The longer I do my blogs, the more I am just repeating things I heard vs. coming out with my own content.

I think that is what you do when you get wiser, you don’t search for your own answers.  You lean on others and lean on God.

Here ya go:


A Russian proverb, made famous in America by Ronald Reagan when he was president.  Andy Rettler says it almost daily.  Makes sense.  Trust your team, but verify to be sure.  An “it’s ok, everything is fine response” should be verified, doesn’t mean you don’t have trust, just verifying.


Our whole life, we are told to work on GETTING independant.

I think that might be wrong.  If we depend on people, we learn to work as a team, a coordinated, unified team, MUCH stronger than any individual.

My 15 year old son said this about his basketball team.  I was pretty proud father.  It rings so true in everything we do in life!


Completely commit to your craft.  Your positive energy.  Your reason for being.  Or just the fact that you are dedicated to being the best EVEN ON THE DAYS YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE, WHICH WILL BE OFTEN.

Side Note:  You probably think I can’t wait to get to work every day.  Yes, many days I feel that way.  But definitely sometimes I don’t.  Joel, you report TO NO ONE, so you just take off these days, or you just come in late.  Or what?  I never thought of it that way, but after decades of this I am just dedicated.  7am means 7am.  Blue clothes means blue clothes.  I work Saturdays when scheduled.  Dedication is SUPERIOR to motivation!   And I LOVE MOTIVATION!

This is on Twitter.  Social Media isn’t garbage, what you get OUT of social media can be garbage or gold.  Your choice.  Life is a lot like that, you get out of it, what you want to…






I met with a builder on Friday.  He said you are different Joel.  (I’ve heard that my whole life.)   He goes the thing is, DREXEL is DIFFERENT.  He told me DIFFERENT IS GOOD.  The way you all care and have fun is DIFFERENT.  People need that in life.  Keep being DIFFERENT.  People buy from DIFFERENT.

I ask each of you at Drexel have you embraced that?  Owned that?  Are you being “different” and amazing?


Here team is an email I got randomly Saturday morning from a team member, that is along the same sediments….

I have worked in A LOT of places! I have worked in offices, factories, plants, on construction crews, and on the road, and I have never seen an environment like this one. It is so easy to go to work when everyone around you is focused on creating a better team, and not just a better “me.” From the minute you walk in the door here, you see bright smiles and genuine hospitality.  All day long you hear conversation and light laughter (Konen giggles) and there is a buzz I really cant describe.  It truly seems like something is being pumped into the air in the store to create such a positive place.  I want to thank Drexel for taking a chance and hiring all of us from Weather Tek and creating new possibilities for all of us.  The team her is unbeatable, and I am very proud to be a part of it. It is very uplifting to have so much support around you to help the customers get their jobs done.
Today is like my 6th Saturday and I always hated working weekends, but I enjoy coming here and spending my morning with everyone.  With the morning runs to Blue door and the joy of the conversations from everyone, it is a perfect way to start the weekend.
Thank you all for welcoming me into your work family, I am truly honored to be working among the best coworkers in the country.
“To be successful you MUST BE UNIQUE, you must be so different that if people want what you have, THEY HAVE TO COME TO YOU TO GET IT.”
Team, not all people want to have extraordinary cool service.  They love waiting in line at Menards, or have a dude or dudes build crap cabinets in their garage and call em Amish Built or Custom.  Fine whatever.  Move on.  BE DIFFERENT.  BE EXTRAORDINARY.  SMILE.  LAUGH.  JOKE AROUND.  Those people that CRAVE that customer service WILL FIND AND BUY FROM US.
And with those Dollars they gave us, we will give back to their community to change the world.
I get that you get this, sometimes we just need to hear it again!
And if you don’t get any of this…. let’s find you a company where you get it, cool?  This bus ain’t for you!
Kari Wik saw this at Taco Bell of all places.  How awesome!  IEU



From: Steve Larson
Wtown Team,

Below is EXTREMELY long winded.  This will probably be the longest email I will ever send.  For that, my apologies.  If busy, snooze it for a later date or delete.  If you don’t know what the snooze tool is, stop, lets get that email feature in your arsenal right now.  You may learn one thing, you may laugh once or you may think I’m nuts.  Worst case scenario, I wasted 5 minutes of your time and I’m being selfish by reliving a heck of a trip as I type this.
     Hurry up and then wait.  Flying internationally we were told to be to the airport 2.5 hours early.  When we arrived no one was there to collect luggage nor was security open yet.  We could have slept another hour and been a little less like zombies.
     *Drexel analogy =  When do they need it?  NOPE.  When do they REALLY, TRULY need it??
     This is where the resort got the hooks in deep…immediately.  It set the tone for our trip and we knew we made a good decision on where to honeymoon.  We landed in Montego Bay, blasted through customs uneventfully, and were greeted by a gentlemen who insisted we drop our luggage.  He showed us to the resorts “club” in the airport.  It had 2 CLEAN bathrooms and a tap full of free, cold Red Stripe.  We were told it would be 30 minutes for our driver and shuttle to arrive to take us to the resort.  15 minutes later we were filling up our mugs and climbing into the shuttle. <—-  Under promise, over deliver!!!
     After an informative commute with a friendly driver we wheeled into the resort.  Somewhere between the airport and the resort, they COMMUNICATED to their team our names and that we were newlyweds (without us knowing).  They had our luggage unloaded and 2 cold glasses of champagne waiting for us before we could climb out of the van.
      **Drexel analogy = Client’s names on chalk board door, having floor plans and files ready BEFORE they get here, offering coffee and/or water, spelling and pronouncing names correctly etc. All of these minor details are huge on first impressions.
     We went snorkeling twice.  We were 10 minutes early both times, yet we were second in line.  A gentleman beat us into the line, onto the boat and into the water both trips.  He had only 1 leg!
     **Drexel analogy = no excuses. plan. prepare. DO IT. The weather on February 3rd is going to be shitty.  Everyone at work, on the news, and on your phone is talking about the 6″ of snow  in the forecast.  Guaranteed that gentleman would start his drive early and be here on time.  Weight limits & price increases…they happen every year.  Be ready. Be prepared.
     Rick’s Cafe.  For those not aware, its a bar & restaurant on a cliff.  There are a few spots where guests can jump or dive off of the cliff….2 of which are uncomfortably high.  Those who slowly approached, toed the line, read the caution/warning sign, looked for the deepest water, checked the wind etc. NEVER jumped.  Those who just kicked off their sandals and handed their sunglasses to a friend and sent it, JUMPED.  Of all of us who jumped, no one wished they hadn’t.
     **Drexel analogy = ready, fire, aim.  #5secondrule.  Anybody who gave themselves time to think about what could go wrong came up with an excuse. 5,4,3,2,1 GO.
     Snorkeling.  Samantha, my wife, drank a snorkel full of salt water 1 minute into our first trip.  Struggling, slightly panicked, uncomfortable and nervous, she was staring back at the boat immediately.  Shortest snorkeling trip ever?  Nah, she knew how much I was looking forward to it and how rewarding it could be so she adjusted her goggles and attitude. 45 minutes later we had seen lobster, puffer fish, eagle rays, an anchor, a canon, ballyhoo, yellowtail snapper, brain coral, barracuda and a shit ton of other stuff not native to Lake Winnebago. Kudos to her for grinding it out.  Yep, we went again 2 days later and it was one of her highlights from the trip.
     **Drexel analogy = growth, change, development.  Getting into uncomfortable spots will make you stronger/better/smarter.  Stick with it.  Grind it out.  Be patient.
     Our room at the resort was pretty underwhelming.  It was old, dated, needed a facelift/remodel etc. BUT, it was perfect. Huh? Yeah, everything else made it great.  The welcome, the staff, the weather, the beach, the water, the drinks all made a mediocre room look like the Ritz Carlton.  Total OPPOSITE of Nick & Emily Whitty’s Buffalo Wild Wing experience 3.5 years ago.  Their wings tasted the way they always do, but because service was shit, communication was shit, delay was long and they weren’t warned, drink glasses were empty = it seemed like the wings tasted like shit!
     **Drexel analogy = If we dot our I’s, cross our T’s, handle everything the way we should, we may be able to get away with 1 crooked stud in a bunk of lumber.  Strong relationships and WOW’d clients can make up for a bogey.  Our room was the crooked stud or delaminating door and it was beyond okay!  Put it this way, the rooms were not great, yet the resort has a 90% returning client rate.  Hmmf
     It rained every day in the afternoon.  Bummer right? Nope.  A blessing.  Less sunburn, a reason to sit on a balcony and have a beer and listen to the rain.  A change in scenery.  A reason to talk, to grab lunch with resort staff. A cool time to sit and laugh with strangers in a hot tub in an absolute down pour.
     I locked my phone in the safe in the hotel.  Refresh, recharge, disconnect, play, party, celebrate, and as the Jamaican’s said “no worries”.
     Did I think about work, yes.  Was it refreshing knowing that the lights would be on and that this big blue ship was pointed in the right direction while I was gone? Hell yes. That is cool!   A compliment to the team that runs it.  Kudos to you.  May of 2019.  3rd biggest sales month to date…not 3rd biggest May.  3rd biggest month…EVER.  Keep doing the small things well.  Block and tackle.  Snag the high hanging fruit first.  Hold your teammates accountable.  Be the best, and do it with a smile.  Lets roll!  This battleship is solid.  Its gas tank is full, it is well oiled, its getting stronger.  Did Nick and the team change a few tires over the years? Yes.  Where there slight jogs in the navigation to get around pot holes, yep.  That’s why it is as solid as it is.  No one wanted Nick to leave, but he deserves a BIG thank you and a congrats to him and his family.  Change.  Change won’t stop. Neither will growth or development.  The mission remains the same = Supply. Happiness.
Random stuff:
– Tips/Gratuities:
     The resort was all-inclusive with a no tipping policy.  I attempted to tip most of their team.  All accepted, but 2.  Those 2 had emails sent to the manager. No I didn’t tell him that all the others accepted tips, just that these 2 would not. Kudos to them.  ETHICS.
– Jamaican Millwork:
     The door on the bathroom was a louvered barn door.  It must have come from one of those trees that was 90% air.  Not a lot of privacy.  Glad this was a honeymoon, not a first date! HAHA!
– Middle of the food chain:
     I snorkeled with 2 types of fish = fish that you can eat, and fish that can eat you.  Head on a swivel!!
– 5 second rule
     I read half of the book on the plane en route to Jamaica.  Funny line that I thought of while snorkeling.  “Does a fish even know what water is?” ?????
    Yes, Kentucky Fried Chicken. Very expensive and popular in Jamaica. Odd
– Uniformity
     From airport to resort we passed many groups of students walking from school.  They were all in uniforms.  Color coded per school & level in the education system.  Dress for success.  Rock the Drexel blue. Keep your trucks clean and make a great first impression when strolling into a jobsite or when a client pulls into the yard.
     Sidenote: These kids were walking.  Some of them miles one way.  They have access to buses.  They choose to walk, talk and hangout with their friends rather than hop on a bus.  Pretty cool
– Borders
     From the airport to resort we passed through several Parishes, I believe these are the Jamaican version of our counties or states.  Ryan Powers can correct me if I butchered this part.  Anyway, at each border we were stopped….by baby faced youngsters in full camouflage yielding AR-15’s.  What a welcome!  Usually when I drive from WI to the U.P. I just see a Pure Michigan sign!
– Winning Attitude
     The locals had nothing material.  They barely had roofs that didn’t leak yet they were extremely happy.  This may have been their faith, the weather or the ganja but I know it wasn’t money.  This was probably the biggest eye opener for most visitors.  If you take anything from this email, let it be their attitude.  Their service…with a smile, was impressive.
– “Island Time”
     They moved slowly.  Like they truly had no worries.  It could not have been more different than when we touched back down at the Charlotte airport where it was a stressful race for everyone.  I have no clue how they were able to find anyone fast enough for a bobsled team.
That is all that I have for now.  Sorry again for the novel.  Thanks for the support while I was gone and thanks for your patience as we fill the Millwork Specialist role.
Be you and be great today!





Good morning Matt, Beth, and Joel.
I’m writing to call attention to customer service that my husband and I know is far above and beyond the “normal” way of doing things.
We are remodeling our 1960’s-era kitchen, and doing much of the work ourselves to keep costs as low as possible.  We hope to keep our budget right around $15,000.   From designers to contractors, we have had difficult getting anyone to work with us due to that low budget.   One contractor who visited our home left me in tears, not because he was unkind, but because he flatly stated that he wouldn’t be able to do anything for us.  His suggestion of a price to replace our floor was two-thirds of our entire budget for everything.  I finally decided to take on the whole kitchen design myself, and I have spent months in exhaustive research on every aspect of it.  Due to the very high rating they receive from contractors and DIYers, we are purchasing IKEA cabinets, and that also has been a “turn-off” for contractors/companies we’ve talked to.
My husband Wayne and I met Amber just by chance when we were at Drexel to return some Corian samples, and we are really glad she approached us that day.  She has been helpful and enthusiastic about our project right from the start.
I visited two other kitchen/bath showrooms (which will remain nameless) in the area, and through them I finally found just the right countertop material.  I asked Amber and the other two companies to give me a quote on the Hanstone, based on the drawings and measurements I provided to each of the three companies.
Company 1 was very dismissive of my various ideas and shut me down on each question I asked, when he spoke with me on the phone.  His bid came in at over $5,000, which didn’t surprise me.  He didn’t want to do our small job, which he made very obvious to me on the phone.  Therefore, he made his bid outrageously high.
Company 2 completely dropped the ball.  Over a week later, I had heard nothing from them.  When I called to see how things were going, they had not even started to look at the bid yet, and the assigned person was out of town for the next several days.  They were quite apologetic about what they called their mistake, but by this time, even without another bid, we were ready to go with Drexel, all because of Amber.
Here is what Amber did:
  1. Every question I had, she got an answer for me, whether she had to call Midwest Tops, or someone else.
  2. She sent us a bid for $2300-$2800 the same day we visited the Drexel showroom.
  3. When I suggested an idea for a second type of countertop surface in a certain area of the kitchen, she didn’t dismiss my idea with “no can do.”  She made two drawings of my idea and sent them to me, and also got information on the cost of an unfinished wood top.
  4. She has been timely and responsive at every turn.  And all of this BEFORE we even decided to go with Drexel.  She made us feel like we are worthy of her time and attention even though we’re not able to spend $60,000 on a new kitchen.  She has supported the creativity and attention I’ve been putting into my own kitchen design for many months.
We can’t say enough about how relieved and thankful we are to find a person/company willing to work with us side by side, since we can’t afford to hire all the work out.  Amber has made me cry in a good way.  I now believe we will be able to get our low-budget-but-dream-come-true-for-us kitchen!!  We can’t say enough about Amber’s friendly professionalism, her timely attention to our questions, and her efficient approach to everything she does.  What a stellar employee!!
With gratitude,
Lisa and Wayne



What’s TGIM mean again?



It’s a MINDSET.  It’s what we GET TO DO, not HAVE TO DO.     You could be dying, next to someone in critical condition, or hundreds of other things that would leave you unemployed.  BE THANKFUL.  FOR EVERYTHING.



the best ones.




One of the best leaders in human history.   Only lived til the age of 33.    Rarely yelled, but led by example, words with stories, always with stories and parables, and then empowered others to lead the way.   He was a servant leader.  Jesus Christ was his name.


Why do we wear blue?

It’s a sign of professionalism, caring, teamwork, a symbol of our dedication to what we do and to each other.   At Little Chute that hasn’t caught fire yet.  The wearing of the blues.  A source of PRIDE and TEAMWORK.   I encourage those to hold themselves and others accountable to wear the blue!




SO STOP THIS WEEK. AND SAY…WHAT THE HELL… this is gonna be a train wreck later on.


5 type of people

  1. LAZY.  Enough said.  I don’t think we have LAZY people here.  If we do FIRE THEM.   I have no time for them.

2. BLAME OTHERS.  Not my fault.  This team bothers me.  Joel bothers me.   I wasn’t trained properly.  I got nothing out of that huddle.  There is it… I got nothing out of that huddle. WHAT DID YOU PUT IN?  THAT IS THE QUESTION.

3. BLAME THEMSELVES.  I don’t have the right skills.  I just can’t get up early enough.  I’m not a born salesman.  I’m just not organized.  I like paper on the floor.

4.  TALK ABOUT IT.  “I’m on it.”  “I’m gonna lose 10 lbs.”   “I’m gonna start prospecting.”  “Enough, I will make sure these deliveries are perfect.”  “I will speak up at the next huddle.”  “I am ALWAYS here to help. ”  This I think is a lot of people.  Good intentions.  Good thoughts.  Bad results.  Very few people “want” to do the wrong thing… yet … at times.. .

5.  THE DOERS.  THE 1%.  They just DO.  They go 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and go.  Don’t overthink it.  Don’t use excuses.  Don’t say, LET ME TELL YOU KIND SIR WHY THIS WON’T WORK… THEY SIMPLY DO!  that’s drexel.  that’s us.  BE A DOER.  The doers will always change the world!


An expanded update:

lumber is 60% cheaper than last year!!!?  Weird… contractors don’t seem to be talking about that, but boy when the marke it high do we hear it!    We need to be smart.  Prospect.  Help each other. Go time.   The market is showing signs of slowing down…. if it does be ready, if it doesn’t be ready.  GET IT?

We as humans all need people to hold us in check.   We are interviewing some fantastic candidates for the Little Chute Truss job.  Leaders, people with GRIT… I can’t WAIT for them to come aboard.  That will free up the downtown team to help others out more as well.

Marsh Cabinets, I just love it.  Things are going well.  This was  HUGE WIN for our company.

Paperless.   Why fight it?  TRUST IT.   why make a needless copy of something you have on file.  What a time suck.

A rare disease is not rare if you have it.   Campbellsport ran a 94% OTIF INCREDIBLY UNHEARD OF!  However 45 deliveries were a complete SHIT SHOW.  OUCH!