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What Going Beyond Means to Steve Tudor, Trane Account Manager in Nashville, TN

June 19, 2018

trane account manager, mount everest

Let’s Go Beyond™ -- The tagline permeates Trane literature, advertisements, vehicles, videos, websites and tradeshow materials. Used to convey our company’s personality and character, the tagline elevates us beyond the simple and known, onto bigger thinking and bigger problem solving, showing that Trane is leading the way beyond just products to systems, services and total solutions.

Let’s Go Beyond also seemed like the underlying theme as we talked with Steve Tudor, account manager, Trane Nashville, about his recent adventure to the south Everest Base Camp in the Federal Democrat Republic of Nepal, a landlocked country in the South Asian Himalayas, bordering China and India. A rock climber for years, Steve had tackled high peaks in Colorado and other areas of the country. “Everest was something that was always in the back of my mind,” said Tudor. “I had planned to go it alone, but there was an opportunity to join others through a recently-organized Nashville trekking company, so I went.”

Steve’s trip certainly sounded like going beyond as he talked about the Lukla airport, where many tourists and trekkers begin their adventure. Often called the most dangerous airport in the world, Lukla is at an elevation above 9,000 ft which hinders airplane performance. The airport’s 1,500 ft runway that pitches upward facing a mountain is used by planes accustomed to landing on 4,000 ft runways. More than fifty flights arrive and leave in a four hour period each morning when weather conditions are deemed safe for operations. Considered frightening by many, Steve describes it as “just really neat.”

Traveling with four guides, 5 yaks and 18 duffle bags, Steve and his group went beyond, hiking 50 miles and climbing over 8000 ft to the 17,650 ft Everest Base Camp, where it was 20 degrees F with snow blowing sideways in the strong winds. The makeshift town that exists for only a few months out of the year, is abandoned in mid-August before extreme cold and excessive snow moves in, with organizers leaving only minor tenting structures for the next season. The camp includes rustic sleeping accommodations, a dining hall, medical facilities and a helipad. During his visit, Steve hiked the area, climbing as high as 18,000 ft and stayed in village tea houses. “They (tea house owners) generally will heat the common room with wood or yak dung from 5 pm to 9 pm, but there is no heat otherwise. They give you a sheet, very cold room with a mattress, and comforter. You throw down your sleeping bag and crawl in.”

Steve embraced the culture of Nepal, going beyond to organize a run for more than sixty children in the village of Phakding and awarding medals to all the participants. Working alongside another trekmate, they donated 100 pairs of shoes for the local children. “The Nepalese people are super nice and friendly, the children flocked to me, and they all know English,” said Tudor. “You don’t have to worry about anyone stealing your stuff or harming you. I felt very safe. There’s no crime, no police, no guns, no threats and no concerns.”

While traveling to a strange place, facing the elements of nature, adapting to a foreign culture and withstanding the physical strain of hiking the rugged terrain might define going beyond for many, for Steve going beyond means something different. “I learned a lot during my trip to Nepal. Going beyond is all about building relationships. It’s having conversations, listening to the stories others tell you and asking for advice. It’s about developing a mutual trust. Our guides wanted what was in our best interest. In turn, I had to trust them to tell me what to do, what gear to take, and where to go. Going beyond takes an entire team, an understanding of culture and genuine camaraderie.”

“I’m entering my thirty fifth year as a sales engineer,” added Tudor. “The lessons I learned, or relearned, in Nepal, define going beyond for me. I’ve developed a lot of long-standing relationships with my customers, and just like in Nepal, the relationships are built on mutual trust. For me going beyond really comes down to answering two important questions. How can I be a value beyond the quality Trane equipment and services I can provide? And how can I serve my customers’ best interests?”