Matt Stern, 30
Director of Quality Assurance
Standard Electric Supply
Matt grew up working in Standard Electric’s warehouse in high school and college and interning with the purchasing and marketing teams. “I really enjoyed working with the associates at Standard Electric and also getting to know the suppliers we work with every day,” he said. Five years ago, after a three-year stint at Schneider Electric, Matt returned to Standard as an account manager; he moved into his role as director of quality assurance about three years ago.
“It was important to me to continue the family business to the fourth generation,” said Matt. “I still really enjoy learning from the people who have been with Standard for 20-plus years and getting to meet and work with others in the industry that I’ve gotten to know through NAED conferences and events.” He added, “Over my short time in the industry, I’ve developed an appreciation for the significance our industry has on the global economy.”
Asked about a challenge the industry is currently facing, Stern pointed to adapting to changing environments. “Since I’ve joined the industry, we’ve seen several changes in digitization, e-commerce, and recruiting and retention strategies,” he explained. “The ease of placing orders through websites is something that is important to many of our customers now. I think we need to continue to listen to our customers’ needs and make ordering as easy as possible for them. Five years ago, it would have been hard to imagine half the office working from home, but now we’ve seen it as an opportunity to retain talent and not miss a beat with our customers. We need to continue to be open to changes that customers require and people coming into the workforce now expect.”
As for his career goals, “I hope to continue to grow in my responsibilities and become a long-term contributor to the success of our company,” said Matt, who would tell someone just entering the industry “to be patient and learn as much as possible from those who have been in the industry most of their careers. There are so many great opportunities to grow within this industry. Take advantage of the chances to network; you never know who you’ll be working with in the future.”
When he’s not working, Matt spends time with his dog, Bubba, and enjoys traveling and visiting countries he hasn’t been to before. “I also love to play golf and go to concerts with friends,” he added. “I’m a big sports fan too—I follow all Wisconsin sports and University of St. Thomas football and basketball.”
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 2024 program. Questions can be sent to tED Editor Misty Byers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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