While most teenagers spend their summers mowing lawns or working at the local convenience store, Alex Mesalam found himself inside his father’s wholesale distributorship. At the ripe age of 14, Mesalam earned a paycheck working in the warehouse of Best Choice Supply Co. At 16, he began driving the company’s vehicles and started interacting with customers. After graduating high school, he was promoted to customer service. Eight years later, he now serves as a territory manager.

“In the warehouse, I learned the value of getting it correct from the word 'go,'” said Mesalam, 29. “I also learned how to interact with customers and what they expect from a supplier. Today, as a territory manager, I’ve learned that people are willing to pay for a service.”

Mesalam enjoys the important role HVAC plays in the community.

“It’s rewarding to drive by a house with your equipment or eat at a restaurant with your ductwork,” he said. “I’ve also developed some great relationships along the way. Many of my customers are also my friends.”

Mesalam’s best advice to young prospects in the industry is to start early.

“College is great but not every career requires it,” he said. “And the earlier you get in and get your hands dirty, the better. You will be years ahead of any one you compete against.”

As the older generation continues to retire, Mesalam believes HVACR distribution affords the next generation a wealth of career options.

“I believe the kids today have a great opportunity to come in and be vacuumed to the top,” he said. “At the end of the day, we all believe there are huge opportunities in this business that really don’t require much of you. Just be willing to learn and jump in.”

Mesalam identifies the HVAC industry as a diamond in the rough.

“Nobody ever talks about this industry unless they are in it,” he said. “So, from the outside, you don’t really know about HVAC or what it can offer. But, every house and building has heat and air. It is an industry that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The opportunities are endless.”

When not working, Mesalam enjoys spending time with his wife, Whitney, and young twins, Carter and Chloe.

Publication date: 10/10/18