Every so often, our editorial staff selects one aftermarket industry professional to get to know a little better. Participants are asked to respond to a series of questions that can be answered in about the same amount of time you might spend chatting at the office coffee pot or waiting for an elevator. In this installment of “5 Minutes With,” we get to know a little more about Glenn Wade, director of sales for Milwaukee Tools.
What was your first job in the industry?
I started in power tool sales in 1998. My first job was focused on residential construction sites with the purpose of introducing new corded tools and equipment to contractors. Of all the industries I have worked in, from residential construction to industrial MRO to electrical and plumbing, the automotive business has been my favorite and the reason why I have chosen to stay in the industry.
What would you say you like most about your current position?
It’s exciting to be a part of an organization that thrives on delivering innovative new products which allow our users to be more productive, and safer in the shop. Milwaukee Tool is continuously investing in game-changing technology allowing us to provide new innovative solutions to automotive mechanics. We are dedicated to making the mechanic more profitable by improving productivity and designing solutions that allow them to complete jobs faster. Our speed-to-market on new product development is [the] best in the industry. It’s great being part of a winning team that is valued and appreciated by our distributor partners and automotive mechanics that sell and use our products.
Did you initially intend to pursue a career in the aftermarket? If not, what drew you to the industry and what keeps you here?
My career started in professional power tools 25 years ago. Eight years ago, I joined a team devoted to developing the Milwaukee Tool brand within the automotive aftermarket. The industry has changed with technology as lithium batteries, electronics, and our brushless motor manufacturing continues to advance. It’s allowed users to cut the hose to the pneumatic tools they have been using and adopt a cordless solution that is now smaller, more powerful, and more portable. What keeps me here is that our work is not yet done. There are plenty more trade-focused solutions that our engineering teams are dedicated to innovating. Wait until you see what’s next!
What do you do when not at work?
On Summer weekends the family and I spend most of our free time on the lake where I grew up northeast of Nashville, TN. Depending on the season, I also enjoy deep sea fishing, off-shore sailing, and whitewater kayaking.
What one word best sums up your personality?
What kind of car do you drive?
Every day, a Ford F-150. However, in the garage, I have two passions. One is a 1979 Porsche 911SC I bought spontaneously about 24 years ago. The rawness of the car, no power steering, no traction control, no electronic anything makes it a blast to drive. The other car is a slightly rusty 1984 Jeep CJ7 Renegade. It’s the neighborhood family cruiser, 4-wheeler, and the yard workhorse. I don’t attempt to take it over 60 mph, too much white-knuckle factor.
What was your first car?
At 15 years old, I bought a 1989 Ford Escort GT with 140K miles on it. I bought it with money earned from mowing yards, and other odd jobs in the neighborhood. I eventually blew the motor driving it to high school each day like I was pulling out of turn two at Talladega.
Do you have a nickname?
G. Wade, G-Dub, or just “G.”
Who was your childhood hero?