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!







Our old flagship, truck 84, just turned over to 500,000 miles. Yep. A half a million miles and still making deliveries every day. That’s more than enough to go to the moon, around to the far side, and back again. Wow.

I understand that this is the first Moffett truck that Drexel bought back in 2006.
It makes me wonder how many tons of material it has hauled over the years.
Anyway, I thought that was pretty cool.
– Darryl Vogelmann,  Campbellsport Operations and Superb Team Member (always smiling and thinking)  and truck #84 driver.
Story continued…
Darryl is correct… kind of….. the original Moffett truck #84 never hauled a Moffett when originally purchased.  Had a hoist and dumped #30,000 loads.  Just ask Benson and McCarty how well that worked??? I used to have the pics. Good for a laugh.

Took a lot of good maintenance guys and really really good operators to make it this long.
— Eb
The stories the team share and create  are what drives this company into excellence.  I can’t play “Moses” and part the seas and “make miracles”… our company is too dynamic for that, too many good people, too diversified.
Keep failing.  Keep trying.   Keep supplying happiness.  Ask why it went wrong, was it a process or a person issue, and how we can remove the mistakes in the future…
Your job may not be your ultimate purpose but it can ALWAYS be a vehicle to live and share your great purpose.
I think Darryl is a great role model for that.   He finds his ultimate purpose is every delivery!





Saturday I stopped at a brat fry.   It was for Heberer Brothers Construction in Kewaskum.  Heberer Brothers were celebrating their 50th anniversary.  3rd generation builders were there.  My dad was very proud in the early 1990s that Heberer Brothers, a remodeling company in Kewaskum, choose to do some business with us.  My dad was their direct contace.  They have always had bright orange vans, still do.  I was a teenager and helped Roger, Norman, and Bill load those vans almost every morning.  They were the first customer to “fax in” their loads.  The way of the future we were told!  They were never our #1 customer, probably never top ten, but honestly one of the best customers we have ever had.   I love our large builders, but please always remember the little guys, they are the base and foundation of the communities we work in and really have made Drexel what we are.   As I enjoyed my hamburger I thought of all the “Heberer Brothers” that choose to buy from us and realize how blessed we are.  Thank you Heberers!



Sometimes we plateau.  Settle.  Get comfortable.  GET BACK ON TRACK.  PUSH TO DO IT BETTER.  And also PUSH TO MAKE THOSE AROUND YOU BETTER.  Recently, I heard we were having an issue with new jobs being set up prior to first order…. that’s a load of crap.   It leads to enabling, double work, and running around stressfully because we didn’t take the time to do it right the first time.   FIND THE SMALLEST WAY TO IMPROVE TODAY, THEN STICK WITH IT!



#PAULS will revolutionize the industry.  I am reading a book “Loonshot.”   Very inspiring when it comes to PAULS.  We will not go into this fearful.  Or blindly, but we will go BOLDLY AND QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.   A few weeks we will be focused back on it.     It’s a big deal.   We haven’t forgot about it.   You do you.  We do that.



Are you gonna have fun today?  GOSH I HOPE SO.  HAPPY, SUPPLY HAPPINESS DAY!


NO ONE IS DYING…THAT I KNOW OF.  MAKE IT FUN TODAY… even as you hold people accountable around you… make it fun.


LET’S REMEMBER HOW COOL THIS IS.  Supplying happiness… our mission, surrounded by a great team, really cool clients with awesome projects in 2019.. as we head to Spring and Summer.  It’s a cool ride people.  ENJOY IT.

Go back and look at pictures from 10 years ago.  Normally we go… I was so young… so happy….and then SADLY … I didn’t even realize it.

Friends in 10 more years… we will look back at TODAY and think the same thing!



As a company, as diverse as we are (we sell multiple categories), we have to be aware of, WHAT’S NOT PROFITABLE, WHAT SUCKS OUR TIME, and then look to fix, drop, or dramatically improve it.  Most companies our size will IGNORE those anchors that drag us down.    We won’t ignore these, ever.   It’s something we need to keep our eye on.   And then DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

How do we do that?  Sales, profit dollars, people on that team…and then sometimes it’s spidey sense, that gut feeling something doesn’t click.  Then we can slow it down and go invoice by invoice if needed.    We ALL need to do that.  Hey, does that work the best way possible?  Are we REALLY Listening to those problems… or sayin, nah, it’s how we have always done it, we are big enough, that probably doesn’t matter…

It doesn’t matter… until the whole company operates like it…and we become another SHOPKO, TOYS R US, SEARS, GYMBOREE, MATTRESS FIRM, CLAIRES…


At one point, they were better, cooler, bigger, and more profitable then Drexel.

Our competition… was all bigger and better than us… then we GOT EM.




Companies that don’t improve.  DIE.  period.



Our Friend Sam… great story here.









Erin Skorupa recently changed seats on the bus from the Campbellsport Location to Downtown.

You might wonder, what the hell do they do at downtown?  Make my life harder?  Come up with silly titles?  Drink Coffee and count money?

They play not only a vital role, a critical role.  They are the OIL that runs the engine.

Here’s Erin perspective from making the move:


On Thu, May 9, 2019 at 12:48 PM Julie Schmitz <> wrote:
Team –

Last week I was on my annual fishing trip in Lake Erie. (I love fishing!) Being on the lake is my reset button, especially when its great weather, catching tons of monster walleyes, sippin’ some beer, and just relaxing in the boat on beautiful blue water.

But this year… things were different; Super rough waters, small fish, and cold/rainy weather. So, what does one think about as they’re battling 4′ waves and tangled lines? Work. It dawned on me how similar fishing is to being a sales director…
You have to trust that the captain will guide you safely through rough waters.
have faith in your account manager and team
You should know when to grab the net before they tell you to.
be prepared on their behalf
You sometimes have to tell *not suggest* your captain they need to put a life vest on.
don’t be afraid to put them in their place/push back – *within reason
If you need to get out of the cabin, make the guys take you to the bar.
get out of the office for a bit and bond
If your co-angler takes your board off with slack in your line and your fish gets off, show them the correct way.
If you or someone messes up, take the time to learn/explain the hows and whys… just because it’s second nature for you does not mean everyone knows how to do it 
**this one I need to work on. Totally yelled at the guy.
Not catching any fish? Try something else (different lure brands/colors/depths)
just because you have been doing something one way for a long time, does not mean it’s the best way. change can be a good thing!
‘There’s a fine line between fishing, and standing on the shore like an idiot.’ – Steven Wright
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