Three driving forces behind Snyder Diamond's SoCal showrooms.
By Carole Dixon
If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance you’re already familiar with Snyder Diamond, but what you might not know is who’s keeping the showrooms running smoothly on the floors and behind the scenes Monday through Saturday. I had the chance to chat with the Santa Monica, Pasadena and Van Nuys showroom directors and got a glimpse into who they are, and what they do.
Meet Daniel Hernandez, Santa Monica
What’s it like to be one of the newest members of the SD team? “I started in February 2021 and have enjoyed the challenge of joining a business that’s in full-growth mode—you really have no choice but to dive in headfirst and ramp up as quickly as possible,” he says laughing. Daniel loves that Snyder Diamond isn’t a “Wallmart” or behemoth, faceless company. Being local, family owned with Russ Diamond at the helm was a big plus when coming on board, “I appreciate that SD has a rich Los Angeles history and is truly ingrained in the SoCal community. We’re small and intimate enough not to be grouped alongside the “big guys” like Home Depot, larger and stronger than a boutique operation, and nimble enough to make business adjustments quickly when needed.”
He’s armed with a passion for connecting with people, which enables him to create an environment that elevates the customer’s experience. “In this industry you’re working with diverse different types of people with very different projects, goals, and needs—elevating each and every one of their in-store experience is my goal.”
The best part of Daniel’s day?
“I love being with the team to help support and impact their lives. I try to help people to reach their full potential; any day that I can help inspire someone, make a connection with them, or improve their day is a win in my book.”
Daniel is a native Angeleno and received his MBA from Loyala Marymount University. He’s an avid surfer and snowboarder and loves spending time with his 11-year-old son.
Meet Tina Avellano, Pasadena
Tina Avellano has lived in the Pasadena area for close to 30 years and has worked in the Snyder Diamond showroom since July 2020. She previously worked at a nearby Restoration Hardware for eight years. “I’ve been immersed in this community for a long time, so I know the clientele here well,” she said.
With people doing major home refurbishment in 2020 and now getting back out into the world again, Tina has witnessed an increase in demand with an interesting twist: “Our business has been steadily growing—but what we’ve been seeing in recent weeks with restrictions being lifted, is that more clients are now going out and connecting with designers. Also, more designers are getting back to business in their offices, so we are seeing an increase with designer, architect and contractor-based projects and business and not just personal home repairs like we experienced during COVID,” she said.
Tina’s primary mission is ensuring smooth day-to-day operations with a continual focus on the client experience, making sure that folks feel genuinely welcomed from the moment they walk through the door or call. “We are assessing what visitors are here to accomplish. People are at all different phases of their projects when they come into the showroom. I know their time is valuable, so we want to make sure they are being taken care of in a manner that’s going to suit their needs. The priority is matching the right client with the right SD expert whether it be a bath or kitchen specialists and providing the care and correct level of attention the client needs while they are in-house, and beyond.”
Tina has a son who is attending college in Denver and a daughter currently living in their family home in South Pasadena, which she helped restore. She loves the outdoors, reading, and traveling and is looking forward to getting away to Cabo San Lucas with her newly-wed husband in the coming months.
Meet Jose Marcial, Van Nuys
No stranger to Snyder Diamond, Jose Marcial was the former manager of the North Hollywood location of SD for 13 years before they closed it to make way for the new Van Nuys showroom.
The Van Nuys store is set to open in 2021 which is keeping Showroom Director Marcial extraordinarily busy: “Every day there’s a daunting laundry list of tasks to get done—it can be overwhelming but it’s also a fun challenge.” While one of those challenges has been sourcing products for the showroom throughout the course of the pandemic due to supply-chain issues, according to Jose, the space is “coming along beautifully” and should be completed this late summer or early Fall this year.
What he’s enjoyed the most on this journey is the people. “The staff, employees and customers, it changes every day,” he said. “There is always something new and it keeps things interesting.”
What caught him by surprise this past year is how busy they were with people staying home more and finding projects to tackle. “People started to see all the repairs that were needed, and demand just went through the roof.”
Jose is a perfect fit for dealing with architects, designers, and builders. His Dad worked in construction and would take him to work as a young boy. He was exposed to basic construction, digging ditches, brickwork, pouring concrete, from an early age, so you might say it was in his blood. “As I got older, I got involved in the home improvement side and eventually ended up at Snyder Diamond. I’ve always been in this business in one way or another.”
Best part of the day?
“I love walking in the morning at the start of the day. I like to see what we have or don’t have planned and what we can accomplish. The fire and dedication that we bring to work is what keeps us so invested. And, each day you learn something new—I’m constantly trying to be better in how we approach challenges and how I can support my team.” As for Jose’s day-to-day achievements after 13 years, “At work I like to be open with everyone; we’re all on the same level playing field and have the same goal, which is to serve the client and take care of them.”
Next time you’re in one of our showrooms, please make sure to say hello to Daniel, Tina, and Jose!