Jindabyne Refrigeration manager, Andrew Solomon, has been a proud fridgie for 16 years.
And while he is only 33 years of age its clear that becoming the 2018 Fridgie of the Year Award winner doesn't happen overnight.
Solomon spent the first 10 years of his trade in Sydney working in supermarket refrigeration before moving to Jindabyne in 2012 and buying his own business.
He has grown from a one man operation working out of a ute to six full time staff including four tradesmen on the road covering a 250km service area in the snowy mountains.
Solomon has a passion for new technology and pushing the limits even using natural refrigerants in heating systems located in the coldest regions of Australia.
He also did the first C02 Q-Ton installation in Australia back in 2017. His plan is to use C02 on a cool room or freezer project.
“Working in the mountains is the best part of my job with such a huge range of work and extremes in the weather, I get to work on a broad range of projects,” Solomon says.
“A fridgie needs to have drive, to push their skills by exploring new technology.
“We are often giving advice and designing systems for our customers so having the knowledge to provide the best, and most efficient solution, is a must.”
Solomon says there is nothing better than 'saving the day' for a customer.
“There is nothing more rewarding than getting your customer's equipment back up and running after it has gone down; its good to be there to save the day,” he says.
Married with a young family, Solomon's wife also helps to run the business.
Asked about some of the challenges facing the industry, Solomon says there are a few problems that need addressing.
“There are various licensing issues that are a problem and getting the right industry representation for our unique skill set; sourcing skilled workers is an ongoing challenge,” he says.
But if the industry is going to attract more staff, Solomon says its important to showcase the best and brightest.
“This event is a great opportunity to showcase the great people in the industry,” he says.
Totaline Australia sponsored the Fridgie of the Year Award with the company's national technical manager for refrigeration and product solutions, Gaj Bhalerao, presenting Solomon with his award.
“Congratulations to Jindabyne Refrigeration manager, Andrew Solomon for winning the Fridgie of the Year Award. Take a bow, you have received this award for your persistence, hardships and commitment to your work. You make our refrigeration trade proud," he said.
Totaline Australia national manager, John Coppi, said Totaline is proud to be a part of this award.
"Recognising excellence in the trade is very important and Solomon is a worthy winner," Coppi said. "Totaline Australia has taken the initiative to support this category. A big thank you to CCN for bringing this to fruition, Totaline Australia stands committed to bringing out the best in the industry by supplying quality refrigeration equipment and spare parts.”