The marriage of technical expertise and business smarts is a powerful combination in the corporate world.
Early on in his education, Rob Vertesi recognized that he had enough interest in both science and business to wed the two worlds.
With that vision, McMaster’s Chemical Engineering and Management program was an attractive way to earn his engineering degree while also developing broader business skills.
“It was a no-brainer for me to utilize the unique Eng & Mgmt program as a springboard to complete an MBA degree at McMaster, which I knew early on I would want to pursue following my undergraduate degree,” says Vertesi.
He graduated with his BEng in 1991, then completed his MBA by 1996. The combination has enabled him to build a successful career in the industrial water technology industry.
In 1994, Vertesi started as a sales engineer with Burlington’s Ecodyne Limited. The company, part of the Marmon Group, is a manufacturer and worldwide supplier of industrial water treatment equipment.
Focusing on becoming a specialist in the company’s highest-volume product, Vertesi also sought to gain experience in all aspects of the business. In 2013, he brought that experience to the senior management team as a general manager.
Last January, Vertesi was named Vice President & General Manager, Aftermarket Business for both Ecodyne and Graver Water, a New Jersey company also part of the Marmon Group, which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
The position gives him total profit and loss financial accountability and makes him responsible for sales, field construction, and technical services groups working at customer facilities worldwide.
His advice to today’s engineering students is to constantly seek opportunities for growth. “Become an expert in whatever you do and do not underestimate the importance of continually gaining knowledge and being disciplined in how you conduct yourself,” he says. “Recognize throughout your career that time does move quickly and is limited, so make the most of it.”