YKK Stories

David Kelly with YKK (U.S.A.) Inc. Snap & Button Products follows in his father’s footsteps

September 6, 2018
Author: YKK
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David Kelly, YKK USA Snap & Button Products Industrial Fastening Group manager for sales and marketing, manages the company’s fastening business in the North and Central America region.  This business includes the safety, government, jobbers, medical, recreational, leather and retail industries.  He began working for YKK USA Snap & Button Products in 2004 as a sales and service technician.  “I covered 10 states in the Central region selling fastening solutions; while troubleshooting, repairing and maintaining automated attaching equipment.  I later took on the responsibility of managing two territories, the Central and Southeast, before I was promoted to account manager.  I have also been a regional manager, a government and safety manager, and now an Industrial Fastening Group manager for sales and marketing.”

All of his life, he has had a role model to help prepare him for his career with YKK.  On May 3, 1982, his father, Ed Kelly went to work for YKK USA Snap & Button Products (then known as Universal Fasteners Inc.) as a Tupelo, Mississippi territory manager – the same year that David was born.  From 1982 to 1988, his father worked as a territory manager in Sales and Service – first in Tupelo, Mississippi, and then in 1985, he was transferred to Springfield, Missouri as a territory manager.  Then in 1996, he became a regional manager for Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas, and he supervised three territory managers.  In 1999, he was transferred to Lawrenceburg, Kentucky as a Field Service manager supervising 14 field service technicians through the U.S., Cost Rica and the Dominican Republic.  And since 2012, he has been working as the Direct Sales Manager.

Interestingly, Kelly’s mom, Sherry was a quality inspector for Reed Manufacturing for 12 years, and she inspected JC Penny’s plain pockets, Levi’s and Wrangler.

“After they were married, my mom was instrumental in introducing my dad to Universal Fasteners’ regional manager through managers at Reeds, and thus he was hired,” said Kelly.

“I was working for an automotive plant when Willy Bordt, TFM account manager for YKK USA Snap & Button Products asked me to apply for a sales and service position with the company.  The position had been open for roughly a year before they hired me to fill it.  I had never considered working for YKK until I was asked in 2004.”

“My dad was promoted to territory manager in 1985, and transferred to Missouri when I was 3 years old,” said Kelly.  “When I was about 8 years old, he would take me into sewing facilities during the summer.  I didn’t know it then, but looking back, it was a great experience for me to see how he treated people, how they treated him and how he serviced his accounts.  On occasion, he would bring machines home to refurbish and rebuild for a customer.  When I was around 12 years old, he would let me help him rebuild the automated attaching equipment.  Although I had and still have a lot to learn, by the time I started working as a sales and service technician, I had a pretty good foundation.  He was essential to my success, and he still is today.  With 35 years of experience, he is still my go to guy and my role model.”