Reece Fifield, who has spent the final seven years of his lengthy career at Sullair, sadly bids us adieu this March. A mechanical engineer by trade, Reece excelled in his role of Oil-Free Specialist at the Sydney branch but has also added enormous technical and business know-how to the whole Sullair Australia team over the course of his tenure.
After a serious health scare last year, Reece has decided now is the right time to begin his well-earned retirement.
“It’s taken 12 months. All the doctors are calling me ‘The Miracle Man’. While I’m so well and healthy, I’m going to go out and enjoy life. Myself and my wife are going to get out there to spend time with the kids and grandkids. If you’d told me that this time last year, I’d say ‘no way’.”
Reece started out his career as a mechanical engineer, developing solutions for the air conditioning market. He then expanded his design and development expertise into the rail industry. Water treatment and filtration became Reece’s niche, where he progressed into project-based sales before joining Sullair as the Regional Sales Manager for NSW in 2014. During this time Reece became a critical player in winning noteworthy projects like Metropolitan Colliery for Peabody Mine and the 1st Chinese TS32 for Centennial Coal at Airly. CEO of Sullair Australia, Fred Funnell holds fond memories with Reece.
“I recall one year when we had a Hitachi Innovation Forum at the Hilton Hotel in Sydney City, Reece managed to drag a Champion CSA30 on a little pallet jack through the loading dock, up the lift and across the carpet to the display area. I think it just about killed him but he got it there. Later over a beer, he confided that it’s a lot harder to push a loaded pallet jack across carpet than you think. Since then, we have gone to more video of product on screens rather than physical units!”
With a wealth of knowledge and experience, Reece then moved into the role of Oil-Free Specialist with Sullair. He remarks that the change in role was very fulfilling.
“I really wanted a more technical role so the oil-free role was really interesting to me. And the challenge of getting something new off the ground was quite appealing to me.”
Since then, Reece has worked across almost every product segment and industry that Sullair supports, from baking to pharmaceuticals to mining.
“It’s never been dull! The Sydney branch is a peculiar beast, you get involved in lots of weird and wonderful things. Lots of challenges get thrown at you and you have to come up with new solutions for things; very rarely did you do the same thing twice. Reflecting on it, it’s been great to have experienced so many different applications and a great way to finish. Everything about this role has been what I wanted.”
National Sales & Marketing Manager Nick Shepherd has highly valued both the new business development and technical support contribution that Reece has made to the company as a whole. “During my time at Sullair, we have developed a more specialised sales team so that we could diversify our product and service offering to the market. This growth led to the recruitment of lots of new starters which Reece took in his stride. Reece’s technical support and advice has also been invaluable, and has led to the successful advancement of the Oil Free market for us in NSW. It will be hard to find another team member that has Reece’s technical expertise, friendly banter and wit. It has been a pleasure working with and learning from him.”
Team member Brett Dunlop sums up our sentiments towards Reece’s departure from Sullair Australia.
“Reece will be sorely missed by myself and others I’m sure in the company. Reece has become my source for all things ‘engineering’ related, he can ‘trot’ out complex algorithms and calculations when asked and happily shares it freely. His ability to understand a customer’s requirements in all industry types and ‘read’ the room is second to none in my opinion. Reece is unknowingly a mentor for me in my career and personal life.”
On behalf of the Sullair Australia team, we wish Reece and his family a healthy and happy retirement. And if we need any Champion CSA30’s moved by hand, we’ll know who to call!