Bob Engel III is HVAC, born and raised.

At the ripe age of 13, his father hired him into the family business, where he assumed the roles of sweeper, garbage runner, and stocker at the company’s Lowell, Massachusetts, branch (which has since been relocated to Chelmsford, Massachusetts). While spending time in the warehouse, he began to learn the products and started interacting with the customers.

“Over time I became more comfortable with the products and started working more closely with the contractors at the counter,” said Engel III. “Counter sales turned into inside sales and inside sales to territory manager. Truth be told, I never really envisioned myself doing anything else.”

Though, in 2013, after earning a business marketing degree from Roger Williams University in 2013, he gained employment with Xerox Corp.

“When I graduated college, I was encouraged to work outside of the company before joining the family business full time,” he said. “I was able to work for Xerox Corp. for two years. During that time, I was fortunate enough to have some first-class sales training and obtain some great experience that still helps me today. After my employment with Xerox, I came back to work for our company. Currently, I’m a territory manager covering the greater Boston area as well managing our ecommerce website. I’m learning to understand customers’ pain points when it comes to ordering products and making it easier to find what they need in the shortest amount of time possible.”

While only 27, his HVAC resume includes five years of counter sales, two years of inside sales, two years as e-commerce director, and one year as territory manager.

While he’s learned numerous skills along the way, none trump the importance of listening to customers and coworkers.

“Asking good questions leads to good answers,” he said. Good answers tend to lead to more good questions. Showing urgency and eagerness to help customers goes a long way and shows customers that you care.”

Regardless of age, Engel said success is defined by attitude and effort.

“A late mentor taught me that the only things you can control are your attitude and effort,” he said. “If you have a positive mind set and an optimistic perspective paired with a ‘won’t quit’ drive, you’ll be a force. It’s so simple yet so important. The difference makers in this industry turn problems into solutions and threats into opportunities. That all starts with attitude and effort.”

When not solving problems at API of NH Inc., Engel can be found golfing or cheering on Boston’s numerous sports teams. He also is involved in HARDI’s Emerging Leaders program, serving as a member of the subcommittee planning the group’s upcoming conference.

Looking into the future, Engel has aspirations of someday calling the shots at API of NH Inc.

“Being involved in a family-owned business, my long-term aspirations are to run the business; however, I don’t just want to run the business. I also want to substantially grow the business. With the people we have and the manufacturers we do business with, I strongly believe the sky’s the limit for us, and my goal is to help lead us there.”

Every Wednesday, Distribution Center magazine will feature a full profile on one of its 2018 Top 40 Under 40 winners. To see the list in its entirety, visit To see each of the full Top 40 features, visit