‘Journey of responsible growth’

By Mike Lewis
In addition to running Tri-County Pumps and being involved in other activities, William “Billy” Griffith Jr. is chairman of the Associated Builders and Contractors, Cumberland Valley Chapter, Professionals Group. He also sits on the GenNext committee. And he enjoys a cup of coffee on a break.

William ‘Billy’ Griffith Jr., executive manager, Tri-County Pumps of Boonsboro, Md.

By MIKE LEWIS
mlewis@crossroadsbizjournal.com

Coffee Break

As the next generation of leadership at Tri-County Pumps, William “Billy” Griffith Jr. looks to continue what he calls a “journey of responsible growth.”

Griffith, 29, is a graduate of Boonsboro High School and Hood College. He was working in the insurance industry but joined his father, William Sr., in running the business after the death of his mother, Amonica.

“I came back to help them get situated, and I just decided to stay. … That was quite the change. We’ve grown quite a bit since that period of time,” Griffith said.

“We have a really good dynamic,” Billy Griffith said about the working relationship with his father. “I think that mutual respect is what makes the dynamic work so well.”

In addition to growing the business, the younger is involved in community projects, including efforts to revitalize Hagerstown and company “evenings of caring” to volunteer. He chairs the young professionals group of the Associated Builder and Contractors’ Cumberland Valley Chapter, and he is a member of the GenNext committee.

On a break, do you reach for coffee, tea, soda, water …?

I go for a cup of coffee, no doubt. I try to consistently drink water throughout the day, but coffee is what I crave. It’s funny, because our office is divided when it comes to K-Cup preferences. There’s team Dunkin’ and team Green Mountain. I’m all about Dunkin’ when I’m at the office. I can drink my coffee black, but extra hazelnut creamer is my guilty pleasure. When I’m out of the office, my coffee habits are seasonal. During the warmer months I must stop by Dunkin’ Donuts to grab a frozen coffee, but during the colder months I drop into Starbucks for hot white mocha.

An average day for you includes …?

Each day is different for me, and I believe being fluid allows me to maximize productivity. Most mornings begin at 5:30 a.m. with a trip to the gym, followed by vitamins and a healthy breakfast. Before leaving the house for work I try to make sure I hydrate with a full glass of water before walking out the door. My work day can be easily described as fast-paced and high-energy. I juggle between multiple tasks, meetings and errands. I like to start my work day catching up on correspondences and transition into short kickoff meetings with my team to see what their agendas  look like to ensure the priority of tasks is in proper order. My evenings are typically filled with various activities such as family time, networking, fundraising, community events or simply dinner with my beautiful fiancé, Amber.

What are some of the challenges and opportunities Tri-County Pumps faces this year? What’s on the horizon for your company?

I don’t believe the challenges Tri-County Pumps faces are much different than other businesses in our industry. The number-one challenge is workforce development. There are simply not enough — hardly any — young people entering a career in plumbing. This is alarming, considering over 50 percent of plumbers are Baby Boomers and beginning to retire at a rapid pace. It’s difficult to draw the skilled professionals needed, but it’s equally difficult to draw fresh talent with the work ethic needed to be successful in this industry.

Tri-County Pumps has many unique opportunities this year. Proudly, we are a part of the new Frederick Rescue Mission kitchen. We have also implemented quarterly evenings of caring, where our company goes out and volunteers in the community. We have also began a relationship with the Youth Apprentice Program offered through the Department of Labor and hope to see this opportunity become successful for us.

I hope to see Tri-County Pumps continue its journey of responsible growth. I can only wish that we can further influence a more positive perception of plumbing as a career choice, so that more individuals will choose plumbing as a career.

You’ve devoted some time and energy to GenNext and the Revitalizing Hagerstown efforts. Why is that important, and what do you see as the future of those efforts?

Fortunately, I have been in a unique position serving for two of our area’s vitally important Young Professional Groups. Currently, I am the chairman of the Associated Builders and Contractors Cumberland Valley Chapter Young Professionals Group, but I’m also on the GenNext committee led by Chairman Ryan Beachley. As a result, we were able to successfully host a joint event called Revitalize Hagerstown.

The ideal of revitalizing Hagerstown is tremendously important. Our area has a vibrant, talented and innovated group of young professionals who see untapped potential for the area. Hagerstown was once referred to as Hub City for good reason. It’s uniquely positioned between essential routes of transport, making it a prime location for manufacturing and trade. Unfortunately, like many areas in the country, Hagerstown’s potential has been overshadowed by economic, workforce and opioid issues. We hope that Revitalize Hagerstown will become a movement or “catalyst for connecting” so that we can better connect our community’s resources with the individuals or businesses in need of them. Hopefully our tough conversations on touchy subjects can help speed up the progress of improvements through properly placed pressure from the private sector.

It’s not about who gets to the finish line first with solutions, but that we get there quickly. There are many of the same efforts being made to offer solutions, but not enough of us putting ourselves aside to work together instead of independently. Revitalize Hagerstown will be hosting another event later this fall, and we are exited about the partnership we’ve made for the next event. We will continue to address the same topics, but the format will inspire to connect on a personal level with audience. It’s certainly not an event the public nor business community will want to miss.

Outside of your career and GenNext, what are your ambitions and aspirations?

Outside of my career, my main focus is to marry and build a wonderful life with my fiancé Amber in the spring of 2019. I will also continue seeking God’s will for my life to remain under his guidance in future opportunities. It would be a tragedy if I did not make an intentional effort to influence at least one small, positive difference during my lifetime. Public service is something that I care deeply about. Whether it’s performed behind the scenes or in an open forum doesn’t really matter to me.

Want to share a cup of coffee with our readers? Send an email to facetime@crossroadsbizjournal.com or call reporter Mike Lewis at 301-791-7482.