Representing every market and segment, WIKA USA teams from around the country convened in north Georgia for the 2024 national sales meeting. On the agenda: back to basics to better serve our customers, and giving to a good cause.

Photo above: Bill Edinger, vice-president of sales and marketing, and Jeff Christian, senior sales director,
speak about getting back to the basics at WIKA USA’s 2024 national sales meeting.

Over four days in late January and early February, about 80 WIKA sales and marketing employees gathered at Lanier Islands’ Legacy Lodge in Buford, Georgia. Their task: to get back to the basics of supporting our customers with exceptional service and products.

Back to Basics of the Business

This year’s meeting was much anticipated as WIKA USA subsidiaries and sales reps hadn’t come together since 2022, as 2023’s get-together was devoted to training on the company’s new management platform. While the mood at the resort was lighthearted and enthusiastic, with plenty of catching up among old friends, leaders were serious about the fundamentals of the business.

Todd Gardner, president of WIKA USA and executive vice-president of WIKA Group – Americas, spoke of WIKA USA’s performance and vision, customer care and support, and taking the company to the next level of innovation. These include digital sales with a new product configurator and a focus on the industrial internet of things (IIoT). Backing up Gardner were two WIKA executives from Germany: Christian Payne, head of global product management – Gauges, and Thomas Hasenoehrl, vice president of IIoT systems and solutions.

Bill Edinger, vice-president of sales and marketing, and Drew Firestone, vice-president of strategy and marketing, led sessions on various go-to-market strategies for OEM, sales partners, and distribution. And while every segment is important, the hydrogen economy and off-highway vehicles received extra attention as growth markets in the coming years.

The 2024 sales meeting was also a time to learn more about the operations of WIKA USA subsidiaries and partners. In attendance were representatives from the WIKA USA branch in Houston (diaphragm seals, electronic temperature measurement); WIKA Sensor Technology (force measurement) in greater Columbus, Ohio; WIKA Mobile Control (safety devices of lifting machines) in Chambersburg, Penn.; and Phase IV Engineering (wireless sensing solutions) in Boulder, Colo.

The Fundamentals with Lots of Good Fun

Whenever WIKA USA employees are gathered, they will have a good time – and this year’s sales meeting was no exception! The opening reception had a Games Night theme, with a variety of digital games available, but the real highlight was the dozens of colleagues who caught up on each other’s lives and work throughout the evening. Next was Casino Night, a high-stakes evening with fake money but real competition. William Boothe (1st place), Eric Adair (2nd place), and George Gugich (3rd place) took home the “winnings” and bragging rights.

Company leadership initiated an engaging charity initiative, enhancing team cohesion while supporting a noble cause. Through a creative fundraising endeavor, contributions were directed to Rainbow House, an organization dedicated to safeguarding children in central Georgia. With a notable donation from the executive team, WIKA USA was able to significantly contribute to this meaningful endeavor, providing $2,500 toward their efforts.

At the end of the four-day sales meeting, everyone went home with a better understanding – and greater appreciation – of the company, its vision, and its future. Jason Dean, sales development specialist at WIKA Mobile Control, summed it up well when he said, “This meeting made me realize that I am part of something really big.”

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