EDITOR’S NOTE: The Regions Tradition is an annual major stop on the PGA TOUR Champions schedule. This year, we’re looking at some of the small businesses that bring the event to life in our Powering the Tradition series.
Chris Hettich’s business is the kind you never think about, at least until you really, really need it.
Throughout the Regions Tradition, the annual Birmingham major on the PGA TOUR Champions schedule, a lot of people are very happy Hettich is involved.
He owns HHH Sanitation, which provides portable restrooms placed strategically along the expansive Greystone Golf & Country Club course.
“We’ve had up to 150 units out here at one time, especially for peak attendance,” said Hettich. But 2021, the first in a global pandemic, will be different. “We’ll have fewer individual portables and, instead of six or seven restroom trailers, we’ll have three.”
The logistics and had work setting up won’t change.
It takes about two days to have the Tradition ready for business. And another week to test everything and ensure that the portable sanitation units are properly working and correctly placed. It’s a hectic two weeks for HHH Sanitation, which also has units at the State Fair in Pelham and six other locations across Metro Birmingham.
“But there’s nothing on the scale of the Regions Tradition,” Hettich said.
And that’s why the Bruno Event Team trusts Hettich and company to get the job done.
There’s nothing on the scale of the Regions Tradition.
Chris Hettich, owner of HHH Sanitation
“We’ve been with them such a long time,” said George Shaw, tournament director and a member of the Bruno Event Team. “We know this is one area of the tournament because of their track record for customer service.”
At one time, Hettich was a conductor for Norfolk Southern Railroad. He loved the job, but it kept him on the rails and away from his family. With two young children, that wasn’t how he wanted to spend the rest of his life.
But timing can be fortuitous. Hettich’s father and a business partner had begun a new sanitation business. His younger brother was working for the fledgling company, doing delivery and pickups of the units. So, Hettich did what anyone else wanting a new start would do.
“I begged them for a job,” he laughed.
He started doing repairs on the units and soon was elevated to a managerial role in a division of the growing company before eventually rising to general manager and, five years ago, as owner.
Working with the Bruno Event team has taken Hettich and HHH Sanitation across the Southeast, to golf tournaments in Mississippi and across Alabama, as well as across town to Shoal Creek, site of the 2018 U.S. Women’s Open Championship.
When not managing major golf tournaments or needs at the Indy Car racing at Barber Motorsports Park, HHH Sanitation stays busy providing relief on construction sites, at county and regional fairs, and smaller events, like weddings.
And he’s usually on call in case something goes wrong. Luckily, that’s a rare exception.
In his free time, he’s expanding the business. HHH Sanitation grew by acquiring other waste management companies and just added a roll-off dumpster division using the same logistical principles.
He’s learned to start over from scratch, and that’s a lesson he’s passed on.
“Like I tell my children, if you hit the ground get back up and start over,” Hettich said.