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The People Behind SharkBite: Meet R.J. Brown

 RJ RWC employee spotlight

At RWC, the parent company of SharkBite and Cash Acme, we’re as proud of our people as we are of our products. To introduce you to folks behind the scenes who make RWC a success, we’ve decided to chat with a few of our teammates about what they do.

Get to know R.J. Brown. Originally a Cash Acme employee, he stayed with RWC after the acquisition in 2002 and has been with us for nearly 25 years. He works in our manufacturing facility in Cullman, Alabama, as an engineering technician.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do at RWC’s Cullman site.

I’ve been working here since August of 1997 and mainly work with packaging. I oversee both the colored and black-and-white labels that we print in house that go on the finished product. That includes all the information that’s printed on the bags and the artwork of bagged products coming from overseas.

I also maintain the artwork for temperature & pressure relief valve cartons and bags, as well as the barcodes for Cash Acme, HoldRite and John Guest products. I also help jumpstart the manufacturing process through our software system whenever a purchase order comes in. Right now, I’m working on updating and redesigning the entire label-printing process.

2. You’ve been with RWC for over 20 years. How have you seen the company evolve over the years?

The company keeps growing and growing! When RWC bought Cash Acme, we had fewer than 50 people here, we only had one building, and it contained everyone from accounting to shipping. Now there are over 500 people in Cullman alone. When I started here in ‘97, about five years before RWC bought Cash Acme, the company was pushing to be a million-dollar-a-year company. Look at us now doing that in a day!

3. What's kept you here for over two decades?

The adventure and challenges. I never know what I will be doing from day to day. I know what I am supposed to do tomorrow, but that usually changes by mid-morning.

4. What do you enjoy most about working at RWC?

The people here. No matter what the situation is, the job gets done.

5. Describe a favorite work memory

When we first introduced SharkBite to The Home Depot, it was the first time we got into retail. It was a challenging time filled with long hours. From custodians to our global CEO, we were all working on it, and there were around 50 people working plant-wide. But then when I go to The Home Depot and see the product on the shelf, I think, “I was part of the reason for this.”

6. What about the manufacturing/plumbing industry are you most excited about in the near future?

Waiting on the newest products to be released. You think you have seen everything there is about plumbing: pipe, fittings and valves. Then comes along an easier way to connect pipe, a valve that does more than reduce pressure, or a new item that nobody has thought of.

7.What are some of the more challenging parts of the job?

When a project comes up that I have never done before like the new labeling system we implemented. I had to figure out how to use SQL databases, a programming language used to manage data, and start from scratch on the new labeling software used to mark our product packaging.

8. What stands out to you about RWC’s manufacturing process?

The amount of product we can produce in a day. We have awesome people here that care about their work.

9. What does your work mean to you?

I take a lot of pride in my job. I try to make things easier for my coworkers to use.

Lightning Round:

  • Coffee or tea? Coffee
  • What's your walkup song? Sound of coffee being made.
  • If you could have one super power, what would it be? To be able to fly.
  • Any hidden talents? I do a little woodworking in my free time.

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