Hard work. Dedication. Persistence. Pivoting with the times. All concepts that Headmaster Taylor highlights when speaking of the traits of a 21st-century leader, and coincidentally, all characteristics that are embraced and made manifest in the career of Nick Fernandez ’98. Nick is the founder and owner of Servex-US, a 14-year old company that helps businesses and manufacturers digitize their products into electronic catalogs and market them through use of electronic space planning, digital renderings and, most recently, virtual reality.
“The business grew out of my background in furniture manufacturing. My family has been in that industry for 50 years and I spent a year after college working in all facets of it. I noticed the inordinate amount of time that was wasted going back and forth on space planning issues, and I saw an opportunity to innovate,” Nick comments. The result was a novel, graphic design-based company that in the beginning only had two employees — Nick and a designer.
“There was a lot of trial and error over the years, and just pure grit and grind. I was working 15-hour days, making 150 cold calls each day seeking clients! The recession hit us hard and I had to lay off half of my employees. Luckily, we had started the process of diversifying into areas other than space planning and design.”
This new direction would prove profitable: Nick and his team began landing many accounts designing digital renderings and creating eCatalogs for manufacturers in various industries around the globe. Since 2008, the company has grown to employ 40 people worldwide, with Nick overseeing operations from his office in Manhattan. Their most recent pivot is into the world of virtual reality, utilizing that technology to help companies plan (or show off!) spaces.
“I made the decision early-on that failure was not an option,” Nick said. “Once you set your mind upon success, the right people, opportunities, and experiences come into your life.”
When asked how his time at Trinity-Pawling helped shape his future, Nick comments, “At Trinity-Pawling, I learned how to learn. I struggled with dyslexia growing up, but the School helped me focus and set me on a path to achieve. Additionally, the opportunity to interact with faculty, staff, and students in a structured educational setting laid the groundwork for my ability to communicate effectively with both clients and employees, and to land accounts!”
If the past 14 years are any indication, Nick and Servex-US are poised to experience a lot more of that success!