What type of employer is HGR? Buyer Spotlight with Brad Coates

HGR buyer Brad Coates
Serious Brad

When did you start with HGR and why?

My start date was October 2013.  After several conversations with Brian Krueger, CEO, I felt HGR had a vision for the future and growth. I wanted to be a part of that.  It was exciting to go into a territory that HGR hadn’t touched and make it my own.  When I got the call from him, I was on my first day as a sales rep with Sysco.  I told the guy I was in the car riding with what HGR does and offered me; he asked if we needed another buyer.

What is your territory, and what do you do on a daily basis?

I cover Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri.  Mondays are my office day where I’m scheduling, following up on offers and getting ready for the week ahead.  Tuesday through Friday, I’m on the road looking at deals.  After a long day on the road, I work out, grab dinner then come a few hours on the computer.

What do you like most about your job?

I love everything about being a buyer.  I wake up every morning excited to see what the day is going to bring, what I’ll look at, people I’ll meet and hopefully the stuff I get to buy. I look forward to a long career with HGR.  Many of my personal friends are my customers. I’ve attended weddings, retirement parties, motorcycle rides, etc., plus the HGR departmental buyers’ meetings are pretty awesome.

What’s your greatest challenge?

The biggest challenge in my territory is the shipping cost.  Unfortunately, we have to walk away from several deals because it just doesn’t make sense to purchase and ship the surplus.  Obviously, other challenges present themselves with being on the road along with the home/work-life balance.

What’s your most interesting moment at HGR?

Actually, walking into HGR for the first time!! We all have our road stories, but walking into a freezing cold, dark, dirty warehouse and thinking to myself “what in the hell did I get myself in to.”  I look back at that moment and feel very proud of our team of great people who have contributed to the growth of HGR and at how far we have come.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

For 20+ years, I was a men’s college basketball official. After I retired, I needed something to fill that void.  So, now, I enjoy coaching my kids’ sports and being Dad.  Beyond that, playing guitar and getting my Harley (Merle Haggard) out on the open road with friends. I also have my own DJ company, which specializes in weddings, pool parties etc.

Who is your hero or greatest influence/inspiration, and why?

My grandfather, Cecil Bradley, was and is my greatest influence.  He always treated people, and ALL people, with respect and dignity.  He never met a stranger, and he taught me at a young age how to be a man.

Anything I missed that you want the rest of the team to know?

I’ve never worked for a group of owners who put their employees before themselves.  Let’s all keep working together as a team to communicate, help one another, improve processes, and better ourselves to better the company that takes care of us.

HGR buyer Brad Coates
Silly “Batman” Brad

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