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In January 2024, Caleffi North America’s long-serving CEO Mark Olson announced his retirement. Olson was instrumental in guiding the company through nearly two decades of continuous growth to establish a successful North American business highly regarded for innovation, education and service.

With the announcement, Caleffi named Tina Gullickson as his successor. Gullickson joined Caleffi North America in November 2023 as chief operation officer. PM Engineer Chief Editor Nicole Krawcke had the chance to sit down with Gullickson and discuss her goals and strategies in leading Caleffi North America through this next chapter.

PM Engineer: Tell me a little about your background and how you got your start in the industry?

TG: I’ve been part of this industry for over 20 years, beginning my career with a leading hydronics company. This offered opportunities to work with several companies within their portfolio, laying a solid foundation. In 2016, I joined BROAN-NUTONE, where I progressively held several director roles before eventually stepping into the role of General Manager for one of their divisions.

PM Engineer: Why did you decide to join Caleffi North America?

TG: Initially, I approached the opportunity at Caleffi with an open mind, without any expectations, as I was not looking to make a move. It was the interactions with the North American team and the headquarters in Italy that led me to take this opportunity. I knew it was a company that I wanted to join. Caleffi is a company that walks the talk and has developed a culture that embraces innovation, dedication and collaboration.

PM Engineer: What has been your biggest professional achievement to date?

TG: With Caleffi, my most significant achievement so far has been guiding the company through transition. Change is both difficult and scary but change breeds innovation. Coming into a company that had the same CEO for 20 years ignites change. Working closely with our team to support and develop their visions and strategic roadmaps has been rewarding. It’s exciting to see everyone getting behind new ideas and moving forward together.

PM Engineer: What is the No. 1 thing you hope to accomplish as Caleffi North America’s president and CEO?

TG: My top priority for Caleffi NA is to preserve the culture already established by our headquarters in Italy. I aim to ensure that the strengths of our talented individuals are united in purpose. While each of us is strong on our own, together we are indestructible.

PM Engineer: What is your management style?

TG: I believe in leadership not management. I see my role as being there to provide my team with everything they need to succeed including tools, resources, and support. It’s important that they know I’m here to back them up every step of the way.

PM Engineer: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received from a mentor?

TG: One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received from a mentor was that the hardest part of skydiving is jumping out of the plane. It’s easy to get stuck in the comfort of what we know, but growth, both individually and as a company, comes when you are willing to step out of that comfort zone and get uncomfortable. Sometimes this means trusting yourself even when decisions feel like they're at odds with your head or heart. Trusting your gut is key.

PM Engineer: How does Caleffi North America continue to succeed and thrive as a company?

TG: Caleffi NA continues to succeed because of our most intangible asset, the people. Our global team provides support, and our local team acts with dedication, passion and tenacity and this is a large part of what makes us so successful. We are reminded that at the end of the day, you must believe in the work you are doing if you are dedicating so much of your time to it.

PM Engineer: What would you point to as the biggest change or shift in the company that has been made in the last year to further grow its business and best serve customers?

TG: Focusing on our product strategy. We have really focused on the breadth and depth of our product line that has led to category expansions.

PM Engineer: What areas of product innovation do you believe are critical for Caleffi’s success?

TG: Innovation is critical and it’s not only about the products. It’s critical that we continuously innovate in every aspect of our business, which include processes that are all aimed at enhancing customer satisfaction and trust.

PM Engineer: What is your stance on sustainability, and how do you plan to integrate it into Caleffi’s business practices?

TG: Caleffi’s global commitments to sustainability and resiliency are entwined with our company culture. The founders and owners of Caleffi take pride in going above and beyond with energy and water conscious manufacturing, while prioritizing a healthy work environment. Sustainability is part of our day-to-day. Specifically in North America, we launched The Caleffi Green this year. This initiative includes adding solar PV to cover 80% of our yearly electrical demand, as well as launching a paid volunteer time off policy, so our employees can participate in sustainable volunteer activities in ways that are meaningful to them.

PM Engineer: Where do you see the market heading over the next five years, and how is the company preparing for it?

TG: Five years is a long time, especially for the HVAC market which is in radical transition. I do believe that the HVAC market will continue to thrive by responsibly embracing new technologies and realizing a more sustainable, comfortable future. We have embraced this by ensuring that we are not just focused on today but that we are building for tomorrow. Like driving a car, it’s crucial to look ahead through the windshield, planning our path forward, while using the rearview mirror to learn from the past.

PM Engineer: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time when you're not leading the company?

TG: I have two children heavily involved in school activities that keep me busy. For personal development, I have competed in some athletic events and continue to lift weights and stay active.

PM Engineer: If you could master any skill or hobby instantly, what would it be, and why?

TG: If I could instantly master any skill, it would be yoga. Currently, I practice at a beginner level, but to fully master the poses and achieve the deep meditation yoga offers would be highly valuable. Yoga demands discipline, focus and a blend of physical and mental strength. These qualities are beneficial in every aspect of life.