“To win business and bring revenue to the company,” says Account Manager, JC Velasquez, about his position at AirBoss Engineered Products. JC is a down-to-earth guy who’s climbing AirBoss Engineered Products’ corporate ladder, and he’s not shy about explaining that he wasn’t always attracted to sales or automotive manufacturing.
Velasquez played Division 1 hockey in college and pursued that professionally after school. “That dream kind of ended,” he says. “At a certain point, I realized it was time to get into the corporate world.”
“My parents have always been in the automotive industry. We grew up in Detroit. It kind of just pulled me in. My mom has always been a quality manager, and my dad has always been a production operations manager. I was very familiar with the lingo.”
Being familiar with the lingo goes a long way when it comes to successful sales, and getting to know AirBoss Engineered Products and what the company offers drove Velasquez to pursue a career in rubber and rubber compounds.
“Ultimately, learning what we make and how we make it was a big thing for me,” Velasquez says. “Because then I know the parts. I know the processes. I know how we manufacture. When I moved over to sales, that was key for me.”
Being Drawn In to the AirBoss Ecosystem
JC speaks candidly about finding his place at AirBoss. It wasn’t his first choice, but it’s become his preferred choice for a career path in automotive manufacturing sales.
“Actually, I was working at another manufacturing plant for a different company,” he admits. It was through family already working at AirBoss, and bringing a new position opportunity his way, that coaxed JC to join the company. “I started as a production supervisor. After about a year, I sat down with my general manager and told him I’d like to get more into a corporate role. If there were any opportunities like that, I’d like to hear about them.”
Velasquez says that literally within a day, he received a call and got a chance to meet with the VP of sales and interview for a position in that department.
This seems to be a common thread among AirBoss employees—finding their niche and being encouraged to pursue their goals within the company. For JC, he felt he’d reached his goals as a production supervisor, and the next career step was to move into sales. He’s been in sales ever since.
Finding Success in Sales as an AirBoss Account Manager
“On a daily basis, I keep in contact with the customers,” he says “I’ll jump in on any quality concerns my customers may have. Any shipping issues get escalated to me. I’m the main point of contact for my customers.”
Velasquez found his footing in sales with “smaller, tier-2 accounts,” he says, “just to get my foot in the door and start learning the sales process.”
He cut his teeth, so to speak, with help from AirBoss mentors, and before long, he was working directly with high-value clients for larger OEM automotive companies.
“The good thing about AirBoss,” Velasquez says, “is that the people around me have about 15-20 years in automotive sales experience. They took me under their wings. They mentored me. They trained me. They’d always be right there to answer my questions. They watched over me for the last three years until I got my first OEM account under my belt.”
Velasquez Says There’s Room to Grow at AirBoss
“My biggest thing, and it’s always been that way, is that I want to continue to grow. I want to continue to climb the ladder and work my way up. I can’t be content in the position I’m in. I always want to go to the next step. That’s what drives me.”
JC has found that AirBoss is more than supportive of his passion to grow as a professional. It’s his eagerness to continue to thrive in sales that keeps Velasquez happy with the company.
“We’re always working together. I consider us a very good team. There’s always room to grow, and there’s always room to get better.”