After an incredible decade and a half, Regional Sales Manager Bob Cusick is closing his chapter with ProTeam. As everyone at ProTeam wishes a fond farewell to Bob, we are taking a look back at his legacy and remembering all that Bob brought to the table, both during his time on the management team and previously as a ProTeam representative.
Bob’s history with ProTeam started during the first years of the company. In the late ‘80s, he worked closely with ProTeam founder Larry Shideler as the first ProTeam rep in the state of Florida.
One Vacuum at a Time
“Back then, ProTeam was one vacuum at a time,” said Bob. “Larry was covering one half of the country and Mark Reimers was covering the other half. We were building from the ground up.”
After his time as a ProTeam rep, Bob worked elsewhere in the industry selling cleaning chemicals. When he heard that ProTeam was looking to hire regional managers in 2006, he sent his resume to Vice President of Sales Rich Steinberg. Rich appreciated Bob’s experience in the industry, and his knowledge of the accounts in the Southeast region.
“To start with, Bob is just a great guy who you want to spend time with, so that immediately makes him an asset,” said Rich. “But he also has the ability to judge a situation and read the people in the room, so that he knows just how to start and what points he needs to cover. He has mastered the skill of adjusting to every situation.”
The Importance of Company Culture
For most of Bob’s tenure with ProTeam, he reported to Rich Steinberg. During the last few years, he reported to Eastern Zone Manager Ray Noonan. For Bob, the defining characteristic of ProTeam company culture was the free sharing of knowledge and support within the management team.
“Rich always did a great job of preparing us for the next thing. We were learning something every day,” said Bob. “If he felt there was a situation, he never failed to stop and take a moment for coaching. That was also true for the whole team of regional managers. We were always a very closely knit group, and that’s a credit to the management.”
As Bob looks ahead to his next steps, he is taking the lessons from his years at ProTeam with him.
“The last 14 years have made me a better leader and better communicator,” said Bob. “I have learned how to manage people more effectively, and how to get the best out of them.”
Advice to Future Managers
When asked what advice he would give to future ProTeam regional managers, he had this to say:
“Always work with your reps and have their backs. If there was a situation that they were confronted with, I always told my reps to direct any heat back to me. I never wanted my reps to take the heat, because I wanted them to stay focused on the next opportunity.”
In his decades in the industry, Bob has watched cleaning professionals embrace technology and the digital landscape. With that evolution came changes to how he sold ProTeam products.
“In the early days of ProTeam, the first time someone would see the product would be in a presentation,” said Bob. “Now, they see everything online before we ever meet in person. To counteract that, I have to go beyond the product features and benefits and delve into the philosophy behind our products, like improving productivity and Cleaning for Health.”
Looking back, Bob describes his experience with ProTeam as wholly positive.
I don’t have a sour moment…I’ll carry these friendships forever”
“I don’t have a sour moment. My tenure with ProTeam has been nothing but a positive time,” said Bob. “I got to know everyone. I’ve seen families grow up. I’ll carry these friendships on forever.”
Rich echoed Bob’s positive experience.
“Every day for 14 years, I knew that if I called Bob Cusick, I would get a very bright and sunny outlook on what the future was going to be,” said Rich. “He had that optimistic, can-do attitude. Even when things were tough, he could formulate the right strategy to turn it around.”
Typical of Bob, as a man who truly loves the Jan San industry, he is not quite ready to stay at home and perfect his admittedly horrible golf game.
“I love to work, and I really want to see what I can do next in the industry that has been so good to me. I am looking forward to the new opportunities that lie ahead,” said Bob.
From the whole team at ProTeam, we wish good luck and good health to Bob Cusick. We are confident that he will succeed in whatever he takes on next. Thanks for a great run, Bob!