EAST DUBUQUE, Illinois September 9th, 2014 — "Hello, this is Maria. How may I help you?" And the magic begins.
For 48 years, Maria Ruiz, an inside salesperson at Interstate Electric's branch in Elk Grove Village, Il., has quietly become one of the company's sales stalwarts.
"It's more than just opening up a catalog. It comes from customers asking me questions," she said. "Every time I open up an email or pick up the phone, it's an opportunity to learn something new." In turn, her new found knowledge becomes an asset to her customers.
Industry knowledge sets Maria apart, according to Monika Brovkin, purchasing manager for ARPAC, a manufacturer of machinery packaging in Schiller Park, Il. "I do not call Maria my supplier, salesperson, or representative. I call her my sister," Brovkin said. "She treats me like her family and goes above and beyond to support our business operations."
Maria's success over the years has come in large part from her natural ability to engage her customers, big or small, and determine how Interstate can help each succeed.
"Her extensive knowledge of the industry has helped us save time and money on many occasions," Brovkin said. "Multiple times I've wondered: how is it possible that one person knows and remembers so much?"
Not one to draw attention to herself, Maria's diligence has resulted in gold status for Interstate from ARPAC. Maria herself has earned several awards from ARPAC for her customer service and the value she brings to the company.
"Maria is an extraordinary professional and Interstate is fortunate to have her on board," Brovkin said.
Inside Interstate, Maria has been a member of the Pinnacle Club, an exclusive group of the company's top performers, since it began in 2007. Her passionate approach to work has left a lasting impression on those around her. Dick Schmid, senior vice president for Interstate, has known Maria for the nearly 50 years she has been with the company.
"I can't say how things work with today's technology, however, it was not unusual for a customer to be willing to wait on hold for fifteen to twenty minutes specifically to speak with Maria," Schmid said. "She inspires a level of customer loyalty I've simply never seen with anyone else. Customers know that when they have a commitment from Maria as to when product will be delivered, they can simply move on to their next task with complete confidence because she committed to it."
Maria exceeds customer expectations and reaffirms their confidence in Interstate every day.
"She has been a top performer, year in and year out," said Joe McDermott, Interstate's Chicago district manager, "and an extremely loyal member of our sales team."
And Maria has no plans to stop.
"I put an effort in every time I come to work," she said. "As long as the health is there and I continue to enjoy what I'm doing, I'm going to continue to work."
Established in 1919, Interstate Electric Supply Company is one of the 10 largest electrical distribution companies in the United States. The privately held business serves contractors, utilities, institutional and industrial customers with a broad line of electrical, lighting, automation and datacomm products from 141 local branches in 27 states employing more than 1,700 people.
For more information, visit www.cesco.com or contact:
Interstate Electric Supply Company
Interstate Electric Supply Co
7750 Dunleith Drive
East Dubuque, IL 61025
Tel: 815-747-3145 Ext. 02086