An Interview with Dave Harwell, Route Service Representative
By Sarah Ross, Marketing Manager
Dave Harwell — six-year Huebsch veteran and four-time route person of the year — drives through his Northern Wisconsin service territory with a singular focus: getting to know his customers so he can service their needs better. Those customers are in Rice Lake, Hayward, Spooner, Barron, Bloomer, Shell Lake, and Chetek.
After spending part of his childhood in Illinois and Texas, Harwell’s family moved to Spooner, WI when he was a teenager. Harwell graduated from Spooner High School and elaborated on what it’s like to service his hometown.
“It’s great to be back in Spooner. I still have a lot of connections to the community,” shared Harwell.
After high school, Harwell earned an Associate Degree in IT Network Systems from Chippewa Valley Technical College. When he graduated from CVTC, he found the jobs available were primarily in helpdesk and support, not networking.
“I quickly realized I wasn’t meant for sitting behind a desk,” added Harwell. “I also had management experience from working my way up through a convenience store chain. I was having a hard time figuring out what I was going to do next when a Huebsch truck drove by my house.”
He smiles, “Maybe it was fate.”
“I’m forever thankful to Mary Steinke, former general manager, for taking a chance on me,” he said.
Harwell quickly found that he was happier working for Huebsch.
“I have the freedom to work at my own pace, with a four-day work week and great work-life balance,” said Harwell enthusiastically. “Huebsch is really invested in our training. Whether it’s related to NFSI (National Floor Safety Institute) and floor safety, restroom products, or service performance, we receive a lot of training.”
He emphasizes, “We aren’t just drivers here, we are product and service specialists.” Most importantly, Harwell believes his job revolves around keeping the customers happy.
Harwell shared often how he thinks of his service route like his own business, adding “It’s our job to keep the best interests of the customer in mind and take care of them. If you take care of the customer, they will take care of you.”
He seems to know a thing or two about putting this philosophy into practice as he has been Huebsch’s route person of the year for four years in a row. To earn the title of route person of the year, the route representative needs to excel at servicing their current customers, retain those customers, and be on the lookout for new customers Huebsch can help in their territory.
Harwell simplifies what the job requires even further, “There is no special sauce. It’s all about getting to know the customer and building a relationship. They can then understand and trust you, and everything else just falls into place.”
Huebsch continues to grow in both Wisconsin and Minnesota. If you are interested in learning more about our route service representative positions, check out our Careers page.