Florist, industrial sewing machine operator, construction worker…where does all of this fit into controls work? It doesn’t. I was ready to find a career that was more challenging and dependable. I applied for one of three positions posted at Johnson Controls, counter sales, delivery and purchasing. I got THE job…it turns out it was really all three positions rolled into ONE! This was my first look into the world of controls and for someone without any controls experience it was quite scary. When I say no controls experience I truly mean that. How my home thermostat worked...no idea.
After 8 years with JCI; learning the ins and outs of how valves, dampers, actuators, and thermostats worked, my position was being moved to Boston and I was offered to transfer. I love Vermont too much so I decided not to go and began sending out applications. Hallam-ICS was on the top of my list. I was familiar with them since I had sold parts to them over the years. This made it easier to apply because I knew several people in the ICS group. Brenda Matthews and Tink Pelkey called me in for an interview.
During this time frame Hallam-ICS and JCI were in competition for projects at IBM. I was hired on the spot, left my job on a Friday and started with Hallam-ICS on Monday. I was hired for the same position but, over the years I have done mostly bid quoting and purchasing.
When I think back about some of the interesting challenges I’ve come across, what sticks out in my mind is trying to move very large and heavy control cabinets out of a first floor window and praying the whole time that they would not get dropped. We never dropped one but came a little too close at times. The joys of controls…you never know what you will be doing from day to day! There have been a lot of ups and down over the last couple of decades but, I can still say that I enjoy what I do for work and as long as my mind holds out, I should be here many years to come!