Just like the furniture that Formaspace constructs, business at the company is built on solid principles, is constantly pushing the creative envelope, is fitted to the customer and is carried out with care.
Despite the general decline in the business furniture industry, Formaspace continues to grow from strength to strength. To that end, we have three new hires to introduce. Take a few minutes to find out a bit about their backgrounds and discover why they will each be a great addition to their respective teams and Formaspace as a whole.
Michael Larpenter – Sales Director
Michael started on 3rd October as our new Sales Director, managing outside sales. He will report directly to the CEO and team up with Mike Triche, manager of the inside sales team, to form a potent partnership.
He will be the driving force behind Business Development Executive (BDE) territory expansion, revamping GSA and other specialty contracts, and also, expanding Formaspace’s horizons to cover smaller, more intricate markets.
Michael comes to us with a wealth of furniture sales experience. He previously led sales teams at HON and Humanscale with great success. Thankfully, he seems as excited about the job at hand as we are at taking him on…
Why did you join Formaspace after 26 years of business furniture industry experience?
“The office furniture industry is ready for the introduction of a new aesthetic in the office, and Formaspace is the perfect solutions provider to begin something new! I’ve been practicing for over 25 years for this exact position! I can’t imagine a better combination.”
Some describe Formaspace as the “best kept secret.” Thoughts?
“That’s accurate! Let’s see what we can do to change that perception!”
Where do you see Formaspace in 3 years?
“With revenue 3-4 times what it is today. The sky’s the limit! Let me reverse the question; where does your imagination take you…? Let’s get started!”
[Alright, we are ready!]
How would you describe your salesmanship?
“A consultative solutions provider bent on delivering the very best customer experience.”
You are a well-respected person in the industry; what is your secret?
“Honesty, a strong moral compass, and an unbeatable positive attitude.”
Contemporary or industrial?
[We see what he did there.]
Sitting or standing?
“Depends on the task and individual…let’s cover them both.”
Aesthetics or ergonomics?
“Let’s do our best to adapt the work to the end user, as opposed to bringing the end user to work. Let’s make them look good doing it!”
“Salesman: This computer will cut your workload by 50 percent.
Office Manager: That’s great! I’ll take two of them.”
With every option of the either/or questions left open as a possible opportunity and even the jokes related to the job at hand, it is clear that Michael is focused on diving straight in and will be an invaluable addition to the management team at Formaspace.
Daryl Miller – Business Development Executive (BDE)
Daryl joined us at the beginning of October as a former client, having gained extensive sales experience at Rockford McCoy and Southwest Solutions Group, both of whom are Formaspace dealers. He brings a solid network in the Austin market with him.
He will be covering Central Texas – from San Antonio to Waco – in his outside sales role, but will also be assisting Design Consultants (DCs) with large account strategy and other tasks in the office.
His desire to expand his horizons and always increase his creativity is sure to fit in well here at Formaspace…
Let’s be honest, why do you like to sell business furniture?
“Taking a blank space – or even a disastrous one – and designing the right furniture in that work environment in order for it to correctly function is incredibly energizing to me. We all invest 8-12 hours per day at work, so implementing the right type of furniture in your space is critical to creating a healthy culture. When it comes to your work environment, who doesn’t like working in a culture where you feel better leaving work than you did coming in?”
If you were a client, would you buy from yourself?
“Absolutely! My approach with my clients is to listen first, then feedback that information to ensure clear communication, and then create a solution based on that open conversation. Finally, there will always be validations along the way. Our business is all about partnering with our clients. They know their business better than I do and they are looking for someone to help them succeed in their endeavor. Our clients are the heroes, not us.”
[Fortune 500 Heroes 😉 ]
What made you want to work for Formaspace?
“I am a creator. Formaspace is an incredibly innovative group who are always up for a good challenge. To be a part of a culture open to new ideas, confident in our abilities, and able to have fun along the way is a fantastic privilege. I have experienced Formaspace for several years as a client and am grateful to be on board during this next phase of our growth.”
It’s been four weeks since you started working here. What has impressed you most?
“What has impressed me most from day one is the amount of craftsmanship that goes into our solutions. This is true all the way from the industrial design team to the incredible team members preparing the raw material. Craftsmanship is definitely part of our culture.”
How do you feel about the future of the Austin – San Antonio market with the massive corporate relocation movement that’s occurring?
“There really isn’t a better time to build and expand a business in Central Texas than today. Not only is this region the best place foundationally, but also, the work ethic of people here is unmatched. Though we may look fairly relaxed in this part of Texas, the quality of work output is incredible.”
Happy clients or happy managers?
“In the 17 years I have been in Texas, I have learned that if you treat people right and help them produce the right results, business will continue to grow. The natural outgrowth to that is the creation of many happy clients. When that occurs, the leadership around you should have no problem keeping a smile on their faces.”
Indiana or Texas?
“My roots are in Indiana. My future is in Texas.”
Industrial or Mid Century?
“Good design does much for the space we occupy. Personally, I have seen the fusion of the two work incredibly well in many spaces. Check out some work from the design firm Mattson Creative.”
[So, mindustrial? ]
Describe yourself with one word.
Daryl’s positive attitude to finding solutions and consolidating relationships bodes well for his future and ours.
Debora Zack – Design Consultant
Debbie moved to us at the end of June from New York, where she previously worked at Thermo Fisher Scientific as a Medical Sales Representative. We hope she is settling in well – her positive demeanor has certainly made everyone else feel at home.
She has 10 years of sales experience with various companies, and her record of consistently exceeding sales goals and penetrating challenging accounts will definitely be useful in the continuing expansion of the Formaspace brand…
From first-class girl scout to selling business furniture to Fortune 500 clients. Tell us how you’re enjoying life here at Formaspace.
“I enjoy working at Formaspace a great deal. Downsizing to a smaller atmosphere, with a more personal touch and individual focus, offers a ‘bigger’ opportunity for personal growth. The people I work with, the office I work in, and my customers, make it easy to love!”
[Don’t forget the happy hours every Friday 😉 ]
It must be a big change, switching from Thermo Fisher, New York, to Formaspace, Austin. What’s the most striking difference to you?
“A number versus a name! The ‘little’ things that are so important…”
Everybody at Formaspace loves working with you since you’re so positive and joyful. Is this reflected in your selling style?
Absolutely! I am passionate about my job and hope my customers can hear that on the other end. I love meeting new people and building relationships.
[Hey, Southeast! Haaave you met Debbie?]
Do you have a message for clients working with you on their next business furniture project?
“‘What’s important to you is what matters to me.’ Our quality products and desire to exceed customer expectations will guarantee your satisfaction with your Formaspace purchase.”
What’s more frustrating: unorganized quotes or dying plants?
“Both are frustrating in different ways. If I had to pick one, unorganized is more frustrating.”
[Most organized desk award goes to Debbie]
Epoxy resin or phenolic resin?
“Epoxy. I’m a firm believer that you get what you pay for (top quality, resistant, and won’t scratch).”
New York or Austin?
“NY food and seasons; Austin manners and entertainment.”
[Wait, you must not have eaten since you got to Austin!]
Dancing or golfing?
“Mood-dependent. Dancing is definitely less frustrating.”
Formaspace design team or marketing team?
“I need both. I like both. We’re all one team.”
[Marketing likes you too, Deb J ]
Debbie’s enthusiasm for her work – and life in general – shines through in her answers. It is no surprise that she has already become an integral part of the inside sales team and someone that everybody enjoys working with at Formaspace.
We have high hopes for our new hires, all of whom come to us with great reputations and experience. With such continued high-quality recruitment, we can look forward to further expansion and consolidation of Formaspace as a market leader in business furniture production.