Although ORR Associates live across the United States, the expansive web of Associates are deeply connected and intertwined. Our growing family across three main divisions works with each other hand in hand to accomplish personal and professional goals. Follow the story of Aaron and his family as he talks about his new role as a trainer and his upcoming move to Louisville.
How did you get your start at ORR?
Aaron: "I've been in the fire protection industry for 17 years, with a large chunk in special hazards. I started working for my father-in-law and grew up in the industry. A Project Coordinator opportunity became available at ORR in Florida, so I applied for the position. I had already heard a lot of great things about ORR and took a leap of faith and came to work for ORR in 2011."
Can you describe your progression from a Project Coordinator to where you are today?
Aaron: "Project coordination for ORR is essentially keeping your contractors on track and on schedule, making sure the right parts are ordered, and aligning with the sales team to verify you're installing what they sold. I established myself in that role with the Florida team and coordinated projects in that area.
Aaron (in blue) during our Fall 2017 Open House.
I actually left ORR in 2015 to work for my father-in-law's company after he passed away. After about a year, I transitioned back into my old role as a project coordinator in early 2016. I spoke with Lee Kaiser and a position became available as a technical trainer, so here I am and that's what I'm doing now. I travel back and forth from Orlando to Louisville to help develop the training department with Bob Devlin.
My wife is also employed at ORR. She also accepted a position at ORR in Louisville, and we will be transferring to Louisville in the summer of 2018. My Florida Operations Manager, David Fox, has been very supportive and helped a lot with my decisions. He told me that anything I need, he would help me with, and this meant a lot. With his backing, the transition was a lot easier."
Tell us a little about yourself and what you do in your free time?
Aaron: "I spend time with my family. I've got three kids; the oldest is 18, the middle is 12, the youngest is 9. I also ride motorcycles and work on my house, which brings up a good point about my transfer. ORR will work with you.
We just bought the house in February; ORR offered me the new position in March. I told them I'd love to accept the position, but my son was going to be a senior and we just bought a house. They said that's fine, we want you, stay in Florida for a year and let your son graduate high school. We agreed that I would move up there in the summer of 2018. At that point, I was ecstatic."
What's it like to work for a family company like ORR?
Aaron: "I came from a family-owned business, which was harder to work for because it was a very small operation. At ORR, you always have someone you can lean on and fall back on. ORR has a lot of talent, and to be able to lean back on their expertise speaks volumes. There are a lot of experts who work here and know all the details there are to know, and they're just a phone call away.
Aaron (left) with Yakin Frazier (right) at a Louisville Bats Game during Apprentice Training Week.
Every conference where we all get together and rub elbows with each other, we talk about our families and personal lives. It's a great thing. I'm not aware of any other company that has this.
As far as family goes, it is a family atmosphere out in the field as well. Nobody ever wants to leave someone out there with a technical problem. You never feel like you're alone. We just have a bunch of great people here."
What opportunities do people have to build a career at ORR?
Aaron: "When I first started, I never thought I'd be doing this as a career. For new hires coming in, I hope they give a fire protection career a chance. The possibilities are endless as far as where you want to go. From those just starting out to the seasoned veterans, we've all got a place in this puzzle. There's always an opportunity to shape your career the way you want it, and I'm a prime example of that.
The training program we're creating is geared for people with no experience as well as those with only a fire alarm background. We cross-train them for suppression. It's a great opportunity for someone that's green to come in and get training and experience from the get-go."
Aaron: "I've been given the gift of being able to give back. I grew up in this industry with several great mentors that took me under their wings and taught me what they knew. I'm ecstatic I'm able to give back. I know it wasn't easy for those who tried to teach me, and if I can give that back to the next person, and they're able to give that to someone else, then I've done my job."
Note: Aaron and his family are safe after Hurricane Irma hit Florida in early September.