Kenneth Davis, 26
Kenneth joined the industry three years ago, spending his first six months in Sonepar USA’s Sales and Operations Development (SOD) program at Irby Electric’s Jackson, Mississippi, headquarters. “During my training I had the opportunity to interview for an outside sales account manager position at Irby’s Nashville, Tenn., location,” recalled Kenneth. “I accepted the position and moved two weeks later.”
Kenneth noted that coming into the industry through the SOD program gave him a fantastic start. “I was able start with other young employees who were just beginning their careers as well,” he explained. “The program made my training easier by having others around me to discuss the many questions I had because they were essentially going through the same struggles. I think one of the most intriguing aspects that attracted me to the industry was understanding the different areas business we touched whether it was residential, commercial, industrial, institutions, utilities, municipalities. We are at the core of their business to offering services, solutions, and/or products.”
When asked to pinpoint one of the biggest challenges the industry is currently facing, Kenneth chose to discuss the importance of distribution continuously improving in the digital space. “In this day and age people are able to buy anything they want from a smart device,” he explained. “Electrical equipment shouldn’t be any different.” He noted that Irby and Sonepar are addressing this by making it a focus to have a robust omnichannel for customers to be able to access products. “As an account manager it is my job to make sure our customers know all of the different utilizations we have available to them,” he noted. “We will continue to be a valuable resource because of the products, services, solutions, and knowledge that we bring.”
As for career goals, Kenneth is focused on helping his team grow the commercial and residential contractor market in Nashville and middle Tennessee area as much as possible. “I’m not sure about my next career step yet, but I like the idea of helping my company grow on a broader scale one day,” he said, adding that he will accomplish this “by continuing to broaden my knowledge of the electrical distribution market. As an account manager I need to have a wide range of product knowledge as well as the understand the internal operations whether its inside sales, project management, warehouse operations and more. This way I can continue to be a great resource to my customer base and offer value to them and my company.”
What would Kenneth tell someone just entering the industry? “Ask a ton of questions,” he said. “There is so much to learn in our industry, and you learn best by diving right in. Also find a mentor or mentors that can help guide you. Everyone must start somewhere and your effort to learn does not go unnoticed.”
Outside of work, Kenneth enjoys playing basketball, golf, and travel. “I am one of six kids, so I spend a lot of time traveling to visit family and friends,” he added.
Each year tED magazine recognizes 30 of the industry’s best and brightest under the age of 35. Please visit tedmag.com/30Under35 for nomination information and updates about the 2021 program. Questions can be sent to tED Editor Misty Byers at email@example.com.
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