Welcome back to our On The Job blog series! Each month, we’re going “on the job” with a Folding Guard employee to take a peek behind the curtain and learn about the hard work they do to help our company thrive. This month, we spoke with John Caramanna, our Northeast Regional Sales Manager.
John began his Folding Guard career back in 2017, when he joined our team as the Northeast Regional Sales Manager. He came from a sales background, but was interested in Folding Guard’s products because of his experience working in commercial construction, as well as with his father who was a project manager.
John describes his role as that of a liaison, communicating quotes and dates and answering questions for customers, and relaying design requests and specifications from the customers to the engineering team. While being the central point of contact between customers and the design team might be the bread and butter of a sales manager at FG, John is also quick to point out the versatility and flexibility required by someone in his position, noting that a “typical” work day for him can mean multiple things.
“If I’m not traveling, I’m usually in front of a computer working on projects, looking up quotes, prospecting for new customers; if I was out making calls or going on site visits I would be meeting with customers, looking at designs, or measuring equipment.” John also works with our distributors to train them on our wide variety of products, and their many applications.
No matter what John is working on during any given day, however, he notes that “there’s a constant flow of communication, […] from the initiation of a project to tracking down our freight carriers [to check on shipping status], and anything in between.”
A true jack of all trades, John has numerous skills that help him excel in his role: industry knowledge, a good understanding of safety requirements and OSHA and ANSI standards, and a mechanical aptitude to spot and correct any installation issues that may arise. “I can play various roles [depending on what’s needed], whether that’s installation support, talking with purchasing, entering orders, […] and making sure that I’m following up consistently with not only our customers but our internal team as well.”
Communication is John’s most frequently used skill, factoring into all aspects of his role. “Big picture: I’m the point of contact at Folding Guard for my customers. I facilitate quoting with our Account Executives, I relay info to our engineering team for design, and I work with our customers on their projects.”
John values the relationships he establishes with his customers and distributors. “It’s almost like we’re creating some sort of partnership between them and ourselves.” He notes that the job isn’t always easy, but working to meet a customer’s specific needs and helping them see their projects to fruition is very rewarding.
John also loves the variety of his job, and the chances he gets to see behind the scenes of some very interesting industries. “I like the ability to go to different places and travel, to see different facilities and how things are made, […] from a chocolate factory in Quebec to a dog food factory in New York.”
John is definitely someone who enjoys and takes pride in his work, and he’s also a true family man who looks forward to his evenings and weekends when he can spend time with his wife and two young children. “If I’m not at a t-ball game or some other sport of my son’s, I’m taking my daughter for walks or pushing her on the swingset.” An avid runner, John loves spending time outdoors, hiking, working on projects for his house, and grilling. “I’m basically an old man now,” he jokes, “I like wearing white sneakers and mowing the lawn.”
John and the rest of the sales team are an integral part of Folding Guard. Our customers expect forthright and transparent communication and knowledgeable advice, and there’s no doubt that John delivers. We’re proud to count him as an essential member of our team.