The Award-Winning Employee Every Plumber Wants

Company’s restroom division supervisor puts quality first.
The Award-Winning Employee Every Plumber Wants
James Coon

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 “I have been with the company since 1989; I have seen several employees come and go, but none the caliber of James.”

That’s what Karen Lewis, manager of Bill’s Plumbing and Sanikan in Sequim, Washington, says about James Coon, the winner of the PSAI Service Tech of the Year honor earlier this year.

Lewis and company owner Judy Kimler nominated Coon for the honor.

 “I was pretty ecstatic about it,” says Coon, 43. “It’s an honor for me to get an honor like this. I feel there are probably so many people out there that deserve it.”

Coon, who has worked for the company since 2008, is supervisor of the portable restroom division of the business, which services Clallam and Jefferson counties, mostly with special events and construction. It also serves the busy Port Angeles, where cruise ships dock.

“Between May and about September, there’s usually something going on,” Coon says.

Bill’s Plumbing and Sanikan, which has about 750 units, is located on the Strait of Juan Defuca in Washington state, about 17 miles from Canada. Established by Bill and Ann Kimler in 1959, the company’s plumbing services include maintenance, new plumbing installation, new water service, remodeling, repairs, sewer and drainline installations, and water heater installations and repairs. It also offers water filtration services and operates a plumbing retail store.

While Coon has only worked in the industry for eight years, his previous job prepared him well for the meticulous nature of his work. Coon previously worked as detail supervisor for an RV company, where he got the vehicles ready for customers to take home.

“We’d spruce them up,” says Coon. “I like to make sure everything is covered.”

He brings that same level of commitment to his work at Bill’s. He is usually the first person in the yard in the morning and the last one to leave in the evening. Coon handles all of the usual duties of a service technician — driving, unit placement, cleaning and pumping. He also organizes the company warehouse and orders parts and supplies for Sanikan. On top of that, Coon supervises and monitors the other drivers and routes, stays on top of any health and safety issues in the company, and handles any weather-related driving problems.

“I’m a pretty detail-oriented person,” he admits. “I like being in this industry because of the need. It’s not for everyone. When you get in and do this job, there are so many intricacies. I would like the opportunity to show new guys. It’s really hard work, but it’s a really important job to do.”

Lewis agrees that Coon’s passion for his career shows in his work and his attitude.

“We are extremely grateful for James’ work ethic and dedication,” she says.

He is the employee that every employer wants. When you talk to James, you will hear it in his voice just how excited he is to be offering a service to our customers, how he always puts quality before anything else.

Coon also has created a “doggie trash can” with a pipe (that prevents other waste from entering) to help keep the company’s vacuum hoses from clogging.

Prior to making these available, people would throw the bags filled with dog waste in the portable restrooms.

 “My guys that service the units said that people use them all the time,” says Coon, adding, “We haven’t patented it yet … but you never know!”



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