Our recent dealer tour to Minnesota allowed us to enjoy breakfast and good conversation with the busy Jerry Mathwig, owner of Metro Sales.
(Pictured above: Breakfast buddies Jerry Mathwig and Frank Cannata.)
Our dealer tour began in January 2017 with a visit to Les Olson Company in Salt Lake City and has continued through 2018. At each and every stop along the way we have had an opportunity to visit with old friends and make new ones. Such has been the warm reception everywhere we have been.
Minneapolis was on our schedule for early July. The city is home to three successful dealerships, must-sees if you visit that city, including (in alphabetical order) Coordinated Business Systems, Loffler Companies, and Metro Sales.
We moved our visit to Coordinated Business Systems to October so that we can also attend owner Jim Oricchio’s 35th anniversary celebration, a special invitation we were pleased to accept. When we tried to coordinate seeing both Metro and Loffler in early July we encountered a problem. We nailed down a visit with Loffler but could not do the same with Metro Sales. There was too much was going on with our friend Jerry Mathwig’s dealership. Although he didn’t have time to host us at his dealership, he did find time to join CJ and me for a long breakfast.
Jerry and I first met when I was working with Royal in 1977. After I started this business in 1979, Jerry and I would meet at the Hannover Fair in Hannover, Germany. It was always a pleasant experience catching up with him. The first time we ran met in Germany, it was by accident. I was walking by a parts and supply company booth and he was there talking to one of the sales representatives.
When I asked Jerry what he was doing there, he informed me that he was buying for a parts company he had established in Minneapolis. You may have heard the old saying, “No ground balls ever got by this guy.” That’s Jerry.
From that point we’d see each other mostly at Ricoh dealer meetings and on my occasional trips to Minneapolis when we’d find time to meet for dinner. I am very proud of the special relationship we have and every so often he surprises me.
Saturday is always a good day for me to write because there are no phones ringing and no one on our staff telling me they need me to take care of something. I can sit in front of my computer and pound away. On one beautiful, spring Saturday a few years ago the phone rang, which was very unusual. I picked it up and a voice said, “You and I have to be the only dumb copier guys working on a Saturday.” That of course was Jerry.
When we met recently for breakfast, we talked about a host of subjects but most of our conversation centered on what is going on in the world of copy/print. I really wanted CJ to meet Jerry and get to know him as I have.
Jerry has always represented the finest attributes of an entrepreneur. His company is now an $80 million operation and I am sure before too long it will be $100 million. He is proud that he is the only dealer in the United States who is single line throughout the entire state. He marvels at any dealership that successfully handles multiple lines. He has great admiration for Terry Newsom of POA who has managed that beyond being successful.
Jerry was extremely complimentary to CJ and what he has done with The Cannata Report. We ended our visit by saying we would be back when more convenient for him.
Jerry Mathwig is loyal to a fault and proudly stands by Ricoh, maintaining that it is a good company to partner with and the people there have always treated him right.
I recall a conversation we had about Ricoh six years or so ago when Jim Coriddi was named vice president of dealer sales for Ricoh. Once again, on a Saturday I received a call from Jerry who said to me, “Tell Jim he does not need to come and visit me. We are fine.”
That is Jerry Mathwig.
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