- February 4, 2010
Lindsey Calvert had a primo job in hospitality, working for the Ritz-Carlton, Naples, when a chance encounter at the gym changed her career track.
It was there, at the treadmill during a pre-dawn workout, where she met Joe Gammons, CEO of Fort Myers-based Office Furniture & Design Concepts. Gammons, like Calvert, had an early morning exercise routine. A friendship soon turned to a job offer, with Gammons looking for a sales associate well-versed in customer service, and the outgoing and driven Calvert looking like a good fit. “At first I just laughed it off,” says Calvert. “Office furniture?”
With a degree in hospitality management from Florida Gulf Coast University, Calvert had been a concierge and worked in training and human resources for the Ritz for four years, from 2010 to 2014. When Gammons explained OFDC wouldn’t be only about selling chairs and desks, but a full-service business development position, Calvert took a chance.
A tenacious networker, Calvert was successful quickly, working on a host of major projects for OFDC, which did $18 million in sales in 2016. This past summer that work was rewarded when Gammons came to Calvert with another offer: Move to Sarasota and open an OFDC office in the Sarasota-Manatee region.
Calvert has attacked the job the same way she started in Naples, by networking and meeting business leaders and decision makers all over town. People often tell Calvert she defies millennial stereotypes, with her strong listening skills, follow through and work ethic. That’s a source of pride for Calvert, who calls herself an “old soul,” someone who goes to bed at 10 p.m. most nights and doesn’t hit bars and clubs often. “I work hard,” Calvert says. “I don’t expect handouts.”
— Mark Gordon
Name: Lindsey Calvert
City of residence: Sarasota
Employer: Office Furniture & Design Concepts
Title: Market President
Years on the Gulf Coast: 28
Marital status/children: Single, no kids
Alma mater/degree: Florida Gulf Coast University with a degree in Hospitality Management
Best place to network: 5 to 6:30 a.m. in the gym
Messy desk or clean workspace: A perfect mess
Eat lunch out or at your desk: A mentor of mine lives by the mantra “never eat alone.” I’ve adopted the same frame of mind.
Best business lesson ever learned: Be anticipatory of needs and expectations. Understated, but powerfully effective and applicable to both professional and personal relationships.
Weirdest job you’ve ever had: I worked as a concierge at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples. I was tasked with hundreds of weird jobs.
A website that makes your job easier: Steelcase.com
App you use the most: The Navigation app
One thing you do every day: Go to the gym
Community group you’re most involved with: Most recently, I was involved with Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida (in Fort Myers). I am eager to get involved with a group in Sarasota that educates students on real-life experiences and encourages an entrepreneurial spirit.
Favorite off-hours activity: Boating
Two people, dead or alive, you’d like to have dinner with: I have three guests’ spots at my dinner table: Jesus, Jimmy Fallon and Sigmund Freud.
What you would be doing if you could pick another career: Social psychology
Top item on your bucket list: An extravagant vacation with my favorite people, to our favorite destinations, doing what we love to do. No holds barred.
Your happy place is: In the sun, on the water
Your biggest fear: Tornados
Favorite Ted Talk: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are by Amy Cuddy
Skill you’d like to learn: To dance and sing, as a service to everyone else
Who would play you in a movie about your life: A cross between Scarlett Johansson and Phoebe Buffay
Describe yourself in three words: Confident, honest and lighthearted