Profiles on emerging young professionals in the local housing industry
Online only: Read more from our interview with Rodrigo Sena
Rodrigo Sena, Cape Cod Marble & Granite
Walking through the Cape Cod Marble & Granite showroom in Hyannis, sales manager Rodrigo Sena points out the strikingly textured surface of a piece of granite, noting that “the energy” of the stone is tangible. Through their multifaceted surfaces, such naturally crafted stones each tell a story of how they took shape. Sena’s story starts in his native Brazil, where he lived until 2001. At just 16 years old, Sena moved to Cape Cod—by himself—eventually joining Cape Cod Marble & Granite in 2012 as a salesman. After his first year with the company, the now 33-year-old became sales manager of the largest stone fabricator on the Cape.
CCH: How were you able to rise in the ranks at Cape Cod Marble & Granite in such a short period of time?
RS: By doing a good job—and doing things right. That’s the key to success. I run this business as if I were the owner, not as just an employee. My goal is to make sure everything is done right. We’re not only selling our customers a countertop; we’re selling them the experience of having stone in their house, so I always make sure our customers get the best.
CCH: With the vast selection of stones you offer, I imagine it could get overwhelming for people to choose the right stone. How do you guide your customers through the stone selection process?
RS: When someone walks in here, my number one goal is to make sure that customer knows what they’re buying and that they’re buying good, quality material. I’m not just a salesperson—I like to educate people. So first I educate them on what natural stone is and help them find out if a material is right for them. Then we move on to colors and the process of fabrication and installation. We do everything: all of the measurements, the fabrication, and the installation.
CCH: Are you noticing any current trends with stones?
RS: Everybody’s going for quartz. I love natural stone because of the beauty of each slab, but at the same time I’ll suggest quartz. People want that marble look. Marble is very soft and is easily stained and scratched, so we don’t recommend marble for kitchen countertops. Quartz imitates the marble look and is maintenance-free, and it’s super high quality. Color-wise, everybody wants those gray-ish colors. Believe it or not, I think we’ll eventually go back to golds.
CCH: How do you think your company has become the leader that it is today in stone fabrication on the Cape?
RS: My boss always says, “We only have one shot, and we have to get it right.” We have to deliver what we promise, and by doing so has made Cape Cod Marble & Granite one of the top companies here. We treat you how we treat ourselves.
CCH: What does it mean to you to be a leader not only in the local building industry but also within the Brazilian community here?
RS: I feel very grateful. We work with some of the largest contractors on Cape Cod and the Islands, and I feel so proud when those contractors call to ask me for referrals for Brazilian workers. You see the work ethic on their faces, and I feel proud to be a part of this community.
CCH: How important are your relationships with the contractors you work with?
RS: If the customer’s not happy, then nobody’s happy, so just like with our customers, we make sure we always do right by our contractors. And it’s always good to be on a team of winners, and they’re all winners.
CCH: You’re now on the board of directors for Cape Cod Young Professionals (CCYP). How did you come to be involved with CCYP, and why were you drawn to the organization?
RS: I got involved about two years ago [through the Mentor Exchange program], and after one year they invited me to be on the board of directors. I saw how much effort this organization and the people that work there put into helping the professional community on Cape Cod, so I wanted to help them, not just for myself but for others. It’s so good for us to have an organization like this that’s working for the future of other people, for the future of Cape Cod.
CCH: What words of advice do you have for fellow young professionals looking to succeed in the local home building and design industry?
RS: Always do right the first time, and always deliver more than you promised. Give the customer what you promised, and always give a little bit extra to make them happy. I think that can bring anyone from zero to the top of the top.