Driven To Success: Associate Profile on P1 Service Manager Sean Marconette
Considering the things that Service Manager Sean Marconette has accomplished during his career, you could say he has a drive for success, but on the weekends he has a different kind of drive: National Hot Rod Association Racing.
Sean grew up in Lawrence, KS, and went to Baldwin High School. Before he graduated, his dad put the bug in his ear to go into HVAC repair as a career.
“He told me there are guys that work on the AC units, and they are always busy and always in demand,” Sean said.
So Sean enrolled in the two-and-a-half year HVAC program at Pittsburg State’s technical school.
Pittsburg, KS, is a small town, and while attending Pittsburg State, Sean discovered there wasn’t a lot to do in the area.
“There was drinking, fishing and street racing,” Sean said.
So he found himself gravitating toward the street racing. “Pittsburg had a lot of people with fast cars, and many college kids joined in,”
Sean says in hindsight, the street racing was foolish…and dangerous.
One specific wake-up call was the catalyst for him to call it quits.
“We used to run races in Lawrence and Topeka,” Sean recalled.
“One night, I was racing, going 130 mph down a city street. I saw lights behind us and I stopped, but the guy I was racing ran through the stoplight. Luckily, no one was hurt.”
After that, he put street racing behind him, but the driving passion had taken hold, so Sean trailered that car and took it to legitimate races only.
A friend introduced him to National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Class Racing - and that is what he still competes in today.
“I consider NHRA Class Racing a thinking person’s class,” Sean said. “It has very specific rules and you have to figure out how to win within those rules.”
In 1997, he purchased a 1984 Ford Mustang, with a 4-cylinder, turbo-charged engine and manual transmission, with the purpose of building the car for drag racing only.
“When I bought it, I was looking for a specific car to meet the needs of racing. Over the years, I have done all the body work, painting, and mechanical - all except the machine work to the engine,” Sean said.
In 2015, he sold the engine out of the Mustang and started building a new engine to perform at a higher level.
“I had to find somebody that would take on my engine project, and I was able to find someone in Arkansas to build it for the specifications I wanted,” Sean said. “It took roughly a year for them to make it suitable and within the rules of this class of racing.”
Sean is currently the only person in the world running this car/engine combination. In 2019, all his hard work paid off when he set the NHRA Super Stock national record.
Sean does all the driving and the work on the car, but racing isn’t something that he does alone. Sean says his wife Rose is critical to the process as well.
“Meeting Rose was one of the best things that ever happened to me,” Sean said.
“I won’t go to the track without her. She is my crew chief. She helps me do burnout and enters all the information after I make a quarter mile pass. Racing for us is a team effort.”
Sean and Rose have been married for 14 years and during race season, they spend most of their weekends traveling to races, which averages about 20 races each season.
They go all over the Midwest from Heartland Park in Topeka, KS, to Eau Claire, WI, and many places in between, including Sean’s favorite track in Earlville, IA.
More often than not, Sean is the number one qualifier at the Midwest Class races and he’s proud of the work that he has done on the car to put himself in that position.
“I enjoy the satisfaction of creating something and achieving the goals of making the car faster. That’s the drive for me,” Sean said.
That same drive shows in his work with P1 Service over the years. His career at P1 has spanned 32 years, starting with his goal to work for Huxtable and Associates.
In 1990, Sean was one of three people accepted into the apprenticeship program - out of 103 applicants – and he recalls P1 CEO Smitty Belcher was on the interview panel.
“From the first day Sean came to work for us, he’s had an insatiable desire to learn all he could about the HVAC industry. Over the years, Sean has done everything to make sure he is on top of the latest technologies in our industry,” P1 CEO Smitty Belcher said.
“He has also passed on his knowledge and experience to those that he worked with and mentored. Sean has truly been an asset, not only to P1, but also to the customers that we serve.”
Sean says he enjoys his work as an HVAC technician for the same reason he loves working on his car.
“I love the challenge of figuring out how the equipment works, why it’s doing what it is doing, and how to fix it,” Sean said.
Early in his career he wanted to learn and understand everything about the building systems and how they operated and that drive pushed him to become a National Environmental Building Bureau (NEBB) certified technician.
NEBB certification shows that individuals that have undergone rigorous requirements set forth by NEBB to prove proficiency in building systems. Sean is one of only a select few at P1 who have obtained this certification.
Sean said the NEBB test is like testing for an engineering degree, but the certification opened the doors for him to work on a lot of projects he wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.
He has done the start up for many new buildings in healthcare in the Kansas City area, and was able to travel not only to Travis AFB in California, but also to a jobsite in Japan.
Sean was promoted to Service Manager in 2022, but before that he served as a Service Supervisor and Trainer, providing training classes for technicians from all of the offices.
As a service manager, he still enjoys getting out in the field when he can and hopes that through his training, he can help younger technicians gain knowledge and experience.
“I was fortunate enough to have two extremely knowledgeable mentors in Ken Beebe (retired) and Vice President Tony Whited, both of whom were instrumental in coaching me along the way,” Sean said.
And he hopes to pay it forward. “I hope my leadership and training has brought the same valuable mentorship to others.”