Class of 2007
What are you doing now?
Overseeing operations for the Brandl Companies, which include Brandl Motors of Little Falls; Brandl Auto Connection, St. Cloud; Brandl Mobility Finance of St Cloud; as well as Brandl Chevrolet Buick GMC of Aitkin. Also, I am a really big fan of the St. Cloud Rox baseball club!
How did the 5 Under 40 award affect your life?
First off, it was a very humbling experience. I am so appreciative of the kind words. All I have ever wanted to do was to work as hard as I can and make each day better than previous day. My success is all because I have surrounded myself with great, hardworking, caring people.
Other big changes since you received the award?
In October 2013, Joe Sexton and I purchased the Chevrolet, Buick and GMC dealership in Aitkin. In November 2014, we opened a brand new facility. In September of this year, we are opening Acceleration Baseball Center in St. Cloud, an indoor sports training facility focused on baseball and softball players.
What will make the St. Cloud area greater in coming year?
Growth and technology will continue to make St Cloud great in the coming years. This is a great area of opportunity that we all live in! The concept of new education facilities and the constant growth of new businesses will continue to make this area a great place to live, work and raise a family!
Originally ran: January 1, 2008
Tucked away on Minnesota Highway 25 in Pierz, Brandl Motors doesn't look like much more than a car dealership in a small town. But that small dealership has attracted customers from all over the state, including the Twin Cities and St. Cloud.
And co-owner Gary Posch does much more than sell cars.
Since Posch and his partner, Joe Sexton, took over Brandl Motors in 1999, the car dealership has grown from four employees and $600,000 in annual sales to about 45 employees and $40 million in sales, Posch said. The company has expanded into the auto financing market, creating two auto financing companies, buying a Dodge Chrysler Jeep dealership and acquiring a power equipment dealership. In 2008, the company plans to relocate Brandl Motors and Brandl Power Sports into a 35,000-square-foot facility off U.S. Highway 10 in Little Falls.
Not bad for a guy who in 1992 answered a help-wanted ad for a car salesman.
Position: Co-owner of Sexton-Posch Co., which operates Brandl Motors, Brandl Power Sports and Central Minnesota Auto Connection.
Family: Wife, Meredith; daughter, Mackenzie; sons Brady and Cullen.
Education: Associate degree in sales and management from St. Cloud Technical College.
Favorite movie: "Caddyshack."
Favorite book: Guinness Book of World Records.
Hobbies: Golfing, traveling, spending time with family, watching college sports.
What attracted you to the car industry?
I like cars. Some people who are in selling say they get a high off closing a deal. My high comes from seeing the person who has purchased it, when they are so giddy with excitement, when they can't wait to go home and show somebody or tell somebody. It's not the sale that's addicting. It's seeing people's excitement after they buy something.
How did things change when you took over Brandl in 1999?
When we bought the place there were four full-time employees. There was not a computer in the place. Accounting was done on a ledger. They had never heard of leasing a car. The first thing we did was put in a computer system and a leasing system and gave customers the option of leasing a car. We set structured hours. It was a culture shock.
Was it tough to transition to a leader?
I try to create excitement and get people excited to work. That was a challenge. If I had a long night the night before and I didn't say good morning to someone, they would think I was really mad because I didn't say good morning to them. Those were minor things I wouldn't think a second about. At first I thought, I'm my own person, I'll just sit in my office if I'm having a bad day. But when you've got other employees who are looking at you, you can't. As a true leader and business owner, we pride ourselves that we take care of those little things. So even if I am having a bad day, I make sure I smile and say good morning. I've had to grow into leadership.
What's the best advice you've ever received?
Treat people the way you'd want to be treated, whether in conversation, whether in passing or in sales.
How would you describe your leadership style?
Joe and I are hands-on owners. I'll sell cars to customers. If a car needs to be cleaned, I'll clean it. If the bathroom needs to be cleaned, I'll clean it. We will do whatever it takes to make it work. ...
How do you get customers from the St. Cloud area to come to Pierz?
It's word-of-mouth. We have a small advertising budget, but we pride ourselves on word-of-mouth. Three to five days a week, we'll bring up cars from customers from St. Cloud to our service department. I will leave them my car and then bring back their car when it's done being serviced. That's been huge for us; we've been doing it for eight years.
What makes a good car-buying experience?
Having somebody leave in a car that they like or love, that's affordable and that they leave completely happy in regards to the way the process went. And not having them looking over their shoulder and wondering "what if" or if they should have gotten something else. We give people all the time they need to make a good buying decision.
At what moment did you feel like your business was flourishing?
One day I was driving home into my neighborhood and every one of my neighbors had at least one car with a Brandl Motors sticker on the back. It hit home that when people buy a car, there is a certain trust level with me. They put a lot of trust in what I think and what I would think would be good for them.
What do you need to do to stay competitive in the auto industry?
The car business has changed. The idea of someone coming and us walking them around the dealership has gone away. Customers are becoming more savvy and knowledgeable. So we have to be that much more knowledgeable because the questions they are going to have are going to be more difficult. We need to be more educated and more professional because they expect that. Next to a house, this is the next major purchase they are going to have. They need to be given all the attention they need to make knowledgeable decisions.
What is your motivation?
I love what I do. I'm motivated by the people here. I'm motivated by their excitement and the possibility of them being successful.
Also, my children. I can have a bad day, but when I open the door to my house and the children come running, everything just goes away.
Did you know?
Gary's prized possessions include a bat used by Minnesota Twins player Kirby Puckett during the 1996 World Series.