John McCaskey has retired from Kovacs. It was a big event for all of us and somewhat of a bittersweet time for the team. Yes, we’ve lost a big asset. But we know he’s now making the most of some well-earned rest and relaxation.
“John’s been with us for 30 years,” says Johnny Kovacs. “In that time, particularly when he worked as our Sales Manager, he built up great relationships with our customers, and was invaluable to our efforts positioning the brand as representing a high-end, enduring value.”
The ambition to succeed and consistent professionalism were valued traits. “He was always well-presented and, being competitive by nature, strived to get market share,” says Johnny.
They are important words – and some pretty impressive numbers backs them. During his three decades at Kovacs John sold over 35000 seats, clocked up over 1 million+ kms (over 25 times around the earth), had 2500 motel nights away from home, wore out over 25 sets of tyres and one hip (he had a hip replacement two years ago) and, most importantly of all, made dozens of friends.
Hildy Kovacs says John was “much loved, and very much appreciated by the team here.” The feeling is mutual. Ask John what his favourite memories are of his time at Kovacs and he takes time trying to narrow it down.
“First, the staff are wonderful people. I’m pretty jovial, so they’re a great group,” he says. “Then there are the other relationships you forge. A lot of customers have become very good friends. It’s a process of building trust over the years – you want them to get the best and they (the customer) come to understand that.”
During this time John has experienced the ups and downs of the industry.
“It has changed a lot,” says John. “The imported furniture trend happened fairly quickly and the bandwagon was jumped on with Chinese furniture that was often cheap and not well constructed, with questionable leather too.”
“Now, not all imports are terrible. But I always felt my job was a lot easier than some of my peers who were pushing this type of furniture. I was fortunate to be selling a very high quality product, with a lot of skill going into every piece.”
“Under Hildy’s designs this furniture is really at the top end of the market. So you knew it would last better than the warranty and that, if there were any issues, then Kovacs were ‘Johnny on the spot’ in resolving anything and supporting the customer.”
“It made my work a lot easier,” says John. Now, after making adjustments to the big change of retirement, life is perhaps easier still.
“I was told by a mate that the first month you don’t do anything,” says John. “Because I was in a sales role I have certainly missed the camaraderie. But bowls and golf have kept me social and I enjoy heading out to the pub for a couple of drinks in the weekend.”
Attacking other projects that were on the backburner “and doing them when I feel like it” is another big attraction of retirement and, now that John is off to Europe with his wife, Joy, he’s barely had time to enjoy the new leather Puremotion chair given as a retirement gift.
John – on behalf of all the team at Kovacs we wish to once again thank you and wish you all the best for the future.