This month our Employee Spotlight shines on one of our superstars – Michael “Gabby” Gabhart. Gabby was the recipient of the Mike Fischer Award at Unified’s 2015 Awards banquet. The Mike Fischer Award is given to the employee who has gone above and beyond to keep Unified at the leading edge of the industry. Mike not only exceeded 2.5 million in sales in 2015, he also created the concept today known as Unified’s ‘Managed Services’ offering and developed a new partnering strategy to grow the business in 2016. The Managed Services offering alone has added over 40 new customers to Unified since it began late last year. Gabby, is key to the growth and future plans of Unified.
In his own words, Mike tells us a little more about himself. His passion for what he does at Unified and in the other areas of his life are apparent in his replies to these questions.
Tell us a little bit about the type of work you do at Unified Technologies–
I am in account management and new business development for Unified Technologies. I cultivate and develop important strategic relationships that empower our unique process and results in establishing successful business partnerships. I also participate and lead a small business development team that generates nearly 40% of our annual sales revenue for the company. I’m known to challenge the status quo and always look for ways to further improve the superior experience we already deliver to our customers.
List out a few of your job responsibilities.
Build new relationships, nurture and develop strategic partnerships, listen actively and empathetically, solve problems creatively, team development, stay educated on changing technology, coordinate resources, etc.
When you aren’t at work, what keeps you busy?
The three ladies in my life are my top focus away from work. My wife, Heather, and daughters, Georgia and Lucy, are the loves of my life. I do some volunteer work with my National Fraternity, Phi Kappa Tau, as a regional volunteer and I’m a huge baseball nut.
Have you always been in this industry? If not, what brought you where you are today?
I’ve been in the telecom industry for 12 years now, starting in September of 2004. Before that, I worked for my National Fraternity and Foundation in Oxford, OH. While in Ohio I completed my human resource development degree at Xavier University and wanted to move from non-profit to for-profit consulting. After spending time with another one of our sales reps, Jeff Welton, at a golf outing, he introduced me to Scott Diamond. The three of us all had attended Georgetown College, played baseball and were in the same Fraternity. With that many common experiences, Scott decided to give me a chance at a new career path with an exciting, growing company in the changing world of telecom. And, as they say, the rest is history….
What’s one thing you love about what you do for a living?
I love applying technology solutions to solve business problems. I believe technology is only as beneficial as the business benefits and the applications empower. The real trick is to communicate something that’s often very complex but keep it simple and focused on the business need. I love listening to business problems then designing and packaging solutions to solve them.
What do you do for fun or to unwind? (unwind – If you know Gabby, that’s funny)
I am a big baseball guy. You’ll often find me checking out scores on my IPhone or watching The MLB channel. In the “off-season” I enjoy UofL basketball and football. But I really enjoy traveling and going on weekend trips with Heather. At this point in my life I enjoy nothing more than watching my girls do…whatever it is they are doing. It’s important for me to be present in their lives. And right now they are active in dance with Patti Medley’s Studio and are known to frequent a Chick-Fil-A play area.
If you could do one thing for a living that had nothing to do with your current job, what would it be?
If I could have lived the dream of being a major league baseball player, growing up that was always my passion. I played under Coach Bill Miller at PRP High School and then 4 years at Georgetown College. I love the game and even played in a men’s league through my early 30’s. I enjoy what I do so much right now, that it’s hard for me to envision what I would prefer to do differently. I love the challenge of the industry we are in, as frustrating as it can be sometimes. And I love the team we have at Unified.
Is there something fun or interesting that you’d like people to know about you?
As long as we agree that “fun and interesting” is very subjective….. I’ve had the pleasure of participating in a live draft Fantasy Baseball League in a small town outside Pittsburgh, PA every year for the last 16 years. It is the most ridiculous thing I do every year. There are 15 teams in the league and like the Chicago Cubs, 2016 is our year!!!!! In the 15 previous years, we’ve finished second twice but have never won the darn thing!
Favorite food or snack
I’ve recently been diagnosed with a gluten allergy, so this is a little tricky to answer… Since corn tortilla chips are gluten free, I’ve found Mexican food is a staple in my diet….which my friends from college will find hysterical and appropriate. But bourbon is also gluten-free….and fortunately we live in the great state of Kentucky!
Family info – kids, siblings, where are you from, born?
My wife is Heather and she works as a dealer sales rep for Clark County Auto auction. I have two daughters, Georgia (7) and Lucy (4). And I have 2 sisters, Michelle Parker and Ashley Schuette. Michelle lives with her husband Duane and their kids, Destin and Danielle, in Laurel, Mississippi where he is a Church of God Minister. Ashley is a teacher with Bullitt County Public Schools and married her husband Randy this past fall. I always tell people I am from Louisville. And I am VERY proud of my hometown. I’ve lived here most of my life and have watched this city, grow, change and now prosper. Most people probably don’t know I was actually born in Akron, OH. Our family was transferred up there when my Dad worked for BF Goodrich.