On a warm Arkansas spring day in December of 2021, I emailed my executive team counterparts in LSAR “We got our guy”. That guy? David Stewart. We had been looking for a sales leader for LSAR for some time, I even interviewed a sales leader out of Houston I had worked with, and trusted. There was just something about Mary David.
We are all wrong sometimes, luckily, this wasn’t one of those times. David was immediately a hit with the sales team, and all the other teams in LSAR, as well as customers. If you have ever seen the “upgrade” meme, it would be my picture, the sales team hitting the upgrade button, and then David’s picture – which is exactly what you hope for. How did David make his way to Lone Star Arkansas….
Born in Beaufort, SC where his dad was in the Marine Corps (Semper Fi) but raised in Oklahoma until he was 14 and then moved to Northwest Arkansas. His Dad was born in Houston and raised in Oklahoma and his mom is from Oklahoma (Boomer Sooner). His Mom was a schoolteacher, but now is the CEO of a machined parts company his parents own in Ft. Smith, AR, while his dad is the VP of Operations for an Engineering and Electro-Mechanical company in the Oil and Gas Industry.
In high school, David was known as “Mr. Goody Two Shoes”, a fact his wife loves to bring up to this day. No, not because he had two good shoes. Everything you hear about Arkansas isn’t true. He played multiple sports, always did his schoolwork, and worked at the facility his dad ran, while staying out of trouble.
Speaking of his wife, Amber, how did they meet? “Amber and I were in the same high school class and graduated together, but never said more than probably thirty words to each other. I did have a crush on her, although never made it known at the time. She was the prom queen and colors day queen, played basketball, and grew up having and riding horses. I went to college on a baseball scholarship at Ouachita Baptist University. I came back during Christmas break of my freshman year to watch my younger brother play in a basketball game. I saw Amber by herself at the game and finally got the courage to sit down and talk to her. The rest is history. I am blessed to call her my wife and can never tell her enough how thankful I am for being the wife and the mom that she is.”
Yes. We have all seen that movie. I am sure there was a sunset horse ride in there somewhere.
“When we were first married, Amber worked for the Wal-Mart Foundation, specifically for the Children’s Miracle Network. After a few years, she decided that she wanted to be a stay-at-home mom as we were having more children. When we were thinking about getting married, she told me that she wanted 4 kids. I should have taken her more seriously at the time, LOL. She stayed home for 11 years and when the kids were all in school, she decided that she wanted to go back to school and become a nurse. She has been a nurse for 7 years now. She started at Washington Regional in Fayetteville, AR, and has now worked at Arkansas Children’s for the past 5 years. She is a Med-Surge Nurse and administers Chemo for their kids that are being treated for cancer.”
Amber and David, as Amber once told David would happen, do have four kids. Brooklyn is 22, she works at Walmart and finishing up College at Purdue University. Brooklyn also started her own photography business two years ago. Logan is 19 and attending Northeastern State University in Oklahoma and is a pitcher on the baseball team there. Jaxon is 16, in high school, and plays baseball. He and Logan work at a Ranch together in the summers called Jack’s Ranch a few miles from home. Tegan is 12, and the youngest. He goes to school, plays football, plays video games, and likes to hunt. “Our Hobbies are pretty much trying to do as much as we can as a family. Amber and I have tried to raise our kids to where we stay tight-knit even though they’re getting older and doing their own things. The boys and I do a lot of deer and bird hunting.”
I know. David seems great. But guess what? He likes to eat sardines out of a can with spicy mustard, so pump the breaks on that. He also spent 10 years going through Brazilian Ju-Jitsu/MMA training, but Amber strongly suggested that just be a hobby. So, if we don’t get a PO, the next step is the octagon.
How did you end up at Lone Star, and what is your favorite part of working here? “I previously worked at an Automation & Electro-magnetic sales/service company that specialized in Process Automation Controls and large electric motors that operated power plants, processing plants, oil & gas pipelines, wind turbines, etc. Upwards of 32,000 HP at a time. After working for that company for 26 years, there was a shift in the “family” ownership which in turn dramatically affected the positive and professional culture that had been there for years. Jason Palik, who works at Lone Star Arkansas, reached out to me explaining that the LSAR team needed new Sales Leadership. (this is a good time to recall who was leading sales) At that point, I got to know Kevin Henderson well and really liked what the company and the team had to offer and where it was going.”
“I think in Sales, most people want someone to say that the financial gain and driving numbers are what drives them to succeed. But the top driver for me is the ever-present moment of people counting on me. Whether it be my wife and kids, or the team in Arkansas up to the overall team of the company, I don’t want to let people down. I do not want those around me to find themselves in a state where my or the team I’m responsible for potential lack of performance would affect them negatively. The other top driver for me would also be affecting the community and our clients in a positive, helpful way. This has never been truer for me than now since I work at a patient/clinical life safety company coupled with what my wife encounters every day as a nurse. She and I have very different conversations now compared to when she first became a nurse.”
I asked David about his dream job in high school “Doing something in the Military. This is something I wished I would have done in the early stages of my adulthood. I applied for the Naval Academy in Annapolis out of high school and got everything approved. I went and played college baseball instead. As you can see, I’m not a professional baseball player (LOL), nor would that have probably contributed as much to my personal growth.”
Are you concerned that you work closely with someone that is intentionally a Detroit Lions fan? “LOL, Not concerned at all. Being a Detroit Lions fan demands genuine, committed Fandom. That gets my respect and admiration.” I believe David on this, which speaks to his sales acumen.
What is your “north star”, the thing you believe in with every fiber of your being? “My integrity, which could also be explained as keeping myself accountable. I was a husband and then a dad at an early age compared to most people. I had a very short learning curve in realizing that what I do, the things I say, and the decisions I make don’t only affect me, it affects the people around me, starting with my wife and kids. I want to make sure I wake up every day with the intent to be a specific example towards others and not make everything about me.”
- Kevin Henderson
Chief Operating Officer