5 Questions With Rob Rivera of AmeriCold and Tech24

As social and tech-savvy as ever, the president of AmeriCold and regional director of the east division for Tech24 remains eager to be in the field.

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1. What inspired you to join the service industry?

I’m one of the lucky ones who knew from a very young age what I wanted to do for a living. My cousin John worked in refrigeration, and he was like a hero to me. He drove around a big truck filled with tools and could fix anything. I knew I wanted to grow up to help people like he did. I started in this field in 1999 and worked for a few companies before joining Bob Levine at AmeriCold in 2001. He was looking for someone to help grow the business, and after meeting with him I knew there was great opportunity at his company. I also knew I could learn a lot from him and saw his knowledge of the business come into play many times over our years working together as we grew the company. Bob has this ability to take any situation, whether it was on a site or in the office, and look at it from every angle before making a decision.

2. What has changed the most in your field since you started?

I’ve got to say the technology. Going from pagers to flip phones to now smartphones has been a game changer. That one tool gives us the ability to capture signatures, order parts, create invoices and take photos on-site. The Bluetooth technology on our tools also has amped up efficiencies. We can be two places at once, down on the ground with the equipment monitoring gauges on the roof, rather than having to bring two people to the job site. It all improves our ability to better serve the customers.

3. What excites you the most about the future of the industry?

In the refrigeration sector, things are constantly changing, with refrigerants being phased out and new technology coming in. Sometimes it can be more terrifying than exciting. But the growth in this segment of the industry has me excited. The family we’ve gained in joining with Tech24, and their encouragement of an entrepreneurial spirit, brings opportunity for how we conduct business.

4. Where do you find the best new ideas and creative solutions for your business?

My biggest source of inspiration is other people. Whether it’s operators on a job site or business leaders in the community, I’m always talking to people. Through sharing stories, hearing what they’re going through, what they’ve struggled with and where they find success, even if it’s not in my field, we can learn from each other. I’m like a sponge, and soak up everything around me. I feel like so many people walk around with blinders on, and they’re missing out on so many opportunities to learn and grow.

5. What is your favorite piece of foodservice equipment and why?

My favorite equipment is one that works. But all joking aside, if I have to pick one it would be the mirror top griddle. One of my favorite things to do is cook breakfast for my family on the weekends, and those mirror tops are always so beautiful. Plus, they’re easy to clean!

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