After 3 and a half years there I felt the need to change and to go abroad, US was a dream for me and that is precisely when I found out that Arbor Group were opening a VIE there as country manager. Since January 2023, I’m now a country manager for Arbor Group in the USA and I’m located in JGibson McIlvain offices who is our historical partner here and the official distributor of the Bruynzeel brand.
What are your main missions and what does a typical workday look like?
My main missions are to analyze and understand the US market, who are the active players, how does everything work here and the most important, how we can grow. The end goal is, of course, to find new customers, or new applications for our products and to be sure that we are proposing the best and most adapted solutions for each and every customer.
I’m still in my first months here, so for now when I’m not traveling looking for business opportunities, I’m at the office making sure that we are taking the best decisions for both companies but also mainly for the customers.
Why did you choose to work in the wood industry and what do you like about Plywood?
I will say that I didn’t really choose to work in the wood industry, it’s more the wood industry that chose me. But now that I’m here I enjoy every day learning new things about wood, fabrication processes, natural resistances, it feels great.
Again, I’m learning a lot of things thanks to plywood and its applications. I got to visit boat builders in the US and to see amazing facilities. Seeing those incredible boats at all their constructions steps is really satisfying, especially when you get to see the product that you sell being used.
What are your main professional challenges and how do you overcome them?
The main challenges that come to my mind would be to adapt to a new culture, a new working environment, and all that while being far from everything that you know.
But lucky me, everyone in both Arbor Group and JGibson Mcilvain made me feel so welcome that it’s a pleasure to come to work every day.
What is your favorite quote and why?
Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”
When you split your time between 2 companies you really get to understand that quote, I tend to say that together we are definitely stronger and it will of course help us to achieve all the goals that we have.