Subject Matter Expert Interview: Anita O'Brien
Subject Matter Expert Interview: Anita O’Brien
Welcome to our first installment of subject matter expert interviews where we give you an inside look at who our experts are. The subject matter experts at Horizon Solutions are the driving force behind our blog posts and knowledge downloads, providing critical information to our readers. We hope you enjoy learning more about the people behind the scenes at Horizon Solutions!
Tell Us About Your Role at Horizon Solutions
I am responsible for the Services business in both of our APRs. I develop the strategy for us to be successful and creative in services for Rockwell Automation and Eaton. I have a team of people including Services Specialists, Authorized Service Provider (ASP) Technicians, Networking Specialists, and a group of inside people who enter all the orders.
I have been at Horizon for more than 20 years. I started as a Networking Specialist before moving into a Services Specialist role. After that, I became an Automation Manager, and now I serve as the Services and Solutions Business Manager.
One of the things I do as the Business Manager is mentoring all the associates and new account managers in Services to help them develop a fundamental level of knowledge in our services-first culture. I am very passionate about what I do, and I think that comes across in how I do my job.
How Does the Work You Do Make an Impact?
I am responsible for helping customers achieve their desired business outcomes. In a nutshell, I have the best job in the world because by providing services we help people. We often get calls when people are down or are having issues and don’t have a way to resolve them. We provide customers with creative solutions to help solve their problems.
In my job, I work very closely with Rockwell Automation, and I help them develop service offerings and resolve challenges with services to make them work easier for all distributors.
Additionally, I often serve as the voice of the distributor when Rockwell Automation is fine-tuning an offering. During my career, I provided the first parts management agreement, the first on-site remote monitoring service, the first assurance contract, and the first Fiix CMMS solution.
I am the problem solver for Horizon Solutions with Rockwell Automation. I am the person people consult with when they are trying to develop the best solution. I feel that I have contributed greatly to developing a services-first culture where we wrap services around hardware, and I help remove the obstacles that are preventing us from being successful.
What’s One Thing You Wish More People Knew About Horizon Solutions and the Work We Do?
I would want people to see us as a group of people who care about our customers and who always try to do what is in the customer’s best interest. Our main interest is to make sure we have meaningful conversations with customers to understand what goals they have and to help our customers achieve those desired outcomes.
We have a wonderful group of people who support each other and many of us are friends outside of work. We also have close relationships with our vendors that go beyond vendor/distributor work relationships. We care about each other, and we care about our customers.
Tell Us About Anita the Person - What Are Your Hobbies? What Do you Like Doing?
Anita is a type A personality. I throw myself into what I am passionate about. Outside of work I love to have fun. I am an absolute nut when it comes to holidays, and one could say I’m a bit over the top. I decorate and celebrate and have even created golf cart parades in my community, which are inclusive of all modes of transportation.
I love to travel and have been to more than 30 countries. I enjoy “glamping” now and traveling in the U.S. in our fifth wheel.
I also love exploring the woods in my side-by-side and I never pass up an opportunity to go through any mud bog I can find.
I am married to my best friend, Michael, now; however, I spent 19 years as a single mom and raised my only child, Christopher. He got married last year so I am looking forward to the next chapter of my life as a grandmother. I was raised by a very strong and powerful mom who started an assisted living facility my son now runs. I love helping the elderly, as a nod to my mom, and I started a Helping Hands committee in 2020 to provide elderly people with services in my community. I currently call Bingo for seniors, and I have been calling for more than 15 years. I started working with the elderly at the age of 9 and volunteered every summer and many holidays at a nursing home until I was 16.
I’m a bit of a techie and I love gadgets. I have a larger network at my house than some people have at small offices. As I said, I tend to throw myself into what I enjoy.
Anything Else You’d Like to Add? Any Closing Thoughts?
I can’t believe I forgot my pets. I have the best dog. He’s a King Charles Cavalier and yes, my dog’s name is “Allen Bradley” (Pictured left). I also have a blind- and deaf-from-birth Siamese cat, Dawson, that my husband and I rescued, and a crazy Bengal cat, Kenny (Pictured left). Kenny has an abundance of energy, but he also loves love, and he usually isn’t far away from me. He walks on a leash and acts more like a dog than a cat. He loves playing with the dog and chasing balls to beat out the dog.
Lastly, I feel very fortunate to say that I love what I do. Many people don’t find a job they love at a company that cares. I had no idea what I was getting into when I came to Horizon Solutions. I was baffled by the alphabet soup that everyone spoke about; however, I found my niche and I have loved it ever since.
Anita is standing by and ready to help you find critical solutions for your business. Contact her today!