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This week’s Up-and-Comer is James Gaspar, business development specialist at Interstate Office Products.
Name: James Gaspar
Hometown: Sioux Falls
What brought you to Sioux Falls?
My family has been in Sioux Falls since I was a young child. My father returned to Sioux Falls in 1994 to join Interstate Office Products with his father and sister, and we have stayed in Sioux Falls ever since. After leaving for college to earn my degree at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, I knew that I would be returning to Sioux Falls.
What keeps you in Sioux Falls?
Sioux Falls is a fantastic place for a family. In addition to a growing and thriving downtown, Sioux Falls is a safe and happy place for myself, my wife and our son. We have such a variety of excellent restaurants and bars. Sioux Falls is a thriving city for both local and national retailers. The availability of local and unique retailers is something that most communities either don’t have or are seeing disappear with the growth of online retailers.
What’s your favorite thing about your job?
The opportunity I have to network with professionals in the Sioux Falls area. In addition to participating in (Sioux Falls Area) Chamber of Commerce activities, I am also an active member in the Sioux Falls Young Professionals Network. YPN has allowed me to meet so many of Sioux Falls’ up-and-comers, and it has allowed me to develop both personal and professional relationships with the next generation of business leaders in town. It’s very rewarding to see how creating great workplaces impacts our customers’ organizations by improving their employees’ work experiences and well-being, which in turn increases their engagement with the company’s goals.
How did you get connected to your industry?
I am the third generation of my family to work at Interstate Office Products. Having worked for Interstate Office Products since my freshman year of high school, I have a thorough understanding of our products and services, as well as how the organization and its members operate.
How long have you worked at your job?
I have been in my current role at Interstate Office Products since February 2017. However, I have worked for Interstate in a part-time or seasonal capacity since 2008, including roles in furniture installation and accounting. I had a stint in human resources for a local manufacturer after graduating college but returned to Interstate. My wife and I had our first child this year, and my mother – the CFO of Interstate Office Products – wanted to step back from working full-time at Interstate to provide day care for our son. This opening has allowed me to come back to Interstate in a permanent capacity, as opposed to the part-time role I had before.
Describe your workplace in three words.
Engaged, driven and community-minded.
What’s one business you’d like to see in Sioux Falls that isn’t here now?
I hate to beat a dead horse that comes up frequently in these Up-and-Comer articles, but Uber! This is a much-needed service to support the growing nightlife of Sioux Falls.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I intend to grow and develop as a member of Interstate Office Products, taking on a community-facing sales role that will allow me to form connections with other organizations that could use our services to improve the performance of their employees. I have an opportunity to engage with these organizations and help them succeed, and it’s incredibly rewarding to watch the culture of a workplace change and progress with our services.
Meet James Gaspar, business development specialist at Interstate Office Products.