(Jeff is pictured above top middle with his elite team of Account Managers Extraordinaires)

Where are you from? I’m a Knoxville native. I love this place.

What is your “official” title? Sales Manager for Knoxville and Cookeville

How long have you been with AZOR? I’ve been in the industry for 25 years. I joined AZOR in 2001 as part of an acquisition. I was with an independent and then with a publicly traded company and wanted to go back to an independent. We had several companies courting us to join them and we chose AZOR because of the way Butch and Bill Garner made us feel. I believed AZOR’s values (both business and life) best aligned with our values.

What is your favorite thing about what you do? Hands down it’s helping others. I LOVE people and being around folks I can help.

What is your least favorite thing about what you do? I detest minutia…things like spreadsheets. Getting lost in the weeds that take me away from direct contact with customers. I also can’t stand “fake” people.

What are your strengths? Face to face relationships. I’m genuine and a realist.

What are your weaknesses? Holding others accountable. I tend to be a pleaser and try to find the best in people. This approach can lead me to not push others as hard as I should.

What are your business philosophies? I believe everything runs on the rails of relationships. Respect is the most important thing, and I build that through caring about others.

Can you tell us a funny Jeff Byrd story? Many years ago (before AZOR) I was doing a presentation at Mayfield Dairy with a new rep. I was blabbing on for a long time and the new rep, who was usually very quiet, started talking and I was listening very closely. My mind was racing and for some unknown reason (still to this day) I screamed very loud FOOTBALL. I startled everyone including myself. Needless to say, we didn’t get the account.

With your current knowledge and wisdom, what advice would you give a 20 year old you? Don’t be so damn conservative all the time. Don’t just think outside the box, actually step outside the box and try new things. Push the boundaries and break some things along the way.

What advice would you give to someone entering this industry today? Stay relevant and be able to evolve with the changing times. Be open minded, flexible, and adaptable.

Can you tell us something interesting about yourself that others may not know? Yeah, I actually like to live “off the grid”. I think it would be neat to spend some time doing that.