A question that we are often asked by integrators and end users is: “Why Draper?”

As a manufacturer, it is tough to differentiate your products when you are in a “me too” industry. We do not offer the lowest priced product, so how do we develop brand loyalty when price is often a deciding factor? It’s definitely not ALL about the pricing, and maybe it’s not all about the product either. Don’t get me wrong. We have great products, but our people are our largest competitive advantage!

Carol Phelps, a member of the inside AV sales department, celebrates 14 years at Draper later this month.

Carol Phelps, a member of the inside AV sales department, celebrates 14 years at Draper later this month.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I want to introduce you to some of our audiovisual sales staff. You can find their contact info and perhaps a picture on our website, but I want to go further. I want you to really know us. I doubt any of us started here dreaming of a career in the audiovisual industry, but within our inside sales team we average over 10 years of service.

Our people are knowledgeable, personable, and trustworthy. These aren’t just buzz words at Draper. They mean something. We are constantly training our people. In fact, the addition of our TecVision fabric line has been a game changer for us. We’ve done more training in the past two years to get ready for this launch than ever before. While we all have bad days, our people will treat you fairly. We want you to win the job we are quoting. We want you to succeed. Sometimes it takes more than just a price on a page to make that happen. We all have customers that we consider friends. We may not always agree, but you can trust that we care.

The Phelps family on vacation.

The Phelps family on vacation.

Let’s jump right in! I’ll start with Carol Phelps. She was my inside back-up for almost ten years when I was a Regional Manager. See if you learn anything about her that you didn’t already know.

How did you come to be working at Draper?

We moved back to Spiceland from Franklin, Indiana, around 2000. We lived just down the road, and I had just lost my job. April Ernstes, a Regional Manager at the time, was friends with my family and took my resume in. I got a call the next week. I have been at Draper since October 31st, 2000.

What all have you done at Draper?

I started as an order checker and order clerk. I then went to the Customer Service Department and worked in order status. I moved up to Inside Av Sales in 2002, backing up the Midwest territory. It’s my home away from home.

Funniest moments here?

There have been many, but the most recent was last year. During the ice storm when few of us made it in, Chad Tabor (a Regional Manager here) honked a canned horn behind Todd Hiday (you’ll read about him in another post) and scared him to death. We couldn’t stop laughing!

Carol's kids, Masen and Averi.

Carol’s kids, Masen and Averi.

What do you like to do in your time away from Draper?

I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I go to lots of games and practices for the kids – including volleyball, basketball, baseball and football. Keeps me busy year round.

Tell us about your family?

My husband Shane and I have been married 16 years. We have 2 kids: Masen, who is 15 and a freshman in High School, and Averi, who is 11 and in 6th grade. Both of them are very active in sports and school. We have two dogs, Ruby and Baxter. We enjoy spending time with our parents/grandparents, who are a huge blessing to us.

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