Leading in Central MA: Joshua Ahearn - VP of Ahearn Equipment
Monday, March 03, 2014
A Conversation with Josh Ahearn
SW: You and your brother, Jeremy, have built Ahearn Equipment into what has been called “the leading equipment company in New England”. Was it a family company or did you start it?
JA: I have a hard time with “the leading company.” I would feel a lot more comfortable with “A leading equipment company.” We are always striving to improve, and bring the best service to our customers. My brother and I are second generation owners. My Father, Tim, and Mother, Donna, started the business in 1977. We have worked closely as a family for the past 11 years where we have experienced the majority of our growth. We work hard as family team, but I give my parents a lot of credit for weathering the first 25 years in a volatile market, and affording my brother and I the opportunity that we have today.
SW: Can you describe your business?
JA: We are a multi-line construction, agricultural and commercial power equipment dealership. Our primary brand is Kubota, which accounts for nearly 60% of our total sales. We sell, service and rent machines like skid steers, tractors, excavators and backhoes. Additionally we service the landscape industry with sales and service of commercial lawn care equipment. We are structured like an auto dealership, with sales, service and parts departments.
SW: There is a lot of talk about how honest you are as a company. What is your philosophy?
JA: Our mission statement reads: “Family Quality and Value, One Customer at a Time.” We believe that this statement clearly sums up our corporate philosophy. We are genuinely interested in forming long term quality relationships with our customers. In order to accomplish this, honesty is paramount. We do not promise what we cannot deliver, and we try always to deliver what we promise. If we fall short, which unfortunately happens from time to time, we address the situation and work to solve the problem.
SW: Are you involved in the community?
JA: Yes, I am involved locally in a few service organizations. We believe strongly in giving back to the community as a business and look forward to doing more in the future.
SW: Who or what has had the greatest influence on your life?
JA: My parents are certainly the biggest influence in my life. They taught me the value of hard work and perseverance. I know that I would not be where I am without them. Today, my wife, Laurel, and my family are my greatest supporters. They are the primary focus in my life.
SW: Your favorite quote?
JA: “Half measures availed us nothing”
I have failed at many things throughout my life and learned many lessons along the way. I know that this process will continue as long as I am alive. However I know that when I devote my whole self to any task, personal or work related, I am bound to succeed.
SW: What is the something that few people know about you?
JA: I am a philosopher. I am a sucker for deep conversations and thought. I don’t get the opportunity to often, but when I do, look out!
SW: How do you spend your free time?
JA: I spend my free time with my family whenever I can. I like to work around the yard and love to do stonework.
SW: How do you define success?
JA: I define success as happiness. I believe that happiness is most easily generated through the process of helping others. Whether at work, at home, or in the community, if I am happy with the person that I am, and I am effective at spreading happiness to others, then I feel successful.
SW: What is on the drawing board for 2014?
JA: We had a tremendous growth year in 2013, and are looking to grow at a more moderate pace in 2014. We have hired a bunch of new team members, and are excited to improve our processes and service in 2014.
GoLocalWorcester presents Leading in Central Ma, a weekly profile of an outstanding community or business leader. Join us every Monday for an inspiring look at the careers and lifestyles of Central Massachusetts’s most influential citizens.
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Susan D. Wagner is president of Susan Wagner PR, a boutique public relations firm invested in meeting client's goals with integrity and creativity.
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