Sales Consultant Spotlight on Toby McCracken
Toby McCracken began his career with Sauder Worship Seating in 2004. Based in Alabama, Toby’s territory spans the bayous of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, to the panhandle of Florida. We are fortunate to have Toby representing Sauder Worship Seating as he demonstrates servant leadership through his commitment to serving others. Toby is best known for his attention to detail, providing his customers with information and resources to make decisions comfortably. We interviewed Toby to learn more about him as a person and as a sales consultant. Learn more about Toby and see what he has to share below.
Tell us a little about yourself
When I am not working, there’s a good chance you’ll find me running around my hometown in Spanish Fort. I enjoy living an active lifestyle. I’m an avid runner; and while it’s mostly for fun, I occasionally train and compete in races throughout the region. My wife, Kristin, and I have been married for 23 years; and are proud parents of two beautiful daughters, Libby and Caroline. Within driving distance, my family and I like to visit our favorite beaches between Pensacola, Florida and Gulf Shores, AL. It continues to be a great way to learn, laugh, and connect, all while making great memories.
How did you get started in the furniture industry?
Before I was a sales consultant, I became a middle school teacher right out of college. The classroom environment was too confining for me, so I went into sales working for a beverage company. I learned early on that I enjoyed customer facing interactions in providing solutions and services. My introduction to the furniture industry started when I interviewed with Sauder Education. During my interview, Sauder determined that my skills would best serve the Worship Market. To this day, I would say they made the right decision. I became a sales consultant for Sauder Worship Seating in 2004. Nineteen years later, I am still blessed to be a part of this team representing Sauder Worship Seating.
What do you enjoy most about your job as a sales consultant?
There are many aspects to my job that I enjoy. I am blessed and fortunate enough to travel to new places and meet new people. The most rewarding part is developing relationships with our customers. I have had the privilege to work with many worship facilities that range from Contemporary, Traditional, Liturgical, Synagogues, and Military applications. It brings me joy to be part of these projects that include Ministry Leaders, Architects, and Designers. I am honored to have those relationships turn into long-term friendships and professional connections – where we all help serve our customers. My efforts are not here to sell a product but to educate and provide our customers with the information and knowledge to help them make a comfortable decision.
Which Sauder Worship Seating product is your favorite and why?
My favorite product is our Clarity™ and Vista auditorium seating. I appreciate the elegant simplicity of its design with minimal bolts and fasteners. Our auditorium seats are owner-friendly, requiring little to no maintenance or greasing of any parts. This makes it easy to disassemble the seating and remove the fabric covers for cleaning or replacing during interior changes and repairs.
A memorable project.
One of my more memorable projects took place at Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, Louisiana. The original church survived Hurricane Katrina, but the water damaged the original Sauder pews beyond repair. We immediately provided original Sauder plans, which helped the church move forward with renovations, including all new Sauder pews. The growth of this church following Katrina led to a second campus. Sauder partnered with the church for the seating at a new location, and our Clarity seats were chosen for several reasons. The injected hard mold frame is naturally water-resistant, preserving the structural integrity of our auditorium seats in flood-like situations. The upholstered covers can also be removed easily from the seats and backs for cleaning and fabric cover upgrades. Our Clarity seating has a slender profile, creating more space between rows and compliance with ADA regulations.
We have continued a great relationship with the church throughout these installations, where the third and most recent campus was completed in 2018, installing 3300 Clarity auditorium seats. This was a gratifying experience, witnessing the tremendous effort from Sauder Worship Seating’s CAD department, manufacturing specialists, and installers. Overall, the renovation and installation of our Clarity seating came together beautifully. Everyone involved was pleased with the final product and outcome!
Sauder Worship Seating is committed to addressing the needs and concerns of our new or existing customers, as well as assisting during unpreventable or unforeseen issues such as fires or natural disasters. We are uniquely qualified to help where most manufacturers cannot. We have an entire department of CAD operators that can take our consultants’ field measurements and quickly turn those into plans that provide immediate answers to the furniture damaged beyond repair.