During Steve Raimondi’s senior year in high school, he enrolled in a work co-op program that allowed students to leave school early to enter the workforce. He was referred to Munch’s Supply from another employee who was enrolled in the program and was hired on as a warehouse worker.

A year later, Raimondi had a conversation with Bob Munch Sr., who advised him to enroll in an HVAC certification program at a local college to gain a better understanding of the industry. After completing the course, Raimondi was promoted to counter sales.

“During that role, I worked for a few dealers afterhours and on weekends to get a better understanding of what their role was in the field,” said Raimondi, who’s now 32. “I realized that wasn’t the path for me, but it gave me a newfound respect for what they do. I met with Mr. Munch again and made it known that I wanted to continue my growth within the company. He recommended accounting, sales, and management training. I went back to school and took courses specific to those topics along with different industry-specific training courses.”

After three years in counter sales, Raimondi was promoted to assistant branch manager, where he gained management experience.

Two years later, he was appointed a territory manager.

“This was the most rewarding position I’ve held within the organization,” he said. “The territory manager and dealer relationship is critical. A territory manager can be a resource, consultant, therapist, coach, trainer, and much more.”

Today, after serving seven years as a territory manager, Raimondi serves as Munch’s Illinois and Indiana sales manager.

“Being a great coach is the single most important trait to leading a world-class sales team,” he said. “I’m learning and growing in this role every day.”

To be a great leader, Raimondi believes you must have energy and enthusiasm. These traits trump intelligence any day of the week, he said.

“HVAC has evolved quite a bit over the years,” he said. “It’s not just selling boxes to customers. There are so many different solutions for consumers’ needs, which creates different opportunities for both contractors and the distributor. We get to be an integral part of contractors' growth by making them aware of all the options they have and how they can integrate them into their businesses.

“I enjoy working with our base of dealers and being a part of the growth within their companies,” continued Raimondi. “Many of them started out as one-man shops, working from their garages, and are now multimillion dollar organizations, or on their way to being so. Ultimately, their hard work, energy, enthusiasm, and dedication is what got them there. But, there is no denying that the right distributor partnership has been helpful in getting them there as well.”

Raimondi is excited to see what the future of his career holds.

“Like many other leaders, I’m an ambitious person and always looking to advance my career; however, I truly aspire to be known throughout the company and the industry as a great leader, mentor, and coach,” he said. “If there is any advancement in position, it should be a result of that achievement.”

When not working, Raimondi enjoys spending time with his three young boys.

“The majority of my time revolves around them — usually stopping them from fighting with each other or injuring themselves,” he said. “Outside of that, we enjoy the outdoors, so if there is any time left, we like to go fishing, camping, and snowmobiling.”

Publication date: 11/14/18