Behind the Scenes with Giang Nguyen
Meet Giang Nguyen, a talented G|M Account Executive based in our Riverside office, who has been with G|M for more than 20 years.
1. Tell me a little bit about your experience with G|M.
I first started with G|M in 1996. I worked for another dealer, but a friend of mine introduced me to Steve Easley and I wanted to work for him. When they first brought me on, I was hired to help with design. I didn't have any experience with design so it was a lot to learn. Computers were new at the time too, but it was fun learning the ins and outs. I was using CAD in DOS, it was the first coordinate-based design, there wasn't a mouse. After the design team was built out, I helped to develop our Job Captain roles...at the time they were called Account Manager Administrators. There were only 10 of us working here when I first started and we were hand-writing quotes and templates, if you can believe that.
2. Wow, that is a long time! What keeps you going every day?
Helping our clients. And also watching the project go from start to finish. It's kind of like a garden. You plant the seed, care for it, then sit back and enjoy. You get to see the fruits of your labor. Each client has a unique problem to solve, and I enjoy getting to know them and coming up with unique solutions to help them solve these complex problems. I enjoy the feeling of achievement and accomplishment once the project is complete and my client is happy.
3. Would you say that is your favorite aspect of your role?
That, and the people at G|M. I enjoy working with people. I like learning new things from everyone. I know I'm not perfect and enjoy getting ideas of new ways to do things from everyone.
4. What are some of the biggest obstacles you face in your role?
Time. I am constantly pulled in so many directions. I start my day with a long list of things I want to get done and by the end of the day, I haven't touched anything on that list. But, every day I work hard and do the best I can.
5. What does a typical day look like for you?
Every day looks a little different, but, generally, I wake up at 7:00 a.m., jump on web calls, answer and return phone calls, touch base with clients on different things. Then I will take a break to hang out with my family and start back up again in the evenings. I am notorious for my late-night emails. People think I'm crazy (laughing).
6. What is something that would surprise people about your day-to-day?
Probably my late-night emails. I work late at night, sending tasks out at all hours.
7. Have you noticed a big change in work as a result of COVID?
Yes, I have. For one thing, the video calls. There are a lot more technical than physical interactions now. It can be challenging to explain things or show your passion over video; a lot of things get lost in translation and it's harder to relay your vision and ideas. In some ways, it's been helpful too though. I'm able to more efficiently collaborate with my peers and focus more with fewer distractions and questions.
8. Do you have a favorite project that you have done so far?
One of my favorite recent projects was HUB San Diego. The client put a lot of trust in us from furniture to textile choices to color. We had a great partnership and overall, the project turned out great.
9. How about an accomplishment that stands out?
I've been here for a long time. I think just having a part in G|M's growth. I've touched and had a part in all aspects of G|M - design, job captains, software development, etc. I feel proud having been a part of that.
10. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I have two amazing teenage boys - one is 14 and one is 16. I also have a wife and a 9-year-old stepdaughter. I enjoy spending time with them. I also like playing poker and watching football.
11. Who or what has most shaped who you are?
Honestly, Steve Easley has been a big influence in my life and on my work ethic. Before joining G|M, I thought about leaving the furniture industry because I didn't feel there was a lot of honesty. But, Steve is so passionate about doing things for our clients and he does what he says he will do. That built a lot of trust in me and inspires me to be more passionate too. At the end of the day, it's not about you. It's about your client and what they want.
12. What one word describes you best, and why?
Perseverance. I like getting things done.
13. Do you have a favorite travel destination?
Bora Bora! I went there for a work incentive trip and it was an incredible experience.
14. Favorite piece of furniture?
I love the Embody chair. It is so comfortable!