Meet Team Kadant – Dave Leland, IT Salesforce Manager

Department/Title:  IT Salesforce Manager
Worked at Kadant Since:  June 2003

Tell me about your career path and how you got to Kadant.
After graduating high school, I went to college for a couple of years but didn’t really know what I wanted to do. After my second year, I had the opportunity to travel to Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia).  I stayed about a year, working and traveling around the country and neighboring Botswana. I then came back to the U.S. and, after working in some factory jobs, realized this wasn’t the career path I wanted so I went to a community college where I got an Associate Degree in Data Processing. I was fortunate enough to get a job right after graduation and four company changes later, I found myself at Kadant Johnson and have had a blast ever since. In 2016, I moved into my current role managing Salesforce.com for Kadant worldwide.

What’s one thing you’ve learned in your time at Kadant?
That the quality of work I do matters and that people will be appreciative for what you do that helps them in their job.

What is your favorite aspect of your job?
Knowing that what I’m doing will make someone else’s job a little easier.

What do you think is the most important quality for success?
Definitely passion. If you don’t care about what you’re doing, success will always elude you.

What do you see in the future for Salesforce or just CRM’s in general?
Well, that’s an interesting question. As you may know, Salesforce is all about “cloud computing” and that’s really the future – moving away from the traditional way of developing, deploying, and managing computer hardware and software.  Instead of everything being hosted on premise, it’s all hosted by a third party and accessed via the internet. The Salesforce company is rapidly moving beyond just CRM applications and is expanding into other areas such as banking, retail, healthcare, and manufacturing.  So, that’s what I see in the future – having all company applications and information services hosted in the “cloud”.

Tell me about your family.
I’ve been married for almost 32 years and have three sons – all on the West Coast (two in Portland and one in Seattle).

Who is your biggest inspiration? 
My dad. He had this annoying knack of being able to know how to do something just by looking at it.  He only had a high school diploma and had no formal training in anything yet he built one of the houses we lived in while I was in high school, he was always working on and fixing vehicles, he started and later sold a very successful business, and he spent many years as a tool and die maker.

What do you like to do in your free time and why?
Travel with my wife, especially to see our kids on the West Coast. I also like to read and keep up-to-date on anything related to computers and software.

Do you have any hidden talents?
Well, it’s not a talent exactly but I was a pretty good runner in my 20’s and early 30’s (before marriage and family).  Ran a couple of marathons – one in just under 3 hours and a 10K in 36 minutes (actually, 36:06).  Now I just walk.

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