How long have you worked with Morbern, in what role, and when will you retire?
I have been in the vinyl business for 44 years, 30 of which have been with Morbern. I have been a manufacturing sales representative for almost three decades, starting in the automotive and marine market, then as a salesman for Futureline Fabrics in Philadelphia. Since becoming a sales representative for Morbern, I diversified and now work with the hospitality, healthcare and auto and marine aftermarkets.
Of the markets you have served (contract, marine aftermarket, recreational vehicle, etc.) do you have a favorite?
I really enjoy the automotive and marine markets because I spent most of my career there and became friends with many of the distributors. The markets often change as automotive OEMs change their patterns and colors yearly. But those changes don’t impact the aftermarket for three to four years.
Are you a car guy, being in this business?
Maybe it’s because I travel a lot, often driving as much as seven hours to see a customer, but I really just need a car to get me where I’m going. My wife and I have a beach house on the Jersey shore, and I do enjoy the classic car shows on the Boardwalk every summer where there could be 400 to 500 corvettes on display. But I never got into collecting cars.
No boats either?
Honestly, I’m not much of a collector. I’m a golfer. I love to play golf and I enjoy the history of golf and of course, I have lots of golf paraphernalia. My favorite courses are Pine Valley, which is five minutes from my house in Clementon, NJ, and ranked the number one course in the world. My second favorite golf course is Pebble Beach.
Or do you have a favorite product line?
By far, my favorite product line is Allante. It has consistently been my number-one seller and can be used in the automotive, marine and hospitality markets. And it’s the most beautiful piece of vinyl I’ve ever seen and felt.
What will you miss about Morbern after you retire?
I don’t even have to think about that answer – it’s the people. Mark Bloomfield’s father hired me at Morbern. In all my years with the company, I’ve never met anyone who hasn’t been kind or fantastic to work with. Morbern people are intelligent, from the executives to the mill employees and sales representatives. And I’m proud to say they are all personal friends of mine.
Do you have any funny or poignant stories to tell about your time with the company?
When it’s time to work, we work and there’s no nonsense going on. But over the years we also had a lot of fun together at conventions and sales meetings. I have plenty of memories of staying out late with coworkers and having drinks, telling stories about our golf game and playing liar’s poker. We always had a lot of good, clean fun.
What is your most marked memory about visiting Cornwall?
Cornwall is a pretty small, quaint town. Over the years we have had events at the nearby escape room or casinos. It is a nice town, but I could do without the weather! Or maybe we should have meetings in Cornwall in June rather than in February or March when it’s still so cold. Two years ago, we had plans to go curling during our visit but COVID ruined those plans.
What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?
Be yourself and make friends. It’s easy for any salesman to be professional, but you need to establish relationships with people in order to be successful. I’m proud to say that I’ve been invited to customers’ weddings and their children’s christenings. I’ve even joined them on vacations to the beach, the golf club and on fishing expeditions. I have my customers’ home phone numbers and I consider them my friends.
What are you currently reading?
I don’t read many novels anymore, but every morning I read the newspaper. I like to stay up-to-date on current events in this country and abroad, as well as entertainment and sports. I want to know what’s going on in the towns that I work in, and reading a newspaper provides me with that information. It’s also helpful when working with customers as it allows you to be educated and informed about what’s going on in their world.
Do you have any quotes that guide you in business or in life?
If at first you don’t succeed, knock on their door again.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
There probably isn’t much they don’t know about me! I do take things seriously. I don’t take the answer “no” very well. And while I make it a point to laugh with my customers, I do take business very seriously.
What can we find you doing when you’re not at work?
I love going on vacations. I recently took a river trip down the Mississippi River. I also enjoy golf vacations. Sports are a big part of my life, including pulling for the Philadelphia Phillies and my beloved Philadelphia Eagles, with whom I’m a season ticket holder. But my favorite thing by far is spending time with my three-year-old granddaughter.
What do you consider your greatest business accomplishment?
For 44 years, I was in sales and I was never guaranteed a paycheck. If I didn’t sell anything, I didn’t get paid. Over the years I made a nice living not being guaranteed a penny.
What habits have you purposefully developed (in business or in life) that have served you well?
I’m a good conversationalist. And because I’m a big reader and stay up-to-date on current events, I can talk to anyone about anything.
What are your plans for retirement?
I plan to spend as much time as possible with my granddaughter, and hopefully my future grandchildren! I also plan to travel with my wife and spend more time with my children.