This summer when Shareef Stratton wasn’t eating burritos with his coworkers, he was eating his way through Italy with his new wife on their honeymoon! It’s been an exciting summer for the newlywed who has been helping launch our new Quick Quotes department along with relaunching our softball team to the top of the leaderboards! Shareef loves living in San Diego where he takes full advantage of the beach and, on the weekends, is constantly on the go. He and his wife Michelle love to hike, camp and travel every chance they get. Did you get all that? Let’s dive into this month’s meet the team with our all-star distributor salesman, Shareef!

Q: How did you get started in the lighting industry?

SS: Seven years ago, I was in my hometown, Ventura, working in law enforcement, where I quickly learned that that career path was not for me. A friend living in San Diego offered me a position in sales at CED Carlsbad – a local electrical distributor- and my first thought was, “Who wouldn’t want to move to San Diego?” So I accepted the position and made the switch where the beginning of my lighting career began. Having a background in distribution has helped me a lot in my current role, especially since SDLA works closely with CED Carlsbad. Prior to my transition from an electrical distributor to a manufacturer agent, I was lucky to have insight into how the company operated and I was able to get to know the some of the team members before accepting the position here. Since I’ve joined the team, the last year and a half has been really incredible for me. And as an added bonus- with the growth of the company- I’m no longer the new guy!

Q: What’s your day to day like in the office?

SS: Each day I’m presented with a new opportunity in this role. Either out in the field finding the best solution for our clients, or in the office, problem-solving with the SDLA team. As a Distributor Salesman, it’s my responsibility to help our distributor customers stock and sell the right products for their contractors. It’s exciting to negotiate and work with our distributors on stocking agreements and design-build opportunities.

Q: Do you have a favorite/most rewarding project you’ve worked on? 

SS: The last few months, I’ve been helping launch our new quick quotes department and that’s been extremely rewarding. Creating a new department has challenged us all creatively, and it’s been exciting to see how effective and helpful the team has already been to our clients. Jessica and Chelsea, our quick quotes specialists, has improved my side of the business tremendously by reducing the time it takes to provide pricing and placing small orders for my customers. As I said, the addition of this department has significantly improved the way we are operating and we’re all eager to see where we can take the Quick Quotes Department.

Q: What do you like best about the culture at SDLA?

SS: The environment Danny, Brian and Kristin created here encourages creativity, togetherness and teamwork. We all are working toward a similar goal while also independently being pushed to be better. It’s inspiring working with a team that is driven and is passionate about challenging one another in order to find the best solution. One thing I think that is extremely underrated in the corporate world is amazing coworkers. I can honestly say that this team is more like a family to me, and that makes coming into work each day that much better.