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SRS Crisafulli’s Sales Manager Eager about Dredging

Tristan Hoff describes the SRS Crisafulli small dredge line to Chinese visitors during the WEDA meeting in Toronto.

Tristan Hoff describes the SRS Crisafulli small dredge line to Chinese visitors during the WEDA meeting in Toronto.

When Tristan Hoff and his wife decided to move their family to Maine from Eastern Montana, his employer, SRS Crisafulli, offered to create a sales position for him there. One of his first tasks was to man the company’s booth at the WEDA annual meeting in Toronto, days after the move and before they had even unpacked.

But attending the meeting and describing the company’s small dredges to visitors was no hardship. His enthusiasm for the industry and the equipment was obvious.

Three years ago, he was building custom homes in Jackson Hole, Wyoming when the sales position opened at SRS Crisafulli in the “extremely interesting field” of building dredges in Glendive, Montana. He applied for the job and was hired, and then began what he calls “a trial by fire,” learning the industry through experience. It involved knowing dredges and various sizes of pumps, and selling a product in which most of the sales were for customized products to fit a customer’s needs.

“Every application is different, with new problems,” he said. The engineers on staff work closely with the sales staff, Hoff said. “It’s not just order taking.”

He started his education by attending Bob Randall’s dredging short course at Texas A&M.

“Crisafulli has a history of sending someone to the short course every year,” he said. Hoff learned the basics of moving sediments, calculating head, velocity and atmospheric pressure to keep things moving.

By the time he and his wife decided this year to move to Maine with their two small children, he had a good understanding and affection for the equipment and the industries it served. He had met a consultant from Maine at the American Waterworks Association meeting in Boston, who told him that there was a market for small dredges to clear lagoons in the state, which gave him an idea of sales potential. He posed the idea to Laura Fleming, president and CFO of the company; she agreed with him and established a position of regional sales manager for New England. Hoff’s territory will be Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, in addition to Maine. The company has reps in New York and other states, and pump sales are fairly random all over the country, he said.

At the June WEDA meeting in Toronto, the SRS Crisafulli booth was adjacent to one of the food serving areas, where Hoff was greeting visitors. Among these was the delegation of people from the China Dredging Association, who asked questions about the small portable manned and remotely operated dredges that the company manufactures for a wide range of applications, including sludge dredging for food processing settling ponds; removing settled solids such as coal fines, paper residuals, fly ash, bentonite and more; shallow dredging under docks and around water intakes; and backup equipment for many mining applications.

The company does one-month rentals in the U.S. and Canada, as well as custom designs to fit every application.

When asked if his mother was a fan of the Wagner operas, he laughed and said that she is actually a great fan of James Herriott’s All Creatures Great and Small, in which one of the major characters is named Tristan.

The New England sales office is at 14 Depot Street, Suite 203, in Kennebunk, Maine, and Hoff’s email address is tristanh@crisafulli.com

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