Employee Spotlight with Nick Linder
Cagwin & Dorward is regarded by many as a leader in landscaping in Northern California, largely thanks to its exceptional people, like Nick Linder.
Cagwin & Dorward Job Title
Sales Resource Manager
My role consists of supporting the sales team and also working my own territory.
What do you like about working at Cagwin & Dorward?
I like that it changes every day. I’m not the kind of person that can sit behind a desk all day. I like to be out in the field and talk to people. I enjoy creating relationships and supporting my team. I am fortunate to have great people supporting me, including operations, branch managers I work with, and all of the executive leadership from time to time. I love the people I work with and I love making sales. I’m a competitive person by nature, so it’s fun for me to be out in the trenches.
Do you have your own family?
Yes. I have been married for 14 years and we have been together for over 25 years. We have two beautiful children, a 12-year-old daughter and a 10-year-old son.
When you are not working, what do you do for fun?
I love playing the guitar and writing songs. Through the years, I have played with multiple bands. I can work my way around the bass and keyboard, but my primary focus is on the guitar.
I also enjoy spending time with my family and getting out doing fun stuff with them. My wife and I are also “foodies,” and we like to cook, which is one of my greatest passions.
Do you have a favorite band or song from the past?
I’m kind of a musicologist, so to speak. I have close to a thousand records. There are a lot of bands that I could probably mention but wouldn’t be recognizable to a lot of people. One of my favorites is a band called Television, which is a New York band from the early 70’s that was part of the CBGB punk rock scene.
Though they don’t sound punk rock at all, they are actually pretty interesting. Talking Heads is another favorite of mine.
I like a lot of post-punk stuff and I like a lot of the classics too like Rolling Stones, Beatles, and Pink Floyd. I like a lot of jazz too like Miles Davis, McCoy Tyner, Ahmad Jamal, and a number of other Jazz greats out there.
Do you enjoy reading?
I haven’t done much reading lately. I used to be very passionate about reading. When I was in college, I focused on English literature — but then I wanted to become a rock star, and there you go. When I did read a lot, I enjoyed mostly fiction. I was a big fan of The Beat Poets, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsburg, and that kind of stuff.
Then I moved more into post-modernism like Don DeLillo, who is a favorite of mine.
Do you have a favorite food?
Well, I’m Italian, and I like to make a big Sunday sauce with meatballs and sausage. It’s kind of part of my family history and culture.
Who are the mentors in your life?
My father and my mother, both in different respects. My father was an incredible support to me in getting started in sales. He was a salesperson his entire life and continues to be a salesperson, even in retirement.
Also, my first boss Kim Waldie was an incredible mentor, friend, and inspiration to me, having worked with her. She taught me a lot about the fundamentals of being in sales.
What would your friends tell me about you?
They would say I’m a pretty good networker, funny, helpful, and that I’m loyal.
What would your children tell me about you?
They would say that I let them be them. Some parents, I feel, focus too hard on steering their children in areas that they themselves might be passionate about, whereas I kind of want my kids to find their own passions, and I like that.
If you could travel back in time, what one piece of advice would you give your younger self when you were starting out?
Don’t ever put yourself in a situation of desperation. Nothing good happens out of desperation.
It’s your 100th birthday and your friends and family are at that party; what will you say to them?
I would express gratitude that each and every one of them sure made my life richer.
What is an example of how you would support the people on your sales team?
One example is the way we focus on perspective, specifically the perspective of the customer and how we can best earn their trust and their business. This involves how we approach the customer, how we solve their problem, as well as looking at different angles of how the customer may see their situation. Sometimes all it takes is a listening ear who can help walk through the situation — whether it be budget, processes, or other things.
What values are most important to you at Cagwin & Dorward?
It’s about the people — from the top down and the bottom up, every single person plays an important role here. I think that’s one of the great things about this company; we are very people-focused. It’s a huge part of our culture.
What is a day in the life of Nick?
On a typical day, I’ll get up, drink some coffee, get the kids to school, get into the office and cover anything I need to administratively, such as getting information entered into our system for new opportunities that come up. I will usually do some follow-up with regard to opportunities, and then prospect in the afternoon or meet with clients. However, that can change based on customers who may need us. So it’s never the same every day.
In the late afternoon, I reach out to the other sales reps just to kind of see what is going on and if I can do anything to help or support them.