The Beacon
The official weekly publication of The Rotary Club of Bakersfield Breakfast
for April 24, 2024
by Jackie Maxwell
Pictures by Jackie Maxwell and Carol Smith 
Reporter of the Week: Jackie Maxwell
Pictures by: Jackie Maxwell and Carol Smith
 
Sandra Parnell stood out front of Slater Plumbing & Mechanical's lovely building to greet the members on this brisk Spring morning.  Unfortunately, she was alone in her duties since Dr. Scott (Scooter) Tangeman was apparently tending to someone’s teeth.
 
Willow Ranch Restaurant provided breakfast, and it was a fine meal. The breakfast was served in the lovely new kitchen at Slater’s fancy new building.
 
There was a great turnout for this off-site meeting.  It was a full house with standing room only as our great BBRCers wandered into a well-equipped meeting room that the owner, Ed Slater, will use to mentor young folks who wish to opt for learning the “Trades” rather than attend college.  This is a vital area of education that cannot be overlooked.  Thank you, Ed, for your dream of training Junior and Senior high school students to become productive in the careers that keep our daily routines in motion.
 
Stephanie Baker gave our invocation.  Followed by the Flag Salute led by Brandon Phipps.  Our songstress Carol Smith led us in a BIG rendition of “God Bless America!”
 
Besides the usual faces, Ed Slater (actually the junior), his son Eddie Slater (actually III), and Ed’s fiancée, Roxanna, joined us this morning.  President Pat invited Ed to the front of the crowd to share some of the history of how he became a plumber and grew his business to greatness.
 
Ed started out in Seattle and left home at 15. He somehow ended up in Hawaii, where he honed his beach bum and surfing skills. Eventually, he moved back to the contiguous states and ended up in Los Angeles, working for General Electric. He caught on quickly to his job and was encouraged to become a plumber because “People always need water.”
 
General Electric offered him a job in Bakersfield; the rest is history!  He excelled in industrial manufacturing projects and struck out on his own over 20 years ago.  Slater Plumbing & Mechanical does it all, offering services to commercial, industrial, and residential customers.  Just a few of his clients include Nestle (where they ran 300 feet of plumbing under the production floor without interrupting the processing plant) and Pilot and Flying J truck stops throughout California.  Showers seem to be a key money maker for the truck stops, and Slater manages to keep the water flowing.
 
Slater’s average is 20 employees, but it uses other contractors as necessary, often up to 120 persons on a site.  Ed contributes his success to developing personal relationships.  He feels only in Bakersfield, with its tight community and excellent business connections, could he have grown his business to its present state. 
 
“With Slater Plumbing, you get all the capabilities of a large plumbing company along with the service and pride of workmanship you find in a family-owned and operated business.
 
Short-timer President Pat then took back the meeting and announced there would be NO happy spots or fines today. YIPPEE! Pat thanked Queen Jackie (hey, that’s me) and Tom Roddy for hosting the April social. We had such a good time and are ready to do it again in the fall! After a few reminders of upcoming events and announcements, the meeting was adjourned, and people were welcome to take a look around the fine facilities at Slater’s Plumbing and Mechanical, Inc.