Blake Quinn has been a fixture at AC Pro since the day he was born, literally. AC Pro was the first place Quinn visited after he was born. His mother, Petra, was the only person who processed payroll 30 years ago at the family business, so the Quinn's made a quick stop at the AC Pro headquarters on their way home from the hospital.
“My father started the company two years before I was born, so I’ve been around it my whole life,” said Quinn.
Quinn earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Biola College in 2009. Over the course of his studies, during various summer or winter breaks, Quinn would return home and keep himself busy performing jobs at the company, including janitorial and envelope stuffing to later working in the plant and on dealer meetings.
In 2009, fresh out of college, Quinn was officially hired by the company as a territory manager.
“I think this was the perfect position to start in, as it allowed me to gain the product knowledge that still helps me today,” said Quinn, who’s now 30 years old. “This also gave me firsthand experience into what our customers want from a supplier.
In 2011, he became director of marketing.
“The transition to director of marketing was a very natural transition, because while I was a territory manager I made a lot of marketing materials for both the company and my customers,” Quinn said. “This was also the first time I had anyone reporting to me. It was when I first learned to rely on others to get projects done, since in the past I had to work on tasks myself.”
In 2014, the company expanded its digital offerings, and the word “e-commerce” was added to his title. At this time, Quinn embarked on his most ambitious project to date: creating AC Pro’s first online storefront.
“After the company decided we needed an online store, I took on the e-commerce role,” Quinn said. “It was an incredible learning experience, as we had never attempted anything like it before. I think the lesson here was the importance of finding people who have already been through what you're trying to accomplish.”
If you really want to succeed, you need to have a passion for what you do, Quinn said.
“If you’re not passionate about this industry, go find one you are passionate about," he said. "Passion seems to be the biggest differentiator between those who do really well in the industry and those who do not. Sure, employees need industry and product knowledge, which typically comes with time, but passion does not tend to be something you just learn in one day.”
Quinn said he enjoys helping those who work at AC Pro achieve their goals.
“I love being able to provide our associates with an environment and all the tools they need to flourish and then getting out of their way and seeing what they do,” he said. “I really enjoy the different perspectives each of our associates brings to the table.”
Quinn said the enthusiasm that swells at AC Pro is contagious.
“It truly comes down to the people we get to work with,” he said. “We have so many talented people on our team who are kind to one another that you can’t help but love what you do.”
While he’s still transitioning into his role as vice president, Quinn is optimistic that one day he'll be calling the shots at AC Pro.
“I am still getting familiar with the new departments I gained this year, but, longer term, I’m planning to take over more of the day-to-day operations of the company as my father moves to other areas of the company he enjoys. Then, eventually, when he retires, the plan would be for me to run the company.”
Publication date: 11/07/18