Oatey Co. Presents Rick Portt, Owner of New Century Sales, with Bob Bender Legacy Award

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The award is given to a manufacturer’s representative who exemplifies the legacy and winning spirit of the late Bob Bender, a trailblazing member of the Oatey sales organization for more than 40 years.

Oatey Co., a leading manufacturer in the plumbing industry since 1916, proudly announces Rick Portt, owner of New Century Sales, as the third annual winner of the Bob Bender Legacy Award. This recognition highlights Portt’s exceptional dedication to his customers, unwavering commitment to the Oatey brand, and outstanding contributions to the plumbing industry.

The award is named in honor of the late Bob Bender, a 42-year veteran sales leader at Oatey, known for his larger-than-life personality, customer-centric approach, and passion for building enduring relationships. The award celebrates individuals who embody Bender’s spirit by prioritizing customer satisfaction, fostering strong connections, and demonstrating a genuine commitment to the values upheld by Oatey Co.

“Rick Portt exemplifies the essence of the Bob Bender Legacy Award. His unwavering dedication to his customers, combined with his commitment to the Oatey brand, makes him a truly deserving recipient,” says Christen Allen, Director of National Sales – Rough Plumbing at Oatey Co. “Rick’s genuine passion for his work and his relentless pursuit of excellence serve as a shining example for the entire industry.”

Founded in 1997, New Century Sales has been a cornerstone in the plumbing industry for over three decades. Under Portt’s leadership, the company has continuously upheld the highest standards of professionalism, integrity, and customer service. Portt’s enduring commitment to Oatey Co. is reflected in his steadfast advocacy for the brand, his relentless pursuit of customer satisfaction, and his unwavering support of the plumbing community.

Portt’s dedication to his craft is underscored by his adherence to three guiding principles: build relationships, secure orders, and the motto “have fun; it’s just plumbing.” These principles have been instrumental in shaping his approach to business and have earned him the respect and admiration of his peers and customers alike.

In recognition of his outstanding contributions, Portt was presented with the Bob Bender Legacy Award at a ceremony held in Detroit, Michigan. Surrounded by colleagues, customers, and members of the Oatey team, Portt graciously accepted the award, thanking those who have supported him throughout his career.

“I consider myself fortunate to have worked alongside Bob for many years,” says Portt. “The first time I had the opportunity to interact with him was during a competition he had organized called ‘Create A Vacation.’ At that time, I was new to Reliant Sales and halfway through the contest, Bob took the time to reach out to me because we had never met.”

“His thoughtfulness and support motivated me to work even harder, and I ended up winning the contest,” he explains. “Bob’s commitment to Oatey and everyone he worked with was truly inspiring. Whenever Bob’s name is mentioned, it is always accompanied by a smile and a fond memory. It is indeed an honor for me to have my name associated with Bob’s legacy.”

Portt’s name was added to the Bob Bender Legacy Cup, which commemorates the list of winners, alongside Chase Freeman of Spirit Group, who won the inaugural award in 2022, and Skipper Joyce, founder of The Joyce Agency and winner of the second annual award in 2023.

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