By Jennifer Meek, Director of Marketing, Charlotte Products
Andrew Knopp recently came on board as our new Regional Sales Manager for the Southeast United States representing Charlotte Products, with a focus on the Enviro-Solutions® Terrazzo Concrete Floor Care Program. Andrew joins our team during a time when public health is more important than ever. Andrew has extensive experience in the industry, with almost a decade of experience in the field of polished concrete and terrazzo, making him the ideal expert to hire to teach our end users all they need to know to create clean and healthy spaces. Get to know Andrew better in the interview below.
What have you been working on since you started with us last month?
Since I came on with Charlotte Products I’ve been doing a lot of learning and market research. Charlotte has so many amazing products and programs so I’ve been doing my best at studying up on all the benefits we have to offer. Our typical sales strategy has shifted slightly because of the pandemic so our focus has been on infection prevention with the use of our disinfectants and cleaning programs. Aside from learning the new products, I have been virtually meeting and introducing myself to the rest of the team at Charlotte as well as our distributors across the US.
How has it been to jump in the middle of a pandemic?
First and foremost, I am truly honored to be able to join Charlotte Products to offer my expertise and help grow business in the United States. Jumping into a new career during a global pandemic is definitely scary because of the uncertainty out there but the team at Charlotte Products has done an amazing job at making me feel welcome and supported during these challenging times. Being in a pandemic has definitely changed the way we interact and meet people, from being in person to meeting in a virtual setting, but the core of it is still the same, which is to make sure we’re there for our customers and able to help transfer knowledge on our products and programs.
How have you been able to help your community and regional customers protect public health?
I am glad you asked about helping the community because I was lucky enough to take part in a community outreach with our Charlotte Cares program. Jeff Schwanters (Charlotte’s VP of Sales in the U.S.) and I spent some time in Ft. Myers, Florida, training the staff of Valerie’s House, a non-profit grieving support organization for kids that have lost loved ones, on how to safely and effectively clean and disinfect their business. Allyson O’Brien, my sister and Valerie’s House assistant program director, reached out to me wondering if we had any advice on how to ensure their business is cleaned and disinfected properly so that they could reopen their doors to kids in need. I was thrilled to be able to give back to the community by donating products to their locations in Ft. Myers and Naples, FL, and train their staff on how to safely clean and disinfect their spaces.
What is a typical day like for you?
The start of every day must begin with coffee and breakfast. Once I am properly caffeinated I then make sure our current distributors and customers have been taken care of and that they have what they need, whether it be communicating with our factory on expedited orders to technical questions on products and programs or a simple phone call to remind them we are here for them. Outside of providing a strong support system for our current customers, it is my duty to do market research and prospect future customers in the United States. We are always looking to expand our reach in the US by partnering with qualified distributors so that we can continue to help future generations lead healthy and safe lives.
What were you up to prior to joining Charlotte?
Before I came on with Charlotte Products, I was a regional manager for a diamond tooling manufacturer that specializes in products for the decorative concrete and terrazzo flooring industry, based in Orlando. I started in that industry roughly 11 years ago, as a contractor, working directly for Discount Tire Co. and O’Reilly Auto Parts as their preferred subcontractor, traveling across the United States installing polished concrete. From there, I spent time in Syracuse, NY, working as a project manager and estimator for a flooring company before ultimately joining Universal Polishing Systems as their regional sales manager in Orlando Florida.
What do you like to do in your spare time in Florida?
Golf has always been a passion of mine. Having grown up in Florida, I am lucky enough to be able to enjoy the sport nearly year around…although the summer months can be brutal! Outside of golf, I am also passionate about live music. Dave Matthews Band as well as other jam band style musicians caught my ear many years ago and I try to make it a point to see them and other artists as much as possible when they’re touring. Live music is such a great escape where one can truly be in the moment and let go of any negative feelings that might be going on around them. To quote the famous Bob Marley, “one good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” Last but certainly not least, I recently got engaged to my lovely fiancé Kiara and we bought our first home together! So on top of a pandemic and career change, we’ve been planning a wedding and settling into our new home. This has been extremely exciting and has taken up mostly all of our spare time.
What kind of advice are you giving to your customers who are looking to you for guidance?
My advice to everyone is to stay positive and stay safe. We are all in this current pandemic together. These are tough times, but with the power of love and respect we will all come out stronger. Remember to wash your hands and follow the rules of social distancing. Please also support your local businesses as they need help more than anyone out there!