An interview with John Gallup
How did you get started in Flooring?
I worked as an Independent rep selling mostly hardware & housewares, with carpet (Argonne) as a small part of the items. Along with carpet we had sundries, so I was exposed to the installation side of the business. I was approached by Custom Building products in the fall of 1992, but I was happy as an independent rep. Five years later I approached them for a Northern California rep position. I started with Custom Building Products in 1997, which set me on a path to a Regional Technical Rep position.
This position exposed me to most of the wholesale tile and stone manufacturers and distributors. I spent four years as an RTR. From there I moved into an architectural rep position for CBP. Twelve years in that position led me to where I am today!
What would you do if not flooring?
I’m too tall to drive for the Ferrari F1 team, so it would probably be something to do with the gourmet food industry. I dabble in charcuterie, and my goal would be to have a cottage industry business making specialty meats.
What do you like best about the flooring industry?
The people. I like to be a resource for people that put value on relationships. Being of service to good people is one of the reasons I got involved with Flooring Association Northwest.
What do you do to relax?
Two things– I enjoy long drives to relax, particularly waterfront or something like a trip down the Oregon coast. Also, in the last year I’ve taken a revised approach to taking care of my body. Spending time in the gym might not be what most people think of as relaxing but it’s certainly been an aide to my physical well-being and quality of life.
What advice do you have for someone getting started in the industry?
Stay teachable. My other piece of advice would transcend the flooring industry, but I would say as customers and business peers reach out to you for assistance, respond to their needs rather than react. In today’s world it’s easy to respond to an email simply to get it off of your plate. Take time to respond to a request for assistance or information, rather than react with what you think is a quick answer. As you become the expert/seasoned veteran, be willing to send the elevator car back down for those coming up thru the ranks after you. Be willing to train and help your replacement as you move up in a company. Helping isn’t for people that need it, it’s for people that want it. That can be the biggest challenge, stay positive and be in a place to help people when they come around.