In honor of Father’s Day, we interviewed new dad and Commercial Sales Manager, David Arabe. We talk about a tile collection or two, but we talk about his six-month old too. Check out his thoughts on managing our commercial sales team, but also how he’s managing his role as a new dad.
Architectural Ceramics: Your commercial clients often juggle different project types like hospitality, healthcare, and corporate offices. Since we have over 100,000 products for them to choose from, what would you choose as one of your favorite tile collections?
David: There are a lot of great ones, but I love our new Stone Run Collection. Within one porcelain line there are multiple different visuals, finishes and sizes which allow you to mix and match elements to create a beautiful design.
AC: Alright, so we know which commercial line you like. But what about on the residential side? Do you have any AC tile in your own home?
David: Of course! I have the Calacatta Chablis Collection at home. The 4-inch honed hexagon is installed in my bathroom; my wife and I love it!
AC: Marble is a classic choice. What is your decorating style like at home?
David: I usually defer to my wife on this one, but I’d say somewhere between classic and contemporary. Not really a huge fan of anything super modern.
AC: Speaking of your wife and family, this is your first Father’s Day, congrats! What’s most rewarding for you so far as a new Dad?
David: The most rewarding part of being a new father is just to see my son healthy and happy. They grow and change so quickly and I enjoy seeing the new and different things he’s able to do each day. I think the best part was the first time he giggled which was a moment I’ll never forget.
AC: And most rewarding about your role at work?
David: As far as work the most rewarding part of my job, it’s seeing individuals and the team succeed. I enjoy teaching, coaching, and empowering the people I work with to push themselves and accomplish new things.
AC: Is it safe to assume the people are your favorite thing about working for ACI then?
David: Yes! The people and the vision. Everything great that we have achieved as a team is because of the people that comprise the team. We have an incredible group of folks that work hard and bring their ‘A’ game every day. We also have a clear cut vision about where we see ourselves and the future and how we’ll grow to hit those goals which gives our jobs a great sense of purpose.
AC: A clear cut vision, agreed. Our Core Values, like this month’s focus on Community, help us with that vision.
David: Our values are terrific! They have helped make a strong corporate culture even stronger and give us an additional set of filters to gauge our actions and behaviors.
AC: And how do you behave as a manager at work? Are you strict or easy-going?
David: I think it’s important to strike a good balance between the two styles. On one hand, I want to lead a team where people enjoy their work, feel appreciated and respected, and can have some fun.
On the other hand it’s important that we are all operating at the highest possible level at all times, and sometimes that requires a more aggressive and assertive approach. If you can walk that line you can create a great team culture and a team atmosphere where people enjoy the challenges of the job.
AC: Here’s a challenging question for you then: can you give us a good dad joke?
David: Ha! Not sure I have a good one yet. I’ll get back to you…
AC: Then lastly, getting back to you being a new Dad — How do you balance your workload and the likely loads of baby onesies at home?
David: This didn’t seem like it would be that big of a deal until our son arrived at the end of last year. Being a parent definitely makes you re-evaluate how you spend your time and forces you to be much more efficient.
Before, I used to use some down time at the end of the day at home to do additional work and make sure I’m caught up with everything I need to get done. Now, that time after work is really reserved for me to spend time with my son and my wife as a family. I’ve had to prioritize better and be more efficient in order to make up for that, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world!