Executive Level Job Openings >> VP Operations, R&T Hood and Duct Services, Inc.
VP Operations, R&T Hood and Duct Services, Inc.
Title:VP Operations, R&T Hood and Duct Services, Inc.

RT Hood VP Operations

R&T Hood and Duct Services, Inc., a trusted and reliable 38-year-old company, services and protects Western Washington’s industrial kitchen grease hood fire prevention systems. More broadly, the company services the commercial fire suppression systems requirements of 4,000+ trusting customers. Due to growing business demand, RT Hood seeks to attract and onboard a difference-making VP Operations to help the company scale and reach next level growth, performance, process, and professionalism.

VP Operations
R&T Hood and Duct Services, Inc.
6100 12th Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98108

Immediate Availability:

VP Operations
R&T Hood and Duct Services, Inc.
6100 12th Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98108

Posted: 5/16/18
Version: 2.1 (final)

For interest and questions please contact:

Severin Sorensen,
Senior Executive Recruiter
ePraxis LLC
222 S Main Street, Suite 500-E
435-655-5111 Direct


All applications submitted online here at:

About R&T Hood and Duct Services, Inc.:

R&T Hood and Duct Services, Inc. (rthood.com) designs, installs, and services full-service cycle solutions for fire protection; solutions include commercial kitchen grease exhaust systems for commercial kitchens requiring regular service, hood cleaning, and pre-engineered fire suppression testing to prevent fire hazards.  RT Hood is a WBE that originated in the Seattle, WA area servicing the industrial kitchen grease exhaust system market with seven customers and one truck. Today, the company has grown to 45+ team members, servicing 4,000+ customers. Through continuous hard work and dedication to customer service and quality, the company has grown to become a full-service fire protection service provider. In addition to the original grease exhaust cleaning work, RT Hood now installs, services, and maintains fire prevention and suppression systems. Hood’s core values are Community, Accountability, Respect, and Safety. As the area’s leading complete fire-protection company, the company’s dedication to excellence, communities, and customers continues now more than ever. With a commitment to core values, today, RT Hood’s geographical service area extends from Seattle to the Puget Sound and includes the majority of Western Washington.

RT Hoods’ primary professional services include:

  1. Grease exhaust system service (e.g., design, build, and maintenance services)
  2. Pre-Engineered Fire systems upgrades and repairs
  3. Automatic fire suppression systems (e.g., design, build, and maintain fire sprinkler systems and other approved fire suppression systems)
  4. Fire extinguishers (e.g., sales, inspection, and service)

Why is RT Hood looking for a VP of Operations now? While the prior growth of the company is admirable, the CEO strongly believes that the best years of the company are ahead. RT Hood has the foundation and market opportunity to be a much bigger and better company; To help this company plan, scale, and deliver 10-15% year over year growth through consistent and methodical sales and operations improvements, the company is seeking to onboard a difference-making VP of Operations with prior been-there, done-that experience, entrepreneurial passion, and a servant-leader mindset.

VP Operations Position Description

The VP Operations (VPO) role as detailed herein is a new leadership position with RT Hood. The VPO reports the  CEO and will work collaboratively with the financial controller to manage 45+ team members. The VPO is directly responsible for onsite management of corporate headquarters operations in Seattle, WA, and will support all field design, installation, and service operations throughout Western Washington from this location. RT Hood is a highly entrepreneurial small business that has made its reputation in the industry by developing and delivering best-of-breed fire and life safety services, listening well to clients, and gaining the necessary professional and industry certifications to be their clients’ trusted business partner. RT Hood's goal is to become truly indispensable to its clients as their trusted fire suppression system provider. The VPO will assist the CEO in this process by supporting and expanding company operations and excellence in fire prevention, fire suppression, fire system test and assurance.

Behavioral Characteristics
Beyond the formal requirements traditionally expected of a VP Operations, we are interested in finding a VP Operations that meets RT Hood’s corporate culture and values, as “goodness of fit” is imperative for this key executive hire. To assist candidates in assessing their own suitability for the position, we have identified the Key Behavioral Traits of the VP Operations we seek in terms of Motivations, Modes of Thinking, Acting, and Interacting:

- Achiever; you compete, complete, and win routinely.
- Growth; you grow people, processes, and organizations (e.g., $10 million to $30 million growth cycle, etc.).
- Producer; you deliver on time and budget.
- Personal Responsibility; you self-manage your time wisely and take responsibility for results.
- Mission of Service; you value serving others and enjoy helping clients achieve their mission;

Modes of Thinking

- Lifetime learner; you read, discover, explore, and constantly improve your skillsets.
- Innovator; you are creative, resourceful, and imaginative.
- Problem solver; you have a curious mind, analyze issues, and enjoy solving problems, and putting processes into placed to prevent future problems.
- Discerner; you have demonstrated discernment, good judgment, and are viewed as a reservoir of wisdom and “uncommon” sense.
- Decision Maker; you make decisive decisions after gathering and analyzing facts.
- Low drama; you are a thinker, when issues arise, you share information quickly, calmly and swiftly identify problems to be solved, and you accurately, consistently, methodically work to resolve issues without high emotion or disruptive and distracting drama.

Modes of Acting
- Negotiator; you look for win-win solutions, and routinely use negotiation to help the company meet its objectives.
- Proactive Problem Solver; not all the problems of the world are known, and you have the resourceful capabilities to research, assess, and either develop or adapt solutions to solve dynamic problems;
- Strategist; you are a planner, strategist, and look for ways to win the end-game, not just the current battle before you.
- Technical Mastery; whatever you work on, you seek to become an expert. You have the learning skills to turn knowledge into wisdom.
- Player-Coach; you have the ability to lead from the front, as a servant-leader. You have the discipline and skills to build your team members as a coach and mentor.
-  Grit; you have the persistence, stick-to-it-ness, and integrity to do the right thing (even when unpopular or potentially costly).

Modes of Interacting
- Transparent; you are straight-forward and upfront with information.
-    Humble; you operate with a high degree of business ethics toward your work and your team.
-    Honest; you care about the truth, and own up to problems without ditching or dodging responsibility
-    Inclusive, bridge-builder; you have the ability to work effectively with a variety of cultures, customers, team members, and situations.
-    Communicator; you listen well, and are well versed in communication skills.
-    Motivator; you motivate. Your team follows you, not through compulsion, but rather they love working for you, as you are inspiring, and help them accomplish their goals
-    Persuader; you are emotionally intelligent and can persuade others to follow you.
-    Fun to work with.

Position Description, Goals, and Objectives:

The VP Operations reports to the CEO of RT Hood and is a key member of the Executive Committee (comprised of the CEO, Controller, and VP Operations).
Primary duties of the VP Operations duties include:
Lead, manage, and direct the operations of the RT Hood's headquarters fire suppression and prevention business units,  with full lifecycle management of marketing, sales, operations, client management, testing, quality assurance, and service fulfillment, and nonfinance department personnel.
Support the CEO in all areas by driving business results, determining the current state of operations, and preparing improvement plans, budgets, and timetables for improvements;
Manage onsite and remote information technology requirements, and work with the Controller to exceed client expectations by overseeing the timely delivery of field data, financial information and results.
Determine team member capabilities, skills, etc., and a create development plan to help the team reach higher performance to meet manufacturing goals and objectives;
Drive accountability for operational and customer results related to the financial performance of company operations;
Participate in master planning and share in the development of future strategy and operating plans for the business;
Develop operations budgets for marketing, sales, service, installation, system design, test/quality assurance, and growth-related capital expenditure plans;
Support the CEO with direct sales process support in terms of RFP response, proposal writing, client development, client-focused operations demos and tours, and client-centered operations that win the respect and admiration of our clients;
Work with the CEO and other Executive Committee members to increase the number of team members with industry certifications, training, etc., to ensure that the company meets the current and future needs of our clients;
Create team member accountability regarding the implementation of defined business plans (e.g., Balanced Scorecards, quarterly goals, etc) and deliver results;
Establish and maintain relationships with customers and industry experts in the professional fire protection, suppression, and life safety communities; develop a keen understanding of the competitive landscape and opportunities for growth within the company’s markets;
Lead coordination efforts between company and clients to drive company results;
Coordinate efforts of operations team by establishing state-of-the-art standard operating procedures for all aspects of the company under operations span of control.;
Coach and mentor operations team leaders and members;
Identify and lead the adoption of industry best practices and standards throughout the companies; review standard operating procedures, and routinely update processes to keep the company leading-edge;
Assure the safety of operations procedures are routinely followed to safeguard our team members, company, and customers.;
Drive internal accountability for results related to operations; institutionalize benchmarking and monitoring results for performance;
Drive business excellence in LEAN management improvements to reduce waste throughout the operation;
Aggressively manage and drive cost reduction roadmaps for company operations;
Influence change management through team building, collaboration, development, and monitoring of metrics;
Use expertise and people skills to spot, reduce, and mitigate conflict situations; maintain an environment that fosters sustainable organizational development;
Foster innovative solutions creating best-in-class results through continuous improvement (Kaizen)
Evaluate, develop, and nurture the team.
Other duties as may be assigned from time to time by the CEO.

Technical Qualifications and Requirements:

• Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.

• Demonstrated experience understanding, interpreting, managing, and driving positive operations results on the Company P&L, Balance Sheet, and Cash Flow Statements.

• BS in Fire Science, Fire Science Management, Fire & Emergency Services, Fire and Safety Engineering Technology, Industrial Safety, Occupational Safety, Organizational Behavior, Psychology; Business Administration, Management, Engineering, Operations, or another germane educational background. (Multiple years of relevant experience within a field will be considered in lieu of a particular degree or specialization).

• MBA, or Masters Degree in Engineering, Management, Industrial Organization, or Operations Management degree preferred.

• Minimum 10+ years of fire and life safety management support services work experience with increasing responsibilities for management and support of information systems and systems integration projects.

• Preferably 5+ years working with technologies and issues similar to those used in our field; i.e. managing fire systems design, installation and/or service, life safety delivery systems, or other technical support operations related positions.

• The ideal candidate will have experience growing and strengthening a company’s competitive position. For instance, they will have grown a company consistently over a period of years at a pace of 10-15% year over year, with kaizen-like continual improvements in organizational capacity to increase effectiveness of people, process, and performance.

• The ideal candidate will be able to manage multiple time-sensitive issues in the same day, leveraging the team, calendar, schedule, and tools to manage these events without dropping the ball on key issues.

• The ideal candidate will have prior fire protection industry experience and familiarity with the industrial kitchen exhaust cleaning industry, commercial fire protection domain experience, and fire suppression systems, design, installation, and quality assurance testing for life safety management.  

 • The ideal candidate will be an active member in one or more of the following professional industry associations: (a) the International Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning Association (IKECA), (b) the National Association of Fire Equipment Distributors (NAFED.org), and (c) the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA.org),

• The ideal VP Operations candidate will have familiarity, experience, and working knowledge of:

  1. NFPA 96
  2. NFPA 17
  3. IKECA (CECS certification)
  4. Manufacturer Knowledge – Ansul, PyroChem, Gaylord, Kidde
  5. City of Seattle Fire Certifications: E4; FEX1

Those candidates without past experience with these industry requirements must demonstrate their ability to learn such requirements and provide past experiences where you have taken the ‘deep dive’ to earn similar designations in other industries.

• Exposure to business theory, business process development, management, budgeting, administrative operations and governance processes. Exposure to the certification and testing industries.

• Must understand P&L and how it impacts the financial and operational success of the firm.

• Working knowledge of MS Office (e.g., MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access), CRM, MS Project, Visio, and other business productivity tools and software is helpful.

• Must possess a proven track record of progressively improving and automating operations management; analyze information, identify opportunities and make improvements to operations standard operating procedures to increase reliability, performance, and profit.

• Experience with managing projects using small teams with distributed operations;

• Experience with LEAN manufacturing principles, and demonstrated experience applying LEAN to business setting. There are opportunities to design and redesign operations to make more efficient and reduce waste.

• Develop effective talent hiring and development plans to recruit, develop and mentor a cadre of outstanding operations management team members to maintain profitable and resilient operations.

• Comply with ISO and corporate guidelines on business ethics. Lead and direct compliance programs to assure guidelines are met and conditions monitored.

• Demonstrated ability to accept responsibility; be self-governing, proactive, and responsible for the accomplishment of the company mission in alignment with the CEO’s vision, and the company’s strategic plan, directives, operations mandate, and mission of the company, without the need for daily coaching or prompting from the CEO.

• Demonstrated history of good employee relations in past position a must.

• Ability to deliver results workingthrough others, and motivate a team culture that is respectful and supports the company values of excellence, integrity, and quality experience for our customers.

• Must possess strong problem solving and creative skills, the ability to exercise sound judgment, and make decisions based on accurate and timely analysis.

• The position is a key management position and a time demanding position. The candidate must demonstrate that they understand the requirements of the position, the time required to complete the required duties, and a willingness to be flexible and work the required time-sensitive projects impacting the service delivery of the company.

• Periodic business travel required, though the VP Operation’s primary role will be to the full-time onsite executive at RT Hood's headquarters operations.

• MUST be willing to relocate to the company’s headquarters located in Seattle, WA, or live within a 45-minute drive-time radius of our headquarters operations.


Salary is negotiable and commensurate with ability and experience. Benefits package is typical of other benefit packages for chief executives in Seattle.


The VP Operations position is available immediately with an expected start date on or before September 1, 2018.


This opening is closed and is no longer accepting applications
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