So, I’m not even half-way through my cup of coffee this morning and Aaron, our purchasing guy, calls me and, in his trademark, nonchalant way says, “Hey… Amy Murray, our Rigid Industries rep, is gonna be here this morning. You want to join us for lunch?” I immediately watched my original plan for the day go up in a puff of smoke (thanks for the timely heads up, Aaron!), but he didn’t have to ask twice. Naturally, I blurted out, “Ummm… DUH!!” I mean, after all, it’s not every day that you get a first-hand look into the culture of the most reputable off road lighting manufacturer in world.
It wasn’t long before Amy showed up. It was my first time meeting her, but I couldn’t have mistaken her for anything but a Rigid rep with the way she was sportin’ those Rigid signature fiery red pants. After a little business chit-chat, an introduction to the SCA owner, Matt McSweeney, and a quick walk through our plant (which resulted in that classy front bumper selfie), we made a break for Jim N’ Nick’s, one of the local barbecue joints that serves up some of the finest food in town. (If this place ever comes up on your radar, do not pass it up!)
I waited until drink orders were placed and the Jim N’ Nick’s world-famous cheese biscuits - it’s actually more like a cross between a muffin and a biscuit… sweet, salty, buttery, cheesy goodness that is perpetually on the list of Alabama’s 100 Things to Eat Before You Die – had been served before I went in for “the kill.”
Me: “Sooo, Amy, I noticed that last year at SEMA – were you at SEMA last year?”
Amy: “No. Actually I wasn’t... (Chuckling)”
Me: “Anyways,” I returned the laugh, “last year at SEMA, I noticed there was only one vehicle in the Rigid booth. This year, I want to be that one vehicle! I’ve been in this dialogue with a couple of guys from Marketing at Rigid for quite awhile. I told them what my goal was, and, at first, I thought we were headed in the right direction. Somewhere along the line, I think my request must’ve gotten miscommunicated, and we’ve hit a stall.”
Amy: “This is actually the perfect time to be asking this question, because planning for SEMA 2016 has just started for us! Why don’t you just send me the email chain from your conversations with the other guys, and I’ll see what I can do,” she answered with a sly demeanor of certainty and determination.
I’m thinking to myself, “Well that was easy! This lunch is already paying off big time!” The moral of the story: It’s always better when you know someone on the inside. And for the record, I’ll be darned if you don’t see a Black Widow in the Rigid booth for SEMA 2016! Haha
Our conversation continued, and we hit on just about everything you can think of – fishing, the best books we’ve read recently, the influence overzealous parents of child athletes have on shaping character… As we were wrapping it up, I circled back around to Amy in hopes that I could pick up a bit more insider information as to why she works for Rigid and how she is living a Passion Driven Life.
Me: “How long have you worked for Rigid Industries?”
Amy: “Going on two years now."
Me: “What is your favorite thing about working for Rigid?”
Amy: “I love meeting new people – the customers like you are who actually installing the product and understand its function and the purpose behind why we do what we do.”
Me: (I hit her with the clincher.) “How do you live a Passion Driven Life?”
Amy: (Sits back and ponders for a moment.) “You know; I live for my family. I have done the career thing for a long time, and I got a later start in life than some with raising my son. Several years ago, I had the opportunity to travel with my husband who’s a pro fisherman, and it really opened my eyes to the value of spending quality family time with those who matter most to you.” She continued, “Now that I travel a good bit visiting my customers, I understand even more the importance of being there for my family when it counts. That is my passion.”
Me: “Last question: What makes Rigid Industries better than all the other off road lighting out there?”
Amy: She affirmed matter-of-factly, “That’s easy! Durability and that we are Made in the USA!”
Of course, I knew exactly what she meant. There is a sense of confidence that comes from being able to tell people that we proudly use Rigid Industries LED Lighting on all of our SCA Performance builds. From the moment you take their product out of the package, you can tell the difference in the quality. The durability is made evident in the fact that after installing thousands of Rigid LED’s over many years, I haven’t seen the first defective one returned!
The company you keep speaks volumes of your reputation by giving testament to your own standards for excellence and the quality you demand of yourself every single day. In fact, that’s why Uncompromised Quality is one of our core values. If there is a problem, we fix it. If something doesn’t meet our standards, it doesn’t get used. That’s one of the details that sets us apart – that makes us better. We aren’t just in the business of building cool trucks. We are in the business of fueling your Passion Driven Life.