In April, the editors of tED magazine sent out a call for
the industry’s “rising stars”—electrical professionals 34 years old or younger
who have the initiative, drive, integrity, and creativity to move the industry
forward in the decades to come. The call drew nominations from all segments of
the industry—distributors, suppliers, rep firms, software/services providers,
and VARs. Here on tedmag.com, we will post a new, full interview with one of
these impressive young people weekly; coverage of all of the honorees can be
found in the July 2012 issue
of tED. Watch for information about our next “30 Under 35” competition in
those profiled in this “30 Under 35” series entered the electrical industry out
of college, having studied electrical engineering or possibly marketing or
story is different. He briefly attended Midlands Technical College, near his
home in South Carolina. But it was more or less by chance that, in 2002 at 19
years of age, he accepted a job at Electrical Equipment Company (EECO,
pronounced “Eee-koh”) in West Columbia, S.C..
always been drawn to electrical objects, learning to change outlets, hang
ceiling fans and understanding the basic concepts,” he said. “I wandered from
job to job trying to find my niche. My first job with EECO was an entry level
position, but I believed that if I got my foot in the door they would allow me
to grow and progress.”
first job, as a driver/warehouse employee, he was also responsible for taking
orders, replenishing stock and other general responsibilities.
“In 2003, we
moved the branch to a larger facility. I helped facilitate and oversaw the move
of the entire inventory from one location to the other. There were a lot of
long nights,” Bazemore said.
were impressed and made him the warehouse manager. Bazemore was responsible for
the daily operations of the entire branch including inventory, shipping,
receiving and logistics. Eventually, he moved to inside sales.
“I did [inside
sales] for a few years and learned a great deal,” he explained. “There were a
couple of veteran guys there who showed me the ropes. I handled a couple of the
larger accounts and…learned what great customer service really meant.”
That led him
to pursue an opening in outside sales in 2006.
“They went out
on a bit of a limb in hiring me for outside sales. I didn’t have any outside
sales experience,” Bazemore laughed. “But I did have some product knowledge.
Sometimes it got pretty frustrating, but eventually it all worked out and became
a very rewarding position.”
adjustment to outside sales was his toughest transition, he said. Another
outside salesman at the time was a veteran (Bill Fellers) whom Bazemore credits
with giving tips and helpful advice.
what it really takes to become a successful outside sales rep from Bill. He was
always there for me to ask questions and get pointers. He really helped steer
me in the right direction,” he said.
Over time, Bazemore’s
theory that his hard work would enable him to progress has proven true. Today,
he is the regional customer service manager of the Southern region of EECO. He works
out of the West Columbia, S.C., location. His responsibilities also include warehouses
in Augusta, Georgia and Charleston, S.C.
He spends a
lot of time driving to and from these locations and jokes that he knows where “all
the cheapest gas stations are” along the way.
his wife, April, a hairstylist, have three children: six-year-old Connar,
four-year-old Ayden, and a two-year-old daughter, Skylar. They live in
looking forward to watching the University of South Carolina’s football team
compete in the Southeast Conference. As you might imagine, he can discuss SC’s roster
and prospects with the same passion and expertise that he applies to a
discussion of new electrical products.
Joe Nowlan is a Boston-based freelance writer/editor and
author. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.