Since 1938, Heidelberg Distributing has relied on its Associates to make our company great. We’ll spotlight some of the hardworking men and women who not only excel in their everyday jobs but also go above-and-beyond in exemplifying Heidelberg’s core values.
STEVE GEYER – LORAIN SALES PROFESSIONAL
Steve Geyer has been working in the beer and wine business in the Lorain market for a long time. August of 2019 will mark his 36th year on the job. Starting out as a delivery driver for Goodman Beverage he spent five years “on the truck” and then transitioned into sales in 1987 and has been selling to retail accounts ever since.
In 2008 when Heidelberg purchased Goodman Beverage and moved into the Lorain market, Steve was one of the Associates that transitioned from one company to the other. “One of the first things we did was to haul everything from the old warehouse to the location we’re currently in,” Steve said. “We all knew right away that the change in facility was going to be a huge boost for us and it certainly has been.”
Lorain’s territory covers 14 different counties in northern Ohio and includes a wide variety of demographics. From city, to country and even islands in the middle of Lake Erie, it may be the most diverse of all Heidelberg’s markets. “My route goes from the inner city, to big chain grocery stores, to everything in between. I’m selling 99 cent, 24-ounce cans of beer at one stop and $10 six packs of craft beer at the next. Value priced wine to expensive fine wine. With the wide variety of accounts we service, you really need to know the entire portfolio.”
Besides almost 36 years in the industry, one of the advantages Steve feels he has in selling is having been a delivery driver, which helped him to learn about wine early in his career.
“I sell both beer and wine but I consider myself to be more of a beer guy,” says Steve. “Years ago, when I was driving I would help out by taking wine orders from our accounts and before too long, I really started to get a grasp of the wine I was selling.” Five years after first starting as a driver, he moved into sales but he has not forgotten about his time “on the truck” and what he learned about the market as a driver. “At the end of the day, you can’t discount experience,” he says. “I have been working and selling in the same part of the state for over 35 years. You do something that long, you’re bound to learn something!”
Despite almost three decades spent selling beer and wine in the market, Steve hasn’t slowed down and still has a great energy and enthusiasm for the job. “Why have I done this for 35 years? Because I like it,” says Steve. “It’s a different job every day. I like doing this because you’re outdoors, on the go and it you really never have the same day twice. The industry is always changing and that’s what makes it enjoyable. New products and new people, you can’t beat it!”
General Sales Manager for Heidelberg Lorain Rick Brown echoes what Steve’s retail customers tell him on a regular basis. “To say he has a great rapport and knowledge of his customers’ needs would be an understatement,” Rick says. “Steve takes a sense of urgency out to the streets daily, whether he selling Beer, Wine, Spirits or NA’s is irrelevant. He has a “can do, will do” attitude and no matter what is asked of Steve he delivers consistently!”
Away from his sales route Steve enjoys spending time with his family who includes two grown sons, 35 and 32 and a 19-year-old daughter and his wife of 26 years. “She puts up with the craziness of the job,” says Steve. “We love to vacation. Sit on the beach, get some sun and turn off the phone for a week.”