Beth Bartow is Case Construction’s Southeast Business Manager. (Photo courtesy of Beth Bartow)
Beth Bartow grew up in the heavy equipment industry as the industry grew and changed around her. Currently the Case business manager at Southeast Case Construction, Bartow’s first job in high school, unbeknownst to him, would be the start of a lifelong career that would span decades and multiple countries around the world.
“I started working for Hoffman equipment, in Piscataway, NJ, when I was in high school. It’s a family business. I started replacing during school holidays. They asked me if I wanted to come on board and work in sales. The people were great, and it was an interesting business. My education really started there,” said Bartow, whose first role in inside sales gave him the opportunity to learn about the whole business, including accounting, parts and service.
Bartow remained with the Hoffman family for several years. But just like living at home, there comes a time when you have to leave the nest. She was offered a position at Daewoo Equipment as Inside Sales Manager and accepted this new challenge.
“I learned so much working there,” she said. “I was there for a few years. They were moving their offices to Atlanta, and I didn’t want to move there, so I went back to Hoffman as a territory sales manager covering Staten Island and surrounding counties. You can always come back back home again.”
A woman in the role of territory sales manager was unusual in the mid-1980s, especially in the New York metropolitan area.
“Being a female territory sales manager was an innovation and not something you saw a lot, especially in New York and New Jersey,” she said. “I stayed there for a while, got great sales experience, and then it was time to go.”
Over the next several years, Bartow held various field sales positions for some industry heavyweights, including HO Penn in Connecticut and ALLOU Manufactured in New Jersey. His big break came when a headhunter working for caterpillar Redistribution Services reached out to her to discuss the role of Senior Regional Sales Manager, working out of Florida. She accepted the job and headed south, successfully building Caterpillar’s rental and used equipment business.
Three years later, Bartow answered a call from Cat’s European group to replicate this success in Europe.
“In 2007 I got an expatriate role based in England with Northern Europe as my territory,” she said. “My role was to step in and help build their redistribution, assess used equipment sales, come up with new ideas and assess the used equipment managers of these European companies.”
His job meant traveling through England, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Latvia and Ireland.
“What was interesting was that I was this ‘pushy American’ who would come in and tell these men how to run their used equipment business,” she recalled. “To this day, I am grateful to Cat for this experience. It helped me grow as a person and as a businesswoman. It was an experience you don’t have every day. “
After two years in this role, Bartow returned to the United States. She has held senior sales manager positions in the used equipment division of Cat, Terex and Volvo. She then brought her extensive experience in the construction equipment industry to software maker Decisiv Inc. as Director of Business Development. She stayed there for five years before an opportunity came to Case as a dealer development manager.
“I started with Case in September 2021. They had a reorganization with the aim of becoming more customer-focused. is,” said Bartow, the only female regional field business leader at the company. As a business manager, she covers Case dealerships from Florida to North Carolina.
Bartow’s success hasn’t been easy and certainly not without challenges, but she’s happy with the path she’s chosen.
“I wouldn’t change it for the world. I never thought I would go into construction. I thought I was going into retail and fashion. Construction was easy, it was like being at home. house. It was comfortable. That’s what I know. Every move I made was platform to platform.
“Wherever I go, I have to prove myself to someone,” she added. “I don’t see men having to prove themselves when they step onto the pitch. One of the best pieces of advice I got early on in the industry is to just be a sponge and soak it all up, so that is what I did.The thing I have discovered in my travels that there are people who will help you along the way and I have been very lucky to have very good managers to help me.”
Bartow will gladly offer advice to women looking to break into the construction industry, but her most important advice comes before a decision is made.
“Interview, interview, interview. Make sure you’ll be the right fit for this spot. They’ll dazzle you with an offer, but see where the growth opportunities are. You won’t want to stay in that position for the rest of your life. Do they provide the tools to help you grow? Then this is where you want to be. CEG