Under 40: Miriah Cassidy, American Solutions for Business
Miriah Cassidy, 37
Senior Director of Sales Support
American Solutions for Business, Glenwood, Minn.
For an industry where image is everything, retail comes with less-than-glamorous hours. Just ask Miriah Cassidy. With a background in retail management and years of working an erratic schedule, she was ready for a change.
She admittedly did not anticipate finding a new and greater passion, but was happy to be proven wrong when joining American Solutions for Business as a customer service representative. Cassidy moved on to a supervisor role, which led to a manager role in process improvement for the distributorship.
“I spent a few years leading American’s system training and support team, [in addition to] the process improvement effort,” she said. “I was then offered a director role, which encompassed these two areas, as well as our sales support team.”
Cassidy returned to the classroom last year and is studying business management at Capella University. She plans to stay on to earn an MBA after graduation, while serving as American’s senior director of sales support, a position that requires her to oversee a team of 125 employees.
Why she loves the industry: The people. This industry is so diverse and there is something to learn from everyone you meet. Whether in a conversation with a sales associate, supplier, customer or technology partner, the discussion is bound to be interesting and insightful.
Age roadblocks and advantages: My age group is on the border of Gen X and millennial, and there are negative and positive beliefs about both groups. The biggest challenge is presenting yourself as an individual thinker to prevent being defined by your age label. On a personal level, I find every year provides more and more knowledge, which builds self-confidence that was missing earlier in my career.
Her biggest career influence: Glenn Miller, vice president of business solutions at American’s home office, was the person who saw potential in me and facilitated the opportunities to help me grow in the industry. Glenn helped me find my love of process and technology. He leads with a no-fear attitude and is not afraid to take calculated risks to hit a goal.
Jay Harman, regional manager in our Alpharetta, Ga. office, is another person who has kept me balanced in approach over the years. Working from our home office and serving teams located both there and in the field, [I know] my goal is to keep all stakeholders in mind, so the best decision can be made. Jay looks at his business in the same way, and strives for operational efficiencies on top of great solutions and customer service for his clients.
Her most meaningful business accomplishment: By far, being named the senior director over my department. Being trusted to lead such a large group of people in a critical area is an honor. Our path ahead is paved by opportunity, and I wouldn’t want to move forward with any other team.
Her differentiating factor: Technology can be so misleading. The bright and shiny can catch attention before a need is even defined. I strive to determine form and process before seeking out technology as a solution. I ask questions with a goal to get to the root of the issue and define a desired result. As a part of this thought process, there is also an openness to the realization that the process may need to be redefined to fit the technology. There is no perfect fix or solution, and flexibility is critical. By partnering process and technology, you gain organization efficiencies, which frees up resources to increase focus on sales and customer relationships.
What she does for fun: We are an outdoors family and enjoy camping and spending time at the lake with our daughter, Molly. Both my husband and I love to cook and try out new recipes. We currently own six different grills, and I am told that is not enough.