David Karr, a rising senior in the Charles and Patsy Collat Industrial Distribution (ID) Program, has won the Gary L. Buffington Industrial Distribution Scholarship. This award recognizes Dave as the TOP ID STUDENT in the nation by the Industrial Distribution Association (IDA).
The award was created in 2003 as a memorial to Buffington, former IDA Executive Vice President. The award and accompanying $10,000 scholarship is awarded each year to a rising senior in a qualified undergraduate industrial distribution program. The recipient must share Buffington’s ideals of high educational performance, leadership and community service. Over the past 5 years, the UAB ID program has had two national winners.
Adam Yost, a 2005 UAB ID graduate, won this award in 2004 and was the first ever recipient of the Buffington Scholarship. Adam worked as an intern at Eaton Corporation’s Birmingham Electrical Group during his senior year at UAB. Upon graduation, he moved to Asheville, North Carolina with Eaton where he worked until his 2007 return to the Birmingham Eaton Electrical Group.
The Industrial Distribution Association is the world's largest trade association of distributors to industry, representing more than 1800 locations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe and Asia. IDA's activities focus on all areas critical to managing a distributorship including operations, sales and marketing, human resources, quality, technology, finance and customer service.
Dave’s nomination for the award was supported by Dr. Tom DeCarlo, the Ben S. Weil Endowed Professor of Industrial Distribution, who praised him for his professionalism and especially his organization, writing and presentation skills while he was employed in the Business Analysis Lab. Said DeCarlo, “I would rate his writing and presentation skills in the top 5% of all Lab employees I have managed over the past 6 years.” It is students like Dave, said DeCarlo, “who give UAB a superior reputation.”
Another recommendation came from Professor Lauren Skinner, the UAB Marketing Club Advisor works with Dave regularly and offered the following. “He is quietly confident without being aggressive. He is ambitious and encourages those around him to reach higher. He is intelligent, thoughtful, and personable.”
To compete for this award, Dave was required to write two essays. The first essay described which college class was most influential to his development. He identified the Professional Selling class and stated that the course “taught me the fundamentals of the selling process, how to use the marketing concept to relate to customers, and most importantly the value of professionalism in my career. I have gained an extensive knowledge of the adaptive selling process and the importance of customer centricity with regard to professional sales.”
The second essay described Dave’s career goals. “I have great aspirations of success in the competitive playing field of business-to-business industrial sales,” he wrote. He aspires to become a sales manager and eventually a Vice President of Sales for General Electric or some other company. “At some point in my career I would also like to own and operate my own business, possibly in the entertainment and music industry.” Dave is currently an intern at General Electric where works in consumer and industrial product sales. He is currently being considered for GE’s Commercial Leadership Program, unarguably the best sales training program in the country.
For information about the UAB Industrial Distribution Program, contact:
ID Program Administrator