Name: Derick Vicks
Title: Service Manager
Why He’s Tech of the Month: Vicks joined Rogers Heating & Cooling in South Boston, Virginia, in 2018 as a service manager, and so far, he spends most his time in the field. Vicks had taught owner Joseph Rogers at Danville Community College, and that’s how he was hired.
“I always knew when I had my own HVAC business, I would want him as part of our team,” Rogers said.
Rogers took control of the company in 2017 and brought in Vicks the next year. Vicks said he was ready for a change after a decade of being in the classroom. Rogers said Vicks “hit the ground running by implementing much-needed processes to help the department become more efficient and profitable.”
Eventually, Vicks plans on transitioning to the office, going out only for sales calls and troubleshooting. For now, he spends most of his time in the field. His biggest contribution draws on his educational background.
“He has hired new service technicians who have little HVAC experience and molded them into some of the company’s top performers,” Rogers said.
Vicks said he misses his students, but he doesn’t miss the classroom environment. He finds techs learn better in the field.
“I don’t miss teaching in the classroom because I still get to do it in the truck,” Vicks said. Vicks is learning a lot himself. Technology has changed since the last time he worked in the field, and although he saw plenty of it during his time teaching, it’s different when actually working on this equipment in the field.
Vicks started in the HVAC business in 1993. He started teaching in 2007 in order to spend time with his small children. When Rogers reached out to him last year, those kids had reached their final years of high school.
“I thought that if I was ever going to make a move to start a service department and grow a company, now was the time to do it,” Vicks said. “I love working on equipment, and I’d gotten to the point where I really missed it.”
Vicks grew up working on the family farm. He loved working outside and working with his hands. He studied graphics and design, but chose a career in HVAC repair instead. His favorite part of the job is interacting with people.
“I love seeing customers be comfortable and alleviate their problems,” he said. “It’s very rewarding.”
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