Panama City service technician receives Mr. Rooter's worldwide award

Published: Sep. 27, 2016 at 5:47 PM CDT
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Keith Smoker is a service technician for Mr. Rooter of Northwest Florida.

"First of all he's been with the company for over thirteen years," said Scott Hobbs, the owner of Mr. Rooter of Northwest Florida.

Every day, two to three times a day, Smoker responds to a service call.

"I love my job," said Smoker. "I love my customers."

To many people around the Panhandle, Smoker is their "Mr. Fix-It," but last week, "Mr. Fix-It" became "Mr. Rooter," a worldwide title.

"No one's ever received that award here," said Hobbs. "So we are privileged that he received it."

A few months ago, Hobbs nominated Smoker for the "Service Technician of the Year" award. It's a title hundreds of employees across the country compete for, but only one person gets.

"In my opinion the Service Professional of the Year [award] is the top award in the Mr. Rooter franchise," said Hobbs.

The 13-year veteran service technician out of Panama City brought home the award after attending an international Mr. Rooter conference in Texas.

"I was completely shocked, I mean, that doesn't happen to somebody like me," said Smoker.

Hobbs says Smoker displays everything he wants in an employee.

He says Smoker always gets the job done correctly, has a can-do attitude, and has amazing customer service skills, which is why he believes he smoked his competition.

"It is a common thing for people to call up and ask for Keith," said Hobbs. "There are times where he has a waiting list of folks willing to wait for him to come out to a job. When you go in and do everything you can to get the job done, people respect that."

While hard work and dedication are some things Smoker says have been instilled in him since birth, the humble technician says he's kept quiet about his achievement.

"I honestly haven't really told many people," Smoker laughed.

That's about to change.

"He is the face of the Mr. Rooter for the next year!" said Hobbs, who couldn't be more proud.