Learn more about UPL team member Jacob Meganck, Midwest Territory Manager for Aquatics.
Q: What territory/region do you cover?
A: I cover the Midwest states — which encompasses Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri and Iowa.
Q: How long have you been with UPL?
A: This year (2023) was my 12-year anniversary with UPL.
Q: Tell us about your past work experiences.
A: Prior to UPL I worked for a major aquatics distributor. Between that company and UPL, I have 18 years in the industry.
In college, I was the garden specialist for our local Home Depot for 3 years. That opportunity gave me a retail experience aside from wholesale. My experience at Home Depot, working with the herbicides, was actually a gateway into this industry for me.
Q: What is the top question that you hear from customers?
A: Honestly it is usually, “How’s the family?” or “What’s new?” To answer the second question, UPL has some cool things in the works, and I am excited to be part of it.
With as long as I have known many of these folks, the niche nature of our industry, and as young as I was when I entered the business, many have become friends or mentors — even if they do not know it.
Once the first question is out of the way, we will chat about business.
Q: How did you get involved in the aquatics industry?
A: Water has always interested me. I even had a high school science project where I evaluated the effects of an oil spill on aquatic plants.
I’ve always found it weird I did not know about this industry until I was in it. The lake I grew up going to didn’t have many nuisance plants and was not treated. At that time, I did not even know treating aquatic plants was a thing. I grew up thinking if you did not want weeds in your swim area, you just tied a rope to an old metal box spring and drug them out to be disposed of.
While working in a microbiology lab in college, a friend’s husband who was a lakes consultant in Michigan recruited me for the company they used to work for. They knew about my Home Depot garden experience and they had a job opening. That ended up being the aquatics distribution partner I spent 6 years working for.
Q: What (professional or personal) goals do you hope to reach in the next 5 years?
A: I have a 12-year-old boy and a nearly 8-year-old girl. On a personal level I am just hoping to survive the next 5 years. My wife and I are the only ones in our social group with kids at home, having kids later than some of our peers, so we have been able to see the upcoming experiences.
UPL has continued to expand their aquatics division. This has opened up opportunities that may have never been possible before. So on a professional level I’m excited to see what these new possibilities hold for UPL Aquatics and our customers.
Q: What hobbies or other interests would you like to share?
A: I love the outdoors and being in nature in general. I love any opportunity to get away from everything and be immersed in real quiet. I prefer locations where my cell phone no longer functions, and I can remember what it was like when I was younger. Those places are getting harder to find. It is amazing how much more you connect with your family when you all can get in nature together, though.
During the winter months I am an avid skier and snowboarder as a member of the National Ski Patrol —something I have done for 23 years. Summers are busy in our industry, but I still try to get away camping with family. I am active in our local off-road community, so we often tie in exploring with some of our trips. This summer we wanted to try to keep the kids engaged while exploring, so we added geocaching to our adventures.
When I can’t get away to be in nature, I maintain nearly a mile of paths through our woods on our property, and walking those trails is a great way to start the morning and get ready for the day ahead.
Jacob can be reached at Jacob.Meganck@upl-ltd.com.