Bob Hotchkiss, Regional Sales Manager for Missouri, retired from Doolittle Distributing on December 31, 2019. Bob had been with us since August 1, 1991, almost 28 years. He was instrumental in establishing DDI and our brands at the time, Thermador, Sub-Zero and Scotsman, throughout what was then our territory, Kansas and Western Missouri. Throughout most of his career, and as our total territory grew, Bob called on dealers in Eastern Kansas and Western Missouri, including Kansas City. Within the past several years Bob and his wife Rita relocated to the Lake of the Ozarks area and Bob assumed responsibilities for our rural Missouri dealers. During his career Bob help helped launch over 30 high-end appliance brands and today our total territory has grown to over 10 states. Bob is already missed by us here at DDI and by all the dealers he had come to know over the years. Best of luck to Bob and Rita.
We also said goodbye to Pat Laughlin, who retired from DDI in May 2019. Pat first joined the company on March 4, 1997, as Service Manager, working with service providers and dealers. In 2007 Pat left and spent several years in the home remodeling business. He returned, however, in 2015 where he assumed several responsibilities, including on our Order Desk and as the company handyman. Pat was instrumental in our move to our current location and the construction of our current showroom. He was a friend to all. Pat and his wife Donna still live in their Olathe, Kansas home where they enjoy their grandchildren. We are always happy to see him when he drops by.
Likewise, Steve Nurre, DDI Service Manager, retired on December 31, 2019. Steve had been with us since August 1, 2007, over 12 years. Steve replaced Pat Laughlin and managed the service functions related to the brands we have distributed over the years. He continued to build strong relationships with our dealers and service providers. His background was in appliance service and he came to us from the previous Viking distributor. Steve worked from our headquarters in Lenexa, Kansas and he and his wife Betsy continue to live in their Overland Park, Kansas home. We know Steve is enjoying retirement as evidenced by the huge smile on his face when he occasionally drops by.
We have also welcomed several additions to our staff. MacKenzie McCubbin joined DDI in July 2019 on our Order Desk. She is new to the appliance industry but, we have learned, is a quick study. She wasn’t with us long before she and her husband Cole found they were expecting their first child! Macie McCubbin was born on November 13, 2019 and MacKenzie returned to work in January. The McCubbins live in Overland Park, Kansas. Welcome aboard, MacKenzie!
Jen Ebert replaces Bob Hotchkiss as Regional Sales Manager for Missouri. She officially came on board on December 2, 2019. Jen and her husband Brandon live in Columbia, Missouri with their two young children, Edie and Olive. She is a graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute and acquired her appliance background at the Nebraska Furniture Mart in Kansas City. Most recently Jen was a sales rep for Maple Distributing in Dallas, Texas. We are thrilled to have Jen and know she will continue to provide our Missouri dealers with the kind of service they came to expect from DDI and Bob Hotchkiss.
Our newest staff addition is Austen Davis, Regional Sales Manager based in Chicago. Austen joined DDI on February 1, 2020 and is new to the outdoor kitchen/grill industry. He was most recently a regional sales manager for Comcast/Xfinity. Austen will assume responsibility for DDI outdoor dealers in The Dakotas, Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Chicago area. Austen’s interests include fitness, travel and outdoor activities . . . perfect fit for a Blaze rep. Welcome, Austen!