Honoring the legacy of Interface’s visionary founder, account executives Al Baker and Kyle Reynolds were both presented with the 2020 Ray C. Anderson Sustainability in Sales Award last week at Interface's virtual Sales Meeting.
John Lanier, Ray's grandson and executive director of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation, presented the awards to Al and Kyle, and each of them will be able to designate a $2,500 grant, as a benefit from Interface and the Foundation, to the charity of their choice.
The award is presented annually to a member of the Interface sales team that is truly inspired by Ray Anderson, and is incredibly passionate about Interface and what the company stands for. Both of these gentlemen exemplify those ideals.
"In 1976, a young, excited, and energized Al Baker joined his family to create a solar company, in hopes of helping the environment. Unfortunately, government support and enthusiasm faded, and the business closed. But Al’s spirit did not," said his sales partner, Jill Albers, who won the Ray C. Anderson Award in 2019.
"In a career with nora for over 35 years, he probably didn’t see himself becoming part of the Interface team. But Al has soaked up every drop of the Interface sustainability story, taking on Climate Take Back as his own personal mission. We have created a force to be reckoned with. Al spends hours pouring into new ideas and concepts to discuss with clients and colleagues, always looking to learn. He utilizes the Climate Take Back CEU, sharing copies of Drawdown and The New Carbon Architecture with our A&D Clients to emphasize and bring awareness to embodied carbon. And he is the biggest advocate on behalf of our mission to his nora colleagues, always stressing the importance of this discussion in the market, the value our commitment brings to our clients, and level of opportunity this opens up for us as a united team. A recent quote about the many successes of Tom Brady that Al shared with me perfectly sums up my partner, 'I think the biggest thing that he brought was the mentality of expecting to win over hoping to win.'" Albers said.
As an original “Carbon Lover” (a voluntary program that Interface runs to provide more carbon education to those who want it), Kyle leads with his passion for “doing good” in every conversation he has with his clients.
An example of Kyle’s efforts that hit multiple Interface values is when he strategized with marketing on a presentation for the EDspaces national education conference in 2019 about how to communicate to K-12 Education leaders attending the show about concern with carbon. A survey before the show had verified that most K-12 decision makers were not very knowledgeable about excess GHGs, let alone about embodied carbon. He created a PowerPoint presentation which introduced some easy-to-understand materials making a great platform for teaching. "Today that presentation is available to us all," said Lisa Conway, VP Sustainability, Americas as she announced the award with John Lanier.
"Kyle has guest presented to university students about our environmental programs and has a terrific partnership with a few key professors, she said. "Before joining Interface, Kyle was a flooring contractor salesperson who visited Interface on a mill tour. That is when he received and later read Ray Anderson’s book, Confessions of a Radical Industrialist. The moment he read Ray’s story about Interface and what it meant to the future, he knew he had to work for Interface one day. We are lucky he was on that mill tour and to have him on our team today!"