Every employee here at KEH has a story to tell and it’s our job to share it with you – our customers! We are excited to re-launch KEH Stories, to give you an inside look to learn more about the KEH Camera team. Check out #KEHSpotlight each month where we’ll be showcasing new team members. This month we interviewed our Director of Corporate Purchasing, Justin Goldman.
Hey Justin! Thanks for agreeing to share your background with our amazing KEH customers. To begin, please tell us a little about yourself.
Well let’s see here. I’ve never been a huge fan of talking about myself, but here goes. Born and raised in the greater Philadelphia area, however I live in ATL now. I’ve got the best wife, family, and friends all over the world, so I truly love the company I keep. Got a super cool beagle named Dagny and a rad cat named Phil. I’m constantly in learning and discovery mode with open eyes and ears, hoping to absorb life's knowledge, and try to contribute kind - and sometimes creative - things to this world. Cameras and music (guitars, drums, records, etc.) keep me quite busy and I truly love what I do.
How long have you been a KEH employee & how did your KEH story begin?
I started at KEH July 9th 2016, so this coming July I will have been with KEH for a full 2 years. My story began in 2008 when I started working for our current CEO, Joe Castiglione, who was then in the wireless industry in the great Orlando,FL area. Soon after, I would start my own wireless repair/used phone business in 2009, opening up a total of 3 locations in Florida. In March of 2016 Joe gave me a call and we discussed his new role as KEH Camera’s CEO where we then decided there were some truly exciting opportunities for us to work together again on the same team. I was also quite involved in the music business at the time and had a European tour booked for April that I was embarking on; however, as soon as I got back in early May, I was on a plane to Atlanta for my first interview and the rest is history.
What is your role (s) here at KEH?
I am the department lead for Corporate Purchasing and our B2B road purchasing team. That’s a fancy way of saying I oversee all purchases that are not initiated on our website, domestically and internationally. We go on treasure hunts all over the world and it’s pretty awesome.
What's special about the customer experience at KEH? How does your position allow you to understand and reach our customer base?
I’d say what’s special to me is the people you meet on the road and on the phone. I’ve learned so much from our clients and we have some of the most interesting and friendly customers in the world. I feel extremely fortunate to, at times, be able to sit at a collector’s dinner table on occasion and hear the story behind the gear we are purchasing which also leads to learning about their life, their story, their culture, and what makes them so passionate about photography and the gear they are using to capture life.
What excites you most about working at KEH? Why is KEH a great place to work?
Easiest question to answer so far! I truly love the people we have on our team at KEH. Coming to work everyday knowing that everyone in the building is so passionate about photography and gear gives us all a sense of comfort.
How does your role at KEH help support our vision/mission?
Going out on “treasure hunts” to bring in tons of used gear is a huge part of our mission. Why is it so important? It allows gear to be purchased by KEH and put into the hands of a new user who will love it again. The majority of clients I work with are/were professional artists and they would much rather see their used equipment be given new life by a new user versus just letting it go where it may end up in a landfill.
Though you’re not a professional photographer, you know A LOT about cameras. What is your favorite type of camera? If you could have any camera what would you choose?
Eh, pass too many to choose from! However, I recently got my hands on a Yashica T4 Super and I am having tons of fun shooting street and bands with it. Just a really fun and unique 35mm point and shoot with Zeiss glass on it that’s super easy to use, but also takes some really cool shots.
Here’s a fun question, if you could BE any camera. What would you be and why?
Easy! I’d like to be a Nikon FM2 being used from 1980-84 by a rock n’ roll photographer who spent a lot of time at CBGB so I could have captured, The Ramones, The Clash, Bad Brains, Lou Reed, The Beastie Boys, and many, many other wild things that happened there.
Do you have other special talents or hobbies?
Haha! I knew you were gonna ask me about this. So, I grew up with a father who was a full-time musician for a long, long time. I’ve been around live music since I was about 5 years old. My dad is a ridiculous drummer and amazing vocalist, so naturally, I followed him around everywhere and tried to learn as much as I could from him… and I still do. That being said, I play the drums, guitar, a little piano, and I sing. I currently play in a band that some would say is sort of punk rock and in another life I may have traveled the USA and the world a good bit doing it. I also collect records at an alarming rate! We have a family budget my wife put together and we included a monthly budget for records, because adulting can be fun sometimes!
A quote/saying you live by?
I never lose. I either win or I learn. - Nelson Mandela