David Caswell: Made in the Shade
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Program Reporter
SAN LEANDRO — After leaving the medical field for a career as a construction installation specialist, the last thing David Caswell expected was to end up in sales. “I was a respiratory therapist for several years before changing careers and becoming an installer of home improvement products,” he recounts. “After moving back to the Bay Area from Colorado, I interviewed for an installation position with a local window supplier, and I brought along my portfolio of projects I’d worked on and designed. To my surprise, they offered me a position not in installation, but sales. I decided to take the job, and the rest is history.”
Fifteen years after changing his professional focus, David switched from selling windows to designing and selling window coverings and other shade products. Today, as sales manager at Acme Sunshades Enterprise Inc., David says his favorite part of his job is furnishing customized solutions for specific situations. “I have a knack for designing products to fit our customers’ homes or businesses structurally as well as aesthetically. With all the architectural variety in the Bay Area, I have a lot of fun figuring out designs that work on multiple levels.”
A resident of Redwood City (where he lives with his wife, Barbara), David says he enjoys being situated amidst such a diverse population. “There are so many different types of people here—you never know who you’re going to meet, whether it’s a little old lady or a Silicon Valley engineer. Being in sales as long as I have, I’ve learned how to relate to just about anyone and be conversant about things they’re interested in.”
Outside of work, David engages in a variety of indoor and outdoor activities. “My main hobby is flying two-line stunt kites, which I do at the Marina and Crissy Field in San Francisco,” he says. “I also enjoy reading and tinkering around in my garage with different invention ideas. I created a prototype for an articulated tricycle, and I’m currently working on a design for collapsible sandbags.” When he’s not flying kites or inventing something, David likes to spend time with his daughters, Shannon and Michelle; stepsons, David and Christopher; and grandchildren.
In his professional career, David espouses the importance of providing good value. “I enjoy the process of assessing a customer’s situation and creating a design that both fulfills their needs and gives them the most value for their investment,” he explains. “I never try to oversell; rather, I try to give my customers the most economical solutions to their shade needs.”
When asked what his future retirement might look like, David says he’ll devote more time to both innovative and ecclesiastical pursuits. “I’ll put more effort into developing some of my invention ideas, starting with the sandbags. I’d also like to become more involved in my church and look forward to being able to volunteer more of my time.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: Ever read a book more than once?
A: “Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid,” by Douglas Hofstadter.
Q: What’s your favorite season?
A: Summer, because I’m able to get outdoors and fly my kites more often.
Q: What’s your favorite dessert?
A: Chocolate cake.
Q: Do you collect anything?
A: I collect antiques and vintage collectibles like old books, vases, and sheet music.
Q: Who’s your favorite movie monster?
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A: Predator, because it’s a monster with a code of ethics.