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People of Price: Brian Merner

Posted by Price Industries on December 1, 2020 at 1:15 PM
Price Industries

Serving Customers Around the World

Price’s ever-growing team is made up of extraordinarily talented individuals from different backgrounds. We've profiled a “person of Price” to give you a glimpse at the person behind all
those emails or the voice at the end of the phone! Today we introduce Brian Merner.

Brian Merner

Price Industies: What is your current title and role at Price Industries?

Brian Merner: I am the Customer Service Manager for E.H. Price International (EHPI). EHPI was created in 2019 to lead our international business outside of North America. My role is to ensure our global customers are receiving the best possible service EHPI can provide, with the goal of achieving a winning outcome for our customers. If our customers are receiving the proper support they need to make their jobs easier, favorable outcomes tend to naturally ensue. We are strategically positioned with our Regional Managers located in hub locations in each region (Latin America, Middle East and North Africa, and Asia Pacific) where our customers can rely on full support from both our Regional Managers and our head office. With multiple time zones, this two-pronged approach to service has proved to be successful.

In addition to helping customers with their day-to-day objectives, I also support our EHPI team with strategic projects, market initiatives, and monitoring, collecting and reporting customer and internal
performance. The most satisfying part of my career at EHPI is visiting with or hosting our customers. Though technology has made communication easier, I find that personal interaction is still the most
important part of a successful partnership in any region.

Price: How long have you been with Price Industries, and what other roles have you worked in since you started?

BM: I started with Price Industries in February 2003 in the GRD specials design department followed by the GRD customer service quoting department. From there, I moved into the GRD Specials Design Manager role and then into the Customer Service Manager position for Price International – the predecessor to EHPI – in 2010.

In 2010, Price was looking for individuals to begin its international journey. This looked like an interesting and potentially rewarding career change from design, so I took the chance and joined the team! Price International was a newly formed department with the goal of laying a foundation for Price in the global market. It began with just two of us working to establish our rep network, setting up a licensee manufacture in the Middle East region, and slowly gaining exposure and supplying successful projects. Since these early years, EHPI has expanded to eight people and has established a rep network and a sales record to be proud of.

Price: How did you find yourself in your current area of specialty – was it a lifelong interest and aptitude, or did it evolve later in life?

BM: Growing up, I had many interests: sports (Go Jets go!), mechanical workings, geography, history, environmental science and business, due to my parents’ careers. My mother was a financial advisor and my father was the corporate director of a large grocery chain in Canada. I was exposed early to finance (start early: save and invest) and the complexity of how a business operates. I knew I was going to have a career relating either to science or business. My career path was influenced in high school; I was fortunate to attend a school that offered a design class that included an early version of AutoCAD. I became fascinated with AutoCAD (keep in mind this was the ’90s and computers were new) and the mechanical aspect of how things are designed from conception through manufacturing to completion (think How It’s Made). This experience led me to graduate from college with a design background, and I’ve turned that interest into a career. As my career progressed, I discovered a job posting for the international business that Price was looking to expand. I’ve always been fascinated with travel, culture and geography, so this opportunity really appealed to me. I was interested in this position because it was something unique; it would allow me to explore the manufacturing side that I enjoy and would give me the opportunity to delve into the international business aspect as well.
Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve really enjoyed my time in the Price International group.

E. H. Price International TeamBrian (far left) with E.H. Price International team members Peter Lutkic, Marty Maykut and Gillian Groening

Price: What was the career path that brought you to Price, and what was it about Price that inspired you to join this team?

BM: Out of college, I was recruited to work at a local HVAC company that manufactured air handlers and rooftop units. That was my entry into manufacturing and into the HVAC field. It was a smaller,
stagnant company, and I didn’t really see a future for myself there. When I learned that Price was hiring, I took a chance and sent in an application. I didn’t know much about Price at the time, but I knew it was in the same field, and I’m happy I took that chance. I feel very fortunate to have built a career at Price and to still be here today, all these years later.

Price: What are some industry developments that you’ve seen in your time within the field that have changed the way you think and work?

BM: I’m truly impressed at the way developing countries are adapting to sustainable energy products in the HVAC industry, along with modernizing their healthcare facilities. This is not only significant for
the environment, but it also benefits the people in those communities. This keeps our business busy and keeps us on our toes and makes the day-to-day fresh and exciting. Getting to support positive
change around the world is very gratifying.

Rock Paper Scissors tournamentBrian fights an intense battle of Rock, Paper, Scissors to raise money for the United Way in 2006

Price: What is your favorite project you’ve worked on in your time in the industry?

BM: Honestly, there have been so many that I could fill a book. From the international sales side of things, getting to know individuals from around the world has provided me with a better understanding
of how different regions conduct business and has expanded my understanding of our world itself. The education this role has provided me in terms of global economics is priceless.

I would have to say that my favorite project is the Hamad International Airport in Qatar. I worked on this project several years ago, and it’s still the largest-value project EHPI has supplied. It involved nearly all our product categories, and it was a fascinating project in terms of scope. This airport is one-third the size of Doha, the country’s capital, is the second-largest airport in the region, and is already looking to expand. It was such an incredible opportunity to have the support of the engineering consultants on this project. They specified Price and followed through on the design with our products and the many different technologies that we offer.

We conducted a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis on the displacement products involved in this project, and a few of the engineers working on the design flew to Winnipeg, MB, from Qatar in the middle of winter to witness a lab mock-up verifying the CFD analysis. It was amazing to work on such a large project so early on in my career and to bring in so many facets of the business – including CFD and the lab mock-up at Price Research Center North – and put it all together to complete a very successful project.

Interestingly, the World Cup of Soccer will be in Qatar in 2022, and the whole world will be traveling through that airport filled with Price products. That’s remarkable to me.

Kuwait Seminar_edit

Brian Merner (far left), Marty Maykut (third from left), Julian Rimmer (third from right), and Joe Cyr (far right) attend a Price products seminar in Kuwait with rep partner, Bader Al Mulla

Price: What do you feel is the biggest contribution you have made at Price Industries (or in the HVAC community)?

BM: Being part of the legacy, conception and foundation building of Price International, I’ve been able to support Price in its global exposure, helping to get the company known as a reputable brand
outside of North America. It has been a lot of hard work in terms of customer relations – not just electronically, but physically meeting everyone and making sure we deliver honest and successful projects to help our growth in each region.

From the conception of Price International to where we are now with EHPI has been an exciting journey. Over the years, we’ve had visitors at Price from more than 70 countries around the world. This demonstrates the reach of Price and how following the Price principles of service will lead to success. The world is a large and unique place, and for our products not only to be accepted in huge global projects but to be preferred is a legacy I feel can’t be replaced.

Price Product Catalog & Engineer's HVAC Handbook

Topics: Employees, HVAC, People of Price, Price International

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