Branch Manager Samantha Lacroix: Building an 11-Year Career at CES Brandon￼
Learn how Lacroix’s confidence, personability, and drive to learn led her to success at CES Brandon.
Finding Her Stride at City Electric Supply
After moving to Brandon, Florida, in 2009, Lacroix searched for work and the possibility of a new career. She came across an online ad promoting an open position at an electrical wholesaler. She walked in and spoke honestly to the branch manager.
“I told him, ‘Sir, I’m a fast learner, but I don’t know anything about the store,’” Lacroix said. “I know what a hammer, screwdriver, and lightbulbs are. But I don’t know what a breaker is.”
The manager said Lacroix could start with deliveries and learn as she went. But the branch soon recognized her knack for customer service.
“Customers appreciated the same bubbly personality I had when I worked as a waitress, and I soon began working at the counter,” Lacroix said.
At the counter, Lacroix started making real strides at CES. She taught herself the inventory management system, which she knows backward and forward today.
Soon, Lacroix attended training courses in Orlando to get up to speed on vendors and products. She wrote down everything word for word as she learned more about the industry and her customers.
By 2013, her manager promoted her to operations manager. And in 2016, she was promoted again to branch manager. “This branch has only grown more successful since,” Lacroix said.
When she took on this latest role, she convinced her teammate in counter sales to take on new responsibilities too. Operations Manager Chase Rice is now coming up on 10 years at CES Brandon.
“Together, we’ve been cranking out numbers. But he’s like family to me. I went to his wedding, and he went to mine,” Lacroix said.
And what makes this bond even more special? Chase Rice is the son of Burt Rice, the branch manager who hired Lacroix all those years ago.
The Brandon branch also recently celebrated another exciting milestone in 2019 — its 25th anniversary. Now Lacroix is setting her sights even higher.
“I would love to be a district manager. I love building that family atmosphere like we have at my branch and helping other people grow and succeed,” Lacroix said.
Experience and Advice for Those Interested in the Electrical Industry
Lacroix has plenty of encouraging advice for those interested in joining City Electric Supply.
“We’ve always set the bar high, but you can pick it up and learn it,” Lacroix said. “Just listen closely, be involved with the company and the industry, and be willing to teach yourself. You can make your own path, and there are so many areas of opportunity at CES.”
According to Lacroix, she picked a good trade that will always be in demand. She also values the education she’s had over the years at CES.
“I want to stay with CES,” she said. “I’m grateful to all of my established and loyal customers.”