On this month’s episode of Conversations From The EDGE podcast, with Service Logic, host Scott Sidway sat down with Service Logic’s Tony Ponzo to discuss the twists and turns of his successful career path, including an unexpected injury that changed his trajectory.

Ponzo is Chief Operating Officer of Charlotte, North Carolina-based Service Logic, the largest privately owned HVAC and mechanical services company in the United States, but his 37-year career in the industry began like many others — as a tradesman. “I started as an apprentice pipefitter in 1982 making $6.50 an hour,” he said.

Ponzo spent more than a decade in the field until he was injured on the job. Looking for something he could do in the office with minimal physical effort, his company plopped him into sales. “I had no idea what I was doing but I enjoyed it because I enjoyed talking to people,” Ponzo said.

Turns out sales was a great fit for the experienced tradesman who didn’t expect to end his field career so suddenly, but embraced the fact he could “take it a little easy on my body and just use my mind,” Ponzo said.

From sales, he moved into operations and eventually management, with the ultimate goal to run a business someday. When that opportunity came, he followed a mantra that’s served him well ever since. “If you run a business based solely on economics, you’ll make bad decisions. If you make decisions that are in the best interest of your customer, the money will follow.”

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