Meet our Principal, Jay Waldner! In honor of his birthday, October 12th, we tracked him down and asked him a few questions…
How did you get started in the industry?
“I had been working in the office since I was 10. I started with the stationary department packing bags for the cashier. I slowly transitioned into working summers for 3 months at a time for each of the departments (warehouse, carpenters, design, project management, showroom floor sales). In 1988, I went to Steelcase in Grand Rapids, Michigan and worked in their training program called “PACE” for 18 months. PACE (professional Accelerated Career Entry) is a program set up for Steelcase new sales hires to teach them about Steelcase and the business. I was the first dealer to fully go through their program. After that, I started full-time at Waldner’s doing outside sales.”
What was the most memorable project you worked on?
“MTV was a start-up company in Times Square during the late 80s. I worked with them to build their company and watched them grow, add channels each week, and become the monster they are today. Waldner’s did 25 floors of furniture over 3 years for MTV. They launched Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, and BET all while we worked with them. ”
A recent exciting project Jay worked on was furnishing the new UBS Arena, located within Belmont Park. Waldner’s worked alongside CAA ICON, Populous, and the Sterling Project Development team to deliver over 315 unique furniture items to the arena.
Do you have any stories about working with your grandfather (Dan Waldner) back in the day?
“My grandfather and another salesperson handled NY Newsday in Melville, Long Island when I came into the business. The account was being transferred to me over the year and I got to strategize with both him and the salesperson on the account. The knowledge he had about being a people person and always putting your client on a pedestal stuck with me to this day. The more personable and hand-holding you do for your client – the more support and business your client will hopefully give you over time.”
What does Jay do in his free time?
When he’s not busy meeting with clients and attending to their workplace needs, he’s most likely home delving into his latest side projects. Whether that be building a treehouse from scratch in his backyard, or putting together an ice rink because he needed a place to skate… he really does do it all!