According to Steven Jackson, even if he didn’t have to work, he’d still be playing with technical toys, which is probably one of the reasons he loves his job, and he’s so good at it.
Jackson, who joined the Navy right out of high school, spent 20 years as a nuclear propulsion operator on a submarine and an aircraft carrier. During this time he also attended the Robert J. Milano Graduate School for Social Research where he got a degree in human resource management.
While he does not directly use his Naval training as a sales rep, technician, and trainer for Imprintables Warehouse, he says that “the Navy had me certified as a master training specialist, and I was a teacher for the nuclear propulsion program for eight years of my career.
“My education in human resources has allowed me to understand the interactions and different needs of people and that has enabled me to better relate to customers. I have been able to take from both of those experiences when helping customers with training and support. ”
Jackson also has gained valuable first-hand experience when he and his wife Jen, started their own part-time decorated apparel business out of a bedroom seven years ago.
“We started in an extra bedroom in our house with a singlehead embroidery machine and built it up from there,” he says. “We were in the house for three years before we ran out of space. We offered screen printing, vinyl cutting, print and cut, dye sublimation, and embroidery.”
Currently Jen runs the shop full time. “When I retired from the Navy in September 2010, I went full time with Imprintables Warehouse. Prior to my retirement, I sometimes worked trade shows with Imprintables as a customer,” he notes.
One of the biggest rewards Jackson has gained from working with Imprintables is helping new companies get started. “I love helping a new company grow. Because my wife and I started own business, I can relate to what they are going through and help them get where they want to go.”
He also enjoys the constant influx of new technology. “I love seeing the new toys, seeing how we can integrate them in new and innovative ways, and bringing that knowledge to our customers.”
His only pet peeve about the industry is not enough information sharing. “There are websites that are crucial to our industry like www.tshirtforums.com and www.MyVersaCAMM.com. These are places where people freely share information. But I see parts of this industry where people are secretive and do not want to share information when there is plenty of business for all of us.”
Despite being a self-proclaimed workaholic, when Jackson does escape, he likes to go camping with his wife to Cranberry Lake in the Northern Adirondacks. “We do a lot of kayaking too,” he says.
As the Webmaster and forum leader of www.MyVersaCAMM.com, Jackson has earned the nickname “Yoda.” He considers the friends and relationships he’s formed over the years in the decorated apparel industry to be his greatest accomplishment.
“I am proud of the network I have built up over the years and the people that I have connected to in the industry. Imprintables is very customer oriented and we want to continue to build that family relationship, so this is a perfect fit for me.”
Article by Deborah Sexton