At Simpson Strong-Tie, we believe that Everybody Matters, no matter your role, and we treat coworkers like family. So it’s not uncommon for employees to stay with the company for years or even decades. In this article, a 20-year veteran, Sam Marcoux, reflects on his Simpson Strong-Tie journey so far.
Monday, March 11, 2002, was the day I started working for Simpson Strong-Tie. 20 years later, that same date on the calendar landed on a Friday. Suffice to say, it has been one heck of a workweek. I was 19 years old when David Lawson took a chance and hired me to be a part of his National Accounts Team for the San Leandro branch. My knowledge of Simpson Strong-Tie to that point could have fit onto a shelf held up by Color Systems brackets. Oddly enough, the very little I DID know about Simpson Strong-Tie when I was hired seemed to be the catalyst on how I got here in the first place.
As a kid, my life plan was to be baseball’s greatest left-handed hitter since Ted Williams. One year, while playing for San Lorenzo Little League, I was drafted to play for the “Simpson Strong-Tie White Sox.” I had no clue what the company did, or even how they ended up sponsoring our team (most team sponsors seemed to be barber shops, local insurance salespeople and small cafes or restaurants), but before I knew it, I was marching in the opening day parade, proudly carrying a banner that had the names of my teammates and me next to a bunch of no-equal symbols. I didn’t know what Simpson Strong-Tie was, but the name and logo were unique enough to embed themselves into this little leaguer’s brain.
Years later (the whole professional baseball player plan fizzled out once I realized that hitting curveballs was impossible), while working at a local athletic club in Pleasanton, California, I struck up a conversation with a woman who seemed to never miss her lunchtime workout. She had a corporate account and during the course of our conversation, she revealed that she worked for Simpson Strong-Tie.
“Great company!” I replied.
“You’ve heard of us?” she asked.
“You guys sponsored my little league team one year. I’ll never forgot the name,” I responded.
She gave me a smile as she got ready to head to her workout and said, “Well, my name is Karen, nice to meet you.”
And there you have it. A sponsored little league team and a brief conversation with the future CEO of the company, and the seeds were planted for a 20+ year career.
The first 15 years of that career were spent as an outside sales representative for the San Leandro/Stockton branch. From the National Accounts team, to being the inaugural Dealer Sales Representative for the Northwest Branch, to being the ATS Specialist and, ultimately, a Territory Manager for one of the largest revenue-generating markets for our company. Each stop on the journey came with its own set of challenges, successes, experiences and lifelong memories that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
And it’s those road trips, late-night meetings, customer outings and other experiences that I truly remember the most. Sure, I can recall opening new accounts, landing large projects and solving an issue or two on a jobsite, but they pale in comparison to the times I spent with our customers and employees. As so often is the case, the journey is the destination.
My journey took me away from outside sales in 2017. I took on a role as our branch’s Technical Training Manager and Outreach Coordinator. And while I’m no longer attached to a territory and have no financial forecast to meet, I still get to create ways to engage our customers, develop tools to help grow our business and provide solutions for our industry every single day.
It’s surreal to take this time and reflect on the last twenty years. I’ve already spent over half of my life as part of this company. I’ve become a father twice, bought my dream home, traveled to parts of this planet that I otherwise would not have, and have even been able to pursue interests outside of Simpson Strong-Tie, all with nothing but support from my colleagues and managers at the company. A twenty-year stint that started on a Monday and ended on a Friday. That’s one heck of a first week, if you ask me.
I wonder what’s in store for next week?