‘MY STORY’ My career started with Orscheln Farm and Home. I grew up on a farm in Missouri girl, so I was always familiar with the company. I started part-time job right before my senior year of high school when I was 16 years old.
Kelli Buhay, Retail Maintenance Specialists: I don’t really have a traditional story about going to college, though I did. I went to college full-time and worked fulltime, in my early 20s, I studied lithography at New York Tech in Brooklyn. I thought I wanted to get into the printing industry and become a scanner operator, basically sitting in a dark room, by myself, eight hours a day. Thinking back, I must have been nuts? Once I finished college, I was still running a hair salon and working two other jobs, selling Art Auctions for fund raisers and a privately held real estate company, I enjoyed everything that I did and it kept me busy. I eventually moved to New York for a position in sales that I was solicited from one of the clients of the hair salon, selling accessory gifts to the mass market. I eventually – Amanda Scott, Orscheln Farm and Home went to work for Minolta Corporation in sales on the East Side, 47th to 51st Street. I beat the sidewalks, knocked on doors and cold called. My salary was $12,000.00 a year when I first started however my rent was $1,400.00 a month, thank goodness for commission. I continued to grow with the company as I went from Sales to National Sales trainer, traveling the country training new sales representatives and expanding on new product for existing representatives. I was then promoted to open up a new office in Boston, as I wanted to work up the corporate ladder. It was requested that I stay for two years, then they asked me to stay an additional year. Funny thing happened that 3rd year, I met my husband, skiing in Vermont. I bypassed returning to New York and transferred to Atlanta where he lived. I had been with Minolta Corporation for 14 years, 5 titles and lived in 3 cities when I quit once they were purchased by Konica. commercial division. It was a highly intriguing, entrepreneurial opporI was enjoying the time off when I was contacted by Elro Signs, tunity that I very much wanted to be a part of helping to develop and I didn’t know anything about signs. I had worked in retail, but that grow. It was a very hard decision to leave a company like Assa Abloy was about as close as I came to signs, so I learned. I represented and we had many subsequent discussions about a role on his team, 2 locations in Atlanta and Gardena, CA, I was with them for almost but ultimately I decided to make the leap to join them. I was in the seven years until I become ill with cancer. I took a leave of absence right place at the right time and grateful for the opportunity. and never went back. I eventually went back to work for a local HVAC It has been a little over two years, and it has been an amazing company and despised it. adventure to be a part of such tremendous growth. Every day has its That’s when my colleague, Gina Noda reach out to me, her challenges and opportunities and every day I look forward to what’s to brother Damian Romeo of Retail Maintenance Specialists & Concome. It’s the first job I’ve ever had that’s doesn’t seem like a job at all. struction wanted to hire her and she in turn reached out to me to get I love every component of this role – especially developing & growing me back into the industry. Prior to coming on board, Retail Mainrelationships with our esteemed partners. I feel truly blessed to be a tenance Specialists’ growth was all organic. To date, 4 years later, part of the F&D Commercial team! we have more than doubled in size in volume across the board. We Floor & Decor was initially one of my accounts with that company. I was so impressed with every store that I partnered with. I was really drawn to the people and the positive culture and environment. I knew I wanted to work for them at some point, in some capacity, but didn’t initially see a path. Life took a turn, as it often does, and I left my role to go work on the hospitality team Assa Abloy Hospitality, a global multibillion-dollar company. Although all of the positions that I held to that point in time had a sales component, it was my first position that focused soley on commercial sales. I loved it. I learned so much about the commercial industry, and hospitality in particular. One day, I ran into one of the SVPs of my prior company at one of the F&D store events. He happened to have an exciting new role with Floor & Décor, launching their
COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION — NOVEMBER : DECEMBER 2018