Staff Spotlight: Ray Vanderwielen


This month, the staff spotlight shines on Sales Representative Ray Vanderwielen, who talks about his career at G.F. Puhl, what he finds most rewarding about the trim collection business, and what he does when he's not solving problems for Puhl customers.

How did you get into the trim collection business?

I was working for Gruendler Crusher (St Louis, MO) when I became acquainted with G.F. Puhl Company. At the time, Gruendler manufactured a line of vertical shredders specifically designed for the paper recycling industry. Gruendler was going to relocating to Durand, MI and I didn’t want to move my family north. So, I called Gregg Puhl and came to work for him in 1988. After about a year, Gregg started a night shift and he asked me to run it. In 1991, the work load slowed and night shift was laid off. I had been building boat docks on the side and this created an opportunity to go into business for myself. I built boat docks full-time until selling my business in 2002 when I came back to work for Gregg in sales. What do you like most about being in this business?

I enjoy traveling and meeting new people, working with them, designing a new system or improving on an existing system. I find it gratifying that at the end of the day when customers are happy with the end result. What kinds of client projects are your favorites? Why are do you like them?

I like new systems where everything from the trim hood to the baler is Puhl design and components--everything is done the “Puhl way.” I’ve had a couple of projects involving pneumatically conveying film. I like the challenge of something different. The most gratifying projects are when the customer has a system is experiencing problems that are causing down time. Taking the call, presenting a solution, implementing the solution, and seeing a properly running system that the customer is happy with--it's all very rewarding. What do you do for fun and relaxation?

That’s a loaded question, I usually have my radio on low listening to the FISH or playing a CD, sometimes talk radio but that can stress a person out. I also, when I get a free moment, will write a fishing report or article and post it on a couple of fishing forums. Off the clock I like to work with my wife in the yard/garden, go fishing and have time with family. Grandchildren are the bomb!

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