Andy Gander

AGE: 38



How long have you been in the PHCP-PVF industry?

You could say I have been around the wholesale plumbing business my entire life. As a kid, I remember running and playing hide-&-seek through the warehouse on a Saturday while my Mom cleaned the branch bathrooms, and showroom. My parents worked for a combined 65 years in plumbing wholesale holding positions in the warehouse, delivery, inside sales, outside sales, commercial quotations and more. After spending a decade-plus in industrial distribution I was fortunate to join Dakota Supply Group, leading the plumbing segment.

What drew you into the industry?

People tend to be drawn to a career that combines their passions and skills. Due to my exposure to the plumbing trades at a young age, and a passion for strong customer service, this industry is a great fit. At DSG, the company culture is driven by a people-centric, customer-obsessed approach.

What is the most rewarding aspect of working in the industry?

The most rewarding aspect of working in this industry are the many diverse relationships. Relationships are deep-rooted between the customer and their salesperson, counter sales, branch manager, and delivery person. Additionally, the same applies for the wholesale distributor and the relationship with the manufacturer. Even the relationships within our many locations, currently spanning 9 states, it is incredible to see these relationships evolve into friendships and support networks over time. All of these are built on commitment and respect dedicated to the success of the customers, vendor and manufacturer partners, and our employee-owners.

What motivates you every day?

By fostering deep supplier partnerships that allow us a competitive advantage, helping push initiatives forward through our organization to better serve, and addressing challenges our branches face – we must stay steadfast in helping the plumber and contractor build our communities. Although my position in DSG is not typically customer-facing, I am motivated every day to help the company take care of the needs of our plumbing customers.

What is one thing you wish more people knew/understood about the PHCP-PVF industry?

Without this industry, and the plumbers we have in our communities, simple tasks such as turning on the faucet to brush our teeth, flushing the toilet, or enjoying a warm shower are not possible. Our daily routines are rooted and emphasized by the requisite role that plumbers play in maintaining quality of life.

What has been your proudest moment in your career so far?

I recently had the opportunity to complete a 1-year leadership development training program. As the program came to a close there was a peer-voted Leadership Excellence Award that I was fortunate to have been the recipient of. Dakota Supply Group continues to invest in its people, and being recognized by other peer-leaders in the organization was incredibly humbling. Beyond that, being nominated here as a Next Gen All-Star for Supply House Times ranks near the top of the list as well.

What is one thing most people don’t know about you?

I am a morning person and early riser! If I wake up before the alarm, I will usually get up and embrace the day. I love the quiet of early morning, a fresh cup of coffee, watching the sunrise, and getting focused for the day ahead.