The DPHA Faces-of-Our-Future Program recognizes up-and-coming influencers in the decorative plumbing and hardware business. This program will profile DPHA members with 10 or less years of experience. Each month from June through October 2018, members will be inducted into the Faces-of-Our-Future Club, and their stories will be featured in DPHA's weekly newsletter, Connections. This week we recognize Phil Hotarek, Operations Manager at Lutz Plumbing, Inc. in San Francisco, CA.
Connections: How long have you been in the DPH industry?
Many of our readers may recognize Phil Hotarek by his many articles contributed to Connections. Phil has served on DPHA committees over the past two or three years, and is also currently serving as one of the co-chairpersons on DPHA's Marketing Committee. Per one of Phil's nominators, "Phil has proven to be one of the finest people I have worked with in the DPH industry. Phil's ethical values, enthusiasm and dedication to his work are unparalleled and set him apart. He is results oriented and is willing to step to the plate to help support his showroom vendors."
Phil: It seems like an eternity.
Connections: What has surprised you about the industry?
Phil: The tight-knit family culture. From a young age, I always felt welcomed and encouraged by industry leaders. I believe the fact that you see the same people year after year defines its greatness.
Connections: What is the biggest challenge you have faced in our industry?
Phil: I have had many challenges and more as I progress. Learning plumbing as an apprentice was a challenge, with high expectations being the son of a man with more than 40 years of plumbing experience. After learning the decorative plumbing side of the business I then turned to learning to balance the workload between both departments (service and retail). Service business and retail business are two different giants. It took years of patience, persistence and arduous work to take two different identities and fuse them into one successful brand. One of my greatest challenges and successes to date was single-handedly negotiating an Authorized Service Contract with Toto USA for our company to be the exclusive service contracting firm for Toto Neorest service in Northern California. This was a big step in developing our identity, the ability to service a luxury product that we sell and a complex machine at that. Toto sent me training, and I learned how to fix all their Neorest models on my own. Currently, I am studying to attain my Contractor's License, which I anticipate will be my next greatest challenge.
Connections: What do you enjoy about being in this industry?
Phil: Everything. It is the best industry in the world that serves a tremendous purpose to our civilization.
Connections: Anything else you would like to add?
Phil: The greatest problem we are currently dealing with today is the labor shortage. People simply do not want to work anymore; the sense of pride and accomplishment of building something with your own two hands is lost. It is up to us to revive our industry's importance before it is too late. It starts with my generation and those that come after. My wish is for all of us to inspire young people to be part of this industry.
If you would like to nominate someone for inclusion in the Faces-of-Our-Future program, click here to download the nomination form, complete it and send your nomination to Jim Babbitt via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 866-623-6180. It takes only a few minutes to complete a nomination form, but isn't that time well spent for recognizing someone who is making an impact on your business and/or our industry?