On Monday, June 26th, 1978, gas prices were a mere 68 cents a gallon, and disco music filled the air. It was a day that marked the beginning of Don Estridge's journey at the GEC branch in Little Rock, Arkansas. Prior to this, Don had worked in the field of construction and admittedly had limited knowledge about GEC's products and parts.
Back then, the GEC Little Rock branch, which had been established in 1972, had a small team comprising of only a supervisor, a secretary, and a warehouse clerk. Don had been hired for the latter position of warehouse clerk. But his first day took an unexpected turn. He discovered that the secretary was on medical leave, leaving the office busy and hectic. Consequently, Don found himself jumping into warehouse duties with the unexpected tasks of answering phone calls and helping in the office.
Little did Don know that his first day would foreshadow the course of his career at GEC. Despite starting as a warehouse clerk, he swiftly worked his way up at the branch. His journey led him to Inside Sales, where he was awarded the GEC Salesman of the Year in 1981—an award typically reserved for Outside Salespeople. Over the years, Don has accumulated a wealth of knowledge spanning a wide range of industry products and earned a reputation for his expertise in LP-Gas carburetion. Ultimately, Don's dedication and proficiency earned him the position of Customer Service Manager for the Little Rock branch, a role he proudly holds to this day.
After 45 years at GEC, Don shows no signs of slowing down. He continues to set high standards within the company, consistently fielding more calls than any other Inside Salesperson at GEC, even when working remotely from home. Under his guidance, the Little Rock branch has become a reliable pillar of support for other branches, supporting call overflows from multiple offices, including those in Kansas City, Chandler, and Dallas. Don’s favorite quote is “Our team at the branch gives 110% each day.” And it is no doubt a result of the leadership Don has provided over the years.