Charleston Cross County, SC: One Driver’s Journey to Branch Manager
“I started as a driver seven years ago, and I always had the goal of becoming a branch manager, so this is pretty awesome,” said Patrick Rourk, Branch Manager of the new City Electric Supply branch in North Charleston, South Carolina.
The branch opened on July 13, 2020, but Rourk has been preparing for it since he was first offered the position in January.
“It didn’t take the guys too long to get things ready. Some walls came down, and we did all of the lighting with Tamlite Lighting high bays,” said Rourk. “It wasn’t a full renovation, but it was definitely an upgrade.”
Along with all of the work Rourk had to put into updating the 4,300-square-foot branch, he also had to work around a lot of obstacles surrounding COVID-19.
“Bringing in stock during this time was a little challenging. About 40% of my stock had to come from other branches’ surplus material, but, thankfully, all of the other branch managers were understanding,” said Rourk. “They told me to let them know what I needed and that they’d do everything they could.”
While the process had its fair share of challenges, it also had a good amount of encouragement.
“It’s just Jon and me at the branch right now, but I’ve received a lot of support from other branch managers,” said Rourk. “It’s been difficult with COVID, but we’re trying to take everything in stride and keep moving forward.”
Together, Rourk and Operations Manager Jon Carreiro are excited to work in what seems to be a perfect location.
“We’re on a road that connects two major roads. A few people have already come in and mentioned our placement,” said Rourk. “New customers are already finding out we’re here because of our location alone.”
Patrick and Jon are happy about their convenient location and the access it will give them to a wide variety of business.
“We’re close to a lot of manufacturers, but we’ll definitely have a fair number of commercial customers as well,” said Rourk. “We don’t have our foot in the door with industrial type stuff yet, but we are going to get into that, too.”
Another added benefit of their placement? It’s just a 30-minute drive from where Jon and Patrick grew up.
“Jon and I grew up in Summerville,” said Rourk, “so a bunch of people I knew growing up are aware of the store, which is nice.”
And now that the branch is up and running, with the support of branch managers and childhood friends alike, Jon and Patrick look forward to expanding their business and growing their branch to serve the community.
“My experience will really help most when I have a full team behind me,” said Rourk. “Right now, we’re just looking for the right pieces to fit our team. Because I’ve held just about every position there is on a branch level, I know what’s going to put us in a good position. There have been a lot of tough things in this process, and a lot of the time we didn’t know what to expect. But, so far, we pieced things together, and I can’t wait to keep working and see what happens for us next.”