Learn more about UPL Aquatics’ newest team member, Sam Sardes, UPL Aquatic Territory Manager, East Coast.
Q: What territory/region do you cover?
A: I work with customers from Florida to Maine. In Florida and Georgia, I focus on the commercial applicator accounts; while my teammate Dean Jones works with governmental accounts.
Q: How long have you been with UPL?
A: I joined UPL in October 2022 but have wanted to be a part of the team since 2015. It’s actually why I went to grad school. UPL’s Aquatics Division has a portfolio that I believe in from both a technical and a scientific aspect. UPL has a reputation for providing a straight-forward approach to business.
Q: Tell us about your past work experiences?
A: I’ve been part of a majority of the end-user roles, from laboratory technician to commercial applications manager, and even managed a fleet of airboats for application. After attending the University of Florida graduate school for aquatic weed science, I spent some time as the weed science and lab director for a major national lake management company before joining UPL.
Q: What is the top question that you hear from customers?
A: The most common question is: “How do I manage _______? (Name your target weed or algae.)”
My favorite part of this job is problem-solving with our customers. Whether joining the customer in the field or in a virtual consultation, I really value being able to help customers identify problems and create a plan to address that issue.
Q: How did you get involved in the aquatics industry?
A: I have a major fear of flying bugs. During undergraduate college, my teacher, who was also an entomologist, recommended an internship with USDA. While I didn’t enjoy the bugs, I fell in love with aquatic plants. I paired that love with chemistry and found aquatic weed management.
Q: What (professional or personal) goals do you hope to reach in the next 5 years?
A: I’ve done a lot of other roles in aquatics, and this is my first sales territory job. My number one goal for this first year is to get as much face time with people as possible, so I’ve been attending as many conferences and field work as I can to understand the needs of each state and region. My five year goal is to master being a great territory manager, and then see what happens next.
Q: What hobbies or other interests would you like to share?
A: I’m a true scientist at heart. I have my own collection of algae samples and microscopes. I’m also a novice mountain climber and an avid reader.