In honor of our 50+ years in business, the monthly flyer will feature a different member of the Galaxie team. We hope you get to know us better through these spotlight articles and understand that strong relationships have been vital to our success through out the past five decades.
Well we made it! We survived 2022 and now it’s the beginning of another new year. It’s the beginning of new possibilities, of fresh ideas, of resolutions for improvement. A new year feels like a clean start. With each new year that we experience, it seems to always evoke the same feelings - looking forward with bright eyes to the future and also a reflective somberness about the past from which we can learn and grow. I hope that 2023 is everything you want it to be and more.
To start this year off in the 50th/51st Anniversary Interview Project we are featuring Sam French. Sam is the third son of Nathan and Trudy. He has been around Galaxie since birth like all the boys, and like all the boys, he started coming into Galaxie after school as soon as he could drive to do things like deliveries and cleaning. He took welding courses at Cowley County Community College and developed a passion for it. He found a job where he could weld in the oil fields during the summer months and that turned into a full-time job after he graduated. In 2015, there was a position that needed filled at Galaxie so Sam decided to come back to the family business to help fill that need. At that time he worked in the copier service department and was really at the forefront of that department’s transition to networking and IT services. He also helped with furniture installations and learned the sales side of the business. After several years, the calling of the “patch” (aka oil field) pulled him back into that industry. Sam is an outdoorsy kind of guy so being outside and working with his hands was really where he felt at home. Fast forward to 2021 - Sam and his wife Caitlin are expecting their first baby. Caitlin has done sales for Galaxie for the past 12 years (see her interview here) and she needed someone to take over her territory so she could stay home with the baby. It made sense for Sam to do that and now they work together as a team. Sam does the outside sales and Caitlin does the designing aspect from their home office.
Looking back over the years, he commented on how it just seems to be busier than ever. Everyone is always on the move and also the scale of the jobs we do seem to be larger than before. Some of the memorable times he remembers are the fun, themed corporate dinners- specifically the ones at Woolaroc and the Marland Mansion. He also mentioned enjoying the large furniture jobs in Topeka for the Kansas Attorney General’s Office. Those jobs included furniture lines that were more involved and technical so he enjoyed the challenge.
Sam is truly a people person and that is well-shown in his comments about what he enjoys the most about his job. Without hesitation, he said that he has enjoyed taking care of the same customers we have had for years. The people in his territory are “easy-going and easy to work with.” He enjoys visiting with his customers and seeing them on a regular basis.
With a little prodding from me (just a little) he reflected on what it means to work at the family business. After he considered the question, he said that it is a really neat thing to be part of a 3rd generation business. “Some people that I work with still remember working with Grandpa. They have been customers for a long time.”
One thing you quickly learn about Sam is that he cannot sit still, so he is a man of many hobbies. If he can do it outside then count him in. He loves to hike and backpack, ride his motorcycle on the plethora of Kansas backroads and explore the countryside, snowboard, and travel. Sam and Caitlin have been all over Asia and plan to do some more international traveling with their sweet little girl, Bronwyn.
I want to thank Sam for being a sport and letting me interview him despite the fact that he really really doesn’t like being in the spotlight. He is truly a team player and we are thrilled to have him on our team and in our family.
I hope you all have a great January and hold on to that fresh start feeling.
Until next month,
In true Lindsay-fashion, I didn’t really think out this whole project before I started it back in January. I guess I just wanted to see how it organically evolved and that it did. It has been a blast spending time with each person and learning new things about them and about the business but the problem lies in that we have more than 12 employees so my 50th year project is now going to flow into the 51st year….but thats okay, right? Isn’t that what small businesses do - they go in stride and adapt? Well I hope you continue to read and enjoy these interviews on into the next year but for now lets focus on the last interview of 2022 and that lucky team member is Chris Rhodes.
Chris has been a copier service technician at Galaxie for over 8 years and the last year or so he has started learning the selling side of the business. I asked him about his experience in the copier world before coming on board and he laughed and said that he hadn’t even used a copier! Prior to starting at Galaxie, he had been involved in tree work for almost 10 years. He was a Kansas Certified Arborist at one point and he definitely retained that knowledge so if you have any tree questions - he is your guy. The company he worked for asked him to move to another state but he and his family decided they liked Winfield and didn’t want to move. Then came the call….Nathan called Chris and offered him the job as a copier tech. He decided to give it a try and it was obviously a good fit.
Like the other technicians that have been interviewed, he commented on the transition of the department’s work going from mostly mechanical work to IT work. He recalled Lee and Sam starting the transition and really diving into learning the networking side of the machines. At one point in time we would have to call in the IT department to set up networks but the team learned how to do this side of the work as well. The copier world is still transitioning, according to Chris. “Many small businesses can’t afford to staff their own IT guy so they need the copier installed with all the networking functionality and softwares enabled so they can go about their business.” Thats what the copier service department has grown into - copier and IT services. We will likely see more of that merging as time goes on. As far as other changes go, he mentioned the change in staff we are experiencing right now. We are losing several of of our long-timers who have chosen retirement over coming into the office everyday. :) We have some newer team members on board now who are learning the ropes and bringing a fresh perspective to the business. Yes, change is hard but its not a bad thing. Someday things will change again…thats just how life works. Eli and Chris set a goal several years back of installing a certain number of copiers in the field. Everyone banded together and reached that goal. Chris attributes our growth to our focus on customer service instead of the “vending-machine approach” of some companies.
Some of Chris’ most memorable times at Galaxie include a team dinner at El Maguey’s after a late night of copier installations and the 50th anniversary party/scavenger hunt that Nathan and Trudy organized this past September. It was such a fun event and Chris mentioned how neat it was to see the merging of all the different years of employees there. Some of the ones who represented times past were Chuck and Joan Cornett, Jim and Dolores French and Scott Engle.
Chris started this sentence, “One of the biggest perks of working here is”…. and I tried to think of the ending of that sentence in my head. Working with friends…working so close to home….not being outside when its freezing - but it was none of these. Instead his thought was way more meaningful than any of my guesses. He said that one of the biggest perks was getting to meet so many different people in our community and seeing things that go on in their lives. He remarked about seeing the community grow and seeing its connections. It definitely made me proud to live in a small community where even your copier service tech cares about whats going on in your world.
Chris is a busy guy but he makes sure he takes time to soak up moments of sitting by the fire on chilly nights with his beautiful wife, Jessie, watching the Las Vegas Raiders with his boys, Wesley and Deklin, and visiting museums of all kinds.
A big shout-out to Chris for always being ready to help anyone - his fellow team members, his friends and family, and me with my sometimes fanatical marketing ideas. :)
Until next month (in 2023!!!),
We have a WINNER!!!
Cates Supply in Winfield is the winner of this year's Ugly Chair Contest!
Thank you to everyone who participated. If you have an ugly chair - we can help! Check out our huge chair selection at here or message us to
have a sales rep visit you.
How To Enter:
ALL PHOTOS MUST BE SUBMITTED BY FRIDAY, October 28th, 5:00 PM CST. Winner will be announced on our Facebook page on Friday, November 4th. One entry per person.
PLEASE NOTE: It must be in an actual office environment - not from Google images or a landfill. :)
Note: By accepting a prize, the winner consents to the use of his or her name, photograph and business information in future promotions without further compensation, except where prohibited by law. Odds of winning depend on the number of entries received. Finalists and the winner may be published on the Galaxie Business Equipment website.
Last Saturday was a beautiful day for a golf tournament at the Ark City Golf & Fitness Course. A fun game for a good cause equals a happy bunch of golfers :)