University of Florida

Family life and hobbies: Snow skiing, boating, spending time with the family, and attending University of Florida football games. Go Gators!

Last book read: Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When the Stakes are High by Al Switzler, Joseph Grenny, and Ron McMillan

Childhood aspirations: I wanted to be an orthodontist. I figured out college that I was not proficient at science and high-level math. So, I changed gears a few times, discovered I liked to write and went into the College of Journalism and Communications program.