Hello… My name is Diana Lefavi and I am proud to say I was the first newbie to join the original gang (Jeremiah, Brock and Sasha)! I had the pleasure of meeting these guys back in February, and after spending just a few hours with them, I knew I wanted to be part of their journey. The solution they provide to a niche, but very important group, was something I became instantly passionate about, and I wasn’t even part of the team yet! Prior to boarding my flight back to Denver from Portland, I downloaded “Behind the Cloud” by Marc Benioff and immediately started reading it. Less than three hours later when I touched down at DEN, I was not only more than 60% into the book, but I had 18 pages of notes of ideas: things to do, things not do, ways to make a splash at a tradeshow etc. I knew then I had to make a move.
My journey starts back in 2005 when I graduated from college and started working for a Promotional Products company that was known for its tech side. We didn’t offer the standard t-shirt, hat or pen, we offered something much more exciting…USB flash drives! Does anyone remember flash drives back in those days? You could buy a 16MB drive for less than $30. What a bargain! Now, you don’t even see anything less than 1GB, and those are offered in a bucket on the counter at your local Staples for a couple of bucks. Well back then, a 1GB was over $150. And again, these were promotional giveaways, so Fortune 500 companies would buy them and then GIVE THEM AWAY! It was a fun time to be in sales…until it wasn’t!
In 2008 everything changed. The economy crashed, and companies cut their marketing budgets. Extravagant giveaways were a thing of the past. And the small start-up company that I helped grow to over 35 people had to make major cuts and layoffs to try and survive the storm.
I did what everyone else at my company did – I posted my resume online. Hi Monster.com! Help me, please. I was fortunate enough (although I didn’t quite know it at the time) to receive a phone call from a recruiter looking to hire a sales executive for a major fixture and faucet company. I’m sure he was shocked when I initially turned down the offer to interview. I believe my exact words were “for the last three years I’ve been selling cool tech stuff…and you want me to sell toilets?!” I guess the effects of the downturn hadn’t quite hit me yet because the recruiter had to politely remind me that most companies were laying people off and this company was actually HIRING, so I may want to at least interview.
I did, and I fell in love with this family-owned, global business that emphasized a work-life balance (something start-ups don’t necessarily focus on). After nine months of interviewing and hold-ups as the economy continued to spiral, they finally offered me the job. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was about to make a career shift.
I spent five great years at this company, when my boss left to take a bigger role at Watts Water Technologies. Within three months, he called me with an opportunity I couldn’t refuse. I started as a Regional Sales Manager, and two years later was promoted to Director of Sales – West. I thought my next step would be taking his job until that fateful day when I met Jeremiah, Brock and Sasha.
It turns out that my old boss’s job is safe from me, as I found my way back to tech while still staying in the plumbing industry I grew to love. What a perfect fit!