Jeff Anderson--ATEK Distribution, Golden Valley MN
This month’s Member Spotlight features, Jeff Anderson, President of ATEK Distribution in Golden Valley, MN. While Jeff’s face is certainly familiar to those who attend MEA Conferences, the ATEK business is a newer member that was started by Jeff to support the Lighting, Solar, Electrical, Signage and Security markets. ATEK is also part of a unique collaboration of highly successful independent companies who collectively are committed to delivering comprehensive, and cost-effective energy efficient solutions to today’s facility management challenges.
Jeff has 25 years of Sales and Management experience in the electrical industry, working for GE Supply, GEXPRO and Crescent Electric Supply before starting ATEK this year. Over the last five years, he has been actively involved with MEA. He currently sits on the Board of Directors, Membership Committee and is Chair of the Product Service Committee. We sat down with Jeff to discuss his accomplishments and what lies ahead for him during this exciting time in his career.
What drew you to a career in electrical distribution? It wasn’t planned, but I was a Logistics & Supply Officer in the US Marine Corps and my first job after college was with General Electric. I was placed with GE Supply through the Junior Military Officer Program. At the time, I didn’t know anything about the electrical industry. They put me through their training program and I had to opportunity to stay with GE Supply throughout my career. I started in the warehouse, moved through the different functional areas of the office, became an Outside Salesperson, and eventually got into Branch and then District Management. How time flies! It was very rewarding, as each job has its own unique responsibilities. It’s a great industry; you don’t get bored and have the opportunity to meet a lot of great people.
This is an exciting time for you. Tell us about ATEK Distribution. ATEK Distribution was formed out of a need to support a newer lighting company, US Luminaire, part of the Apadana family of businesses. As a manufacturer just getting started, they needed help with the process of getting products to market. I saw a need with some of the other businesses under the Apadana umbrella for support in the areas of procurement and inventory management, so that they could focus on selling and what they do best, which is installing. I’ve always wanted to own my own business, and this was a fantastic opportunity to do so, to help them grow, and then grow along with them.
At ATEK, personal relationships are the key to success. Unlike larger distributors, our focus is not on a particular product line and being able to take advantage of large volume discounts or rebates. Instead, we’re focused on solving our customer’s problems by procuring hard-to-find niche items that other distributors simply won’t carry.
What are your favorite hobbies? Shelly, my wife of 30 years and I love being in the great outdoors. We do everything from yard work, hiking, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing. I even did the Birkebeiner cross country ski race this past winter. We are dog lovers and have a Goldendoodle puppy named Cooper. As I’m originally from the Milwaukee area, Shelly and I are Supper Club fanatics! So far, we’ve eaten at 14 of the 60 restaurants featured in the book, Wisconsin Supper Clubs.
What do you love most about MEA? From a distributor perspective, MEA allows for very close interaction with its contractor members. Anyone who wants to participate has the ability to form excellent relationships, both business and personal. MEA is a platform that allows a distributor, rep or an agent to contact a lot of customers in various ways that you wouldn’t otherwise enjoy.