Since 1986, Martin Moore, or better known as Marty, our President, has been leading a hallmark career here at Watson Gloves; this year caps off 34 years for him! He’ll be transitioning to the Chairman and CEO position while he passes the torch to Kasey Whitman, who will become our next President. Before this big transition, we sat down with Marty for a little Q&A on his very big career.
Marty and Michele Moore in front of a Watson Gloves truck
Graham Kerr, Marty Moore, Barrie Moore & Bruce Dally in front of the old Vancouver office
Unofficially, you’ve started as a tagger when you were a kid tagging gloves for your dad, but if we were to go by the books, your first official role at Watson Gloves was as a Shipper in 1986. What were your initial thoughts starting your career at Watson Gloves? Did you anticipate taking over the company from your dad, who was the former president of Watson Gloves?
No, not at all in the beginning. I was doing full-time delivery, following Bruce Dally, our current VP Key Account Sales, to set up glove racks at gas stations and stores. It wasn’t until 4-5 years after when I got into Purchasing under the mentorship of Don Fedorak that I decided a career path to become President at Watson Gloves was for me. Even then, my dad was completely hands-off. He stepped away and entrusted me to be trained and taught by Bruce and Don.
Before becoming President in 1997, you took on various roles, such as a Driver, Sales Representative and Import Purchaser. How would you attribute your experiences in those roles to your success as a President?
I understood that outstanding customer service, exceptional quality and dedication to your employees always win at the end of the day and those were the values I brought into my presidency.
While you spent 11 years working before becoming President, you spent a greater 23 years as the President. Over these past two decades, you’ve contributed a huge amount to the growth and success of Watson Gloves, as witnessed by where we are right now. What were some big milestones you’ve achieved during your time as President?
Looking back, one of my biggest accomplishments is providing the autonomy to our well-oiled, successful leadership team and not question what they do and how they do it. I’ve always had faith in the leadership team’s capabilities to lead our teams and execute on our strategies, which has helped us grow to achieve the success that we have.
Another accomplishment I’m proud of is expanding the number of overseas suppliers and developing strong working relationships with them. That goes the same with building a strong bond with our unionized employees in the factory. I put a lot of emphasis on treating people fairly with respect and trust. In return, we have happy suppliers and employees that work with us.
I’m also proud of our product innovation, commitment to continuous improvement and our work hard, play hard culture. Building a mindset around these values truly solidified Watson Gloves as Canada’s single source for hand protection at work, at home, and at play.
You picked up the mantle as President from your father, Barrie Moore. What influences did he have on the way you led the company? And how is your leadership style and approach different from his?
Barrie Moore and Marty Moore in front of the Burnaby office before it was built
I like to say that I’m a hybrid between my grandfather and dad. My dad always embraced the loyalty of his staff, the fun of Watson Gloves, and the culture within the company. He also liked taking chances, being innovative and not being afraid to fail. My grandfather on the other hand was a stickler with quality and was more fiscally responsible. I think it’s pretty accurate to say I’m a good mix of both of them.
What does the Watson brand mean to you?
Quality, culture, longevity and sustainability. This brand is also the people that makes up the Watson Family. It’s a family and team of coworkers who support each other throughout every level of the business.
The Watson Family in front of the Burnaby office
What are you most proud of?
Three things. 1) the average tenure for employees at Watson Gloves, which is 9 years, 2) achieving high growth with low turn-over, and 3) the dedication of our staff. I think these 3 things are plenty of reasons why I’m proud of our company.
After a long legacy of the Moore’s family, we’re seeing the torch passed down to Kasey Whitman as the new President, who’s outside of the Moore’s family. What are your thoughts in choosing Kasey as your successor and new President of Watson Gloves?
Kasey is just a natural fit, even back when he was still in Calgary. Kasey and I basically read each other’s minds. When he says something, I would say, “I was just going to say the same thing!” We think identically on product, customers, and staff. Pretty much on all facets of the organization. Come to think about it… it’s actually kind of weird… in a good way, of course.
Kasey also has excellent national leadership qualities, as he has built solid relationships with all of our staff, as well as at all levels with our customers. When I saw all of this, there was no doubt about it. I knew choosing Kasey was the right choice.
Kasey Whitman with Marty Moore
When promoted to President, Barrie said to you, “Don’t put it in the ditch, kid.” Any words or advice you’d like to share with Kasey?
Well, it’s a long ways from the ditch now, I’ll tell you that much!
My advice to Kasey is be like an orchestra conductor. You have different sections of the orchestra – the drums, strings, brass, wood instruments. Your job is to stand up on the podium and make sure all sections make beautiful music. If one area of the symphony falters, the overall sound won’t be as good. All parts must be working in tune together to make something great.
And there you have it! A long legacy as President, but his work is not done here! Marty will be the new Chairman and CEO of Watson Gloves and passing the President reins to our Vice President, Kasey. We’re excited to have Kasey take the company to new ventures in the future. You can check out our Q&A with our new Watson Gloves’ President, Kasey Whitman.
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