Ups, Downs, Chills and Customer Thrills

September 28, 2017

Keith Garstin
Regional Sales Manager, Southeast
Works from his home office in Nashville, Tennessee.Joined Edlong in August, 2011

How would you describe your typical day?
Every day is unique, which is what I love about sales. My day is frequently spent building relationships with customers, following up on sample requests, project statuses, returning email, and coordinating product demos and presentations with our R&D and marketing teams. I usually travel two to three nights per week by plane, train or car to meet with customers. Our amazing team in Elk Grove Village supports me every day.

What’s your favorite part about working for Edlong?
I respect the talented people I work with. Also, our reputation in the industry really speaks volumes. We always give 110%, and because we’re dairy-focused with more than 100 years of unique experience, we dominate our competition.

Is there a project, event, etc. that sticks out in your mind or a favorite memory that you might have from your time here?
I love when customers or their product developers come to work in our labs. It happens all the time. Their backs are against the wall on a particular project, they come work with our application and flavor teams, and usually within a few hours we achieve the flavor profile they’ve been missing. No back and forth, wasting time and spending money sending samples overnight. It’s a great feeling when a customer realizes how much time and money we have just saved their company.

How does what you do impact Edlong’s customers?
There are many situations where I and the Edlong team impact our customers every day. Our President and CEO is committed to diversity, and we make sure that our customers understand the value, trust and commitment we offer them. I try to convey the same message from our leadership team to our customers every day.

How does your work make Edlong better?
I let our customers know we are here for them. Often, they want a solution quickly. They need ideas for their customers. I’m there to make sure they understand the breadth of our product line and vast expertise.

Favorite food?
Nashville Hot Chicken

Your favorite thing to do for fun?
Going to the beach and playing golf with my three sons, ages 22, 20 and 18. They out-drive me now!

What’s one thing your coworkers might not know about you?
I once broke a world record riding a roller coaster for 12 straight hours. I could have gone longer but they made me get off. I haven’t been the same since.

Any other anecdotes, or an interesting story about your time at Edlong?
I was traveling with Laurette, our President and CEO, to a diversity meeting in New York. We were sitting at an ice slab bar called minus5° in New York, with a customer, for 45 minutes. We were drinking beverages poured in a glass made of ice, wearing parkas, hats and gloves. You can’t make this stuff up!