Chris Bales, Customer Service Representative

News Lead In Photo Chris Bales Es

SPRINGFIELD, MO—Chris Bales started working at Central States Industrial (CSI) in 2012, and it didn’t take long for him to become a great asset to the company. Chris became CSI’s sole Customer Service Representative (CSR) pump specialist within a few weeks of being hired.

Chris’s natural ability to learn effectively was first demonstrated in his degree in Engineering Management from the University of Missouri – Rolla and then again as he pursued various sales roles after his graduation in 2006.

Chris’s transition to pump specialist occurred under a very high-pressure timeline. At CSI, newly hired CSRs typically don’t work independently for the first two months, so they have plenty of time to learn the position and the industry. Chris was an exception to this practice.

An unexpected void occurred at CSI, and there was an urgent need for a new pump specialist to begin taking care of customers, immediately. Before being finished with the typical customer service training, Chris memorized an extensive amount of information that allowed him to help customers choose specific pump models for their application and troubleshoot problems. He utilized resources and expert advice from both inside and outside CSI, and he said his colleagues contributed greatly to his success.

In the last six years, Chris’s pump knowledge has expanded even more, allowing him to troubleshoot and solve problems. As his expertise has advanced, he said he is able to spend more time creating a better customer service experience.

Chris said his department, a group of about fifteen people, has gained considerable expertise regarding pumps and are able to handle a variety of needs. This autonomy allows Chris and the pump team, which consists of six people, to focus on more time-consuming tasks, expanding the capacity of CSI as a whole.

When asked about the best aspects of CSI, he said, “I like, both the support you get from your team, and that CSI is an outgoing company that stays involved with the community. There’s no point in making money if that money is not doing anything good.” Chris lives by this philosophy. With an undeniable passion for martial arts, Chris instructs the youth of Springfield in the art of Youn Wha Ryu.

Chris said he became an instructor in martial arts because it helps kids learn discipline and focus. Youn Wha Ryu pushes his students to drive themselves as individuals, an essential skill in today’s world. His instruction of the ancient art was so monumental that he won Instructor of the Year for his organization’s Springfield, Missouri division in 2015.

As for his life at home, Chris has a Russian Blue (one of the few breeds of cats he isn’t allergic to) named Mithbrennil with his girlfriend of eight years, Katherine. Chris and Katherine are buying a house together, with the goal to renovate the entirety of it. Without even a kitchen sink, the house is a blank slate, but if Chris applies even an ounce of the tenacity he demonstrates at CSI, there is no doubt that their new house will outshine the Taj Mahal.


Central States Industrial Equipment (CSI) is a leader in distribution of hygienic pipe, valves, fittings, pumps, heat exchangers, and MRO supplies for hygienic industrial processors, with four distribution facilities across the U.S. CSI also provides detail design and execution for hygienic process systems in the food, dairy, beverage, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and personal care industries. Specializing in process piping, system start-ups, and cleaning systems, CSI leverages technology, intellectual property, and industry expertise to deliver solutions to processing problems. More information can be found at