At American Solutions for Business, we love to highlight the family dynamics that make up our sales force and corporate teams. It’s not too often we get to analyze these dynamics from both the supplier and distributor side. This month’s feature does just that, as we meet ASB Patriot Partner AlphaBroder’s Greg & Madison Mastro, as well as American Sales Consultant Brooke Mastro.
How long have you been with AlphaBroder?
Greg: March 7th will be 21 years in the industry. I’ve been with this company for 4 years.
Madison: I’ve been in the industry August 7th but I was with Primeline before the AlphaBroder acquisition 5 years ago.
How long have you been with American?
Brooke: 6 months but I grew up in the industry.
Do you work on many projects together?
Brooke: I honestly just call him to bug him, but sometimes it’s a work thing. Hopefully I’ll work with them more in the future.
Greg: Currently no combined projects, but I work with them individually on a few things. I am the VP of Engineer and Manufacturing for Decorations for the four facilities that we have. Anything that gets printed, and not a blank item, I’m responsible for the shipping of it.
Madison: Historically we only provided blank apparel, but now we’re adding decorating and he’s in charge of that. I’m on the outside Sales Rep for the state of Ohio, all of our friends in Columbus, NE Ohio, Toledo and Cleveland. I work with my dad 5-7 times a day (maybe less) because we are in the same company and because my dad is an integral part of our sales.
How did you decide to add Madison to the team?
Greg: It wasn’t my choice.
Madison: I changed my major in school about 6 times and didn’t know what I wanted to do, but always thought my dad had such a cool job. Growing up, he would always bring home super cool mugs and bags and it was so cool to tour his old job. Before I started this job I thought he just put stickers on bags and thought, “Well I can do this.” A position opened up when I graduated while it was just Prime. I was living in Pittsburgh and I covered the mid-Atlantic as a Junior Sales Rep and heard the glamour of being on the road and meeting customers. It was more of bribery to get to travel and stay in hotels and I thought it was easier than what it was, but now it has turned into everything I love. There was a dunk tank at a company party while I was down to visit, and playing softball growing up, I dunked him on the first try and that’s what really sealed the deal.
Brooke: He always came home with cool stuff and always decked out in branded stuff. I thought, “This seems fun but I don’t want to work with you. I live with you but I can’t work with you too.” It wouldn’t be in the company’s favor to add me.
What’s the hardest part about working with your parent/sibling?
Brooke: Honestly, I think it’s wonderful. Especially with their roles at a great and well-known company. I have no issues because I don’t work with them in the same company. From the outside looking in, it’s been wonderful. If I have an issue and can’t get a hold of someone, I’ll reach out to one of them. It’s nice to have them on the inside.
Madison: I think the hardest thing is, because my dad and I work so closely day to day, turning off work when we’re together is hard. We could sit and BS about the good the bad and the ugly. It’s hard to separate work and my dad, and personal life and my dad. I could call him and sit on the phone and cry, but then switch to, “Can you help me with this order?” I will always ask for favors and I know that’s probably hard on my dad. I know it’s hard for him to say no to me. The times that he says no is one out of a thousand.
Greg: It’s more problem resolution. If there’s an issue, Brooke might ask my opinion on it, but Madison’s questions are always order or personnel related. The hardest part for me is, if something she’s asking can’t be done, it’s hard for me to accept. The machines don’t care that she’s family. When she needs something or needs it quickly and the parameters around me getting them done are not my issues, it’s difficult. And because we live apart, it’s hard to separate work and life when we’re together. Our phones are always on and always working and it’s difficult to separate that.
Brooke: If he can fix it, it will be done within the day.
What’s the easiest part about working with your sibling/parent?
Brooke: If you need anything, they’re always there. Whether it’s a work issue or personal issue, they’re there.
Greg: I don’t know if easy is the word, but it’s satisfying seeing my two girls grow up and having a career in the same industry. I am always happy to help and make sure they’re successful. So is it easy? No. But it is rewarding.
Madison: For me, it’s just having a sole point of contact for anything: advice, venting, favors, yell at him when an order didn’t go out. Always having someone on the inside that will help me no matter what gives me the confidence to go out and do whatever I need to do and build relationship with all other members of the team. Because they know Greg and they’ll eventually have to know me, it’s great having that lifeline on the inside.
Why do you recommend working with family?
Madison: You never have to explain to each other what you do for a living. You will always have that constant connection and always be connected and have something to laugh and complain about. You will always have this common denominator between you guys. It’s fun to share stories and relate to each other form a sales and internal aspect. We can always fall back on this crazy industry that brought us all closer, and will keep us close forever.
Greg: I think she means I don’t have to “dadsplain” everything. I think it gives us the ability to speak every day and if we were in different industries and professions, it would be a lot harder to talk every day. This gives us the ability to bond, whether we want to or not. It makes it so that we always have some reason or something to talk about every day.
Brooke: Madison and my dad hit it on the head. It gives you this commonality. When we lived under the same roof, we would get tired of talking about work all the time. We get cool experiences together and always have that common ground. It was hard and nice to move away, but even with our family being such a strong bonded family, we’re still so close regardless of distance and we always have someone to fall back on. Don’t need an ice breaker conversation, you can jump right in.
Madison: If I ever have children, I hope they find this and fall into the same industry because it’s been a lot of fun. Not having a support system where you work and in your career makes it difficult to work all those hours.
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