Tyler Knopp grew up in Dubuque, Iowa where Crescent Electric Supply has been one of the best-known businesses in the area for as long as he could remember.
“Crescent was started here in Dubuque and is an icon here,” Tyler said.
Since graduating from college in 2006, Tyler had worked for a small equipment manufacturer in Iowa that made pressure washers, air compressors and generators, among other products.
“I worked there for about 10 years. I received several promotions inside the company but I was just ready for my next step. I wanted to venture out,” Tyler explained.
When he heard about an opening at Crescent Electric, he applied for it.
“Before I started at Crescent I didn’t really know how big their footprint was nationwide,” he said. “As I started to do more research about the company I noticed how big they were and how long they had been around.”
Tyler got a vivid example of just how far-reaching Crescent Electric is when he started there in 2016 and was assigned to districts in Anchorage and the Bronx—as in Bronx, New York?
“Yes, the Bronx, New York,” he laughed. “I definitely had two ends of the spectrum. Two completely different time zones, too. Although to be honest, I was not in those markets for very long.”
While he is employed by Crescent Electric (observing its 100th anniversary in 2019), Tyler’s accounts are in the Stoneway Electric Supply market, he explained. In 2012, Crescent acquired Stoneway which has 17 different locations in the Pacific Northwest and two in Idaho.
“Crescent Electric has about 160-plus branches nationwide. In the Pacific Northwest they operate as Stoneway Electric Supply,” Tyler explained. “I work from the corporate inside sales office. In this territory, my accounts are tied to the Stoneway branches.”
Tyler’s current title is Inside Account Manager, a position where he wears different hats in the course of the day.
“I spend a portion of my day servicing customers. I also spend much of my day prospecting for new business,” he said. “I try to retain our current customers and those customers that we retain, try to penetrate further into [that business] and add business. Retain, penetrate and add are the three things that I try to do on a daily basis.”
He uses an acronym to describe his customer base: MUSH.
“MUSH – municipalities, universities, schools, and hospitals. In my position I don’t usually deal directly with the contractors,” Tyler explained. “I deal a lot more with the customers that are going to be using electrical material for service and maintenance, but not necessarily for new projects that a contractor would be installing. Those are mainly taken care of by an outside account manager.”
Tyler and his wife Jaclyn have four daughters: Payton is eight years old, Tinley is six, Olivia is three, and Blayke is 19 months old.
He coaches some of his daughters’ activities and also participates in Ironman events and triathlons.
“I just finished my second full Ironman event in Madison, Wisconsin about a month ago. I also do some coaching for my daughter’s Alpine ski racing team and soccer team,” he said.
Q. What advice do you have for other young professionals in the electrical industry?
A. A couple of things: always be learning. Always try to take on some new knowledge. Or if your manager asks you to do something that you’re not very comfortable with, try to get outside of that comfort zone and be challenged. Try to take on something that you normally wouldn’t do.
Nothing happens overnight in the electrical industry. So you just have to gather as much knowledge as you can and be patient. While you’re getting your training done and getting your feet on the ground, take on any tasks that your manager asks you to do.
Q. What has been the most rewarding aspect of working in this industry?
A. I think the most rewarding thing is – and you’ve probably heard this a couple of times – the people in the industry; my colleagues here at Crescent and Stoneway, our reps that represent the products that we sell to our customers. It is just a great network of people. If you go to a conference or go to a trade show, everybody is super down-to-earth. You can talk to them and build relationships that will last. I started to build relationships with people where I foresee myself continuing not necessarily to sell products to them forever, but to whom I will be a mentor for the rest of my career.
The customers and the accounts that I have are great as well. But my colleagues here are always helpful. They are always looking to make themselves better and make the team stronger by seeing what they can do to help the department and to help the company.Tagged with 2018, 30 under 35