Name: Charles J (Chuck) Strauss
Company, Location, and Years of Service:
Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies, Mathews NC, 10 years with IR
Current Position: VP Sales – East
Summary of Previous Industry Experience: 13 years with Yale Security Products & Norton Door Controls (training, sales/marketing management), General Manager for Action Hardware
Total Years in the Industry: 25
How did you get your start in the door and hardware industry?
I was looking for work after college/graduate school, and I was lucky to be hired by Scovill Inc, which owned Yale Security.
Who have been mentors to you during your career?
Pat McCord, Bert Johnson, Dave Sylvester
What changes have you seen in the industry over the years?
The ‘real time’ response required to service customers in our industry.
Growth of “scope” of doors and hardware into security and electronics.
True partnerships that withstand tests between distributors and manufacturers.
The flexibility requirement – strategy stays constant, but flexibility is required in execution.
What’s the best part of your current job?
People – Inside IR, distributors, architects, industry – interacting with very smart people.
What career would you pursue if you weren’t working in the hardware industry?
Sales in some capacity – all business is foundational on somebody buying what you are selling. The more a company understands how to get an order/take care of the customer, the better the company will be.
What’s your favorite hardware-related product?
Door Closers and Automatic Operators
What would your colleagues/customers be surprised to learn about you?
I actually do have some patience – sometimes – but not very often.
What’s your proudest accomplishment?
25 years of marriage, 3 children – and the level of respect earned over a long career in our industry.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Golf, reading, spending time at home (due to travel), with family and friends.
What words of wisdom would you give to people entering the industry?
Be open to learning – every day. You may learn the basics quickly but education in this ever expanding industry, and life, is a pursuit that never ends – at least it shouldn’t….
If there’s someone you’d like to nominate for an industry profile, drop me an email.