Meet The Team: Crockett Mercer

Not all those who wander are lost. This rings true for Crockett Mercer, born and raised in Austin, Texas and looking for a change, Crockett left his hometown to find new opportunities in another exciting city. Crockett always said it would take a special city for him to leave his comfort zone but when the chance to move to San Diego presented itself he knew he couldn’t pass it up. His co-workers wasted no time before coming up with nicknames that played on every variation of Crockett they could think of, with Crockdog being their favorite. Crockdog is a valued member of both the project quotations team and our beloved company softball team. Ready to meet the man from Texas and step into a day in the life of a project quotations specialist?

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

CM: It’s crazy to think that I’ve been in the lighting industry now for 10 years, but it all started with me just looking for a stable nine to five job. My friend offered me a delivery driver job at FSG and by the time I left the company in 2014 I had climbed the ladder into project sales. When I was looking to leave Austin, I reached out to reps in cool cities around the country to inquire about any opportunities out there. It just so happened that SDLA was hiring around the time I was looking…the stars aligned and I haven’t looked back since.

Q: What’s your favorite part of your job?

CM: Project quotations is an extremely rewarding position here at SDLA. I love when requests come in without specifications for the light fixtures and I have the chance to build out the design as well as provide the client with an accurate quote. When my design builds are used I feel extremely rewarded, it really keeps me going.

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

 CM: The atmosphere of this company is unbeatable, I promise it’s not a cliché when we all say that this company is more comparable to one big family than a group of coworkers. Especially within my department, I find that I can lean on my coworkers for everything and vice versa, they can always count on me. Inside the office, we all work great together and laugh our way through the day and the same can be said for our relationships outside of the office as well. I’m on the company softball team, and I think I’m just there for another warm body, because I’m not that great, but I love that they welcome me with open arms to come out and have a good time.

 Q: What does your typical day look like?

CM: Every morning I come in and check our bid board, which helps us organize which team members are handling what and ensures the work is evenly distributed across our department. Every project brings its own unique challenges and opportunities to our team, and we approach everything with the same process but always provide a different solution. The process may stay the same, but every project is fresh and new, making the day to day fun and exciting.

Meet The Team: Jessica Swank

Buckle up for this month’s Meet the Team, with Jessica Swank, who brings the speed to our quotations department. Jessica’s job is all about living in the fast lane as a quick quotes specialist, but the same can be said about her life at home as she juggles marriage, parenting and the upcoming Dodger baseball season. We hope Jessica’s son doesn’t mind sharing, because our staff knows her best as Momma Jess, due to her nurturing and caring spirit (Cliff even has her as his west coast emergency contact)! Jess is a blonde at heart and admits that she can sometimes, (ok pretty much daily), ask ditzy questions, but she loves being able to make everyone laugh and is a great sport when it comes to laughing at herself. Let’s switch things into high gear and introduce our fast acting, quick quotes specialist!

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

JS: It was really about being in the right place at the right time. I had been working for a plastic surgeon and was at a standstill in my career. I reached out to my friend, Lee, inquiring about any job leads she was aware of in her industry. Luckily, she got me in touch with Kristin, who interviewed me and I left with the job later that day. I would’ve never imagined my career transitioning into lighting but now that I’ve been here for almost 2 years, I couldn’t be happier that this opportunity fell into my lap.

Q: What’s your favorite part of your job?

JS: I love the quick turnaround aspect of my job. Quick quotes are supposed to come back to the customer in 30 minutes, but I always strive for a faster time. When customers get a quote back in 5 or 10 minutes, they’re really appreciative of the customer service. Guiding the customer’s journey from the beginning, starting from scratch, is very rewarding. I also love when one of my co-workers comes back to me and lets me know that we’re moving forward with a project I initially quoted.

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

JS: I know we all say this, but I love the culture here because we truly act like one big family. I definitely spend more time with my work family than any of my friends outside of work. I enjoy working here because it’s so easy to come into work when you love the people you work with. Even the worst Monday’s aren’t so bad because there is always laughter and good times in our office. We also like to have “ Family Lunches”, where we all go out to eat or eat together in the office…we make it a point to do it at least once a week.

Q: 2018 is here, is there anything work-related you are looking forward to?

 JS: I love being able to look back and see how far I’ve come. I’m excited to work with more projects that are of larger sizes. While it can be intimidating to quote large projects, the challenge really excites me. As I learn more and expand my skillset, I’m looking forward to becoming an even better resource for my co-workers. I’m very lucky to have such supportive bosses here, like Danny, who has some new ideas of things I can get involved in this year. I have a difficult time saying no to him or anyone really, so I’m always open to trying new things and I can’t wait to see what he and the rest of the principals have in mind for me!

Meet The Team: Dan Horning

This month’s Meet the Team is with Dan Horning, a vital component of our project quotations team. Dan was born and raised in San Diego and loves to hike, camp and surf in his hometown. When Dan isn’t fitting together the puzzle pieces of big projects in quotations, he’s spending time with his wife and two kids. Let’s meet one of our favorite San Diego dads!

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

DH: I got started in the lighting industry after working at HD supply for 3 years. Kristin reached out to me about an open position in quotations and piqued my interest about the growing company. I’ve been here now for 1 ½ years and I’ve had the opportunity to learn so much about the industry, I’m glad I made the switch!

Q: What’s your favorite part of your job?

DH: I love putting together a big project because it’s similar to putting together a difficult puzzle. All the moving parts and details of a job come together to make a masterpiece. My favorite part is stepping back after a project is finished and admiring all the components that needed to come together for the job to get done.

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

DH: The culture here is really great. I love that everyone is willing to help each other. I can ask someone ten questions per day and never feel like a burden..that kind of culture is hard to beat. I never get any push back when I’m struggling or need help with a project. The holiday sweater party and other fun events also add to the environment, it’s always nice to get the opportunity to have fun with co-workers.

Q: What has been your most memorable project?

 DH: My first big and challenging job was the illumina i3 Campus project completed in 2016. The new Illumina addition was a 7-acre complex including three buildings with an open style office that flowed freely with the outside. The project took 2-3 days and when it was finished I think we all felt pretty proud of the finished product.