Chad Teiber – the third generation of Teibers in the lighting industry and a new member of ALA’s Young Executives group –
reveals why the time was right to shift career gears and jump into the family business full-time.
For many who grow up with one or both parents in the industry, the idea of making lighting their career is a careful decision; it’s not a destiny written on their birth certificates. There is the weighing of options —
the comfort that familiarity brings versus the
desire to forge one’s own path.
From a very young age, Chad and his siblings loved playing hide and go seek and other games on the floors of the Dallas Market Center as his father, Todd, performed prep work before each market. Never did it occur to Chad that lighting would be his career path.
After graduating from Indiana University (where he majored in Political Science) and working in retail/office brokerage for two Dallas-area commercial real estate firms, Chad found himself at a career crossroads. “Lighting was always on the back burner,” he explains. “It’s not that I was ever opposed to being in the family business; I simply hadn’t figured out what my calling was. I just knew that whatever I chose, I would be making a long-term commitment to it.”
Some history: Chad’s grandfather, Bill Teiber, was a manufacturers’ rep (Bill Teiber Company, Inc.) and importer (Teiber Lighting Products). Chad’s father, Todd, tagged along with his dad (Bill) on the weekends as he called on lighting showrooms. Todd had plenty of early experience assembling fixtures, taking inventory, and working on the sales floor for a retailer while in college before joining his father’s company in 1983. When Craftmade acquired Teiber Lighting Products and four years later hired Todd as Senior Vice President, Todd turned over the Teiber & Company sales agency to his wife, Cathy, who just happened to have grown up in her family’s multi-generational furniture business in Dallas.
The fact that the lighting industry is in the midst of a revolution in technology further increased its appeal to Chad. In June, he asked trusted family members and friends what they thought he should do for a living. “No one said ‘real estate,’” Chad quips. His parents detailed the pros and cons as well as the unique challenges lighting representatives face today. After a good deal of thought, Chad took the plunge and joined the agency.
“What I like about lighting is that it’s a big industry, and yet it feels small,” Chad comments. “I want to be a part of the change going on. I’ve got big shoes to fill, but I’m ready to rise to the challenge,” he states. “It was touching at Lightovation to hear people talk about my grandfather; it was so sweet to hear. I’m excited to be a part of what I used to [when I was young] refer to as my ‘daddy’s daddy’s office,’” he says. I’m eager to get involved in the industry as well as the ALA.”
His parents are equally thrilled; in fact, Cathy cried in happiness at the news.
“I’ve overheard my dad say that my coming into the business has re-energized him,” Chad remarks. “My parents are really hard workers. My mom introduced me to all of the manufacturers and customers at Lightovation. My dad is great with people. He can talk to anyone – even a stranger in an elevator – and make them laugh and put them at ease.”
All three Teibers will be at the ALA Conference in Vancouver.