A Service Organization that Sells Equipment
In 1985, Stowe sold the business to long-time sales manager Gary Tobias. Hired in 1975 to lead sales in the Detroit office, Tobias had a vision to take over the business, expand into new regions, and put a strong emphasis on service. Chick Clemen, who was with the company longer than Tobias, was instrumental in making this happen with his strong engineering background, unparalleled drive, and pro-customer philosophy. Together, they turned Gordon Stowe and Associates from an audiology equipment distributor into a service organization that sells equipment.
Within the first few years, Tobias and Clemen opened new offices in Milwaukee, WI, Kansas City, MO, St Louis, MO, and Memphis, TN. With this expansion came the need to hire more talent, so Tobias and Clemen put a strong emphasis on hiring the right people and training them to be the best. Clemen took responsibility for hiring and training new technicians, as he had a strong engineering background, formerly working on guided missiles for the U.S. military. Tobias focused on hiring new sales and administrative personnel, emphasizing the need for expertise so the staff could effectively consult the customer to the best solutions.
Over the next few decades, Gordon Stowe and Associates grew exponentially because we were more attentive than the competition, had more expertise, and made sure our customers were calibrated on time. We developed tight-knit relationships with manufacturers, often working with them on ways to improve their technology. When it came to customers, we took a consultative approach to servicing their equipment, examining their setup, and making recommendations based on their needs. All these values still carry on at Gordon Stowe today.