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Distributor's Link Magazine Spring 2023 / Vol 46 No 2


48 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK ATLAS INDUSTRY MARKETING 321 Plantation Dr. East, Burleson, TX 76028-1488 TEL 817-447-1750 EMAIL WEB THE JOURNEY OF AN INDEPENDENT REP Alan Lindahl, Sales Manager I would like to say that my path into becoming an independent Rep and opening my own agency in 2002 was an easy one, but it wasn’t but I credit my work ethic and perseverance as the keys to my biggest successes in life and my agency. In covering a territory that includes Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana, it requires a lot of both attributes. My first boss in regional sales told me, “This isn’t a job, it’s a lifestyle, but if you like it and you’re good at it, 20-30 years from now you’ll still be doing it.” That was 1994 and I’ve literally come and gone a long way since then! I grew up primarily in Arlington, Texas and currently live in Burleson, a suburb of Ft. Worth, but I was born in Oklahoma City and have also lived in Wyoming (my true cowboy days) and in Des Moines, Iowa. It was during my time in Iowa that I officially entered the fastener industry when I went to work for Eskay Screw Corporation, a well-established small diameter cold-heading company, as their regional sales representative covering Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and the Dakotas. My early jobs out of high school had me working as a ranch hand on my fathers-in-law’s ranch outside of Casper, Wyoming, in my brother’s flooring business, and three years doing apartment maintenance work for a large property management company. These roles gained me hands-on experience in working with fasteners, but in a sense, my official career in the industry started at Allen’s Ace Hardware in 1983, where I spent over seven years as a department and store manager. I developed a unique skill, and following with customers, in that I could find a way to connect almost anything threaded across many products lines and departments. I also became a young father at age 21 and it was this call of responsibility that quickly led me back to school and I entered junior college while working 55-60 hours weekly on a modest salary. Six years later, I graduated with honors with an Associates Degree in Management, and then jumped to the University of North Texas and spent another three years earning a degree in Business Education and graduated Magna Cum Laude. During this time at UNT, I went to work for Home Depot in their electrical and flooring departments and used my days off to go to school full-time. While at Home Depot, and nearing my graduation, I attended a product knowledge event given by the owner of one of their ceramic tile suppliers. I approached him afterwards about outside sales opportunities, and was eventually hired and moved to Iowa in January of 1994. Unfortunately, he was a very difficult person to work for and after just 15 months, I took a position with Eskay calling on OEM accounts across a large Midwest territory, and in the spring of ’97, they gave me an opportunity to move back to Texas. BUSINESS FOCUS ARTICLE CONTINUED ON PAGE 122



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