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Opening the floodgates

image L-R: Brandon Knapp, Warehouse Associate; Jon Millican, Inside Sales Representative; Don Wilhelm, Warehouse Associate; Quinn Kupish, Branch Manager; Wayne Sandel, Warehouse Associate; Dillon Spahn, Warehouse Associate; and Jeff Fields, Estimator.

AUSTIN - Fortiline Waterworks has recently increased its Texas presence with a new location in Austin. The Austin office joins two in San Antonio, one in Friendswood and three in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

    Headquartered in Concord, N.C., Fortiline is a wholesale distributor of underground water, sewer and storm utility products with 49 branches nationwide.
    Quinn Kupish is the branch manager for the new location after years of working with the company, most recently at the San Antonio location.
    “The nice thing about this industry is that you’re always going to need water and you’re always going to need sewer,” Kupish said. “Even during a recession, it slows down but there’s always a need for that stuff. There’s not a whole lot of poor weather in Texas. In this industry, a lot of states in the north can shut down due to inclement weather in the winter. In Texas, you see growth and development going year round.”
    Kupish, a Kansas State graduate, sees Texas as a prime area to grow the business.
    “I think it opens a new market for us,” Kupish said. “We already have a strong presence in Texas. I think that is really helping us grow, as a company, in Texas. It should be good for us.
    “There is definitely substantial growth in these cities. Austin, in particular, is a place where a lot of tech companies and companies across all industries want to move to. Because of that, there’s going to be a need for housing development, commercial development and working on the existing pipeline.”
    Chris Antos is the regional manager and is based in Kansas City, KS. He oversees that area, as well as Oklahoma, Texas and Arizona.
    Currently, the new Austin office is in a temporary location but plans to move to its permanent location on E. Braker Lane on May 1.
    “We’re building a strong base in Texas and will continue to look for opportunities to provide wider coverage across the state,” said Mike Swedick, Fortiline president and CEO. “Our sales staff in Texas is among the best in the industry in delivering our customers quality products, the best value and superior service.”
    According to Antos, the company mainly distributes to contractors and municipalities and understands the importance of relationships.
    “We know it’s a relationship business,” he says. “We provide the best service in the industry.”
    With 12 employees at the new location, Antos says the company nurtures its current employees, as well as recruiting new talent.
    “We do hire new trainees and train them to learn our business,” he says. “We also promote from within and we hire people in the industry looking for a better opportunity.”–cw

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Terri Adams terri@constructionnews.net