Jim Brockman, 34
Jim joined Viking Electric about six years ago but has been in the industry for about 12 years. He started at Viking Electric as a project sales specialist, focusing his efforts on active selling, competitive bidding, lighting and controls design, and project management. After five years, he was promoted to general manager of the company’s Sheboygan, Wis., location.
“I graduated college with a degree in Architectural Design and was looking to continue designing building systems,” he recalled. “I had the opportunity to begin my career as a lighting designer and saw how demanding and challenging the electrical industry can be. It was at this point, that I recognized I thrive in this type of environment. I enjoy seeing a project through to completion and finding solutions along the way to overcome issues. That’s when I realized I wanted to make a lifelong career in the electrical field; there are always opportunities to help people make better decisions.” Jim went to work for an engineering firm, continued with electrical design, and then realized he missed the sales side of this business. “I enjoy the electrical distribution industry because it is ever-changing and I am motivated most when presented with new challenges to overcome,” he said. “In my new role as general manager, I continue to steer most of my focus toward sales, while trusting my Operations team to help complete the sales cycle. I really enjoy supporting my team as they find new ways to present products and services to our customers.”
Asked about the challenges he sees the industry facing, he responded, “Showing electrical contractors all the value-added services we, as electrical distributors, can offer, the real-world value they bring, and demonstrating the benefits of these services to our customers.” He noted that Viking Electric has put a strong focus on these services by investing in a new, local, solutions center to handle custom work order requests, new equipment to help customers be more efficient on the jobsite, and, most importantly, additional people to deliver these added services. How does he, personally, contribute to the solution? “By supporting my staff and remaining open-minded regarding the many services and options we have at our disposal. It’s important to actively listen to what our industry partners need and identify their pain points so we can help develop the solutions to overcome these,” he said. “These solutions require extra manpower and I’m eager to help my team when these needs arise.”
Jim explained that because his promotion was so recent, he hasn’t had much time to consider what he wants to do next. “I enjoy mentoring and leading my team in a sales role and just want to do the absolute best I can to support them, help them grow, and run a successful branch,” he said. Asked what advice he would give to anyone entering the industry, he said “Learn as much as you can early on and be patient! In my career, I grew impatient at times, but after completing my bachelor’s degree in Business Management and master’s degree in Organizational Leadership and Administration, I learned that there is a plan for all of us. Once I was given the chance for the advancement and growth I’d been working towards, it all began falling into place for me.”
When he is not working, Jim enjoys camping with his family, which includes two young sons. “We recently purchased a seasonal campsite…and have been up there every weekend, enjoying the short Wisconsin summer,” he said. “I enjoy watching my boys grow up and experience what the world has to offer. I also enjoy renovating houses and fixing small engines while teaching my oldest son, who is five, these lifelong skills.”
Each year tED magazine recognizes 30 of the industry’s best and brightest under the age of 35. Please visit tedmag.com/30Under35 for nomination information and updates about the 2021 program. Questions can be sent to tED Editor Misty Byers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tagged with 2020 30 Under 35, 30 under 35