What type of employer is HGR? Buyer Spotlight with Jeff Crowl

HGR Industrial Surplus Buyer Jeff Crowl and family
Back row (l to r): Logan Crowl, Jeff Crowl, Jeff’s Girlfriend Renee Marzeski, her daughter Maddy, her son Bill
Front row (l to r): Jeff’s son Ross and daughter Alexa with Renee’s son Dan

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Jeff Crowl, HGR buyer)

When did you start with HGR and why?

I started with HGR on April 20, 1998. I signed on with HGR because I really liked what I did at the previous company many of us worked for and wanted to continue on that path.

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

My territory right now is most of the eastern part of Pennsylvania and most of the state of New Jersey. In the past, at different times, I also have covered Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, upstate New York, North Carolina, and Ontario, Canada. I have bought deals from sister plants that I dealt with in Texas and California. My days start between 5 and 5:30 a.m. Depending on where I am driving to, I may or may not have time to go into my home office and do some work. Then I’ll drive to wherever I have my inspections scheduled for the day. Once there, I go through and inspect the equipment and then I’ll either head home or to a hotel. Typically I get back home between 4 and 6 p.m., and most nights have two hours or so of email to answer and/or other opportunities to follow up on.

What do you like most about your job?

What I like most about my job is probably all of the different things I see. Every day is different, every drive is different, every inspection is different, and every contact is different. Of all the companies I have visited in the last 20 years, it is amazing to me the different philosophies companies have. One company may be so clean that you could eat off the floor; others you feel like you need a shower when you leave them. One may hold on to unused equipment for many years, and others have policies that if they haven’t used it in three months they should get rid of it. But I just like that every day is different in one way or another.

What’s your greatest challenge?

My greatest challenge is and always will be the hunt for good surplus to buy. We have to keep feeding the showroom so that everyone else in the company can do their thing.

What’s your most interesting moment at HGR?

My most interesting moment at HGR. Wow, I mean it’ll be 20 years this April, so there are so many and also many that I have forgotten. I once accidently kicked a cat and really got scolded by the receptionist and once went to the house of a guy who we bought a deal from and he was not answering calls so I could get the equipment picked up. But I will go with a funny one that happened a few years back. I was in a facility where the contact showed me the equipment they were selling and left me alone and said to show myself out when I was finished. It was a nice cool day out, and as I was walking back to the front of the building there was a side door open and all I had to do was walk through the company lunch room which was being mopped by a lady. As I started to go through, she yelled over to me to be very careful because the floor was being stripped of the finish. Well, of course I saw her walking on the floor and thought for sure that being a nimble middle-aged buyer, I could do it no problem. So I kept walking and much to my surprise floor stripper is much more slick than soap and water. As soon as my feet hit that floor, they went out from under me and were instantly above my head as I landed flatly on my back and smacked my head on the floor. Embarrassed as I lay on the floor, I was trying to get up as quickly as possible so no one would see me. As I tried to prop myself up on an elbow to get up, they just kept slipping out from underneath me as I flopped around like a fish out of water. All I can remember is flopping around and hearing that woman who was stripping the floor laughing hysterically at me. After a few more flops, I was able to get to my feet and “skate” over to the side door to freedom. Bruised, battered, and my pride shaken, I walked to my car covered in the floor gel only to notice my Dell Tablet was smashed. So I then had to make the call to my manager and tell him what happened. Thankfully, he understood and thought the story was quite funny as well.

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

My greatest joy when not working would be spending time with my family. I have three kids — a 26-year-old son, Logan; a 23-year-old daughter, Alexa; and a 20-year-old son, Ross. Logan lives in Pittsburgh; Alexa lives in Philadelphia; and Ross has one more semester until he finishes college. So, really anything I can do to see and be with them is all I need.

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

I would have to say my father was my greatest influence on me. He passed away in March 1993 from one of the few things I can actually say I hate – cancer. But he was just one of those people who worked hard and never complained and was someone you could always go to and talk to or ask anything of. He was a speech pathologist and last worked as a supervisor of speech and hearing. He was a very honest, moral, and funny person who is greatly missed.

Anything I missed that you want everyone to know?

One other thing I would like to mention is that my girlfriend, Renee, and her three children (Maddy, Bill, and Dan) also live with me. They range from 12 to 22 years of age. We have a busy house on holidays when everyone is home, but they are all great kids and fun to be around.

Who is John Miller, and what’s this about an auction?

auction gavel

 

HGR Buyer John MillerLike the old Donny & Marie song “A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock ‘n Roll,” John Miller, one of HGR’s buyers who is located in St. Louis, Missouri, is a little bit sales, a little bit buyer. He works with both HGR’s Sales Department and Buy Department to bring in leads for brokerage equipment that we can sell through our website and those leads that we can auction. So, his position is unique because the items that he brokers are not rigged out to HGR’s Euclid, Ohio, showroom.

How did John make his way to HGR, and what is his experience? Well, prior to working for HGR, he worked in the industrial auction and machinery sales field. He has a longstanding relationship with HGR on the client side. He sold equipment to HGR’s regional buyers in the past, which is how he developed a relationship with HGR prior to coming on board as an employee.

Prior to John coming on board in February 2016, HGR occasionally participated in auctions with its auctioneer partners, but now there’s a focus on the opportunities and on getting the business. Miller says, “We most often partner with Cincinnati Industrial Auctioneers because they’re the top in the area for what they usually sell and what we usually sell. It’s a complimentary relationship that benefits both of our customers because our combined list of buyers and interested customers compliments each other.” HGR’s role in the auction process is to bring in leads for potential auctions and conduct the marketing for upcoming auctions through its website, email list and social media. Miller says, “We partner on six or seven auctions each year in the U.S. and Canada, and our goal is a couple of auctions per quarter. Nine times out of 10 the auction is being held because a plant closed.”

John’s auction leads often come from HGR’s buyers who are out in the field and may decide the situation is not a buy deal but rather an auction situation, and from HGR’s established relationships and contacts. He notes, “These auctions add to our value proposition for both customers that we buy from and customers that we sell to because we can either get things out of their plant immediately and into our showroom or maximize the value of the items by selling them from the factory floor at auction when moving them is not viable because would reduce the value. Auctions have been on the uptake for valuation recently.”

Here is a link to HGR’s next online and in-person auction of the assets from the former Allison Conveyor Engineering at 120 Mine St., Allison, Penn. This auction on Dec. 19 includes bridge mills, plasma tables, fabricating and welding equipment, CNC machining, and toolroom and support equipment.

If you need further information about the auction process or have an auction lead, please contact John Miller at 636-222-0098 or Jmiller@hgrinc.com.

 

 

What type of employer is HGR? Buyer Spotlight with Doug Francis

HGR Buyer Doug Francis

When did you start with HGR and why?

Feb. 28, 2011. At the time it sounded like a challenging position where I could use my education and sales experience to meet with large manufacturing firms to purchase their surplus equipment. Six years later, it’s still challenging, and I enjoy the people I work with tremendously. I plan on being with HGR for the duration.

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

I cover most of Wisconsin and Cook, Boon, McHenry, and Lake Counties in Illinois. I contact customers to arrange times to look at their surplus equipment, follow up on offers and buy deals!

What do you like most about your job? 

Best part about this job is that it’s different every day. The process of setting up meetings, getting out offers and buying deals is consistent, but there’s never the same deal twice. Keeps me sharp.

What’s your greatest challenge?

My greatest challenge is the ongoing and always-changing needs of our customers.

What’s your most interesting moment at HGR?

Most of the buyers’ meetings have interesting moments. Too many interesting moments to pick the most interesting. It’s a good deal to get together with coworkers/friends and be around the other buyers who are experiencing the same day-to-day activities.

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

I enjoy being outside and most water-related activities with friends and family. Wisconsin has outdoor activities for every season; so, I’m thankful for where I live.

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

I’m not a hero worshipper. I’m influenced by successful people every day and try to emulate things that make them successful. My inspiration is self-improvement; there’s always room to get better with everything.

Anything you’d like to add?

I’m glad I work with such a good group of lads in the Buy Department. Every time we meet in Cleveland, I’m reminded what a great team of people work for HGR with the same goals as my own.

What type of employer is HGR? Buyer Spotlight with Jeff Cook

HGR Industrial Surplus Buyer Jeff Cook with fiance

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Jeff Cook, HGR buyer)

When did you start with HGR and why?

I started with HGR in August 2015. I wanted something new and challenging, as well as to move back to my hometown of Syracuse, New York. It seemed like the perfect fit. Definitely is.

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

I cover all of New York, as well as, part of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Mondays I work from my office and Tuesday through Friday I travel the state to look at equipment all over the place.

What do you like most about your job?

Seeing new things every single day.  You never know what you are going to run in to.

What’s your greatest challenge?

Focusing on one thing at a time and not becoming distracted. Also, never assume things.

What’s your most interesting moment at HGR?

I’d say my most interesting moment at HGR is every time I have to go to New York City/Long Island. It is a different world.

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

Golfing, watching/playing sports. Especially watching the Buffalo Bills, New York Yankees and Syracuse Orange.

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

My dad. He has always been there for me no matter what. He always stressed the importance of getting a college education and the importance of being the best you can be.

Anything I missed that you want everyone to know?

I get married Oct. 7, 2017! The picture is of my fiancé, Mallory, and me.

What type of employer is HGR? Buyer spotlight with Mike Metzger

HGR Buyer Mike Metzger with his son

When did you start with HGR and why?

In 2006, I was working three jobs, and on the side I’d buy air dryers and small compressors from one of the sales guys at HGR, and beat him up on prices regularly. Turns out, Brian Krueger (HGR’s CEO) had recently become an owner, and he needed more salesmen. He gave me a shot at an interview, and shortly after running around for three different employers, I found myself working for one.

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

I cover the farthest southeast corner of the U.S. — Georgia, South Carolina, most of Alabama, half of Tennessee, and western North Carolina. If anything ever happens in Florida, I tend to handle those, as well.

What do you like most about your job?

I can set my own schedule and don’t have to be at the same place every day. Exploring such a huge area can be an adventure.

What’s your greatest challenge?

The part I like most is also my biggest challenge. It is a huge, spread out area that I cover. I have a three-year-old at home. I am trying to balance the importance of seeing as much of him as I can, while also being on the road looking at deals to better provide for him. It is a constant juggling act.

What’s your most interesting moment at HGR?

While some strange things have happened when driving around the Deep South as a buyer and some interesting people came through the door when I was a salesman, I’d have to say the most important moment was making the jump from Sales to Buy. My wife hated her job, hated the drive through Cleveland in the winter months, and we were suffering because of it. In a morning sales meeting, Ron Tiedman (HGR’s COO) mentioned that HGR was still trying to hire a Georgia resident to become a buyer for HGR. I called my wife around lunch and asked how she’d feel about me taking a stab at a huge change for us. We never spoke about moving before that call. She agreed that nothing would probably come from it, but it wouldn’t hurt anything to ask about having HGR ship me southerly. I spoke to Rick Affrica (HGR’s chief purchasing officer) that afternoon, since he was visiting the office. I had never spoken with him more than a few sentences before then. Turns out, management was into the idea. A few months later we were listing our house. My environment, job, and life all changed do to a “what the heck, we’ll see if this works” type of decision.

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

I mostly like playing games with family and friends. Video games, board games, whatever. Been kicking my brother’s butt in Injustice 2 fairly regularly. And of course, spending time with Jameson, my son. He is an amazing little guy. A bit of a jerk sometimes, but I am told that it is a passing thing. Until 12 or so. Then it comes back.

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

Wojtek the Soldier Bear. Look him up. One of the biggest badasses in history. AS to why, I have to say, “LOOK HIM UP.”

Private Wojtek the Soldier Bear

What type of employer is HGR? Q&A with HGR Buyer Mike Paoletto

HGR Buyer Mike Paoletto with his family

When did you start with HGR?

Nine years ago, and I love it.

What is your territory?

Northern Ohio, western Pennsylvania and 1/3 of West Virginia.

What do you like most about your job?

It might sound cliché, but I really like and appreciate all the great people that I work with at HGR and get to meet in my travels.……..And, hotel room coffee.

What’s your greatest challenge?

When I first started, Rick Affrica, HGR’s chief purchasing officer and partner, said “Kid, you’ll never make it in this industry, but if you do, I’ll buy you a steak dinner.” Those words inspired me to work hard and eventually make Rick pay up.

What’s your most interesting moment at HGR?

Getting locked in an outside, fenced-in construction yard on a 15-degree Fahrenheit winter day with wind chill.

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

My No. 1 hobby is spending time with my family. My favorite movie is “Steel Magnolias,” and I enjoy reading romance novels.

What type of employer is HGR? Buyer spotlight with Bob Buerger

HGR buyer Bob BuergerWhen did you start with HGR and why?

2004, but I moved into the buyer role in 2014. My friends and I were at a Hell’s Angels dry poker run for Ronald McDonald House. One stop was a local bar called Stingers near HGR. Since it was the last stop, we thought we’d have a beer and ended up meeting Mike Lima, HGR’s shipping manager at the time, who said they were looking for someone in the incoming department. I applied, and they hired me. I also used to shop at McKean and HGR for years, especially on Wednesdays when we could have a free lunch and shop. I thought it was the neatest place. There’s no other place I’ve come across like HGR with its enormous size, its magnitude and what it does — even in all my travels now.

What were you doing before HGR?

I managed a metal finishing and plating company and was familiar with most of Mike Paoletto’s customers that he’s bought from. I like machinery and woodworking and have always been around it.

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

Southern Missouri, southern Illinois, southern Kentucky, 75 percent of Tennessee, northwestern Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas. I live about 30 minutes from Memphis.

Monday is office day to get caught up. On average, I am away from the house overnight 1.5 days per week. I travel from company to company looking at equipment and purchase what we can, which is about 15 percent of what we look at, on average. I see about three businesses per day but have seen up to six.

What do you like most about your job?

Meeting new people and new companies. At HGR, I saw all this equipment coming in but never saw it in operation, but now I go to huge manufacturing companies and get to see extrusion lines and robots in action and realize, “Oh, that’s how it’s made.” Every day is new in learning, and the job is fascinating.

What’s your greatest challenge?

The technology. I am not a computer person. When I first took this job, the only experience that I had was as an inventory clerk at HGR putting in information. And, I had a flip phone. The owners of HGR took a huge leap of faith giving me this position. Brian said, “Let’s give this guy a chance. He’s a good worker and always on time.” I was never late once and lived 30 minutes away. Even Rick had to teach me how to copy and paste.

When did you start with HGR and why?

2004, but I moved into the buyer role in 2014. My friends and I were at a Hell’s Angels dry poker run for Ronald McDonald House. One stop was a local bar called Stingers near HGR. Since it was the last stop, we thought we’d have a beer and ended up meeting Mike Lima, HGR’s shipping manager at the time, who said they were looking for someone in the incoming department. I applied, and they hired me. I also used to shop at McKean and HGR for years, especially on Wednesdays when we could have a free lunch and shop. I thought it was the neatest place. There’s no other place I’ve come across like HGR with its enormous size, its magnitude and what it does — even in all my travels now.

What were you doing before HGR?

I managed a metal finishing and plating company and was familiar with most of Mike Paoletto’s customers that he’s bought from. I like machinery and woodworking and have always been around it.

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

Southern Missouri, southern Illinois, southern Kentucky, 75 percent of Tennessee, northwestern Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas. I live about 30 minutes from Memphis.

Monday is office day to get caught up. On average, I am away from the house overnight 1.5 days per week. I travel from company to company looking at equipment and purchase what we can, which is about 15 percent of what we look at, on average. I see about three businesses per day but have seen up to six.

What do you like most about your job?

Meeting new people and new companies. At HGR, I saw all this equipment coming in but never saw it in operation, but now I go to huge manufacturing companies and get to see extrusion lines and robots in action and realize, “Oh, that’s how it’s made.” Every day is new in learning, and the job is fascinating.

What’s your greatest challenge?

The technology. I am not a computer person. When I first took this job, the only experience that I had was as an inventory clerk at HGR putting in information. And, I had a flip phone. The owners of HGR took a huge leap of faith giving me this position. Brian said, “Let’s give this guy a chance. He’s a good worker and always on time.” I was never late once and lived 30 minutes away. Even Rick had to teach me how to copy and paste.

What’s your favorite place to eat when you are on the road?

My favorite place to eat with the best burgers is Abe’s Grill in Mississippi. It’s 100 years old with 10-15 seats.

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

My wife and I bought a house that was owned by a single mom who thought duct tape fixed everything; so, I spend a lot of my free time working on the house and outside in the yard. My wife said that she would really like a pool; so, we put an in-ground pool in last year.

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

My mom and dad. Mom because she gave me a great sense of humor. She taught me to laugh at myself. Dad because he gave me a great work ethic. He was a foreman at Ford Brookpark Foundry for more than 25 years. He’d leave for work at 5:30 a.m. in a white shirt and come home with a grey shirt. He had a stretch of about 150 days where he worked every day with no time off. He also is a combat Marine Corp. veteran who served in Korea. He taught me that if you work hard in life you get benefits.

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

At HGR, if you give 100 percent and work hard, ownership will recognize you when a position becomes available. They’re always open to give someone a chance.

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

My wife and I bought a house that was owned by a single mom who thought duct tape fixed everything; so, I spend a lot of my free time working on the house and outside in the yard. My wife said that she would really like a pool; so, we put an in-ground pool in last year.

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

My mom and dad. Mom because she gave me a great sense of humor. She taught me to laugh at myself. Dad because he gave me a great work ethic. He was a foreman at Ford Brookpark Foundry for more than 25 years. He’d leave for work at 5:30 a.m. in a white shirt and come home with a grey shirt. He had a stretch of about 150 days where he worked every day with no time off. He also is a combat Marine Corp. veteran who served in Korea. He taught me that if you work hard in life you get benefits.

Anything else that you want everyone to know?

At HGR, if you give 100 percent and work hard, ownership will recognize you when a position becomes available. They’re always open to give someone a chance.