Today’s Valve Person of the Week is Chad Morin and here’s what he had to share!
Q. How did you get started working in your field?
Chad: I grew up here on the north side of Indianapolis and then moved to Florida when I turned 18 to pursue a career as an athlete. I ended up wakeboarding for a living for several years before I got too old and beat up for that and had to get a real job (::chuckles::).
After that, I started a modular aluminum boat dock manufacturing company where we had production near Atlanta. I ran sales and installation crews in Florida. My former business partner ended up stealing about $100k from the company, so needless to say, we shut down production, and I had to figure out what to do next. I then worked for and managed a few companies down there for a bit before Jack Gould offered me a position at J.D. Gould Company starting in 2011.
I’ve always been interested in manufacturing and automation, so I thought it could be a good fit. I moved back up to Indianapolis and started working here assembling and testing valves in the morning and working with the sales team in the afternoon to learn everything I could. I then became purchasing manager so I could get a better idea of costs and lead times on every piece involved in our products. During that time, I traveled to set up new distributors, oversee large projects on-site, and designed our new e-commerce website. As of the beginning of this year, I am a minority owner and Vice President of Sales for J.D. Gould Company.
Q. What do you love most about your job? What are you most proud of?
Chad: What I love most about my job is that every day is different. We manufacture bronze, stainless steel, and complete 316 stainless steel valves from 1/8″-3″ npt for a variety of media with pressure ranges up to 1200 psi; the industries and applications we deal with are endless. I get to travel and meet with our existing distributors as well as look for new partnerships with prospective distribution channels, which can be fun. With the diversity of our product line, we always have something interesting going on, so it is neat to see new applications from different industries.
What I am most proud of is the history of the company and the quality of our valves. There is great pride in the name Gould Solenoid Valves from every employee bottom to top, and it shows in the quality and durability of our products. We may not be the biggest, but we feel we are the best when it comes to quality, lead times, and customer service. We can ship out a 2″ 316ss Class 1 Div 2 NEMA 7 Explosion Proof 24VDC valve the same day, while most companies take weeks. Customer service is key because we truly believe in and stand behind our valves. Our founder started Atkomatic Valve Company in 1936 and then started J.D. Gould Company in 1951. Most of our employees have been with the company 30 to 40+ years, and several are second and even third generation. Something that is definitely not too common these days.
Q. What advice would you give someone considering this line of work or new to the field?
Chad: It’s hard work, but it can be fun and rewarding. There are several options in the field – from machining, engineering, sales/marketing, etc. that it can be a good fit for most people and what direction they may want to go. As mentioned previously, there are so many industries and applications using solenoid valves that the possibilities are wide open. It is like anything else though; the more networking you do and the more connections you make, the more opportunities for future success you will have. None of that really matters though if you don’t have a quality product that you truly believe in, along with a passion for what you do.
Q. Can you talk about a project you recently worked on?
Chad: I’ve actually got two that come to mind recently. The first being an internal project for company improvement and the second being a new and unique valve application project.
The first project is that I recently designed and oversaw the development of our companies new website www.gouldvalve.com . I designed and implemented the new e-commerce website where our customers can purchase our products direct from the site using variables such as material, pipe size, media, pressure ranges, voltages, etc. The distribution channels have changed quite a bit lately with a lot of customers now coming direct, so it is nice to be able to offer that platform to make things more efficient. Having very little previous IT or computer experience, this was a challenging but rewarding project to tackle.
The new and unique valve application project was something we completed not too long ago in Texas. We were contacted by an engineering firm from Florida that was designing a new fire suppression system and wanted some help with the valves. We consulted with them and eventually came up with the valve that would work best for the project. The valve would have to hold back @ 800 psi of a new technology fire suppression gel that could be instantly released in the event of a fire to coat the room and equipment – putting the fire out immediately.
The first install of the design was for the electrical vaults that provide power for a full city block in downtown Ft. Worth, which was on the 35th floor of one of the high rises. I went to oversee the final stage of the project where city officials, head of the engineering firm, and the head of one of the largest utility companies in the country were all on site. Of course when it is the first of its kind and there are that many eyes on a project, something is bound to go wrong! After a few challenges, a few late nights, and some overnight-delivered parts, we got the job successfully completed together. Now, there are plans in the works to use our valves in several other electrical vaults in the future.
Q. Anything else to add?
Chad: If anybody has any solenoid valve questions or needs they can always reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 800-634-6853 (800-63GOULD).