UK: It may be difficult to attract young blood into the industry but one air conditioning company is bridging the generational gap in a unique father and son tie-up.
Going back over 20 years, older UK readers will remember the once close relationship between Toshiba and its UK distributor SWM. Toshiba’s national accounts manager at the time, Dave Tipler, was in constant touch with his opposite number at SWM, Tony Evanson.
Those may have been days of plenty but the industry moves on. Dave Tipler eventually moved on to became UK general manager at LG and Tony Evanson went on to form his own thriving distribution company Oceanair. Sadly, SWM would not survive.
“For those who remember when David Tipler and I last worked together, congratulations,” joked Tony Evanson. “It was before we knew we had a hole in the ozone and apple was a fruit. A lot has changed in the industry over the years, but one thing remains the same and is more important now than ever – the need for effective, motivated individuals entering the industry.”
That attitude has, by coincidence, led to a reuniting of the Tiplers and Evansons via the next generation – their sons Charlie and Ben.
Ben Evanson joined his father in the business at the end of 2014, after two years working across the UK for an energy consultancy. He has now been joined at Oceanair by Dave’s son Charlie Tipler, after time spent with air conditioning and heating contractors.
While Ben is looking after marketing at the Mansfield-based company, new colleague Charlie will strengthen the southern specification sales team, focusing on Panasonic VRF.
“Charlie’s managed a variety of projects, both air-to-air and air-to-water and says he’s excited to take advantage of Panasonic’s range,” said Tony Evanson.
“Ben’s role is a new one within the company, allowing him to apply his analytical skills and creative streak to our marketing, with a main focus being digital marketing.”
Ben describes his primary focus as “cutting through the guff that’s out there to give people useful, interesting content via our website, social channels and emails.
“I’m really excited by our output recently, such as the Burger & Lobster video, our R22 tool that helps customers find R22 business and our insight pieces, including the ERP Easy ErPeasy Guide,” Ben gushed. “We’ve got a lot of exciting work going on, which makes my job easier.”
The world of heating and cooling that Charlie and Ben are making their way into is much changed from when David and I first worked together.
“The cassette was revolutionary then and low ambient kits were an add on,” Tony Evanson remembers. “Thankfully, after years of campaigning, manufacturers have finally accepted that it was possible for cooling to be needed in winter conditions and have built it in as standard. Since then, we’ve seen the introduction of VRF systems, high efficiency air-to-water heat pumps and a myriad of control solutions.
“This year is already looking like a big year for Oceanair and its customers, and that’s why we’re investing in top quality personnel. Companies aren’t successful – people are! If you fill your company with great people, you will have a great company,” he added.
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