Knowledge Is Power

Brad ArmstrongAs the third generation in a 40-year-old family business, I understand the hard work and innovative spirit required to be a leader in this industry. I started off sweeping the floors of General Air Service & Supply’s Denver fill plant 21 years ago. Today, I’m our executive VP of growth and development.

This didn’t happen overnight—I’ve worked in almost every facet of the business. As a teenager I worked part-time in the warehouse, the fill plant, purchasing, accounts receivable, customer service and at our main store. I got a degree in Business Entrepreneurship from Colorado State and then came to work full-time. My first assignment at General Air was to go to work for one of our manufacturers, where I learned about welding products and processes. I like to consider that my “Masters in Welding.”

Working for a family business means earning every opportunity you are given. I don’t just want to be handed a job; I want to know I deserve it, which is why I constantly work to improve myself and the company. Shortly after starting at General Air, I moved to Colorado Springs and started a new branch. It was a ground-up operation that started with me and another individual talking to potential customers. We began making sales before we even had a branch built. The two-man sales operation evolved into a full-fledged branch, and we soon took significant share in that market. I was 24 years old.

That experience taught me that it doesn’t matter how old you are if you are knowledgeable about your product and you earn the respect of customers. Selling is hard when you’re in a new market where no one has heard of you and you don’t have a store. I learned to gain people’s respect and trust, and, eventually, their business.

It is said that knowledge is power. Well, in this industry, the ability to apply knowledge is power. As a young person, it’s important to take initiative and learn how to do the job in the best way possible.

Gases and Welding Distributors Association
Brad Armstrong Meet the Author
Brad Armstrong is the executive vice president of growth and development at General Air Service and Supply Company (Denver, CO). Armstrong is the third generation in the family-owned business and enjoys the opportunity he has to work with his family. He has spent more than 20 years in the industry, working in nearly every facet of his family’s business.