SGS Govmark Stories - The People Behind the Fire, Flammability & Physical Testing
Meet Bobby Brown, Director of Operations
August 1, 2017
While SGS Govmark is known for its leadership in fire and flammability testing, it’s our people who make us great. In this month’s profile, we take a look at the nuts and bolts of running SGS Govmark with President Bobby Brown.
Check out the interview below to find out how wearing his fire department t-shirt eventually led to him becoming a partner at SGS Govmark.
What’s your story? What did you go to school for and how did you wind up working at SGS Govmark?
I attended Programming Systems Institute for two years following high school. There, I completed a two-year degree in Computer Science. Following school, I secured a job on Wall Street where I was responsible for maintaining the IBM System 34 which tracked the daily stock transactions of a brokerage firm. During my time of employment, I was fortunate to meet many individuals through networking events. At one such event, I was given an informal interview to work as an environmental consultant. This position entailed creating new and managing existing business opportunities. In addition, I worked at various hazardous waste treatment facilities and waste-to-energy co-generation plants, working side by side with field engineers. I was eventually promoted to Director of Operations, where I remained until 2004.
In addition, I am also a New York State Certified Firefighter and trained Emergency Medical Technician with over 20 years of experience. One night while I was out bowling, I had the opportunity to meet Salvatore Messina, who was the CEO of The SGS Govmark Organization, a fire and flammability testing facility located on Long Island. Sal noticed my fire department shirt, and we had a conversation about my responsibilities in the department. He mentioned that he needed trained firefighters to perform tests at his facility. Since I was currently working full-time, I decided to work at SGS Govmark part-time. I worked with Sal for several years before he approached me about coming aboard full-time to become his Director of Operations, which meant I would be responsible for developing business (new and existing), operating the facility, and overseeing the administrative team. The opportunity that Sal presented allowed me to take my experience and knowledge from previous training and apply it in this new venture. During my tenure as the Director of Operations, SGS Govmark’s sales increased exponentially.
What’s something interesting about your job that no one would know about?
SGS Govmark's diversified scope allows us to test for many industries under one roof. We test apparel, building materials, automotive components, aerospace, rail, and other public transportation components, wire and cable products, sleep products, and hundreds more.
What fires you about working in flammability testing?
That each day is different as well as the challenge of utilizing my knowledge and experience to grow the business.
What’s the strangest thing that’s happened on the job?
Going to a popular amusement park and realizing that SGS Govmark tested the materials for the ride I was on.
What’s the one thing you wish your clients knew about flammability testing?
When they test with SGS Govmark, they can expect service, reproducibility, dependability, and reliability.
If someone wanted to work in fire testing, what advice would you give them?
Safety, safety, safety first!
Stay tuned for more SGS Govmark profiles coming soon!
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