For a look at the rest of the 2020 40 Under 40 honorees, be sure to check out the 40 Under 40 homepage.
Job Title: Director of Business Development
Company: Site on Time: A Nationwide Marketing Group Co.
Years in Industry: 14
Where You Grew Up, Live Now: Grew up in St. Joseph, MI. Currently live in Dahlonega, GA
Education: Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI
Accomplishments: Within the past 20 years, my background has included both Family Owned Businesses, as well as Major Appliances. I was able to combine those, and branch off into additional industries like Consumer Electronics, Furniture and Bedding through my work with Nationwide Marketing Group. My greatest achievement is being able to provide tools and resources to the backbone of our country, the Independent Retailer.
CE Industry Awards: I’ve received a number of awards over the past few years, but none specific to CE. All general to independent retail industries.
What I Like Best About My Job: My job is incredibly rewarding in itself. Being able to work with folks that wanted to change their fate, and with the courage to open their own business, is a passion few know. I love being able to call these incredible people my customers and my friends.
What I like Least About My Job: Microsoft PowerPoint
Pastime/Hobby: For me, life is about being a dad. I have two beautiful girls, both under 5, and family time is incredibly important. Within that, it’s a tossup between the fun games “What is that on the floor?” to “Find Barbie’s missing shoe. No, not that one? The other one?”
Last Book Read: Blue Ocean Strategy, by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne
Favorite Movie: Superman (1978)
Best Concert: London Symphony Orchestra
My Hero, and Why: My mother. She’s always believed in me and been a driving force to never settle for “good enough.”
Favorite CE Product: Vintage Radio Shack TV (with tuner!)
If You Could be Anyplace Right Now, Where Would it Be and What Would You Be Doing?: Disneyworld. We moved back East a few months ago, and it’s been a dream of mine to introduce my daughters to all of the Disney princesses that we read about every night before bed.
Major Industry Problem and How to Fix It: As an industry, we tend to be too short-sighted. We focus on what’s immediately in front of us, rather than playing the long game. There are elements in place, emergent technologies and market shifts that will drastically re-shape our industry as we know it in the next 5-10 years. We need to make decisions based on how this will impact our process partners, suppliers, and retailers not just today, but in the years to come. This means having courage to say the hard “no.” This means looking past the short-term loss to the immediate long-term gain (lose the battle, win the war). It requires accountability when things go south. Far too often we look for the easy way out (myself included) rather than asking the hard questions that will help us to grow.
What Makes You Believe the CE Industry Will Thrive in the Next 5 Years: Ever since we started making machines to make our lives easier, they’ve been in demand. It’s why everything since has been the “greatest thing since sliced bread.” There will always be a need for technology, and especially that which can help us live more fully. There are so many challenges to the Consumer Electronics space in the last 10 years from globalization trends in raw materials and labor, to the inception and utilization of smart technology, even intellectual property. At its heart, though, is an ever-evolving juggernaut that is constantly pushing the envelope, and there will always be this type of demand. However, potentially one of the greatest challenges for CE right now is creating product that consumers want. It’s a gamble to be sure. Produce and create something that’s tried and true, knowing that it will be obsolete in 6 months, or invest in something revolutionary that will take your competition years to catch up. I think we’ll be seeing more of the latter in the coming years.