Bradford White’s Matt Kozak receives AIM/R Golden Eagle Award

The Golden Eagle Award was presented to Matt Kozak, Vice President of Sales at Bradford White, at this year’s AIM/R Conference in San Diego.

Matt Kozak, Vice President of Sales at Bradford White, was selected as the 2021 Golden Eagle Award recipient. The announcement was made by AIM/R Senior Vice President Katie Hubach of Signature Sales at the 49th Annual AIM/R Conference, held September 28-October 1 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego.

The Golden Eagle Award is one of the most prestigious honors within the plumbing industry, and particularly within the Association of Independent Manufacturers’ Representatives. The award, established by AIM/R and presented annually at the group’s conference, recognizes senior-level plumbing manufacturing executives who have actively supported independent reps and their important role in the supply chain.

Kozak described his initial surprise at receiving the award.: “Those who have previously been honored have set the bar very high, and I don’t always see myself in the same vein. I can sometimes be a bit impatient and too abrupt — not exactly traits that endear you to manufacturers’ reps. But my intent is always to ensure our mutual success and I believe our reps have trust in that.

“As my career progressed, so did my active involvement with AIM/R. And it became clear to me why independent reps are so important to manufacturers like Bradford White. I found that AIM/R provides valuable resources on issues like succession planning, sales techniques, and running a solid business — all of which are of vital concern to their manufacturer partners. The support and tools offered by AIM/R enable reps to improve their business practices and strengthen the partnership and communication between reps and their manufacturers. We are such big believers in the group’s value that Bradford White strongly encourages, just short of requiring, all of our reps to belong to and be active in AIM/R.”

Bradford White’s long commitment to AIM/R and its reps is evident. Kozak is the fifth executive from Bradford White to be selected for this achievement, following in the footsteps of Bob Carnevale, Nick Giuffre, Bruce Carnevale and Jim McGoldrick.

“Those leaders set the tone for how Bradford White as a company views and treats its reps, and I am pleased to be carrying on that tradition,” Kozak said. “We continue to only sell through wholesale and we use manufacturers’ reps as a conduit to our wholesale customers and their customers. Our reps are a huge part of who we are. They represent our company, they are our salesforce, and they have daily interactions with our customer base — whether it’s with our product line or one of the others they represent. We treat our reps like family because if we do our job and take care of them, they will take care of us.”