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You Said It: Gary Leitzel, president of A & L Wood, Inc., Mt. Pleasant Mills, Pennsylvania
Gary Leitzel, president of A & L Wood, Inc., in Mt. Pleasant Mills, Pennsylvania, shares his insights on working in the sawmill and pallet industries.
Date Posted: 3/1/2017
How to Succeed in Business
Tips offered were to make a good product, deliver on time, not promise what you can not do and treat everyone with respect. Also, it’s always best to adopt the customer’s problems as your own.
Pallet Enterprise: What is the best piece of business advice you have ever received?
Leitzel: My father had a small business while I was growing up. I watched him do the best he could to make a good product, deliver on time, not promise what he couldn’t do and treat everyone with respect.
Those things have stayed with me even to today. My father-in-law, who I started the business with, often said it’s always best to adopt the customer’s problems as your own, and then smile the whole way to the bank.
Pallet Enterprise: How/why did you first get involved in the industry?
Leitzel: My father-in-law was working with a small mill making 25-bushel bulk bins for the apple growing industry. At the time we started the business, there was a great need for more bins than the industry could supply, so we saw it as a good opportunity to start a mill of our own. However, over the years as that business became more and more seasonal, we gradually moved our production from bulk bins to pallets.
Pallet Enterprise: What is the most important thing you do each day?
Leitzel: Unfortunately, it often isn’t the first thing, but the most important thing I do is spend some time with God, seeking guidance and wisdom to get through the day. There are too many decisions on a daily basis that affect the health of the company and the well being of the employees and their families.
Pallet Enterprise: What advice would you give someone entering the industry for the first time?
Leitzel: Ask yourself what you want to get out of life. Are you willing to give up the security of a steady paycheck each week? Are you ready to put your home and everything you’ve worked for up as collateral for the business? Remember that the most valuable assets you have are your family, your employees and your suppliers. Ask God for guidance, then work very, very hard.