International Door & Operator Industry

JAN-FEB 2019

Garage door industry magazine for garage door dealers, garage door manufacturers, garage door distributors, garage door installers, loading docks, garage door operators and openers, gates, and tools for the door industry.

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Page 14 of 126

Director Spotlight Name: David Dawdy Title: IDA Director Industry Company: CornellCookson Location: Mountain Top, Pennsylvania When I graduated from Kansas State in 1982, there weren't many jobs available - especially for an undergraduate with a B+ average in Finance. I found myself freshly relocated in Fort Worth, Texas, living with a couple of buddies, very few dollars in my pocket and looking for a job – any job. A friend referred me to an old industry veteran, Seldon (Smitty) Smith, who said he wanted to train a door salesman, but that the position required real experience with overhead door products. He explained a little bit about the business and told me the overhead door industry had been very good for himself, his sons and extended family. Then he wanted to know if I knew how to weld – and if I had any fear of heights. Smitty hired me and proceeded to teach me the skills of hanging commercial sectional and rolling steel doors, plus troubleshooting and servicing commercial doors and operators. Within a year, I was approached by a representative of our commercial operator distributor, asking if I knew how to sell. Although I didn't actually know the first thing about selling anything, I said "Yes!" So began my journey from the field to the manufacturers. I immediately started attending annual conventions. Our association name was the Door and Operator Dealers Association (DODA) at the time and I quickly realized that this was a great opportunity to learn as much as I could, as fast as I could to become a more marketable employee. I devoured the training and seminars. I didn't know much about our industry at the time, but I built upon my field experience and exploited these events as personal learning academies. That investment has returned great dividends. I am now completing 36 continuous years in this fine industry and my career evolution has taken many paths, including sales and sales management, product development, trainer and educator. Smitty taught me to always approach a task with an open mind and to try to exploit new ideas with fresh thinking. Much later in my career, I had the distinct honor of helping develop an entire line of rolling steel door products and helped to integrate that line into another manufacturing and sales strategy that is still going strong today. An open-minded attitude and fresh thinking was put to task many times during those years. And I've been honored to serve our industry in a few other ways, including as an IDAExpo speaker, seminar leader and IDEA trainer at Expo and Regional events. I'm a DASMA Technical Committee member for rolling doors, NFPA-80 Technical Committee member for Fire Doors and Windows, UL Standards Technical Committee member for standards development, and an International Code Council advocate for fire and life safety code development. Today, I'm a senior market strategy and product development specialist for CornellCookson, with a strong focus upon life safety, fire protection and code and standard interpretation and development. I am also pleased to serve as an IDA board member, alongside a great pool of talent representing an awesome cross-section of our association. The thing that stands out to me about each of these people is their eagerness to share expertise and contribute to an association that has benefited them in so many ways over the years. The skills, insider secrets and unexpected collection of mentors and wonderful friends gained along the way have certainly defined my career and greatly influenced my life. I believe in returning that experience with the association in ways that can be used to raise the bar of education and expertise. I strongly encourage you to get involved and to do it now. Throw your name in the hat just because you can grow. Our association needs open-minded attitudes, diverse skills and a continuous supply of fresh thinking. You may be a bigger asset to our association than you ever thought and it pays dividends you'll appreciate for the rest of your life! Volunteering time and experience for those individuals serious about advancing their careers in this industry is what it's all about for me. I'm completely confident in saying that the greatest benefits of our association are education and fellowship. The two go hand in hand perfectly. Climb the ladder, grow yourself, share your expertise and "make it stick!" 12 International Door & Operator Industry™

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