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2023’s Top 10 Under 40: Mitchell Williams, Lynum-Progressive Industries

December 5, 2023  By  Jack Burton

Mitchell Williams, Lynum-Progressive Industries

Mitchell Williams knows that there’s two sides to every sale – while currently a technical sales representative for processing equipment distributor LYNUM-Progressive Industries, his years before that were spent in on-site aggregates operations, leaving him with a valuable firsthand perspective that can recognize and fulfill the needs of not only his company, but its clients.

LYNUM represents 13 companies and distributors in addition to owning two manufacturing facilities, and Williams sees his role with them as less about moving their products, and more a responsibility to provide clients with the solutions for a job well done: “It’s about finding out what the customer needs and being of service to them,” he said.

Williams’ unique background has played a key role in his ability to connect with these needs. After training in power engineering, he began his career at a frac sand plant, eventually working his way up to a managerial role overseeing a team of 10 in manufacturing silica sand.

Following this, Williams moved to Australia, with this change in scenery also bringing a change in career. During his time down under, Williams began working in sales, and upon his return to Canada, was eager to carve out an opportunity that integrated this new passion with his previous experience in the materials sector.


“When I was in Australia, I fell in love with the sales industry,” Williams said. “So, when I came back, I wanted to combine the two: the operations experience and my technical background as a power engineer, and the new sales skills that I learned over there.”

After returning and setting out on this new path, a major detour emerged: within days of Williams joining LYNUM, the world as it existed changed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite these new challenges, Williams praised his then-new employer for supporting his success during unprecedented circumstances.

“I have to give them a lot of credit – they had every right to get rid of me, I didn’t meet anyone at the company [in person],” he said. “But they did a very good job training me and introducing me to customers online.”

The overall support that Williams received from LYNUM as he re-entered his former industry from a new sales perspective has been a highlight for him in this role. Williams said that LYNUM has made it clear that for them, his value goes beyond numbers or sales targets.

“They’re by far the most caring company that I’ve worked for,” said Williams. “The owner, Erik Lynum, came to Calgary one time when I was early in my career, and asked me to go for dinner. He said, ‘Look, I just want you to enjoy your time here. I want you to do me a favor: if you’re not having fun here, if you ever have an issue, I want you to come to me and we’ll work through it.’”

As the world once again readjusts, this time to the return to more on-site and face-to-face work, Williams has found his hands-on background in aggregate and plant operations to be an essential tool in identifying and empathizing with the needs of this clients.

“Going into a mine or aggregate site and meeting with the plant manager can be a little intimidating after two years of sitting on your couch,” said Williams. “But, because I’ve been a foreman and a plant operator, I understand the value of having a guy who actually cares about your operation, not just making a quick sale – it’s more about getting you up and running. Through that, the relationship just builds naturally.”

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