In our next series of blog posts, we are interviewing some of our employees so you can better get to know what we are all about and more about who are are. Which is serious customer service and staying at the top of the industry while keeping a fun office culture in the mix. Last week, we featured Ian McIntosh, the VP of Sales and Marketing. You can catch that post here where he covers all the bases, including what he is most proud of with the company and tells about his most memorable customer.
Next, we are catching up with Chuck, the longest standing member of the KD Kanopy Team. He has been with the company for 30 years. Read on to learn about his best memory of working here, what he is most proud of and plenty more. You will even learn what a windy sailing trip triggered the idea for KD Kanopy.
Q: As the longest standing employee can you offer some insight into how the company has changed over the 30 years?
At the very beginning, the company was growing at a slow pace. At that time, we only had one size and style of canopy available in 3 different colors. It wasn’t long before we were up to 4 sizes and 6 colors and introduced a screen-printing option for our canopies. And, even rolled out the new StarShade line. When the company came under new ownership, we added even more ideas and also improved our existing products. We have kept on the curve as well when it comes to social media and marketing as well as offering full coverage digital printing at a more competitive price. I am excited to see where KD goes from here.
Q: What are you most proud of with the company?
I am most proud of the growth this company has experienced over the years as well as research and development for new products and our strong marketing. I think this success all comes into play because all of our employees are involved and able to share ideas that are listened and responded to.
Q: What do you see as your biggest accomplishment with KD Kanopy?
My biggest accomplishment with KD Kanopy is working and learning about the development of our canopies. And then taking that knowledge to research new products and designs for the company that keeps us relevant in a competitive industry. We have been able to keep growing and stay ahead because of this.
Q: What is something people would be surprised to know about you or KD Kanopy? I have traveled 1,080,000 miles back and forth from work since the company was founded until today!
Q: Best memory of working here?
Jim Lynch (the inventor and founder of KD Kanopy) loved to watch car racing on TV. He came to me one day and told me that he has been watching the races and saw all these canopies along the track but couldn’t tell which ones we manufactured. Because of this he wanted me to come up with an idea that would set our canopies apart from all the others. I had always wanted to make a fuller canopy with a taller valance and this gave me the opportunity to do that. I added the curve at the corners and now to this day, that is still the recognition point of spotting a KD Kanopy. Just keep an eye out for deeper valance and curved corners!
Q: What else may we be surprised to know about the founder, Jim?
He was a sailor and came up with the idea for the company one day while he was out on the water. That’s when a huge wind came up and steered him towards shore. When that happened, he saw all these people scrambling, trying to take down pole tents before the wind destroyed them. He thought there should be a better way to get shade and not leave people scrambling at the last minute. That’s when the idea of KD Kanopy was born.