EJ TODAA: The Importance of First Impression

Importance of First Impression

Business Development Manager, EJ Wilson, recently joined Draper Aden’s Business Development team. In this role, he will be empowered to live out the DAA mission by making a Lasting Positive Impact on those he will serve and to generate an awareness of DAA’s presence in the NC region. EJ is a UNC Tarheel graduate and is no stranger to the field. Throughout college, he was one of UNC’s best football players and was drafted into the NFL in 2010 by the Seattle Seahawks. He later played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With a professional background in Athletics, Sales and Business Development, we believe EJ has the qualities that will connect with leaders in market sectors we wish to grow. He has demonstrated throughout his athletic and professional career a commitment and responsibility to his teammates, clients, and leaders through genuine respect and dedication to his role. Likewise, these are qualities DAA is known for in the communities we serve. Continue reading to learn more about the importance of the first impression when speaking with potential clients.


In this series, EJ TODAA, we will feature EJ’s insights and experiences as he gets acclimated to his new role. These featured articles are paramount to those who shall follow in EJ’s footsteps when joining Draper Aden’s Business Development Team. You can learn more about EJ in his Employee Spotlight feature. 


EJ WilsonThe Importance of First Impression
By EJ Wilson


I had the opportunity of attending my first of many client meetings with Ken Piazza, Chief Operating Officer and Jeff Nelson, Business Development Manager, both exceptional DAA leaders whom I am very excited to learn from. The meeting was held with a local association to discuss the installation of two mini pitches to its existing field complex. I used the ride to the meeting as an opportunity to pick the brains of both Ken and Jeff. Jeff explained to me the different approaches to designing and building sports facilities. Jeff told me that the client could choose to go through a design-build bidding process, a design-build process with a construction manager involved, or a basic design-build process where the architect and contractor work together through the planning process of the facility.


When we arrived, we met with the Director and Senior Manager of Operations. Ken, like a trusted DAA expert, presented and did a tremendous job explaining to the client the differences between playing surfaces, drainage strategies for the fields, and the different design ideas he has. Ken also assured the client that we are here to help them in any capacity, be it helping with fund-raising, budgeting, or any of their design or engineering needs. He also presented examples of past work we have done and field projects DAA is currently working on.


Before we left, the client expressed how thankful he was for our time and advice, and now has complete confidence that the job can be done in a timely and efficient manner, based on the engineering expertise DAA exemplified during the meeting.


Did DAA create a lasting positive first impression on its potential client? Absolutely. First, we showed up. Secondly, we presented our expertise in this area, assuring them their project is in our league of work. And thirdly, we listened and helped to understand the client’s vision. In order to secure work with potential clients, the first impression can make or break the potential partnership. I am excited to know I have joined a team that represents the importance of first impressions.


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