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Rob Hastings

Rob Hastings, Vice President, Distributor Support Services

Rob Hastings

Vice President, Distributor Support Services

I truly appreciate the strength and value of our distribution model. Our dedicated network is in sync with the company’s vision and values, and customers see us as one organization, which is a remarkable achievement. It’s a pleasure to support our sales and service centers, and I think I bring a rather unique set of experiences and perspectives to my role as vice president, distributor support services.

I was born and raised in the U.K. My mother was a teacher and my father a quality manager for a manufacturing company. From an early age, I was extremely interested in engineering, and I often accompanied my father when he dropped in to see the off-shift teams and was fascinated by the machines and heat treatment furnaces. I pursued a degree in engineering and began my career as a design engineer for a pressure regulator manufacturing company.

Although I enjoyed my work as a design engineer, I didn’t see it as my vocation. I sought opportunities in operations, operations management, and then general management. I was fortunate to work for a large U.K. engineering group and to have the opportunity to gain experience in five very different businesses, from specialty gases to military ships' electrical equipment to pressure regulators.

The regulator manufacturing company was Kenmac Ltd., located on the Isle of Man. I took the role of managing director in 1993, at which time my family and I emigrated to the Isle. When the U.K. engineering company decided to sell Kenmac in 1996, I purchased the business as a management buyout. Kenmac worked with independent, multi-line distributors and, as a business owner, I began to recognize the inherent inadequacies of this sales channel.

Swagelok acquired Kenmac, now Swagelok Limited, in 2003. I stayed on as managing director during the Swagelok integration, which took about two years. I then joined the Swagelok marketing team to help commercialize the product lines before taking on a role as a market manager.

In 2011, I moved to the distributor support services team, serving as a regional director for Asia Pacific. I later served in the same role for Canada and the U.S., and most recently for Europe, Middle East, and Africa. The role was a great fit because I had experience and knowledge of doing business globally. It also afforded me the opportunity to gain global awareness of Swagelok’s footprint, as well as the nuances of each market and region.

Having owned a business and gaining that global perspective enables me to approach my role as vice president, distributor support services, with a greater level of empathy and understanding. I am in tune with the opportunities and challenges small- and medium-sized businesses face.

I see so many opportunities for us to work with our customers in new ways. Their needs are always evolving, and we need to be at the leading edge of that curve, remaining relevant. It’s really an exciting time.

As a leader, I am approachable and calm, and I always try to be authentic. Early in my career, I realized the importance of getting to know your team on a personal level and building strong relationships. I’m committed to developing, mentoring, and offering guidance to help others be successful. It’s really gratifying to see many of those that I’ve mentored doing well in their careers. A crucial part of my vision for distributor support services is the development of leadership talent for succession planning.

Outside of work, I have two adult children; my son is an architect and my daughter owns an interior design company. I have always held a passion for architecture as well, and I seek out significant buildings in every city I visit.