For over 10 years, Evan Maniquis has been rising up the ranks at Fusion Worldwide, adding President’s Club status to his resume earlier this year by breaking the $1MM mark in sales. When the company’s executives were looking for a go-getter to take on the immense responsibility of growing Fusion’s business in the European market, they didn’t have to look far. Below, Evan explains the challenges (and the rewards) of working overseas.
Q: Why did Fusion choose you to go to Amsterdam?
A: Fusion Amsterdam was a fairly new office with only a handful of employees (mainly Dutch.) Fusion was looking for someone with a well-rounded set of skills and experience to influence the staff, share the Fusion culture, help grow the business and expand new accounts in the European market. I had gone to school in Switzerland and was familiar with living in Europe, communicating in foreign languages and being immersed in European culture. The fact that I was young, single and open to change was another factor. It presented a smooth transition and opportunity for both Fusion and myself.
Q: Why did you accept?
A: After much consideration, I ultimately decided that I would regret not accepting the position when looking back later in life. It’s easy to stay in your comfort zone. I wanted to take on a new challenge, grow my career, meet new people and allow the opportunity to expand without hesitation.
Q: What was the biggest cultural shock (or biggest challenge) you faced in the move?
A: The biggest challenge for me was executing American-style business with European contacts. What I learned was that my European counterparts have mastered the work-life balance, with the ability to produce quality work as well as fulfilling personal lives. I can appreciate that, and encourage that same balance here in Fusion’s Amsterdam office.
Q: How long have you been there?
A: I came to Amsterdam with the initial plan of working here for two years. There was a lot of work to be done and I found success almost immediately. Those first two years went by so quickly that I agreed to continue working here as the business was expanding and more opportunities presented themselves. It has now been over six years and things are continuing to grow at a rapid rate. There are still exciting challenges and so much more to accomplish.
Q: How long after joining Fusion did you move?
A: I was working for Fusion in the U.S. office for five years. I learned a lot and gained a ton of experience and knowledge from those years. That experience set me up accordingly for transitioning to my new role in the Amsterdam office.
Q: You’ve recently moved into sales, why?
A: I worked mainly in purchasing roles for nine years and dabbled a bit in sales when I was in the U.S. office. The growth and the needs of the Amsterdam office presented me the opportunity to take on another new challenge and fully move to sales. I have always been open and adaptable to taking on various functions within Fusion and this was one that I could not pass up. I wanted to, yet again, step outside of my comfort zone and see where this offer could take me.
Q: How have you seen the company evolve?
A: In the last 10+ years of working at Fusion, I have seen the company grow in every area possible. The company has expanded offices and logistics globally, including a much larger staff. Fusion continues to increase revenue, break sales records and develop new strategic partnerships in both purchasing and sales. The certifications, awards and accolades only add to Fusion’s evolution as a top independent global distributor.
Q: Anything else to add about the company and how they’ve developed your career?
A: Fusion is about opportunity. It is what you do with that opportunity which leads to the development of your career. Fusion takes the angle of growing organically within the company. I have seen many people start at the bottom and work their way up, myself included. Fusion is willing to take the risk of challenging their employees to grow their own personal careers. With the various roles and experiences that I have had at Fusion, they’ve aided in developing me to be the confident, goal-oriented business person I am today.