EDmarket Leadership Position: Secretary
Company: WB Mason Company
Title: Director of Education Furniture, Fixtures, & Equipment
When was your company founded?
I am a member of the WB Mason Company, which was founded in 1898. I began working for WB Mason in 2007 after graduating from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY.
What makes your company unique?
From my perspective, what makes the WB Mason Company unique is the culture permeated throughout the organization. As a family owned and operated company, WB Mason maintains a level of camaraderie within the corporation that puts us into a position to provide the highest level of localized customer service and go above and beyond for our customers.
What do you like best about the educational products industry?
My favorite part about this industry is the opportunity it grants me to make an impact. There comes a point when working in this space where you realize that there is a bigger picture and that the products you sell and the spaces you assist in creating can significantly impact the lives of the learners that get to use it. I’m inspired every day by the educators, learners, manufacturers, and designers I get to work with. I’m motivated by the results and the messages I get from educators and learners telling me how much they love their new environments.
I’m motivated by the results and the messages I get from educators and learners telling me how much they love their new environments.
What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of what WB Mason has done in the education industry in a very short period of time. From Maine to Florida, the local WB Mason teams have helped to create some incredible learning environments. Our unique position in the marketplace has allowed us to partner with small manufacturers that are truly thought leaders in the space and work together to achieve extraordinary results for some of the largest school districts on the east coast.
Outside of your work in the education market, you’re also a nationally-touring musician. What correlations are there between your two careers?
Funny you should ask, because over the years I have found that there are a lot of correlations between the two circles I work in. Specifically, both the education furniture industry and the music industry are centered around creativity, positive impact, and community. The ability to think creatively while working with others with the goal of helping the community around us is synonymous with both the music industry and the education furniture marketplace.
How has EDmarket helped your business?
EDmarket acts as the nucleus of the education furniture industry. Early in my career, EDmarket opened me up to an industry outside of the geographic footprint I had normally worked in and in turn, showed me different viewpoints on the industry. This knowledge, when brought back into the WB Mason Company, led to a magnitude of ideas, initiatives, and customer dialogues that has allowed us to continually service this rapidly changing marketplace at the highest level.
How has the pandemic changed the educational marketplace?
In my opinion, the biggest thing the pandemic did to the education furniture marketplace is that it put a spotlight on what our classrooms look like. This spotlight made it very clear to a larger portion of society that many of our learners are not being put in the best environment to be successful. My hope is that this leads to further conversations and opportunities for thought leaders in the education products arena to develop solutions and have those solutions implemented into the districts that need them.
What do you see as the most important role EDmarket can play in the market?
I believe that EDmarket sits in an important position inside of a rapidly changing education environment. This position gives them the ability to recognize trends, innovation, and best practices. It also allows them to bring parties together to help solve industry problems. The education furniture marketplace is an amalgamation of different types of firms, buyers, educators, etc. When all of these different types of thinkers work together, incredible things can be accomplished. I believe that EDmarket is in a position to bring us all together.
What are your top goals to accomplish as a new member of the Board?
I tend to move a mile a minute most days, so my goals tend to fluctuate. That said, today my top goal is centered around educating buyers. I’ve been on some committees as of late within EDmarket that are in the early stages of developing mechanisms to educate consumers on the intricacies of the education furniture industry. I’m very excited for this mission as I believe this will be a big leap forward in helping to create better environments for educators and learners.
I approach every opportunity as if I don’t know the answer but that I have many different ideas I can share with the client to allow them to work with an essential “kit of parts” and develop their ideal scenario.
What would you like to see EDmarket champion?
Innovation! I have had the pleasure of meeting some incredibly talented thought leaders in all aspects of this industry. If these thought leaders are championed, I believe that increasingly impactful product will continue to be developed and that the ultimate benefactors of this innovation will be the learners and the educators.
What one piece of advice would you give others in our industry?
“Learn Everything You Can But Know That There Will Always Be More To Learn”.
I spend countless hours doing research within the industry, meeting with manufacturers, teachers, etc. My role within the WB Mason Company requires me to continue to be at the forefront of the trends inside of the industry and to pass this information along to our entire team and our client base. That said, I’ve truly learned that no two education scenarios are exactly alike and there are a magnitude of variables that make every project opportunity unique. In turn, I approach every opportunity as if I don’t know the answer but that I have many different ideas I can share with the client to allow them to work with an essential “kit of parts” and develop their ideal scenario. Approaching the industry this way has given me a tremendous amount of perspective. The perspective I gain continually grants me the opportunity to find new ways to solve new problems for our learners and educators.