Uponor Vice President of Sales Brent Noonan is the recipient of the 2016 AIM/R Golden Eagle Award. Noonan was presented the prestigious honor by the manufacturers representatives best-practices group during its annual reception held in conjunction with ASA’s NETWORK2016 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.

AIM/R presents the Eagle Award annually to an individual in senior-level management with a proven track record in support of manufacturers reps being the most efficient, cost-effective method of going to market.

“It’s an honor to receive an award from such a respected group as AIM/R,” Noonan told Supply House Times. “It gives me confidence that we are doing great things at Uponor and partnering with rep agencies that play an important part of growing our business.”

Current AIM/R President Stew Chaffee of Aston, Pa.-based rep firm Rich-Tomkins (Supply House Times sister publication pme’s 2014 Manufacturers Rep of the Year), noted Noonan has been a fixture in participating in AIM/R-related activities.

“Brent always has been supportive of AIM/R, demonstrated by his attendance to our conference every year and his willingness to participate on panel discussions on stage,” he said. “He also has answered the bell to participate on our Manufacturers Advisory Council, which helps guide our content for future conferences.”

Chaffee recalled a phone call he received from Noonan regarding the manufacturer’s convention held each spring in Las Vegas. “Brent called me stating he had slotted time for me to discuss AIM/R during their convention,” he said. “I didn’t have to ask. Brent was proactive in giving us the forum because he recognizes the benefits and value AIM/R provides the rep community. His passion and ambassadorship of AIM/R makes him very deserving of this prestigious award.”

Noonan stressed Uponor’s 37 rep agencies throughout North America have played a key role in the company’s upward ascension of late.

“Our reps are an important part of our sales organization,” he said. “They are a big reason we’ve doubled our business here in five years.”

Noonan added Uponor’s rep roster also aided the company’s emersion in the commercial construction market.

“It’s been a process over the past five years transitioning into the commercial market,” he said. “I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished in getting into the commercial market and our reps have helped us spread the word.”

Uponor reps, Noonan noted, are involved with the company’s short- and long-term business planning. “It comes down to planning and execution,” he explained. “We have a market plan with each of our reps. Our direct salespeople sit down with the reps and create a business plan for the year. What are the best opportunities out there?”

Uponor also recently created the Uponor Sales Advisory Council — or USAC. The council features one Uponor rep firm from each region in North America.

“It’s become a valuable tool for us,” Noonan said. “It’s a great way to bring in the rep perspective. We learn how Uponor can improve and how we as a company can best align with our rep organizations. The feedback and communication has been great.”

Uponor, Noonan added, also conducts what it calls rep alignment meetings where the manufacturer sits down with its rep firms to discuss longer-term strategies.

“It’s not just the coming year, we’re talking about five years down the road,” he said. “We look at how we can continue to grow as partners.”

Noonan said Uponor derives great value from its relationship with the AIM/R organization. “Uponor has been a supporter and a part of AIM/R for a number of years,” he said. “It’s the best of the best in independent business leaders who come together to share best practices and common challenges. AIM/R reps stay on the cutting edge of what is happening and what needs to happen in the industry. I’m a big believer in what AIM/R does.”