1 on 1 with: John Downing

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I grew up in Middletown, Ohio and am a 1980 graduate of Middletown High School. I went on to earn a B.S. in Business Administration from Bowling Green State University. My wife, Mindy, and I have been married for 32 years and have two sons – Austin who teaches High School and Garrett who is a police officer. We also have a grandson of whom we are very proud.

What is your background in the industry?

I have twenty years of manufacturer’s rep experience representing building control instrumentation products. I’ve been with AEB Technologies since its inception in June of 2013. Today I represent building control instrument products. Prior to that I worked for Getter Control Systems.

What are your responsibilities at AEB?

My title is Vice President of Operations; but we wear many hats. I provide sales support to controls contractors, and mechanical contractors throughout Ohio. This includes sales, estimating for plan and specification projects, and negotiated projects. I work closely with our clients to see projects through from quoting to installation and service. This includes jobsite visits to assist controls contractors, and mechanical contractors on identifying best available locations for installation and startup of AEB represented products.

What compelled you to join the company?

AEB President, Joseph Moore and I worked together in the past at a previous manufacturer’s representative. I was interested in working with Joe to build a representative firm from the ground up. A firm that represents outstanding manufacturer’s, provides excellent service and is a valuable resource for our customers with solving problems. We had learned the value of trust and service along the way and wanted to build a company with those values.

What do you see as the industry’s biggest challenges today?

Like a lot of other industries, we are facing a workforce shortage. It doesn’t appear that many younger people are getting into such areas as civil engineering, construction, and planning. Perhaps this industry may not appear to be as glamourous as some of the others.

Also, we’re living in a technical world and this industry is no different. Technology changes quickly and keeping up with the latest advancements can be challenging for our clients. That’s why we stay on top of things and make sure that we’re able to help them to make informed decisions.

Is there any one project that stands out that you’re most proud of?

Yes, the City of Dayton Public Library. We worked with the design engineer to get approval of one of our manufacturer’s gas detection systems for Carbon Monoxide and Nitrogen Dioxide. This system was purchased and installed by a controls contractor, and ended up being a significant cost savings for both our contractor and the building owner. This system not only had a significant lower initial cost, but also a much lower maintenance cost over the life of the system. We always strive to deliver such results for our clients.

What are some of your interests outside of the business? Any interesting hobbies?

I enjoy spending time with the family and traveling – especially to the beach and warm weather climates. We live on a golf course and I like to get out and play regularly with some college friends. I enjoy attending sporting events from high school and college to professional. College football is my favorite.

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