Todd Farris- Area Manager Memphis/ West TN
Married with 2 kids.
Joined AZOR March of 2015 through acquisition of Apollo Distributing.
Graduated from UT Knoxville with a degree in Agricultural Economics.
What jobs did you have prior to AZOR?
I was a hog farmer in North Carolina for nearly two years.
How did you join AZOR?
My dad owned Apollo Distributing in Memphis. I hated my job as a hog farmer and wanted a change. My dad needed some help with the business, so I figured I’d join his team.
I was a delivery driver during high school. Apollo was doing 350k in sales when I joined, and I had them at 850k within a couple of years and I bought the company from my dad.
Unfortunately, we’d become overly dependent on selling to those in the hospitality industry and when things took a turn for the worse in that industry, so did our numbers. We had a 60% loss within one year. It was very painful and humbling.
Dad came back to help and we began to get things back on track. We focused on toilet paper, paper towels, trash bags, and soap. Idea was everyone uses them every time they use the bathroom. We got the sales back up to 1.2 million and maintained that for several years.
I have always appreciated my time and conversations with Butch. Every time we’d see each other, he would say, “Let me know when you’re ready to sell.” Eventually I was and several years ago, Butch bought Apollo.
What business philosophies have you developed over the years?
If you take care of people, they’ll take care of you. This applies to family and customers.
People love to talk about themselves and their problems. I just try to get them talking and provide solutions to their problems.
Unfortunately, with this business, you can’t ever coast. If you do, you’re toast. Customers will leave. You have to grind and push ALL THE TIME in anything you do in order to improve.
If you could give advice to your 20-year-old self, what would it be?
Be detail oriented and never assume. Check, double check, and triple check. Ask more questions. Always set goals that are attainable but that stretch you. Follow your gut. If it even crosses your mind, more than likely it’s already happening or happened.
Favorite thing about what you do?
I just love people.
Least favorite thing?
Administration, paperwork, and office work.
Love the lake and all water sports. I used to play banjo a few years ago, but now I’d really like to get into guitar.
“Stupid Human Tricks”, I can make many animal sounds. Elephant is my best!!!