Interview with an Animal Glue SalesmanPosted on October 3rd, 2011 by Maria Verros
Jeff Palmiter, an L.D. Davis animal glue veteran salesman, gave me a few minutes of his time to learn a little more about the company and about his history with L.D. Davis, North America’s premier animal glue manufacturer. Here is his story….
Tell us about your history with L.D. Davis and animal glue.
“I came to L.D. Davis in the summer of 1995 at the tender age of 28. I moved from Jacksonville, FL where I had worked as a Shift Chemist at a Chemical plant making reactive polymers (resins) for the boat and marble industry. After a short stint as Maintenance manager at L.D. Davis, I was promoted to Production Manager where I learned all of the aspects of protein adhesive, or animal glue production and plant management, except for formulation. There was a time where I was the back up for seven positions including Quality, Production, and Shipping. My main function was the hour-by-hour operation of the animal glue manufacturing plant with respect to product production, employee direction, quality, safety, and shipping. My first tour of duty lasted just under 10 years.”
How did you transition from production manager to sales?
“I actually left L.D. Davis in the fall of 2004 to begin a new career in custom home building and real estate sales. We all know what happened in the housing market about three years ago. Tripp Davis, L.D. Davis’s President, had mercy on me and let me come back at the end of 2009 as a salesman….and the rest is history.”
You are featured in some of our YouTube videos….really…what was with the mullet?
“First you have to remember this was the 1990’s, think Billy Ray Cyrus and Michael Bolton, As my hair disappeared up front . . . it got longer in the back! I just got to the point that I was tired of looking like the comedian Gallagher. My kids freaked out when I cut my mullet off . . . they had never seen me with short hair.” Click here to see Jeff in some of our YouTube videos!
What would you say is your favorite part of your current job?
“I would say that the best part of my job is being able to meet and work with so many diverse people and applications. My main focus is the bookbinding industry (Graphic Arts). We (L.D. Davis) are problem solvers and it is exciting to find solutions for our customer’s/prospect’s challenges. My production background helps me understand the needs and concerns of our customers. I learn something new every day and hope to build relationships wherever I go.”
Can you describe how LD Davis animal glues are eco-friendly?
“Absolutely! Our animal glues are made out of natural resources that are considered “green”. They offer an alternative to petroleum produced adhesives. They melt at a lower temperature, therefor saving energy and you can even clean up with hot water instead of solvents.”
Where do you buy your super cool Hawaiian shirts?
“Oh c’mon! They have them at Belk and Dillard’s . . . sometimes even JC Penney. Is that why the home office keeps sending me conservative button downs with LD Davis logos?”
What’s the most interesting animal glue sales call you’ve been on?
“That is really hard to say, as I mentioned I love seeing new applications for a glue that has been around for 1,000’s of years. But one of my first joint sales calls was with Bill McCalla, one of our other salesmen. We went on a joint call to a chicken packing plant. We were able watch the entire process from beginning to end and see just what they mean by 10% water being added to chicken meat . . . I was in awe of the whole thing and learned a lot . . . I also got “Chicken Juice” all over my new shoes!!!!!”
Most awkward moment at work?
“Well . . . . back in the day . . . we used to have a bird problem in the warehouse. It gets pretty hot down here in North Carolina so we would leave the doors open during the day and the birds would come in and do their “business” all over the finished boxes of glue. We decided it would be a great idea to use a pellet gun and shoot the birds . . . that worked well and we were having much success with our kill ratios until the day came that I was alone in the warehouse waiting for a late truck to come in to load. To pass the time . . . I was on “bird kill duty” . . . well, way up high was a sneaky bird that had it coming . . . problem was he was sitting on top of the FIRE SPRINKLER GLOBE!!!! That’s right . . . I NAILED the sprinkler head and the bird flew away but the emergency sprinklers came on causing the fire alarm to go off (and out to the local Fire Department) so now there is water gushing out all over one zone of the warehouse (where the pristine finished animal glue product inventory resides in cardboard boxes) and I had to run half way across the plant to shut off the water supply.
Then I get a call on the radio that the fire department was here . . . I ran up to the front of the building . . but they already had gone to the back . . . so I had to run back down to the warehouse to meet the pride of Monroe NC’s HazMat team in full gear and sirens blazing! There I was . . . soaking wet, out of breath, with my pitiful pellet gun in my hand. I explained the chain of events to the Fire Captain and he just looked at me and shook his head as the rest of the fire fighters laughed at me. That was awkward.”
What’s your 6-word memoir for LD Davis?
Animal glue: Building Life long bonds.
Custom adhesive solutions for every application.
We make ecoadhesives-that’s awesome, right?!