Alex Piwoschuk, 35
Director, Electrical Sales
Alex got his start in sales in his first job out of college, working for a large national insurance company. “It gave me a chance to learn a lot,” said Alex, “but it was really repetitive—the same conversations every day, day in and day out.” Looking for a change, Alex saw an opening at Graybar. “Graybar checked a lot of boxes for what I was looking for in a company,” he said. “So, I applied for an inside sales position and landed the job. The rest has just been one extremely fun, whirlwind tour of different opportunities and experiences.”
In his nearly nine years at Graybar, Alex moved to outside sales, into a management role, and, in early 2020, into his current role of director, electrical sales for the Minneapolis district.
“Each day is unique,” said Alex when asked what he enjoys about his job. “I’ve been a part of a wide variety of projects, solve different problems, and work with a multitude of customers and manufacturers. Every day is fresh and there’s always something new coming at you. It’s part of the challenge, sure, but it’s one of the things that really appeals to me about this industry.”
The global pandemic aside, Alex sees digital transformation as the biggest change the industry is currently facing. “The world is changing, this industry is changing, and on the distribution side the question is how are we going to continue to push forward with our customers and with our manufacturers and stay at the forefront of this technology progression,” he said. “How are we going to fit? How do we add value? How do we continue to push the envelope?”
Alex explained his part in helping meet the challenge: “As basic as it sounds, it’s understanding our customers’ current business climate,” he said. “How are they operating, what issues are they having, and how can we solve them with our technology and service offerings, with our personnel, with our knowledge. It’s about filling those needs and finding ways to add true value for our customers.”
Of course, it’s impossible to discuss challenges in 2020 without talking about the pandemic, and Alex admits that the hurdles it has created for the industry are many, but it has allowed for opportunities as well. “Not that anybody would wish a global pandemic on anyone, and it certainly hasn’t been a good experience from the economic side,” he said, “but I will say it’s provided the opportunity to find out what you’re made of—both individually and as a company. There’s an opportunity now for companies, and for this industry as a whole, to drastically change. Change isn’t always easy, but a lot of times it’s necessary and, in the long run, it’s absolutely vital to getting to the next level.”
Asked what his advice would be to someone just entering the industry, Alex replied: “Don’t be afraid to try new things, to take some risks—and hold on tight ’cause it’s a fun ride.” He also stressed the importance of networking. “This industry has some tremendous resources available—peers, manufacturers, customers. Meet as many people as you can because this industry is full of really fun, really bright people,” he advised.
When he’s not working, Alex enjoys time with his family. “I have three little kids so first and foremost that’s what keeps me running at home,” he said with a laugh. And when he’s not chasing his kids around in the backyard, he can often be found with a fishing pole. “I love to be on the water as much as possible,” said Alex. “I typically do a couple trips up to Canada each year…but I’m lucky to have plenty of good water right around here.”
Each year tED magazine recognizes 30 of the industry’s best and brightest under the age of 35. Please visit tedmag.com/30Under35 for nomination information and updates about the 2021 program. Questions can be sent to tED Editor Misty Byers at email@example.com.
Tagged with 2020, 2020 30 Under 35, 30 under 35, people