For this edition of our
get to know John Bridell
“John’s vast industry experience has made him an invaluable resource for our dealers, design partners, and school clients. I’ve enjoyed seeing him build new relationships and then hearing the positive impact his collaborations have on the school community. It’s a pleasure working with John!” –Bill Stoyke, VP of Sales
Discover what John does at Smith System, what he likes most about his job and what he enjoys doing outside of Smith System.
How long have you worked at Smith System?
I have worked at Smith System since April 2019.
How did you end up working at Smith System?
Well, I actually came from a competitor, but was interested in working at Smith System. A customer of Dave Smith shared his phone number with me and five minutes later I am getting a call. I have worked 20+ years in the school furniture business.
Why the school furniture business?
I was living in Los Angeles when we decided to sell our family business. I have always worked in sales. I found a job at School Specialty and my career jump started from there. I also love working somewhere that there is an end to a means. It is something that provides better tools to success for children in learning.
Why do you choose to continue to work at Smith System?
I marvel at the talented, creative people at Smith System. I believe that we have the right people in every position. We also have an excellent sales team. We share ideas and really help each other be a successful team.
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
It is different Pre-Covid and then also now. Pre-Covid, I would say it was that my territory is geographically large, Wyoming and Montana have been hard to get to. Post-Covid, it is the organization of the digital arena instead of the face to face. Smith System evolved so quickly to the virtual showroom tours which have been hugely successful.
What’s your favorite part of the day and what do you enjoy doing outside of Smith System?
My favorite part of the day is early morning. I wake up my two girls, get the dog up and going and walk to Starbucks to get coffee. Outside of Smith System, I love playing any sport–golf, running, riding bikes and swimming. Love any outdoor activities! In the summer, I take my daughters, Ava (10) and Charlotte (8), to the pool almost every day. Also, I enjoy watching sports and drinking beer with friends.
If you were stranded on a deserted island – what three items would you bring?
Hmm…I would bring fresh water because you can’t drink the sea water. Also, would need something fun like a soccer ball and then also music so you do not go crazy.
What has been your favorite vacation?
My favorite vacation was when my parents took the whole family to Europe for three months for their 35th anniversary. We got to see the Berlin wall before it fell and then also after. Also, visited Croatia, Munich, Norway, Sweden and Finland. I got to see where our lineage was from with my brother. It was a special trip.
What’s your go-to restaurant or meal?
My favorite restaurant is an Italian place called Ventano. The chef’s grandkids go to my kids’ school, and it is located in the hills of Las Vegas. When the girls get good grades at school, I take them there, and they get to order anything they like. They love it.