Under 40: Caitlin L. Martin, Safeguard of the Hudson Valley
Caitlin L. Martin, 30
Vice President, Sales and Marketing
Safeguard of the Hudson Valley, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
How she got her start: Truth is, I never imagined I would be in the sales world, and certainly never imagined I would be in the family business. After I graduated college, I moved to California for some time and was a personal trainer and a ski instructor. To follow, I came back to New York and continued personal training while going back to school to get my Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) degree. Once I completed my certification, I switched industries and got a job as a Mental and Behavioral counselor. A couple years later, I decided that industry was more of a passion than a career. My father, Jerry Martin, has owned his Safeguard distributorship for over 41 years, and I knew sales was always something I was interested in. When I joined him, that made me third generation in our business. I crossed my fingers and hoped it would work out and I would enjoy the field as much as my father did. I jumped in head first and haven’t looked back since.
Her current role: My role in my company is to assist customers with their branding needs, start to finish. Whether they have needs for graphic design, printing, promotional/marketing products or branded apparel, it is my goal to be a single resource and to make customers stand out from their competition.
What she likes best about her job: I love that I can work with anyone and everyone. Whether they are a small business or a large business, I have the same mission with all of customers and that’s to find the most cost-effective and efficient way for them to brand and market their business. Every day I get to meet new people, learn about their business, see new products and get face-to-face time with customers.
Age roadblocks and advantages: There are pros and cons to being a young professional for sure. A challenge being that some professionals might not take me as seriously because I am younger and they automatically assume that I am not as knowledgeable in the industry. A true [pro] being that I embrace the “youth” part of my career and I make sure I am always up-to-date with all of the latest and greatest brands and products, and I stay on top of the benefits that social media marketing has to offer, which I get a lot of good feedback and referrals from.
Her biggest career influence: Easy answer. My father. He has taught me everything I know on a personal and professional level, and has never given up on me. He took a risk and gave me the benefit of the doubt, letting me join his company when I was at a point in my life where I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to move into with my career. He’s always been my biggest fan, and has always supported me in anything and everything I do in my life. He’s passionate, patient and consistent in the work that we do, which is an inspiration to me every day.
Her most meaningful business accomplishment: Two years in the business, I was a recipient for our Chamber of Commerce Forty Under 40 Mover & Shaker Award in recognition for career achievements within a short time frame, as well as community contributions.
Her differentiating factor: There is a ton of competition with online vendors and larger companies doing the same type of work that I do, but what differentiates me from the competition, in my opinion, is my customer service and follow-up. It’s my priority to provide the highest level of knowledge and customer service to my clients because working with some of the bigger companies, that’s a quality that they lack. I believe I will ensure my place in the industry by continuing to do what I have been doing and keeping up with all of the changes that our industry throws our way.
Why she believes the future is bright: Print and promo will definitely thrive over the next few years because it’s an industry that continues to develop and expand as new companies are formed and other companies expand. The type of work that we do is an essential part of business growth and development because without brand recognition and visibility, a company can only go so far.
Final thoughts: I am a very involved and a proud ambassador for The Herren Project, which is a nonprofit organization founded by former professional basketball player and recovery advocate Chris Herren to serve individuals and families impacted by substance use disorder and the disease of addiction throughout the United States.