Faces of Lubricants: David Smith

Dec 02, 2020

In 2019, Ingevity expanded its lubricants distribution partnership with Sea-Land Chemical Company into Western Europe. Through this expansion, Business Manager David Smith worked with our team to leverage Sea-Land Chemical Europe’s global technical sales and marketing network to maximize sales of Ingevity’s lubricant products into the Western European market. Currently, David helps increase the availability of Ingevity’s Diacid 1550™, Altapyne® L-1, Altapyne L-5 and Altapyne D 25-30 products in Europe. Growing our partnership with Sea-Land Chemical Company has helped strengthen our commitment to providing value-added products and innovation to our customers. Get to know one of our distributor representatives who has helped grow our presence in Europe over the last year.

How did you get your start in the chemical industry?

About 20 years ago, I was working as a packaging buyer in the personal care industry and was asked to look at the amount of money being spent on chemical raw materials. Since then, I took my first steps into the chemical industry and never looked back. I started in purchasing in personal care and then transitioned to metalworking fluids. Eventually, I took the giant leap over to the ‘dark side’ of sales selling oleo chemicals and found my way to chemical distribution with Sea-Land Chemical Europe Ltd. in April 2018.

What behavior or personality trait do you most attribute your success to, and why?

My relative success is likely due primarily to my interest in people. I just enjoy getting to know people and will talk to anyone.  The old adage of two ears and one mouth – listen more than you talk – is certainly good advice in our industry. There are so many knowledgeable and experienced people to learn from if we take the time to identify these people and make the effort to engage with them.

What is Sea-Land Chemical Europe Ltd.’s relationship with Ingevity? 

Sea-Land Chemical Europe Ltd. was appointed as Ingevity’s pan European distributor (excluding Germany) in Q4 2019. We were brought on help sell and market three core product lines in the industrial lubricants sector – Diacid 1550™, Altapyne® D25-30 (DTO) and Altapyne L1 and L5 (TOFA).

Where does Sea-Land Chemical Company Global support Ingevity?

Sea-Land supports Ingevity in Europe, Canada and the U.S. If we have opportunities in Mexico, we discuss them on a case-by-case basis. Sea-Land has supported Ingevity with distribution efforts in North America since 2014.

What’s an Ingevity-related accomplishment that you’re really proud of?

My contacts at Ingevity are exceptional – knowledgeable, responsive, supportive and also great fun!  So I have the perfect foundation to work from.  Subsequently, I’m delighted with the speed at which we gained traction for the Ingevity products in the European market. We quickly established a core customer base for their products, which we continue to build on each month.

What’s your go-to productivity trick?

Exercise and music!  It’s proven all over the world. ‘Healthy body/healthy mind’. Think about how your mood changes when your favorite song comes on the radio. Get the endorphins flowing with a good workout and you’ll always get that ‘feel good factor’ afterward, which generates positive thoughts and feelings.

Among your friends or family, what are you famous for?

I have a few characteristics I am known for, including:

  • I’m most famous for being 2M tall – “the tall gangly man” as I was once described.
  • I like to win any sporting event, which I think people may have noticed, and certainly at home. I even race the dog! It’s not good, but I can’t help it!
  • I also like things to be ‘done properly’.  I think it stems from my engineering days and the apprentice training school, where substandard work was, shall we say ‘sent for recycling.’
  • My colleagues also know I have a deep affinity for chocolates and sweets!

If you could choose a superpower, what would it be?

I’m not sure if you would classify it as a superpower, but I often think how great it would be to produce food and drink on demand. Not only to make up for my own lack of culinary skills, but also to help the folks around the world who are hungry and thirsty. It’s pretty simple really, without fuel things can’t function, and it’s the same with people – without food and drink they can’t even get started in life. I’d like to resolve that situation.

What is something people would be surprised to know about you (or do you have a hidden talent)?  

I’m a very open book, so there isn’t much people don’t know. I’ve played Division 1 national league volleyball and completed a few challenging events including a 100km race and the New York Marathon.

What would we most likely find you doing on the weekend?

Weekends are generally committed to the family – I have a wife, two daughters, a son and dog. We spend our days walking/hiking/cycling or taking the kids to their various activities – dancing, netball, cricket, etc. If there’s time, I enjoy a game of soccer, squash or tennis. I also like to take on DIY projects with varying degrees of success!