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Nurturing Good Relationships in the Material Handling Industry With Nancy Fateen

Updated: Oct 4, 2022

Mark Hiddleson

Nancy Fateen is the Chief Operating Officer of Seizmic Inc., an engineering and consulting firm within the material handling industry. Nancy started her career in material handling at the age of 17 and has held roles in customer service, CAD drafting, accounting, and permit package preparation.

Nancy’s company, Submittal Services, was incorporated afterwards in 2005 during her time at Seizmic and now employs 10 dedicated permit coordinators that handle more than 100 permits per month across the country. She built her education around her career graduating with honors from the University of LaVerne, all while raising two little boys.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Nancy Fateen talks about maintaining work-life balance

  • Nancy's experience working with her father, Sal Fateen

  • What inspired Nancy to start Submittal Services and how she manages the company while running Seizmic

  • Seizmic's management team and how they network

  • What Nancy looks forward to at ProMat 2023 and MODEX events

  • The value of nurturing good relationships in the logistics industry

  • Nancy talks about her love for health, books, and podcasts

In this episode…

What does it take to become a transformational leader in the logistics industry? Which strategies can you use to build better relationships with stakeholders? How do you nurture the leaders of tomorrow?

Being a transformational leader is not just about telling people what to do. You have to support, guide, and empower them to become better employees. You also have to constantly develop better relationships with your team and stay on top of their emotional and physical health.

Nancy Fateen, the Chief Operating Officer of Seizmic Inc., joins Mark Hiddleson in this episode of The Tao of Pizza Podcast to talk about the value of nurturing good relationships in the logistics and materials handling industry. Nancy shares her tips for maintaining work-life balance, how her company networks, and the importance of building genuine relationships. She also talks about her love for health and fitness and how it has influenced her work. Stay tuned!

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode...

This episode is brought to you by Specialized Storage Solutions Inc.


I have been in the logistics and storage industry for several decades. I know I don’t look that old, but it's true..

We provide industry-leading warehouse storage solutions nationwide.

So basically if you have a warehouse that needs Rack, Shelving, Carts, Conveyors or Mezzanines we help engineering, installations, inspections, and repairs to help clients optimize their logistics operations.

Sometimes people don’t even realize that we can actually help with permit acquisition services.

We take a look holistic at your entire business supply chain ecosystem to develop the resources for continually improving your operation.

To learn more, visit or give us a call at (707) 732-3892. One of the best ways to learn more about our products and services is to follow us on instagram. And there’s a link on our website to do that.

I will even give you my personal email address for podcast listeners so email me at if you’re ready to take your warehouse storage and retrieval systems to the next level.

Episode Transcript:

Intro 0:01

Welcome to The Tao of Pizza, where we feature top logistics leaders, entrepreneurs and supply chain innovators and share their inspiring stories with a holistic twist.

Mark Hiddleson 0:13

Mark Hiddleson here, host of The Tao of Pizza Podcast where I talk with top industry innovators in the warehousing, logistics and supply chain business with a holistic twist. Check out some of our past episodes. I recently had an interview with rockstar supply chain veteran David Smith. And I also was recently interviewed by Drew Hendricks on his Legends Behind the Craft podcast. Before we introduce our guest, this episode is brought to you by Specialized Storage Solutions Inc. Listen, I've been in the logistics and storage industry for several decades. I know I don't look that old, but it's true. So basically, if you have a warehouse that needs rack, shelving carts, conveyors, or mezzanines, we help with design engineering installation, inspections, and repairs to help clients optimize their logistics operations. And you know what Nancy, sometimes people don't even realize we can actually help with permit acquisition services. We take a holistic look at your entire business supply chain ecosystem to develop the resources for you to continually improve your operation. To learn more, visit Or give us a call at 707-732-3892. And I'll even give my personal email address for podcast listeners. So email me if you're ready to take your warehouse, storage and retrieval systems to the next level. Folks, we're joined by Nancy Fateen, who started her career in the material handling industry at the age of 17. She held roles in customer service, CAD, drafting, accounting and permit package preparation. She soon started her own company dedicated to the permanent management process. She built her education around her career graduating with honors from the University of LaVerne, all while raising two little boys. Her company, Submittal Services, was incorporated in 2005, and now employs 10 dedicated permit coordinators that handle more than 100 permits per month across the country. She built Submittal Services while working for Seizmic Inc, a nationwide seismic engineering firm as their operations manager. All of this while raising two young boys. Once her three babies, meaning her two sons and Submittal Services, were old enough to hold their own, she was ready to fully dedicate herself to Seizmic and stepped into the role of COO as of January of this year. Nancy, welcome to The Tao of Pizza.

Nancy Fateen 2:33

Thank you, Mark.

Mark Hiddleson 2:35

This is gonna be awesome. I've been looking forward to this, Nancy. And one of the interesting things in preparing for this, I was thinking of how we met and how we were introduced. And it's amazing because it was actually wrong. Michaelis, back in 2005, it was right around the time you incorporated. He said we were working on a project in Southern California. He said, Man, I said how are we going to get the permits in Southern California? I can do this stuff up here. But what about SoCal, and I have to leave out some of the four letter expletive told me when he said basically you've got to get in touch with the Submittal Services and and that's how we met. We weren't even doing business with Seizmic at that time. So the introduction to Seizmic actually came from you. That's awesome.

Nancy Fateen 3:23

Yeah, Ron was my first customer Submittal Services and my biggest fan, and he definitely given a lot of work to do as a company cheerleader. Great inspiration for me. Yeah,

Mark Hiddleson 3:35

he was the inspiration for me starting my company and his exact words were Hilson groper balls. Get a second on your house and start your own company.

Nancy Fateen 3:49

Yeah, yeah, I remember he told me what I sent him the first invoice he's like, you're not charging me nearly enough by the subzero. Send it back to me. You've got babies. Yeah, I suppose Michael was born in March 2005. And I think I incorporated Submittal Services in September. Michael just started coming with me to the series he was actually my golden ticket but he was in a good mood of gab me whatever your baby's crying all the way through. If it gets you out here quickly, things will take care of that baby.

Mark Hiddleson 4:27

Yeah, so work life balance has always the best and reading your intro. Like I know you and I know that you're a supermom and you do it also how, you know, work life balance has been obviously it's been number one for you. How did you how did you do it?

Nancy Fateen 4:46

I mean, it was a challenge. Obviously. Like I said, being able to have the luxury of bringing Michael tilbyr with me. And then once Robin was born to bringing my sister in the kind of help so either she was I've been with the kids while I was working, or she was helping with, with work while I'm sitting here with the kids. And she kind of became my partner, probably in around 2008. And she's still with me. And sometimes the balance was easy. And sometimes things get out of balance, and you have to recalibrate, and readjust. And just when you think you've got it down life throws you another way I knew better. Catch you again. But that's what we do. There's not really, there's not really, there wasn't really a question of if it was going to be done. And it was just getting it done. So, you know, it's sometimes a man getting up at four in the morning, like, especially when I was going to school while I was starting the company, boys were you doing for, because it took me a minute to finish my degree, I was only able to manage two classes at a time while we're doing it. So that's really how I created the balance. It was like, for you, my schoolwork, get to work, work, take a lunch break, do my schoolwork, to pick up the kids, whatever needed to be done, you just have to find a way and and obviously having a good support system, both in my family outside as me and my family at home. I believe good mom friends, was definitely helpful to help each other out. Typing that out.

Mark Hiddleson 6:09

Yeah, it's amazing. And the you look at the I mean, in our business, I'll say the number one most challenging part of our business is permanent acquisition, you know that that's your, that's your specialty. And I guess when you look at the the challenge of that, versus what you are juggling with school, a career running another business. And

Nancy Fateen 6:35

it's, to me, it's, it is a challenge, it's still a challenge, but knowing what you're talking about. And I think especially at the time, because I was very young when I started doing the permits. So there's, there was the aspect of trying to figure out how to be taken seriously in this industry as a woman, as a young person, you know, trying to really figure out how to how to stand on my own two feet and know what I was talking about. So it was really important for me to learn as much as I could, that I didn't feel like a fish out of water. I didn't feel out of place that I didn't feel like I was just here, because it was my dad's daughter, or something like that. So it was really I really struck was striving to be the best at it. You know, that's really that was something that my dad always told me was doesn't matter what you do just be the best at it. So that's what I'm taking the last 24 years.

Mark Hiddleson 7:24

Yeah, it's just do your best I was just, I just mentioned on a podcast that it was on success isn't about winning or losing it is about bringing your best and having the peace of mind and self satisfaction, knowing that you brought your best. Right? And, and I've always been impressed with you. It was you, you got promoted to CEO recently, January. But I've always looked to you been like go to. And like I said, we weren't doing business with Seizmic, we wanted to do business with Submittal Services. And Ron was kind of like, well, if you're gonna do business with one, you need to do business with the other

Nancy Fateen 8:05

two, we don't make it mandatory, I will do permits for any engineer, we prefer to do it for Seizmic, for obvious reasons. But and we give a discount to people who are using Seizmic because for us having everything under one, one roof is a lot easier, we can go directly to the engineers as to what we need, we can ask for things to be handled a little quicker, we can ask the questions and get quick answers. Whereas working with another engineer, your hands are kind of tied. So if you're looking for a permit to be done in three weeks, and I'm like, well, it's with your engineer, like I can't get a response to them. Maybe you can try and get a hold of them. You know, so we just have this advantage, the homecourt advantage if they're here with us, it really

Mark Hiddleson 8:44

is. And we were using somebody else. I mean, we've been using you guys since 2005. But before we were getting, we get way more comments on the structure. I mean, I think we'll always get comments on fire. But I can say, you know, there's very few situations where we have any structural comments on the stuff that we turn in and that's nice, just just to have that taken care of and knowing that I can call you guys

Nancy Fateen 9:09

Mike has a very good reputation industry. Right. So I would have to be astounded at this. Okay, you're good. Not even

Mark Hiddleson 9:18

close. Yeah, so I want to bring up Sal because he's, so he founded Seizmic and he's, I mean, the five he's just got to say he's kind of legendary business of

Nancy Fateen 9:33

material handling.

Mark Hiddleson 9:35

He is and I remember how hard I work to try to get a personal introduction from Ron to sell, but you know, what was it like working among I mean, that's a lot of pressure. That's a lot to live up to

Nancy Fateen 9:51

So I don't think we mentioned how is my dad? So South started Seizmic in 1985 when I was five years old. So I was in and out of the office all the time. So I remember being in one of HMS board meeting, one of the other board members that now that none of us grew up thinking we were going to be in the material handling industry, I raised my hand and said, You knew this was this was my desk. So I was just trying to figure out where I was gonna fit, because I remember talking to him. When I was in med tech, I don't know, if I want to be an engineer, he's like, You don't have to be an engineer. Because I can just you just have to know how to manage engineers. So my degree ended up being organizational management with an emphasis of human resources. I don't need to know how to actually do the calculations, I have a basic understanding of the industry, obviously, especially being in it for so long. But definitely having him be my mentor over the years and be so supportive and wanting me to be a part of this, but never forcing me to and letting me find my own way, letting me find my passion within his passion. You know, and I know that he trusts me now to do things the way he would do it. I mean, on my right wrist, I have WW as the tattooed in the signature green pen in his handwriting. I had him write it down 10 times on a piece of paper one day, and I didn't tell him, but who's reading it as well, it tells you, I circled my favorite one ticket to my tattoo artist and said right there, I could see it when I'm playing golf, I could see it when I'm working every day is does doesn't necessarily mean I would do what he will do every single time. But it definitely means I've always considered what he would do. And the decisions that I made both personally and with my company and within this company. It's been it's been a pleasure.

Mark Hiddleson 11:39

That's just awesome. Awesome. And I think, you know, doing business with Seizmic, I think you've and again, I've always looked at you whether your title was CEO or not, you're always my go to person if I need something done. I try not to call you every time but unless I need like a special. Like every time I call. I haven't seen that the greatest clients are like bad friends. They only call you when they need something.

Nancy Fateen 12:12

You can't just in printing them.

Mark Hiddleson 12:17

Yeah, and I think the last time I called you was just to say, hey, everything's going great. Congratulations on your new role and you're waiting to catch up. just called to say congratulations. Yeah, yeah,

Nancy Fateen 12:33

that's nice. It's been great. I can't I love that is like I love that's now I can trust me to carry everything and can tell never actually fully retire. Like he loves this job. And especially he loves it more now, knowing that everything's handled. And I always tell him on here. So when he comes in for his couple hours a day or just couple days a week, don't go in with that. Only tell him to come to me with the bad news. We want him to know that his baby is safe, that has babies as well, that we're all good, and that he doesn't have to worry about it. So we've got it under control, like go tell him all the wins for the week. Come to me with the challenges. That's how we keep it an enjoyable place for him to visit.

Mark Hiddleson 13:12

Yeah, and he keeps he keeps coming back.

Nancy Fateen 13:16

Back. But so he does a lot of the traveling. So there are a lot of things that only he can do with his expertise, to know travel a lot to job sites and consultant people his expertise. So whether racks are to damage to utilize or gathering component information and whatnot. So Monday and Tuesday he was traveling Wednesday came in the office for about four hours. All right, that's it worked me out, I'm tired. So he heads to the desert gets good and relax. and unwind. He'll still work from his laptop there. But we really want him to enjoy somewhat of a semi retirement. And he can only do that when he knows when he feels confident in the fact that things are being handled here. So that's really my goal every day is to let him feel comfortable and relaxed and to step my retirement.

Mark Hiddleson 14:01

Yeah, yeah. And as a client, we know we're in good hands. So that's awesome. I wanted to ask, we kind of skipped over the Submittal Services but it's one of the toughest things in this industry. Well what what gave you the idea to start a permit acquisition company?

Nancy Fateen 14:20

So it was it was Sal's idea. Just like how the racking industry itself, especially back in 98, I was a niche like it was a need that needed to be filled. But nobody was really doing it. Nobody was making that their specialty and Sal chose started as engineering prep with that as the specialty and he was one of the only ones at the time and he's definitely one of the only ones that have licensed in all 50 states so to this day, but he has because I was helping Seizmic with their permits the few people that would come and say, Hey, by the way, can you take these plans to the city for me, I'm in Indiana and you're in California. Can you drop these off and they would pay me per trip to just take the prepared pack Ah, do that. And so and as we were getting more and more of those calls, I was saying, you know, you should start a company that specializes in that when he was obviously my guru in that as well. And gave me a lot of guidance to that, who knew that it would become what it is today, we have, currently we have 136, open projects across the country and all of my 10 PCs, or Macs down, which is why I was so silly. Before we got on, I just had another team of interns to start training, they're going to go through about three or four months training program with us, and then hopefully be able to start taking on some of the projects to make it where we can still be as efficient as we can. Because if you have 10 people, and each of them is managing 20 projects a month, it's really hard to do that effectively. No, it is

Mark Hiddleson 15:47

not. That's why I use because I'm trying to do that. And it's impossible. For us to man,

Nancy Fateen 15:54

there's so much to keep straight, I mean, think about it, you'd have to call into these cities, and you have to find out what their specific requirements are, you have to put together this package, you have to submit it, and then you have to follow up with it. And then you have to address the corrections. And you put the package back together. And there's only so many hours in the day. And a lot of these people that work for me, are also stay at home moms, you know, they don't need to come into the office every day. That's one of the benefits, they get back like the way that I had at the beginning. So they live all over the place. They're at home with their kids. And so they're able to have flexible hours, and they're able to do this job from home with one we only have to support staff that are actually in the office to put the packages together and send them to them. But a lot of these ladies are moms of two or three kids that are actually very grateful to be able to make an income while working from home. So it was nice to kind of give that back. So that was the opportunity that I was given.

Mark Hiddleson 16:41

Yeah, that is a great giveback. And you reminded me when our daughter was born, I chose to stay home on every Friday at work from home and take care of my daughter. And I always hit first I kind of apologized for it. And I was nervous. And I'll never forget. I was on the phone with the project manager happened to be a female, but she was really direct. And she always wanted everything like boom, boom, boom. And she was kind of like us. So I was a little nervous. Like I was on my A game and I'm on the phone and I was changing the diaper. And a baby the baby started crying. And I'm like, Oh, no. And she goes, What's that in the background? Now y'all I got the phone in my ear, and I'm changing the diapers. And I'm thinking, Oh, no, this guy's just gonna hang up. It's over. And she goes, that is amazing. She goes, You're doing all this, you're doing that. And you're changing the diaper at the same time. She goes, I can't believe it. So it was the total opposite of what I thought it was gonna be. Awesome, Nancy, I mean, I think I have the most respect. I was raised. My mom raised me as a single mom. And I have so much respect. And I think there's, you know, if you if you can do that and juggle all those things. I mean, it's a skill. That's just the intangible, you can't even mention how great that is so, so that's awesome that you see it? It's not just, it's an opportunity for them. But it's an opportunity to connect with some really talented people who are raising their families.

Nancy Fateen 18:09

Yes, definitely, there has to definitely be a, an ability to relinquish the idea of perfectionism. Because I always considered myself a perfectionist, and I always wanted to be able to do everything perfectly. And with the balance, you kind of have to have a list of things. Not everything is gonna get done every single day, sometimes the laundry is going to be piled up, but the car is going to be clean. So the work is gonna be off point, but you might not have been to the gym one week, like they're just different. Like you have to kind of be able to let some things go. In order to create that balance. It's not a daily balance. It's a quarterly balance. It's not every day is not a win. But when you add them up over time, and you look at it that way. I might not make a home cooked meal every night. Again, a couple of nights a week. Just kind of being able to offer yourself some advice and realize that it doesn't have to be perfect. You just have to like we said just be doing your best.

Mark Hiddleson 19:06

Yeah, doing your best. There's a perfectionism is something that I've I've struggled with too. And then you mentioned the health and fitness part and I've always admired you for really and I noticed you have a Zen your zen background with the plant and things like that to make you know some to bring some tranquility to a it's a pretty stressful I mean look at what you're doing and managing 136 permits a one thing that thinking how do you sleep at night.

Nancy Fateen 19:39

What's nice is that again, because that one is kind of a stand on its own. So each of these people are managing their little services when I when I chose to accept the offer to put me into the position of CFO, I had to let go of my baby had to send my baby and put it into somebody else's hands. So now Adrienne and Debbie, who have been my rent And for years, are running that division completely. So they can still obviously ask me for feedback. But now I'm in charge of all four divisions. So I have a Seizmic engineering question. I have this the Submittal Services permit portion, I have the structural support systems verification portion. And I have the SMA, ci testing lab. So all four of those divisions are under my umbrella. Now, so I don't I don't get directly involved in the 130 experiments, I don't even get there. directly involved in the temperament coordinators, I talk to Adrian and Debbie, they let me know if there's an issue that they need help with all, you know, things are going well, I don't hear anything from them, you know. So it's really been that, again, that will be forced to let go and be comfortable delegating and trusting that the people that you have pointed, have trained and that have been there by your side are going to take care of things to the best of their ability, they're going to care about it as if it was their own. That's really all you can do. I can't, I can't do everything. So I have to trust the people around me. So I've built, I've tried to build a really good management team. And one of the first things I did in my role as CEO was bring together all the managers of all the divisions, and let them know that they are my team, that they are the ones I'm counting on to be my eyes and ears around. And to relay whatever messages that I tell they're going to disseminate that information to their team. And they're going to assume more leadership roles. Because I think when we were one size up with a smaller company, now it's about 60 employees, so in size and thinking through our automations. So when it was a smaller company, there was not really a clear division of roles, everyone can have multiple hats. So if I went and told, I can go directly to an engineer and say, Hey, I need you to do this. And then but you're kind of stepping on their supervisors toes, right? Because you'd be the one to tell them that they know what the workload looks like. And then the supervisor goes to ask them to do something, and they say, Oh, I can't maths here. And he asked me to do something else. Like that's, it diminishes the respect, you know, and it also lends itself to a lot of confusion when they don't know who they're supposed to be listening to which test am I supposed to prioritize? So I tried to empower my management staff and say, I'm only going to go to you guys, you guys are gonna go to everybody else. If I have an issue or a problem with one of your staff, I'm not gonna go directly to them, I'm gonna come to you and expect you to know. So I kind of tried to create that. And I feel like a lot of the supervisors and managers have really stepped up as a result of that, you know, I know that a lot of them were put into the role of manager because they have been there the longest, or because they were really good at their job. But they were never actually given any formal management or leadership training, or told what the expectation is of them as a leader, as a supervisor, as a manager, so that I had that worker workshop that we took to and back in January is how to manage and lead people of what it means to be a supervisor. That was nice.

Mark Hiddleson 22:48

Yeah. And so that's, uh, you know, that reminds me of the that's part of the evolution of going from from when it was Seizmic free nets. The Nancy pre-Seizmic and South Seizmic. Yeah. That's, that's one of the differences. And what else besides, you know, how, and you have some people I mean, it's incredible. I mean, is Danny Medina on one on one of those teams?

Nancy Fateen 23:15

Danny Medina is Yeah, he is the director of manufacturing. So here's me as one of my most important teammates ever, my biggest challenge is my work and if I'm steering the ship in the wrong direction, help me because he's been here as long as I have. He's watched me.

Mark Hiddleson 23:35

In 1998, I started working with Danny and that was when he was with a company called Rack and Roll. Like, why didn't I call my company but he taught me so much about this business, he really put my career on kind of the vertical path. And that's, that's one of the ways I built my career is through relationships with vendors. And Danny just, I mean, he didn't have to, but it was kind of like that big brother. He was like, Look, I was young. And he goes, Look, you're eager. You want to do all this stuff. But let me teach you how to do this right and selling systems. You know, anybody can kind of sell pallet rack is uprights and beams and wire decks. But Danny taught me about like drive in rack push back rack. We even did some cool like Rack and Roll, it could do anything. We built these terrible carts that were pulled behind the trailer. So but Danny, he's super talented. He's a great and you have I mean size, but you could probably list 10 people that have that breadth of experience. 20 plus years experience. And

Nancy Fateen 24:40

that's it. It's a great team. Great team here. We I can't say enough good things about them and how we'll work together. But definitely we're evolving. We're getting a little more comfortable and being considered a medium sized company instead of a small family business. So while that's not necessarily something that Sal wanted to do. It's something that I found necessary to do to kind of dial things in, get a dedicated human resources department going, formalize things a little bit more just to protect ourselves to sow can have tend to have this mindset of like, why do I care, I'm gonna be gone in 10 years anyway, I care, because there has to be a Seizmic that exists after Sal. You know, I mean, that's my that's one of my biggest fears is a maintaining his legacy and keeping things going as well as if not better than what he created. But also the fact that half the people that come to us come to us because they love Sal, and they trust Sal, they know that his knowledge and his expertise, I need them to know that there is still a Sal like, underneath all of that that is still sustainable in that we're not going to retire with and

Mark Hiddleson 25:46

Yeah, exactly.

Nancy Fateen 25:48

It reminds me of people counting on we can keep it going.

Mark Hiddleson 25:52

Yeah, we're gonna keep it going. And, and you're a great example, our kids have started working with us and I love generational businesses. And there's a few others that have known and you know, there's a right way to do it. I think in some people look at the generational business, and they say the next generation doesn't care as much. But I think you're the opposite. You're like, and I love that I admire you for that. And, and it inspires you know, we we spend some time we do once a year, we get to spend some time mixing a little business with pleasure. And the sizzle, which is coming up. I'm excited about that. I have my reservations. I mean, I'll have my reservations. I have my resume. I have my hotel resume.

Nancy Fateen 26:40

But, uh, so,

Mark Hiddleson 26:42

I mean, share a little about so the sizzle isn't really a it's funny. This is another Ron Mike is thing because he told me he was he was going to the sizzle, we were working on projects. He's like, Well, I'm gonna be I won't be available next week, because I'm going to be at the sizzle. And I'm like, What's the sizzle? What's the sizzle? And he was saying it's a golf tournament. And I said, Well, I've been in golf tournaments. But what I was talking about was like industry golf tournaments, where scramble and you're hitting balls into wading pools.

Nancy Fateen 27:10

But this is not an industry event. And I think that's where a lot of confusion has happened over the years is because Donald has been so involved in the social networking aspect of this industry for so long that most and because his career, his passion, a lot of his close friendships have developed through work. So this is a personal, this is a work of friends. It just so happens that his friends are in the industry. So when people get feelings hurt, that they're not invited to this sizzle, even though we do business with them, it's not a business event, so that they might have had a maybe a MODEX or a heater, and they really hit it off, off. And they're like, come party with us in the desert, we're gonna drink, we're gonna hang up in the pool, we're gonna take off, we're gonna be good. So we're gonna hang out. And it just so happens that people in the industry, but it's not only, like our family comes and people from his country club, or whoever is actually our stuff.

Mark Hiddleson 28:01

Yeah, it really is a great room. And I got into it for all the wrong reasons I've made it. It's like the president of your Norco was was from Pacific, but it is it's friendships and well actually went to the Jazz Festival first isn't really that Sal was wrong, invited us to the Jazz Festival. And then we shared a table we had fun. And

Nancy Fateen 28:27

and you got invited because you were fun. You didn't get invited because of business. How much money you spend at Seizmic. It's about?

Mark Hiddleson 28:40

Yeah. It's a beautiful group of people. And it's, it's really fun to be involved in it. And it is. It is mixing business with pleasure. But you're right. It's more friendships than anything. It's based around

Nancy Fateen 28:54

business out there. And I think this is our 31st year doing it. So it's amazing to like some of these people have literally been counting for the whole 31 years or so. And all of my family lives in Egypt. So these are my aunts and uncles, these are my cousins. These are this is our family reunion essentially at this point. Yeah. Yeah, sort of route are now 17 and 15. And I told him, that the option if they don't want to go, they want to go.

Mark Hiddleson 29:18

They love it. Yeah. And it's a it's just really well done. It's a lot of fun that people are fun. So let's talk a little bit about my heater and MHI I know that Sal's always been really involved in it. And then the events are ProMat and MODEX are the ones that I've attended. So I was curious, I really wanted to ask you, when you go to those events, you know, when I go I'm looking for new clients, I'm looking for the latest, like I want to know what's the latest that's going on in the industry, even if we're not involved in it. I mean, we're not selling robots. We're not doing super automation. We're just kind of the plain Jane racking and systems but what what when you go to an event like ProMat or MODEX? What are you like? What are you? What are you? What's your goal? What's your?

Nancy Fateen 30:06

Well, we don't have any, we obviously don't have any booths. We don't have anything that sounds Seizmic has never spent $1 on advertising, we are business strictly by word of mouth. But we, when we go to those events, it's an opportunity for us to see all of our customers, we can go and physically meet them and go by on with them and shake hands with them. And a lot of times people requesting the 15 minutes sit down on an hour, we sit down and have lunch together and talk about upcoming projects, or it's just one of it's nice to be able to do that face to face stuff. And especially now after the last couple of years of being so separated from all of that, but everybody, and that's really why we go we go for the degree the meet and greets. They're never like, what somebody will email me and say, oh, yeah, that's how I went about it. When do you have time for a sit down. And so I'm going to charge a calendar of events in between all 5 million workshops and things that I want to go to sales tool for the workshops, because I don't need to hear any of that stuff. But I like to go and learn and reveal people. So he wants to just go and see all of his old friends, familiar faces, shake hands and meet their customers to you know, if you're going by a booth and you'd bring Sal with the team with you. It's impressive. This is my engineer. Yeah, he's a celebrity. It really is fun knowing and walking with him because you can go 10 steps without somebody going to shake his hand and he might have no idea who they are. But they know who he is. Everybody knows.

Mark Hiddleson 31:29

Yeah, it's true. It's true. And, and he's involved in MHI, right?

Nancy Fateen 31:36

He's, yeah, he's on the board. He's on the board. Yeah, on the board, because some of their district meetings, and he sits on all the advisory committees. And they I mean, he's a wealth of knowledge, I told him actually, that he should, he should have a podcast or a YouTube channel or something like we can't let them just keep all that information to themselves, even the interns that I'm teaching. So Michael had expressed, Michael is my son, he told me that he expressed interest in working for Submittal Services or starting your training there. So he had some of his friends that just graduated, started an internship and I kind of developed a classroom protocol for them since they're coming straight from school and, and that works nice. And next week, we're gonna have a guest lecture Sal Fateen is coming in, and he's gonna teach you the basics of material handling, he's gonna teach you what a storage rack is, what a conveyor is, what the platform is, you know, and kind of go through the fundamentals of it. Because you got to remember, like, we've been doing this stuff for so long that we forget that this is a foreign language to some people, you know, trying to get them to go, oh, you know, the stuff that's in Costco or in Home Depot, or in Bed, Bath and Beyond, or and target all of that stuff. Oh, wow, really, all of that stuff, just to get someone to come in and teach them from his his words. Country?

Mark Hiddleson 32:45

Can I sign up for that workshop? Yeah, yeah. And I would love to host Sal on here, I'm gonna have to go to the country club to get it. But I really wanted

Nancy Fateen 33:03

to do, you can get him.

Mark Hiddleson 33:06

Maybe I'll ask him next week. And when I see

Nancy Fateen 33:09

what isn't good, what he's in good spirits.

Mark Hiddleson 33:15

Yeah, well, I definitely want to have you on first because we've we've developed a working relationship over the years. You're the one when I didn't know if I wanted to bring this up. But it's all about relationships. And I remember one time we were in a heated deal it permit was taking forever, it was Southern California, which those always seemed to have the most hair on them. And we weren't, we had a customer was holding quite a bit of money. And our engineer wasn't giving me good communication. And so I kind of faced I never like to go over somebody's head, but our in house person wasn't doing it. And so I was talking to you talking to him, and then I sent a text to him, and I accidentally sent it to you. And then I was reading like, oh, no, Nancy, and I was like, I called you I called you on the phone. You're like, yeah, I was gonna kick your butt. I think

Nancy Fateen 34:09

restraint is really important at this job. Very easily. So it's similar. But I'm trying to be professional. I'm really okay. Let me give you the benefit of the doubt.

Mark Hiddleson 34:22

The moral of the story for me is I looked at it, and it was a checkup for me because I said, Well, I would never send this to Nancy, but I probably shouldn't send this to anybody, you know, but I was just venting. So I ended up calling that individual I'm not gonna say the name because we still work with him. And he's great. But I you know, I kind of over I was under a lot of pressure. It was money, and I kind of did something when I looked, I was like, Well, I'm not gonna send that text to Nancy. I shouldn't send it to anybody either. So it was, but things do get heated.

Nancy Fateen 34:55

It's stressful. There are lots of deadlines, and every day that passes is mine. In the past, and that's what actually that was one of our lessons yesterday with, with the boys with the insurance was they sent this love, what do you do if a customer needs something quicker than you're able to get it as well, you know if they have money, like usually you have one resource of money or you have time, so you can often expedite things with the city. Which do you have more of? Honestly, that's a good lesson in life, like because you can outsource a lot of other things you have done, oh, I don't have time to wash my car, okay, I'm gonna pay for it to get my house, I'm gonna pay for it to get done. It's time or money. That's the most like limited source resources, and you have to pick and choose. And that's how you create that work life balance. I knew very early on that I didn't want to spend my limited time scrubbing my toilets. So I made the effort to hire a housekeeper. That was not somebody that was gonna fit into my work life balance.

Mark Hiddleson 35:51

Yeah, yeah. I've tried to do that, actually. And it's really super hard work. It takes a long time. Yeah, yeah.

Nancy Fateen 36:00

If I if I know that my limited. My free time is two hours in a day after school after America. cranking out after making dinner for the kids after having dinner with the kids than two hours, it's definitely not going to be that quick.

Mark Hiddleson 36:14

So so we're kind of we're we're winding down. It's been great. And I wanted to ask you, you keep health and fitness is a really high priority. Even with all of this stuff going on, you're you're keeping your health as a top priority. And I admire you in that. The other day, actually, I was leaving, I didn't have a regular water, saying and all I had was this big gallon jug of water. And I didn't go I'm gonna be nasty. So I just had this big gallon, and I know what it contained today. And I just

Nancy Fateen 36:52

because the gods 10 pounds, they can carry the rest of the switch arms.

Mark Hiddleson 36:57

Yeah. When I saw you carrying that thing, I thought, man, is she planning a trip into the Mojave Desert this weekend?

Nancy Fateen 37:04

No, I was doing a 7500 mental challenge, which is a physical challenge, but it's for mental toughness. So it's 75 days of working out twice a day, 245 minute workouts, one of them has to be outside, eating clean. No alcohol, can a gallon of water, reading 10 pages of self development book every day, taking a progress picture every day. What else there's maybe that's it? Yeah, there's five, five tasks. Those are the things but identity may lead to the 75 days, it definitely was more than just about weight loss or sickness or anything like that. It really does make you tougher, because there are so many times that you want to be like, Oh, I don't want to do that, you know, oh, my gosh, I have to do this gallon of water or I'm too tired to do my reading. And you just have to get through it. And I finished so many good books. And that's one habit that even after the challenge ended, I didn't let go that just keeps my nightly reading. There's so much better than just watching TV. The mindlessness that night. It's not just reading fiction, it's reading a book that's gonna help you as a boss, as a leader, as a mom, as a friend. And as an individual Hunter. price to pay big rewards.

Mark Hiddleson 38:13

Yeah, I love that. I love that I'm a huge reader too. And I've read something recently that they've done studies that the effects on your brain as I meditate, I know you're a meditator to what I call meditation, it could be walking, could be yoga, it could be could be strength training,

Nancy Fateen 38:30

stretching, after my workout, I get used to the meditative

Mark Hiddleson 38:35

but they say reading has some of the same effects on your brain as like transcendental meditation or mindfulness meditation. So yeah, thank you for sharing. I knew. And if I didn't ask you, but I could tell you, we're in the middle of something. And I also thought maybe it had to do with you taking over your new role because like, you're like, I'm taking on more stress, I'm taking on more opportunities. So You Want to Build Your Capacity for handling all that.

Nancy Fateen 39:02

I mean, you want to appear to be a strong leader inside and out, you know, and so I feel like it kind of makes me a role model like now. There's 60 pairs of eyes on me at all times. So I tried to start implementing a wellness program like encouraging people to work out one, somebody put in the suggestion box that they want to like buy lunch trucks. I like him, but I'm not going to bring a roach coach, I can find a healthy lunch truck that will come by with sandwiches and wraps and salads and things like that than other options, but we're not going to do greasy cheeseburgers and breakfast burritos. Sorry, you can drive to get that was convenient for you. Just trying to help people help themselves. healthy employees tend to be around for a lot longer.

Mark Hiddleson 39:42

It is it's gonna be a better, better workforce better problem solvers. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. So what are you listen to the podcast? Do you have a favorite podcast?

Nancy Fateen 39:55

I have a couple of favorite podcasts. The Transformational Leadership is a really good one. staff. Now when they talk, they talk to leaders in their industry leaders of companies and things like that they give a lot of good management advice and dealing with emotional intelligence and how we have to evolve as leaders, not just think of the bottom line, think of the people, you know, and how to deal with the new issues or challenges that come up that maybe we didn't have to deal with as managers 20 years ago. And I really like referring to it as leadership instead of management. You know, I have to consider myself a leader and that goes so much beyond just telling people what to do or signing the checks.

Mark Hiddleson 40:31

Yeah, I love the word I've used it served for 20 years instead of managing your time is lead your life. So substituting that managing your time is your managing that limited commodity but leading your life is what you've it's exactly what led your life. And, and you've squeezed a lot in there. Well, NASA has been a pleasure. We've been talking with Nancy for 18 supermom, founder of Submittal Services and CEO of Seizmic Inc. and Nancy, this has been a huge pleasure. I can't say how much I want to be the first to thank you for coming on.

Nancy Fateen 41:14

Thank you. My family has a lot of fun.

Mark Hiddleson 41:16

Yeah, this was a blast.

Outro 41:18

Thanks for listening to The Tao of Pizza Podcast. We'll see you again next time and be sure to click Subscribe to get future episodes.


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