Thursday, March 4, 2010

ON THE ROAD AGAIN

Steve Beard’s car stuffed with new Wesco Fabrics samples.

During the month of February, Steve Beard, our sales person for Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, & Alabama, called us every day, asking, “When will I receive the new Spring Samples?” Well, you can tell from the picture above, that he got his new samples, and he was ready to hit the road to see his customers. Steve is the consummate road sales professional and a guy I’ve had the pleasure to work with for over 40 years!

Steve is totally “old-school”, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. He is quite simply, an amazingly unique personality in today’s world of companies with little personality, voicemail labyrinths, and sales people that make little lasting impact. Steve has just about seen it all; from the time when all orders were “mailed” in to Wesco Fabrics, to the introduction of wats lines and fax machines. What sets him apart from so many reps that have been in this game a long while is that he is more computer savvy than most of the 20 somethings! Steve’s office in Jackson Mississippi is like a command center for NASA! You never saw so many computers, telephones, and electronic gear. Now with emails and WESCO ONLINE, he tracks orders 24/7, and knows who is purchasing, what they are purchasing, and who is not,…daily!

Over the years, his customers have told me that Steve knows more about the window covering business than anyone they have ever encountered. He has always been there to train, troubleshoot, hold a hand for reassurance, and to make it fun. Along the way he has cooked dinner for his customers (I should say, friends!), attended weddings, funerals, graduations, and…..been just part of the family.

Travel along with me as we look at an album of the Steve Beard I know from past years.

Steve and I attended the incredible Cannes boat show in 2008. We drooled over $30,000,000+ mega yachts, cars to match, and all the companies that support the industry.

Steve is at his best when he’s smoozing a table of interior designers with his southern style repartee. I loved hearing Steve try to order “Wild Turkey” in France.

I took Steve to one on my favorite shirt shops in Cannes. The shirt he is wearing costs more than my first car!

We assembled Wesco Fabric sales people, past and present, for a group shot during our 50th anniversary party in 1996. Left to right: Yours truly, Howard Smith, Jim Henson, Steve Beard, Sam Hirschfeld, Chuck Wells, and Wally Anderson. I kind of miss my mustache.

Steve and his new friend, along with Joline Weiss. Joline (Marla’s mom) and her husband started Wesco Fabrics in 1946.

Marla and Steve attended Heimtex in Frankfurt, the world’s largest textile trade fair.

Marla and Steve work with one of our Italian mills. I never knew he could speak Italian.

Steve and I worked a trade show in San Francisco in 1986. Hmmm,… bolo ties?

Steve looking dapper in the 1980’s.

On the back of Steve’s business card it says, “I just hope I have done enough, that people will know that I have passed this way.”

I am sure that his customers KNOW he has graced their lives!

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