Leonard Houston

Leonard Houston

Work History

Work History
Jan 2000 - Present

Director of Operations / Business Partner

H & Y Masonry Concepts Construction, LLC

Business development responsibilities including, designing, estimating, contracting and project management for commercial masonry projects. During slow business trends I negotiated employment opportunities for H & Y personnel by managing  projects for other  masonry subcontractors such as Old North State, WordCo, Pompano and Metro.

Successful Project Portfolio:

University of N.C. Charlotte Student Union - Overall project cost of $14 Million. Turned the project around by developing a new project scope to emphasize per man production and quality control.

WalMart Super Center - Overall project cost of $3 Million. Completed the building project as the only subcontractor without any construction deficiencies.

Union County Elementary School 'L" - Overall project cost of $4.5 Million. Made daily production requirements by developing a strategic project plan that emphasized continuous work flow of the project.

Parkwood Knolls Condo Complex - Overall project cost of $4 Million. Saved over 20% in project estimated material cost by  renegotiating  and managing cost, deliveries and procurement.

The Enclave Condo Complex - Overall project cost of $6 Million. Developed a management scope that brought the P/L back into the black by controlling material cost, manpower and production.

Overall responsibilities:

  • Project site management of schedules through MS Project.
  • Personnel need analysis and employment
  • Project budgeting and tracking
  • Time study of work scopes with Time Pro software and cost projections
  • Material bidding, procurement and delivery.
  • Analyze project work scopes and define contract compliance.
  • Overall design and management of all internal business activities
Jun 1991 - Jun 1999

Managing Director / Senior Partner

D.A.I.M. Consultants

I started D.A.I.M. Consultants as one individual with a single manufacturer covering  North Carolina and Virginia markets calling on the food trade. Through effective planning and negotiation the firm grew into a regional  sales / marketing rep firm involved in the sale, marketing and service of all types of consumer good manufacturers. D.A.I.M. Consultants represented manufacturer goods consisting of products items such as grocery, snack foods, housewares, hardware, food service, confection, pet supplies, film / video, branded and private label health / beauty care products. The firm represented the sales and services of products to such outlets as grocery stores, home centers, drug stores, distributors, food service suppliers, pet stores,  veterinarian offices, video rental stores, building supply stores, convenience stores (warehouse and DSD delivery), club stores, department stores, dollar stores, discount variety stores and party stores.

Overall Duties:

  • Manage and develop agency growth.
  • Mange the agencies overall business operations.
  • Primary agency contact for all the accounts and manufacturers
  • Responsible for P/L of the agency for on going operations and special projects
  • Analyze regional specific sales and service Agencies. Interview and contract account specific representation as needed. 
  • Manage compliance of regional Manufacturer Rep agencies for assigned distribution, sales, retail coverage, contract compliance and goal achievement. 
  • Develop agency portfolio and present to interviewing manufacturers.
  • Cold call on accounts and develop strategy to develop account rapport and sales.
  • Develop relationships with manufacturers and accounts decision makers.


  • Created company from a single account and manufacturer to a multi state account listing and successful representation of numerous manufacturers.
  • Pioneered new business for manufacturers and opened up new accounts within such markets as:

            North Carolina * South Carolina * Georgia * Florida * West Virginia * Wisconsin * Michigan * Ohio 

            Arkansas *  Illinois * Virginia * Tennessee

  • Acquired representation contracts and developed new business for  manufacturers such as:

Quickie Mop & Broom * Suburbanite Industries * Polaroild * J Narby Pet  Supplies (Later Hartz Mountain) * Bonny Housewares * Acme Frame * Family Sweets * Optiray Sunglasses * Trophy Nut Co. * Carthage Cup * Handifoil * EzPor * National Tape Co. * Wilhold Hair Fashions * Jaru Toys * Vapor Products * Milor * Cosrich * Thompson & Formby Inc. * Cardinal Pet * Fast Industries * InterDesign * Tri Peek Inc.* Implus Corp. * Premier Brands of America * Ensar * San Francisco Soap * C A Reed * 3 M film *  Leshner Mills * T J Marketing * Dep Hair Care * Rayovac Battery * DAHRT Racing

Developed new sales with  key account such as:

Farm Fresh * Richfoods * Cliff Weil Distributors * Food Lion * Harris Teeter * MDI * Family Dollar *  Roses      Winn Dixie * Kroger * Roundy's Van Wert * Roundy's Wisconsin * Lowes Foods * Lowes hardware * Pic & Sav * True Value Chicago * Belks * BiLo * Piggly Wiggly Charleston * Piggly Wiggly Tennessee * Mass Merchandisers of Arkansas

Agency Key Awards

  • "The Butler" Sales Achievement Award
  • Quickie " Award of Excellence" New Business Development Award
  • Bonny Housewares " New Business Development" Citation
  • Family Sweets National "Major Account Achievement Award"

Overall Business Accomplishments

  • Built the agencies gross annual sales volume to $5.5 Million.
  • Negotiated the sale of the agency in 1999 to affiliated Manufacturer Rep agencies.
  • Average yearly growth of 33% in annual gross sales volume along with acquiring  new representation contracts.
  • Negotiated multi year +/-$1Million exclusive distribution contracts for key manufacturers such as Quickie Mop & Broom, Bonny Housewares, Family Sweets branded and private label, Handifoil, Wilhold, Jaru. Length of contract and total volume were based on the analysis of the specific account volume capabilities.
Feb 1986 - Dec 1991

Account Executive

Rogers American Co.

Rogers American was a marketing, sales and service food broker contracted by manufacturers for representation of their products in the North Carolina and South Carolina markets. The agencies products consisted of items from grocery, health & beauty care, general merchandise, frozen food, confection, dairy and food service. The agency coverage consisted of accounts within grocery, drug and food service suppliers.

Overall Duties:

  • Duties of Managing assigned manufacturers included:
  1. Analyze distribution and promotional opportunities.
  2. Short term and long term sales and income forecasting.
  3. Sales and promotional tracking.
  4. New product introduction and distribution compliance.
  5. Management and tracking of slotting and marketing funds.
  6. Design and monitor compliance of product advertising requirements based on manufacturer deal structure and funding requirements.
  7. Analyze market data ( AC Nielson, SAMI, etc.) for additional business opportunities.
  8. Category management which included plan-o-gram recommendations, seasonal inventories, retail pricing, out stock conditions and competitive activity.
  9. Prepare specific marketing promotion presentations designed around the buying accounts criteria to support national media and print  campaigns.
  10. Prepare and represent at trade shows manufacturer product deals.
  11. Business reviews and business projections.
  12. Build and develop on going relationships with buying staff, operational staff and upper management with the buying accounts.
  13. Daily, weekly and monthly reports as required by the manufacturer and Roger American.
  14. Sales of health & beauty care, general merchandise, snack, confection and grocery products to assigned buying accounts.
  • Account executive responsibilities for a  yearly gross sales volume of $12.5 Million and gross income of $227,000 from the following manufacturers:

Fuji Film * Polaroid * Coleman * P.Liner Vitamins * Quickie Mop & Broom * Allergan Eye care * Pioneer cake Decorating * Marion Laboratories * No Nonsense fashions (Kayser Roth) * CIBA Consumer Pharmaceuticals * J & J Health Care (Kroger) * Turtlewax * Schering Plough * Miles Health Care * Norcliff Thayer * Sandoz * Duracell * Rockline * M&M Mars * Bob's Candy * Whitman Candy * Hanes Knit Wear * Church & Dwight Consumer Products * Heinz * Tropicana

  • Direct sales and account management responsibility of the following accounts:
  1. Kroger * Big star * Family Dollar * C B Drug Co. * Thomas & Howard Distributors * Food Lion (GM) * BiLo (GM) * Food Fair * Farm Fresh * Richfoods * Cliff Weil

My key accomplishments included:

  • Average yearly  increase of 35% in gross sales volume for 6 straight years. Account  Executive department income total grew from $40,000 to a total yearly Income volume of $227,000.
  • Volume increase of Fuji Film from $250,000  to $728,000 in 3 years ( 191% increase). The fastest growth of any U.S.market.
  • Named Fuji Film National "Account Executive of the Year" Award.
  • Negotiated partnership with Rogers American to pioneer sales in the Virginia market. Opened up Farm Fresh and Richfoods accounts.
  • Positioned Rogers American as a dominant HBC/GM factor at Harris Teeter and Kroger.
  • Positioned Rogers American as a growth factor in eastern Virginia for the agencies other products and contracted manufacturers.
  •  Polaroid "Excellent" rating award. The first excellent rating Polaroid had given to any broker in 4 years. The award was due to increase in instant film and video individual sales volumes of +12% for instant film and +60% in video tapes. The national sales volume had shown a decline of    -8% in instant film and a -22% in video. The national figures were due to the on going decline of instant film,  instant cameras and the introduction of low cost video tapes.
  • Growth of CIBA Consumer Pharmaceuticals sales of 124%.
  • Growth Duracell volume of 95% in one year at Kroger. This drove Duracell as the #1 battery company in the Charlotte market above Eveready and Rayovac.
Dec 1981 - Jan 1986

Manager of Sales Operations / Partner

HBA Marketing

I was recruited away from Hunt & Wesson Foods because of my success in developing food product sales within traditional nonfood accounts. The management of D. F. Cameron Co. was looking for a Account Executive that had extensive food sales knowledge but also understood the nonfood trade. They wanted the individual to develop sales with nonfood account for their food products and help develop a non-foods department for the sale of health / beauty care and general merchandise products into the traditional food accounts. From that beginning was launched HBA Marketing. A new business concept formed to develop a independent non foods department within a food broker operation and to tap a new profit stream for the agency. The primary business was to develop a sales/ marketing, administration and service staff exclusively devoted to health / beauty care and general merchandise manufacturers for the North Carolina market. HBA Marketing formed under the umbrella of D.F. Cameron Co. food brokers from 1981 to 1984. In 1984 the partnership formed a partnership with Atlas Marketing to expand markets to include North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia to become  a regional dominate non foods  presence.  In 1986 the partnership dissolved  and became part of Atlas Marketing operation.

Overall  Partnership Duties:

  • Analyze market data and prepare interview presentations for prospective manufacturers.
  • Analyze service requirement cost versus income budget for each manufacturer. Define each manufacturer levels of service to maintain overall profit scope.
  • Track and prepare reports on sales, income and expenses for  weekly management  meetings.
  •  Develop and monitor financial model for department expansion.

Overall Management Duties:

  • Manufacturer weekly tracking reports that included:
  1. Sales vs budget
  2. Marketing fund expenditures and account compliance.
  3. Slotting fund expenditures and account compliance.
  4. Market data reports including product pricing, distribution, damage merchandise, competitive activity, display activity, out stock conditions, new item placement, plan-o-gram changes, store resets, call frequency, promotional activity and demographics.
  5. Broker manager market visitation appointment schedule.
  6. Product and trade show sample orders.
  7. Business reviews and market data analysis ( AC Nielson, SAMI, etc).
  • Department management duties that included:
  1. Review and analyze  sales and retail personnel call reports and expense reports.
  2. Design, monitor and update geographic retail service structure.
  3. Develop administrative, sales, and retail staff work loads and monitor performance.
  4. Manage internal and external department communications.
  5. Analyze operational space requirements.
  6. Budget and monitor asset expenditures for office supplies, equipment and furnishings.
  7. Negotiate office space, equipment and vehicles purchase or lease agreements.
  8. Interview and employ department personnel.
  • Sales operation duties that included:
  1. Analyze AC Nielson, SAMI  and market movement data to define market voids. Present to account buying staff.
  2. Prepare and present promotional programs including marketing funds for additional sales volume and advertising activity.
  3. Build rapport with buying, administrative and management staff at market accounts.
  4. Track manufacturers current year to date sales vs previous years sales for buyers.
  5. Negotiate buying account promotional deals, promotional pricing, volume requirements, advertising activity and quantity discounts.
  6. Prepare specific account forms on all product and promotional offers.
  7. Cold call and evaluate business opportunities with new and existing market accounts.
  8. Develop expansion opportunities into new classes of trade outside of food / drug accounts.
  9. Direct sales responsibility for the following accounts:  Kroger, Food Fair, Food world, Food Lion ( Food Town ), 3 Guys, Central Carolina Distributors, Johnson Supply, Associated Grocers, Lowes Foods, Lowes Hardware, Community Cash, Harris Teeter.

My key Account Executive awards and accomplishments:

  • I was a intricate part of growing HBA Marketing into the largest health / beauty care and general merchandise department in the southeast with gross sales volume of $10 million. I pioneered business for manufacturers into North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia markets.
  • Vidal Sassoon "National Broker of The Year"  award for an outstanding job in total promotional and sales activity.
  • Dorsey Labs "Regional Sales Achievement" award for 20% or more growth over assigned budget in three straight years.
  • Mennen Co. "Regional Broker of the Year" and "Regional Sales vs Budget" awards for total volume increase over budget for two straight years.
  • American Cyanamid Shulton Toiletries division  "National Broker of The Year" award for the successful relaunch of the Old Spice and Breck Shampoo brands for the highest business increase versus budget quota. Achieved and exceeded every product individual budget goal.
  • American Cyanamid Shulton Toiletries division  'Regional Broker Budget Buster" award for volume increases over budget for two straight years.
  • Ekco Housewares " Regional Broker of The Year" for sales increase, new distribution and total distribution gains.
  • Rubbermaid "New Distribution Gains" regional award for opening up key market accounts Food Lion, Harris Teeter and Kroger.
  • Loctite Corporation "National Quota Buster" award for 318% total increase over budget.

Acquired representation contracts with such key manufacturers as:

Vidal Sassoon * Mennen Co. * Dorsey labs * Rubbermaid * Rayovac Battery * American Cyanamid Shulton * Leshner Mills * C B Fleet * Hanes Knit Wear * No Nonsense Fashions (Kayser Roth) * Maybelline Cosmetics * Schering Plough / Dr. Scholls Division * Ekco Housewares * Loctite Corporation * Rexall Brands * 3M Personal care * CB Labs Branded and Private Label (Ingles Laura Lynn label) * Richardson Vick * Seneca Juice * Texaco Havoline * Tropicana


Jan 2000 - Present


North Carolina Masonry Association, Inc.

NCMAI Certification in Scaffold Erection and Safety

NCMAI Certification in Boom Lift Operation and Safety

NCMAI Certification in Equipment Operation and Site Certification

NCMAI Certification in Blueprint Reading and Masonry Estimating

NCMAI OSHA Certified Hazard Material Management

Sep 1997 - Sep 1977

Certificate of Seminar Completion

Xerox / RJR Training Seminar

A five day long sales training program on selling skills and merchandising techniques. Emphasis was placed on cold calling and merchandising sales techniques.

Sep 1976 - Nov 1976

Course study certificate

Dale Carnegie & Associates, Inc.

Ten week training seminar designed to develop advanced skill levels in effective interaction. Training criteria emphasis was placed on skills development for:

Initial meeting skills

Interview techniques

Informational retrieval

Personnel and customer interaction skills

Public speaking and presentation techniques

Memory tools

Body Language

Confrontational handling skills

Customer rapport building techniques

Aug 1971 - Dec 1974

BS Business Administration

Gardner Webb University

Completed 4 year  Bacholor of Science degree in 3.5 years.

Junior Class President

Professor Assistant in business department

Narrator for college radio station - "Business Weekly"  theme program format




Scanner Pal, Inc wireless solutions

A wireless bar code data solutions that uses a JAVA J2ME solution software and a hand held Nextel Motorola mobile phone to retrieve a transmit data.

PrintMaster Gold software

Print software to enhance visual effects of presentations.

Nero Photo show Deluxe 4 software

Software application to produce CD/DVD production slide show and movie presentations.

Vegas Movie Studio 6.0 software

Software application used to produce quality slide show and movie presentation from downloaded materials. The software can be used to develop movie production live presentation with interactive capabilities of still and action material within a single production.

Corel Draw 8 software

Presentation software to help enhance visual appearance by utilizing graphic and art functions.

Microsoft Outlook

Quick Books Accounting / Payroll software

Microsoft Office - Powerpoint - Word - Excel

Microsoft Windows XP

Microsoft Vista


No matter what the industry,  I am a individual that thrives on challenges, creativity and the success of growing projects from the conception to maturity. I like a  fast pace atmosphere that is always changing and demanding the continuous management  of change.

My 30 years of experience has developed successful characteristics such as:

  • Ability to penetrate new accounts and develop additional profit streams from those accounts.
  • Ability to build account rapport to maximize business potential.
  • Personality that develops a team atmosphere with employees and customers. A winning and never give up attitude that fosters itself among team members.
  • The drive to develop business plans that foster success. Don't just sell a product - sell a complete program, measured with volume and profit scope.
  • The knowledge to treat a business opportunity as a project with defined objectives, structured growth stream, measured levels of success and the overall support needs for each level.

My Successful professional profile is measured by:

  • Numerous award winning product development successes.
  • Successful track record of new business development.
  • Advanced abilities to quickly analyze product categories and develop successful presentations.
  • Keen  ability to quickly learn new categories and businesses.
  • A track record of relentless pursuit of profitable new and existing business.
  • Development of strong category management skills including:
  1. Sales and business analysis of data such as AC Nielson, movement reports, industry data, product research.
  2. Development of marketing plans to relaunch existing products
  3. Demographic analysis for regional demands
  4. Analysis of seasonal promotional demands and inventory requirements 
  5. Out stock profit and loss analysis
  • Development of strong executive management skills including:
  1. Sales and Project Planning
  2. Strategic Account management
  3. Personnel interviewing, employment, training  and management
  4. Short and long term forecasting and tracking
  5. Project estimating
  6. Procurement
  7. Product and business marketing analysis
  8. Internal and external communication links
  9. Geographic analysis and profitable coverage design
  10. Contract negotiation
  11. New business ventures and partnership structuring
  12. Cold calling and account opportunity analysis
  13. Income and expense analysis for accounts and projects
  14. Balance sheets and cash flow analysis
  15. Emerging markets and import product requirements

Volunteer and Special Interest Activities

Clover High School Clover Blue Eagles Football

 I  volunteer  as member of the game film production crew. From the specific weekly film I produce the plays and players are analyzed for player grading and accuracy of execution. From the films I produce single player collegiate recruiting presentations.

Christ The King Church 

I volunteer with the Angels Youth Ministry. My volunteer support is mainly with outside development of church activity with children and families from the community that are not presently members of the church. We supply open activities and transportation along with ministry to areas of the community that currently do not have access to a Christian location.

I volunteer as one of the production crews for lighting, sound and visual presentation of the weekly services.