Leading by Example: Harold Keppner
At 80 years young, Harold Keppner is something of a mentor to all of us here at Porter Pipe. He began his career back in 1957, joining the ranks of his father and grandfather as a third generation heating contractor. Since that time he’s worked as a journeyman fitter, foreman and superintendent, he’s racked up experience at Troph Heating and Sunrise Heating, and he ran his own commercial and residential heating company before joining us here at Porter Pipe. He’s been with us since ’93 and we’re eternally grateful for all the years we’ve had him on our team.
Harold is a lifelong union man with a warm personality and a heck of a knack for mechanical contracting and pipefitting. He’s a veteran member of our outside sales team with a level of knowledge and expertise that the rest of his team looks up to. And rightfully so. Harold’s someone we can all learn from, in large part thanks to his own drive to learn and add to his skill sets. From early on, Harold has actively sought out new skills and “traded his knowledge for the knowledge of others,” as he puts it.
It’s exactly that kind of collaborative thinking that brought him to Porter Pipe in the first place. Our founder Ralph Porter knew Harold from his days running Keppner Heating and Piping and was eager to bring him into the Porter Pipe family after Harold sold his company. Harold’s bond with the Porter family has only grown stronger from there, with respect, an eagerness for hard work and a passion for our industry helping Harold in his career with us and helping us grow as a company. “This is the best job I’ve ever had,” Harold says. “Jim Porter is like a son to me. I’ve been treated better here than by any boss I’ve ever had—including myself!”
When it comes to being treated right, everyone on the Porter Pipe team can attest that the feeling’s mutual. Harold gives us his 110% daily. “If I’m going to do something, I’m going to be the best at it,” he says to give us a glimpse into his personal mantra for success. “Every day, at every opportunity, find a way to help a customer and provide exceptional service,” Harold adds. “Honesty and integrity, that’s what you need.”
Those are wise words we hope Harold can pass on to everyone else here at Porter Pipe, and thankfully he’s reassured us there’s more where that came from. Harold’s a true leader for us and he’s not showing any signs of slowing. As he put it, “as long as I can be productive, I’ll be here.”