Employee Spotlight: David Zebert

I began my journey with AHI Carrier back in October 2000 as a senior technician under Natal Airconditioning Services, trading as Carrier South Africa PTY LTD. Over the years, I’ve witnessed remarkable growth within the company, with a significant milestone in July 2004 when I was promoted to the role of Service Operations Manager, a position I proudly hold to this day.

One of the most remarkable aspects of my career at AHI Carrier has been the opportunity to travel and work in different countries, including Kenya, Tanzania, Angola, eSwatini, China, and France. I’ve had the privilege of servicing and repairing HVAC systems in various countries, often overcoming language barriers through creative communication methods like hand signals.

A pivotal moment in my career occurred in June 2004 when I undertook a challenging warranty repair project on the Crystal Serenity cruise ship. This project involved repairing four 19XR chillers, each with a capacity of 5300 kW, while the ship was circumnavigating the globe. The repairs took place while the ship was at sea, traveling above the equator, and concluded when it returned to Durban, South Africa. It was a grueling 10-day effort, working 16 hours a day, but the successful completion of the project was a testament to our team’s dedication and expertise.

One memorable experience was when I had the chance to play paddle tennis on deck with Mr. Fuji during the cruise, which was a wonderful opportunity to connect with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures.

AHI Carrier’s company culture and values resonate strongly with me. The core values of Quality, Performance, Responsibility, Innovation, Customer Care, and Employee Opportunity are not just words but the pillars that guide our decisions and actions every day. One concept that particularly aligns with my personal work ethic is taking leadership and being resourceful in both office and field situations. I value the autonomy and trust placed in employees to make a difference.

A defining moment in my career was when we tackled the overhaul of 4x 19XR chillers at the Gateway Entertainment and Shopping Mall in 2008. Despite initial doubts from competitors, our team at Carrier South Africa demonstrated our expertise. We faced a critical situation when one of the chillers failed to start after the overhaul, and we couldn’t find a solution even with international support. Eventually, with relentless effort and a collaborative spirit, we identified and resolved the issue, which had elements of sabotage. This achievement not only demonstrated our technical prowess but also sent a powerful message to our competitors in the market.

Working with dedicated individuals like Alwyn Whitfield and under the guidance of leaders such as our GM, Derrick Daubern, taught me that experience and knowledge gained over the years are invaluable. Sometimes, even the best engineers in the factories don’t have all the answers.

As I look to the future, I see the growth of the service department as pivotal for the company. Our focus is on Toshiba and equipment sales, and I believe that enhancing the visibility of our service offerings is essential. I envision contributing by advocating for a full-time service representative to secure additional business.

To new team members joining AHI Carrier, I offer this advice:

  • Immerse yourself in the work environment.
  • Build relationships with your colleagues.
  • Make a lasting impression on our customers.
  • Be an active participant in training meetings.
  • Offer your assistance to others.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask for help when unsure.
  • Listen attentively and take notes.
  • Practice effective time management.

I assure you that I will never ask you to undertake a task I haven’t done before, and I hold quality, honesty, and adherence to all Carrier rules in high regard. AHI-Carrier is a brilliant company to work for, and I’m proud to be a part of this exceptional team.

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