Javier Melendez, 30
National Account Executive
Walker-Clay, Inc.
Greater Boston Area

Getting Started
“Trade school is actually where I started my career in promo. I learned about printing presses, screen printing and embroidery throughout trade school. So, I always like to say I’ve been doing it since high school. From there, I just went through and kept working in promo.”

How He Earned The Honor
“While Javier is young, he does have a vast knowledge of our industry from working in a variety of sectors,” says Heather O’Neill, his nominator. “I’ve enjoyed seeing Javier apply that to his sales role on our team. He has a passion for innovation and technology, as well as social media. He is well known for his TikTok videos that both entertain and educate not only customers but also industry colleagues. He can combine both his professionalism with his quick wit to draw in an audience.”

Your Most Difficult Challenge?
“The biggest challenge is developing new relationships, especially over the last two years. The reason why I say that is because this industry is very relationship driven. But when you’re trying to be a promo professional and advise clients, you run up against people who say, ‘I can buy this online.’ But building those new relationships and trying to explain to somebody, what you can be to them can sometimes be the hardest thing, especially now.”

What Innovations Are Needed In The Industry?
“I think, right now, one of the biggest technological challenges in the industry is supplier websites not having the information sales reps need. A lot of suppliers are doing the websites up beautifully, but I also need the critical information. I’m entering orders at 10 p.m., because during selling hours I want to sell. So, having clear communication on supplier websites about inventory, how long is production time and not just your stated production time? I need to know if it’s five days or 10 days? That’s the type of information I’d have to call a customer service rep, but I can’t call at 10 p.m. I think one big focus should be on having integrations so that way my system talks to your system, and we don’t have to process as much paper.”

What Inspires You?
“Growing up, it was always push to do your best and cross train wherever you can. I’ve taken those lessons and really just cross trained wherever I could and took education wherever I could. That served me to where I’m at in my career now. Now my focus has changed to my little girl. I want to take her to Disney World. I want to be able to do all the things and give her the best childhood I can.”