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issue: January 2005 APPLIANCE Magazine

People
Dave Kirk of Emerson Climate Technologies


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Dave Kirk is a planner.

Dave Kirk

In fact, he’s quite pleased that his recent promotion to president at Emerson Climate Technologies Flow Controls provides ample opportunity to draw people together to develop plans. “Bringing a group together always generates better solutions than individual efforts,” says Mr. Kirk.

His primary role as president is to define the organization’s direction and to set high expectations. Once the direction and expectations are set, Mr. Kirk gives people the freedom to achieve goals, but always encourages his employees to plan alternatives to prepare for changes. “We reinvent our methods and processes. It prepares us for unexpected challenges,” he asserts. “A robust planning process is absolutely essential for success; it helps to assess shortfalls and develop contingency plans. In some cases, we pursue parallel paths so that if something happens, we’re already prepared.”

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Ithaca College (Ithaca, NY, U.S.), Mr. Kirk moved to Racine, WI, U.S. in 1976 to join Modine Manufacturing Company, a developer of heat transfer products. While employed as a staff economist at Modine, Mr. Kirk also attended night school to earn an MBA from Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI, U.S.

In 1983, he joined compressor manufacturer Copeland® as a product planner. Always interested in a challenge, Mr. Kirk accepted the opportunity to gain international experience and to accelerate product development with Copeland in Berlin, Germany. “Berlin made me much more culturally sensitive and culturally diverse,” Mr. Kirk notes. “It opened my eyes to a diverse range of experiences and opinions.” The move also afforded him the ability to become fluent in German.

After 2 years abroad and a promotion to manager of product planning, Mr. Kirk returned to the U.S. for operations experience in the Engineering Change Control department. After a promotion to plant manager, he took on the role of director of Manufacturing and eventually moved up to vice president of Operations.

The opportunity to work with a strong organization and to grow a business prompted Mr. Kirk in 2002 to accept the vice president and general manager position at Emerson Climate Technology Flow Controls, a producer of HVAC/R controls based in St. Louis, MO, U.S. In 2004, he was promoted to president.

Mr. Kirk says his most rewarding experience is to “help people develop their skills and perform at their full potential. If I can help people improve, business will improve.” And Mr. Kirk believes he and his team have successfully grown Emerson Climate Technologies™, a provider of HVAC/R solutions for residential, industrial, and commercial applications, of which Copeland is also a part.

Out of the office, Mr. Kirk is currently using his planning skills to convert his home’s wooded lot into a woodland garden. He is also working on perfecting his golf game. The importance of planning the next shot while taking variable conditions into account makes the sport one of his favorite hobbies.

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