At Howe, we’re focused on building a family-like workplace where our people can thrive. We believe in providing opportunities for personal and professional growth to ensure our team has the right tools to build a lasting career. This month, we’re proud to celebrate the 25-year anniversary of our Fire Protection Inspector, Mark! In celebration of this milestone, we sat down with Mark to learn more about his career journey.
How did you begin your career with Howe and what was the journey like?
I began my career journey with Howe working in the fire sprinkler division. While in that role I installed systems all over Sioux Falls and the surrounding area. During that time, we did lots of work with plumbers and fitters. I was then encouraged to take the test to get my plumbing license. I passed the first one and then kept going with other trade applications – medical gas, fire sprinkler, backflow inspections, and NICET sprinkler inspection. Throughout my time at Howe, I was able to get experience in a variety of areas. However, I spent most of my career in the fire sprinkler and backflow division.
What do you enjoy most about your current role at Howe?
The part I like the most about my job as a Fire Protection Inspector is being able to problem solve. I also enjoy the fact that I can use the strengths and skills that I have naturally been blessed with! One other aspect of my job includes sales and meeting new potential clients. I really enjoy communicating with others about their fire sprinkler system needs and helping them feel safe.
What does this 25-year milestone mean to you?
Now that I have been here a quarter of a century (as I was reminded today), I thought – wow, that’s a long time! Many years of different projects, new buildings built, and some torn down. I feel a sense of pride and accomplishment in the fact that we have continued to grow over the years. Especially the expansion of our fire inspection division. Throughout all that growth, we have held a strong reputation of delivering quality work for our customers.
What is the best part about working at Howe?
In the years I’ve been with Howe, the company has always put a priority on delivering high quality work for the customer. They also continue to seek out innovative ways to be the best in our industry. Howe also remains true to the core values – honesty, integrity, quality, professionalism, trustworthiness, and leadership.
What advice would you give someone interested in pursuing a career in your field?
Working in my field is a highly specialized area. It’s taken many years of experience and some hard lessons to get to the inspector level. Although it can be challenging work, it is also very rewarding. For anyone interested in this line of work, I’d suggest learning as many different things that you can! There are so many different piping styles and materials – the more knowledge you can gain, the better. Also know that it can take time to learn all these things and that is okay as it can seem overwhelming at first. If you have a question when you are in the field or you don’t know how to approach something, always ask questions. Another great thing about Howe is that the company has a long history and many friendly faces who are always willing to help.
How do you like to spend your free time?
I am a person that likes to build and create things. When I’m not at work, you might find my wife and I working on a Church project, Mission trip, traveling, camping, finishing building our home, or just playing cards while watching a show. I suffered through cancer in 2014 and have realized life is fragile and short. Take time to enjoy what you like to do – and do it, don’t just talk about it! I am happy to say the cancer is gone and I now live life more thankful for each day.
Interested in building a career with Howe?
View our job openings and learn more about life at Howe.