In 2021, we are continuing our celebration of 100 years in business by highlighting another Baldwin Supply legend: Dave LaRue! He began his incredible career at Baldwin Supply Company in the summer of 1974.
“I have to say I’ve pretty much have done it all,” says LaRue. “I started just cleaning and organizing the warehouse. I painted all the shelving, I ran lots of parts pick-ups, shipping and receiving and inventory control, city desk, customer service, inside sales, operations, self-proclaimed sales manager, computer systems analyst, I think my first official title was in 1991 as the general manager, and in 1992 I purchased BSC and became President/owner and today I am the CEO.”
Dave LaRue learned many lessons as well as advice of determination that have contributed to his very successful career at Baldwin from fellow Baldwin Legend, Bill Chapman.
“At the risk of sounding self-serving; One of our longtime great retired sales people Bill Chapman once said ‘I’m a marathoner not a sprinter’ he knew if he took care of BSC it would be there to take care of him. He worked at Baldwin for over 40 years I think that’s pretty cool.”
LaRue also learned important lessons from the late Robert Nyrop, relative and part owner alongside Robert Groen since 1941.
“Being a family business, watching my son Rob take the reins and growing and building the business has been amazing. Rob’s grandpa, Robert Nyrop was a 50% owner and the Groen’s owned 50%. I remember Rob sitting in Grandpa Nyrop’s chair when he was 3 years old. So it’s been in our family for 82 years that’s pretty amazing!”
Another important lesson came after the passing on Robert Nyrop in 1992.
“I learned the significance of perseverance, particularly in the battle I experienced from 1990 - 1992 fighting for the survival and continuation of BSC. I think of all the wonderful accomplishments we’ve achieved, all the opportunities we’ve created, all the customers and manufacturers we’ve grown with and them with us. When Gramps died in 1992 I was holding on by a shoe string, thank god I persevered.”
His advice to someone just starting their career at Baldwin? “Smile and be likeable! It will go a long way!”
“It’s been an amazing place, two things that are very meaningful to me; I’ve been around for over 46 years here and I’ve seen so many team members retire after years of service, we’ve had several competitor's sales people start here when they were getting ready to retire, but didn’t want to leave their special customers to their old companies, so they came here to make sure their customers were going to be taking care of.”
Thank you Dave LaRue for your continued efforts and success with Baldwin Supply. We are so thankful to have you!
We, at Baldwin Supply, are not out to reinvent the wheel - or the conveyor belt. We just want to continue to do what we do best: provide our services to our customers so that they can succeed in doing what they do best.