Meet Jackie. Jackie fell into the fastener industry in 1983. She worked in several different positions until she started her (first) own agency in 1997. She runs Ventura Industrial Sales and is the Vice President of the North Coast Fastener Association.
Check out Jackie's answers to questions about her journey in the fastener industry.
I have been in the industry since 1983 and was one of the first female manufacturer’s reps in the industry. I have worked as an independent sales rep for all of my career except 5 years when I worked as a direct sales person for Infasco.
HOW YOU STARTED, WHAT YOU DO NOW
I got into the industry by accident. I had lost my job unexpectedly in the medical field and applied for a secretarial position out of desperation. It happened to be a manufacturer’s rep agency, Briggs Industrial Sales, Inc., who represented companies in the fastener industry. I worked for them for 14 years working my way up through the company; secretary, office manager, inside sales, then onto outside sales. I started my own agency in 1997 which I ran for 5 years and sold when I got married and moved to Arizona. I started an agency in Arizona, which I ran for 5 years prior to moving back to Ohio and getting a job as a direct sales person for Infasco. After 5 years with Infasco, I decided to restart a rep agency and I have been running my agency, Ventura Industrial Products, LLC, for the last 5 years. I also serve of the Board of the North Coast Fastener Association as Vice President.
What is one accomplishment in your present job are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the fact that I was able to start an agency when the industry was predominantly male dominated with one line and my first months income of $63.00!! Through help of some good friends and my solid reputation I was able to build a profitable sales agency within a year!
What is one favorite thing about your job?
I’d have to say that my favorite thing is the people. I love working with the great people in this industry. A lot of them have become my personal friends that I’ve known for years. Plus, it gives me great pleasure when I can help them source a part either with one of my companies or by directing them to someone who can help. It really is all about helping each other and building relationships.
What is one thing we might not know about you that you would like the Fastener Industry to know?
I am basically a very private person and it can take a while to get to know me, but I’d have to say the one thing many people may not know is that I am actually very shy. I never thought that I would be able to be a sales person but learning the product and having confidence in myself, based on that product knowledge, gives me the courage to do what I do. And my motto is that “if you don’t know, ask someone who does”. I’d rather learn something than pretend that I know it. And, it has taken me years to feel comfortable speaking in front of a large crowd and I still avoid it if I can! 😊