As a young boy growing up with immigrant parents, I enjoyed building things. I was always taking things apart and trying to put them back together. I did my share of lemonade stands, which moved around the neighborhoods depending on “street traffic counts.” I had additional items to sell such as mom’s chocolate chip cookies and some of my old toys (the cookies sold much better than the toys).
Growing up in the Midwest, I was always competitive, playing soccer from a young age, winning at chess, and wrestling in high school. During college years I played competitive sports, and I made it though school by starting up a painting company. I guess you can say I have always had the entrepreneur bug and competitive spirit.
Out of college, I went through the finance route in banking and earned an MBA. I fell into the office furniture business because I lived in West Michigan, and had the opportunity to work with office furniture dealers. My responsibilities were to travel around United States, visit high performing dealers and document Best Practices. I used these Best Practices to implement improvements in underperforming dealers. Those were great times of learning under amazing mentors.
These events led me to the opportunity to travel in Latin America to recruit distribution, work in mergers & acquisitions, and had fantastic opportunities to test my entrepreneur spirit. As I traveled in Latin America and Europe, I enjoyed learning new cultures and how the different parts of the world did business. There were many unique circumstances, of which most were challenging and fun!
PROUD TO CARRY THE KAYHAN FLAG.
I am excited to lead the team at Kayhan. I met founder Kayhan Hellriegel at the time her customers were expanding globally, and I enjoyed seeing the growth of her company at that time.
With my position at Kayhan, we are pivoting. We are respecting the history and tradition of the company, while moving the company to meet the future challenges.