Get to Know Your Culligan of Troy Dealer
It’s an understatement to say Chris St. Gelais knows the water treatment business. He began his career at Culligan of Troy 22 years ago as a delivery driver, and over the years he moved up the ranks to service technician and service manager. In February 2020, he was promoted to his current position as general manager. We chatted with the industry veteran about local water problems, his talented team, and how perceptions about water have changed over the years.
Culligan of Troy serves Albany, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Warren, and Washington Counties. Can you tell me about the water issues you come across with municipal water?
The concerns we find are generally the level of hardness and the amount of dissolved minerals in the water. There’s also the introduction of chlorine in the water, and we get a lot of customers who don’t want to consume chlorinated water.
Which Culligan products can address the chlorine problem?
What customers are looking for can be tailored to their specific needs. However, reverse osmosis, which is a drinking water system, is a very effective way to not only reduce high dissolved minerals, but also to reduce or remove chlorine from water. It’s a very popular product.
Many of your other customers have well water. What problems can arise with that private water source?
Hard water, iron, sulfur, methane, high dissolved minerals, and pH issues.
Have you seen water concerns change among your customers over the years?
Twenty years ago people just kind of took water for granted. You turned on your faucet, and if it came out clear, you drank it, showered, and cooked with it. But today, with all the information that’s available, people are taking notice that it’s something they’re putting into their bodies, and they want to make sure it’s healthy for them. Twenty years ago, if it was a hot day, we’d grab a drink of water from the garden hose. Not many people would do that today.
Can you tell me a bit about your team at Culligan of Troy?
We’ve got some employees with a lot of tenure. Our senior installer has been here for 36 years. Our senior service tech has been here for 19 years. We’ve got a diverse group of employees—millennials, Gen Xers and baby boomers all working together, so we’ve got a wealth of knowledge here.
You’ve worked at Culligan most of your adult life. What keeps you so attached?
In the early part of my career, I always enjoyed getting to be out there with the customers. I became really familiar with a lot of them. I watched their kids grow up. I’d go back to houses years later and see a young person getting in a car and driving off to high school, and I could remember when they were running around and playing with toys on the kitchen floor.
This has been a great company for me to work for, and I don’t picture myself ever having another job. We’re providing a much-needed service to customers, and what we do here does make a difference in people’s lives.
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