Employee Spotlight: Scott Heke
What is your role at WhiteWater?
I am the Director of the After Sales & Service team. Our team mainly focuses on water parks but we are work on all of WhiteWater’s product line. My typical day is made up of lots of phone calls and emails to customers, though I occasionally will travel to the site. Our team does everything from sales, estimating, and proposal creation. We have a mighty team of about seven After Sales representatives around the world.
Congratulations on your 25 year work anniversary! What are some of the reasons why you’ve stayed at WhiteWater for so long?
The people at the company are great but I think I have stayed so long because of the opportunities for growth. I started in 1996 to manufacture, we were so small that when I showed up for my first day there were only two other people in the shop! During this time I welded and manufactured a lot of our Aquaplay structures and slide towers but would really do whatever they would throw at us. I worked in manufacturing for about five or six years before taking over the steel manufacturing shop and overseeing and managing it. I was able to learn everything about what goes into hiring, ordering materials, and organizing staff schedules. I did that for a years before an opportunity came up to move into the office as a Project Manager with a concentration on warranty. So, I moved into the office, and that’s when the company really started to grow. During this time we got a lot of requests for replacement parts and repair requests and identified the opportunity for an additional revenue stream. Geoff put me in charge of the newly minted After Sales department and let me run with it, growing it into what it is today.
To summarize, I stay because of the opportunities to grow, the great people, and of course because the industry is fantastic. WhiteWater is just overall a great company to work with, it’s been an amazing 25 years.
What do you find most rewarding about the work that you’re doing?
The aspect I enjoy the most is interacting with the customer and helping them identify what they need. Once we identify their needs and deliver on those are probably the most rewarding because you are creating a solution for someone else.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about your position?
As far as After Sales as a whole, I think people would be surprised at the amount of research and data compliation that is required. It is essential for our team to make sure the right materials are getting delivered to the customers. There is a ton of ground work required to get a project out the door so that’s one huge misconception. I think the other thing that would surprise people is that our team interacts with a lot of different folks from owners to maintenance individuals, we don’t just communicate with the park’s maintenance folks.
What is the best career lesson you’ve learned so far?
I’ve learned to learn to trust my gut—it’s very seldom wrong. In my career there have been moments where it felt like my gut was saying one thing but because of external pressures or having my head say something different I would make a decision, not in line with my gut and it wouldn’t work out. Your gut is always right!
What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?
My first choice would probably be a studio and/or touring musician. I grew up playing guitar as a kid and still play in a band to this day. I love music. If I wasn’t doing that I might dabble in real estate, there is something interesting to me about that field as well.
If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would you choose?
Good question… maybe an elite athlete like Michael Jordan or Wayne Gretzky? I think it would be interesting to be someone with so much raw talent where its practically obsence an unreal. I would enjoy seeing what it feels like to play a sport at such a high level.
What’s on your bucket list?
I still have more travel I would like to do and see different parts of the world. Part of that travel would include playing all the famous golf courses (St. Andrews) and seeing great concerts at great venues (Royal Albert Hall & Red Rocks in Colorado).
What are some of your hobbies outside of work?
Music and golf!