“I talk to producers from all over the world from my office which is an easy, two minute commute from my home,” shared Ron Gunderman, a three-year Besser veteran. His background, from an educational standpoint, with degrees in automotive related fields from Alpena Community College and Ferris State University, a career in the auto industry and an aptitude for anything mechanical and electrical, makes him an ideal fit for his role.
After spending years after college graduation working as a district manager for Toyota, resolving customer issues and using his technical background to contribute to the launch of the Toyota Prius, he was ready for a change. Living in the fast-paced cities of Miami and Atlanta was getting old; he sought a lifestyle that offered a slower pace in a more rural setting — but yet offered the opportunity for a challenging career involving machinery. He found such a place when he returned to his hometown of Alpena, the world headquarters for Besser.
Ron’s role began as a front line customer service representative providing assistance to producers ordering parts for all types of Besser equipment. As he sees it, “The concrete products industry is very similar to the auto industry. Both involve mechanics and electronics and require human intervention to run. It’s when parts wear out or break or need to perform differently that the challenges arise.” Dealing with the challenges, determining what needs to get done next to satisfy a need, resolve or improving an issue, is when his job satisfaction is highest.
Ron has attended sessions at the World Center for Concrete Technology to learn hands-on about the operation of equipment and the art of blockmaking. Like the rest of the Alpena based customer service team he’ll be spending time travelling with sales representatives to further his industry education. He’s looking forward to meeting some of the people he’s interacted with on the phone and seeing their plants.
Ron and his wife Judy have “a houseful” of kids and enjoy the quaintness of northern Michigan life. The majority of his off time is spent playing with his new daughter Emma and restoring their 1890’s era Victorian house.