A lifelong resident of Parma, Ohio, and member of a military family, it was not surprising when CORT Senior Account Representative Chris Stahurski graduated Parma Senior High in 1975, he decided to join the United States Air Force.
Chris joined the Air Force with the intention of becoming an x-ray technician, but ended up being assigned as a military material facilities specialist, which basically works on the supply chain. After basic training, Chris went to duty at Pope Air Force base in North Carolina, working in a warehouse where he learned various supply chain procedures. Using a Univac 1040 computer system, Chris learned how to stock products, manage deliveries on base and even obtained a license to use a forklift. After training at Pope Field, Chris was reassigned to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to work the night shift running a military warehouse. Chris certainly took advantage of living in a resort town! He worked part-time at a local restaurant where he met a lot of tourists and hung out at the beach whenever he had down time.
The supply system experience served Chris well when he got out of the service. After a short stint as a cabinet maker (not his forte), Chris went to work for ALCO, a furniture rental company, as a warehouse driver. Ironically, Chris found the opportunity at ALCO after moving back in with his family and needing bedroom furniture. He remembered a company that sold used furnishings and was planning to do some shopping that week. The next morning while looking through the help wanted section of the newspaper he came across the warehouse delivery system opportunity at ALCO, the furniture company he thought of the day before. He went in for the interview and received the job offer on his birthday, October 12, 1980!
Chris worked in the warehouse for about a year when he was approached to try his hand at sales. So, rather than make a complete career switch, Chris worked his job in the warehouse from 8am-2pm and then went to the sales floor from 4-8pm, learning about leases, product offerings, etc. Eventually, Chris made a complete transition to a full-time salesperson. One of the highlights of the job was going to the furniture market in High Point to buy new product for the company. In 1999, CORT purchased ALCO, and Chris became a member of the CORT family where he has served over the last 16 years.
If there is one thing his military and business career taught Chris, it is that the path that you plan on taking doesn’t always work out the way you anticipate. “Often life redirects you to a different path and it is up to you to make the best of the situation and take advantage of what you are presented with and maximize its potential,” said Chris. “Much like taking a sales lead and turning a new customer into a lifelong client.”
If the sales gig doesn’t work out for Chris, perhaps he should try his hand at matchmaker. Five years ago, Chris introduced a coworker to one of his childhood friends. The two realized they grew up on the same street and never realized it. The couple is now married.
Thank you for your service, Chris!