Nate Greig, 34
Crawford Electric Supply
Nate got his start in the industry in 2010, when he accepted an inside sales position in Crawford’s Industrial Department. “I graduated from Texas A&M with a degree in sports management and was unsure of what I wanted to do,” he recalled. “One of my college roommates was related to a vice president at Crawford, and so both of my roommates got jobs here right away. Sports management is a long way from electrical distribution, but after about a year I needed a job and there was an opening. I didn’t know much at all about the industry—and almost nothing about the industrial side—so I didn’t know if it would be a long-term career.”
After about two years Nate was promoted to regional operations manager for the Industrial Group. “About two years after that I was promoted to the business operations manager. Then—and you see a trend here—two years later there was a job opening in Bryan, Texas. I am from Bryan, so I took the opportunity to move back home and 2017 became manager of Crawford’s Bryan/College Station branch.”
During this time Nate was also part of the Sonepar Junior Committee, a three-year commitment that includes traveling throughout the Sonepar operating companies, both in North America and globally. “It was very action-packed three-and-a-half years,” Nate recalled. “Now, with a wife and four young children, I’ve settled down a bit.”
Today, Nate believes he found his passion. “Crawford gives its branch managers a lot of autonomy; we are treated like small business owners. They trust and invest in us,” he said. “The growth potential is intriguing; with Sonepar behind us the sky is the limit. Also, I love being involved in everything—from the customer side to the employee side. I get a taste of everything every single day.”
Asked about a challenge the industry is currently facing, Nate pointed to digital adoption. “Everybody wants to be the next Amazon,” he said. “A lot of people in this industry are old school—pen and paper—and ordering everything off the computer can be a challenge for them. We help by offering a variety of options, being flexible, and training both our customers and associates. We work to make it a seamless process—from cut sheets to job statuses to ordering material. Material management is another big portion, we’re actively using consignments and better-managed inventory on our end. Helping our customers be more efficient helps us be more efficient.”
As for his future career plans, “One day I would like to see myself at the regional level,” said Nate. “Right now, I’m just trying to soak up everything I can and look for ways to help outside of my branch and be there to help others. I also try to be on the front of the line for anything new that our company wants to roll out. A couple years we went to digital signatures, and I was the first branch to hop on it when we had an upgrade to our ERP system. I keep putting myself out there to try new and innovative things. I want this branch to be the guinea pig for anything they want to test out.”
Asked what he would tell someone just entering the industry, Nate said, “Besides the typical ‘Be a sponge and soak everything up,’ I would say don’t be in too big of a hurry to think about your next step. Try to master whatever position you’re in now. Focus on being the best at your current position—master it before you try to jump eight steps ahead.”
When he’s not working, you’ll find Nate outdoors. “I love to go hunting, though I don’t get to do it as much because of the kids,” he noted. “I spend a lot of time outside my wife and my kids. Outdoors is kind of is where we are right now, especially as a family because it’s something we can all do together—riding bikes, playing fetch with the dog. Before kids we traveled quite a bit, and we’ll still try to take trips to the beach every year.” Nate also loves to read. “I try to read two to three books a month, both fiction and nonfiction—that is, when I’m not changing a diaper or teaching a kid how to ride a bike,” he laughed.
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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