Lifelong friends Griffin Forsyth ’15 and Parker Marshall ’15 have teamed up at Black Box Safety Inc. in San Diego, California. Griffin and Parker, both 12-year thrivers and multi-sport athletes at Norfolk Academy, work for the Inside Sales force at Black Box Safety. Griffin, the Vice President of Sales, and Parker, an Inside Sales specialist, work closely with manufacturers to distribute safety equipment including eye, face, head, and respiratory protection, medical supplies, and tactical and hospital equipment. The two primarily work with government and federal agencies including the state governments of California, Minnesota, and New York.
Griffin Forsyth '15, Vice President of Sales at Black Box Safety Inc.
Extracurricular Activities/Athletics at Norfolk Academy: Football, Tennis, Renaissance Reading, Financial Club, Spanish Club
College: Studied Economics at UVA
Extracurricular Activities/Athletics in College: Campus representative, Movember Foundation; Club tennis
Job title/Company: I am in my second year as VP of Sales at Black Box Safety Inc. We are a small company of six employees. Black Box Safety was started in 2017, by our President Jackson Dalton. Jackson was injured while serving in the United States Marine Corps. After this life changing event, he became a certified safety official. Our company works with customers to ensure their people are protected by supplying safety products, consultation, and education specific to the customer's needs.
Describe a bit more about your role: I work closely with our sales team to build relationships with clients. Our primary customers are government and federal agencies, so it is important to maintain close relationships to be successful. We sell tactical equipment, janitorial equipment, medical equipment, hospital equipment, and much more.
What do you like to do in your own time/when you’re not working?: Surfing, working out, playing tennis, hiking, exploring San Diego, going to farmers markets, trying new food, playing with my dog.
How did your experience at Academy prepare you for what you are doing today?: I think NA provided an environment that facilitated growth in many areas of my life, including networking, personal relationships, balance, and knowledge. I valued all 12 years at Norfolk Academy and it has had more impact on the person I am today than any other entity. I had a fantastic relationship with most of my teachers, but Mr. Jay Rainey and Ms. Pat Hume (both English teachers) had the most profound impact on my way of thinking and internal progress. They were always willing to go the extra mile in helping me with questions about school work, preparing for college, but most importantly, creating a lasting personal relationship that I cherish to this day. I would not trade my experiences at Norfolk Academy for anything.
If you could meet anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be?: Probably Elon Musk, just to ask him questions about how he thinks the world will look in 100 years and why.
Parker Marshall '15, Inside Sales Representative at Black Box Safety Inc.
Extracurricular Activities/Athletics at NA: Cross Country, Lacrosse, Student Assistant for Varsity Boys Basketball
College: B.A. in History from UVA, 2019; M.S., McIntire School of Commerce, Business Analytics, UVA, 2020
Extracurricular Activities/Athletics in College: Sports Business Society, Movember Foundation, T.I.L.K.A. Philanthropic Society
Job title/Company: I came out to San Diego from Norfolk last spring to join Griffin. Half the staff at Black Box Safety is from the Virginia Beach/Norfolk area, and Griffin and I are both Norfolk Academy graduates, so there’s a sense of home. I am an Inside Sales Representative.
Describe a bit more about your role: As a small company, we all collaboratively work together to achieve our goals. We continue to maintain and build relationships with our clients, while also working closely with manufacturers to determine the best product to fulfill our customer’s needs. We help companies and organizations build systems and select certain safety products to protect their employees and avoid problems.
What do you like to do in your own time/when you’re not working?: Concerts, watching and playing sports, reading
How did your experience at Norfolk Academy prepare you for what you are doing today? Norfolk Academy emphasized the importance of community and how important building long-term relationships are in life. Many of the friends I made are still some of my closest friends. On top of that, I learned a lot about how to critically think and assess problems from the constant challenges teachers gave us. A teacher who had a big impact on me was Ms. Hume. While challenging, she always pushed her students to do their best and created a strong community in her classes.
If you could meet anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be?: Tom Brady
This is the first article in a series the Norfolk Academy Development office is starting that will highlight alumni in the professional world. Know anyone to profile? Contact Development Associate Morgan Wentz '16, firstname.lastname@example.org.