Spotlight on John Chastain
John has a wide variety of territory that he covers, including Ohio (except the northeast), Eastern Kentucky, West Virginia (except panhandle), Northeastern Tennesse, and international sales (except the Caribbean). John has learned much over his 24 years as a Sales Consultant for Sauder Worship Seating. Learn more about his family, career, and favorite product below.
Tell us a little about yourself.
Denise and I have been married for 44 years. We have a son in Columbus, OH, and a daughter in Sausalito, CA. Denise has a background in banking and is the Admin for a venture capital firm. We love the outdoors, and when we are not “yardening,” we go on weekend hiking and biking adventures with friends. Denise has taught 1st and 2nd grade Sunday School for 30+ years, and I help in her class when not serving in various church leadership roles. My passion is seeing young children, especially those in under-resourced families, come to know Jesus. For several years I have led a church ministry that partners with other organizations. The ministry provides food, beds, tutoring, and furniture to help stabilize families in two nearby mobile home neighborhoods. What a praise it is to see these kids succeed in school and life, and then help their families move out of poverty.
How did you first get started in the furniture industry?
I was an auto industry factory rep when a friend from school who owned a furniture store asked me to partner with him and learn the business. From there, I went on to manage some large furniture stores in the Seattle area. One day our church secretary showed me a flyer she had received from Sauder. I ended up being the last of 20-some interviews with the Sauder sales and marketing managers at that time. I started in the Pacific Northwest, but I was offered the territory when the Ohio Valley representative retired. It was a big decision for our family, but coming to Ohio turned out to be a great move.
What do you enjoy about your job as a Sales Consultant?
Ever since childhood, I have enjoyed variety. I grew up in a multi-ethnic community, which has made it relatively easy to appreciate the uniqueness of each customer. My business degree led to an early job in marketing research. So, an ongoing priority is to discover what is essential to each individual church or courtroom client. I have worked on several research initiatives regarding how to reach younger generations for my own church, and this work has helped me be a more effective resource for church clients. But that is only part of the story. Having such a strong and supportive team at Sauder (and they are willing to go along with my sense of humor!) has made my work enjoyable from Day One.
What product is your favorite?
Although I appreciate the attention to quality in everything Sauder produces, the plybent chairs are at the top of my list. In my early days in retail furniture and during conversations with many manufacturers, it was often said that a measure of superior craftsmanship is the chair. Sounds simple, but designing and producing a durable chair that is comfortable for most people is no easy task.