A Conversation With ... Mike Gallagher, Therma-Tron-X

Mike Gallagher is the sales manager at Therma-Tron-X in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and in June retired after a 40-plus-year career in the surface finishing industry.

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Mike Gallagher and one of his cars he is refurbishing.

 

Mike Gallagher is the sales manager at Therma-Tron-X in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and in June retired after a 40-plus-year career in the surface finishing industry. Mike’s passion is TTX and old cars, and as you can see by the vintage Volvo he recently purchased and restored, his passion is growing. We caught up with Mike at the Sur/Fin trade show, one of his last official acts before heading into retirement.

 

PF: What are your retirement plans now that you are ending a 40-year career?

MG: Travel, remodel the house and rebuild old cars.

 

PF: How did you get your start in the finishing industry?

MG: I got a job drafting with TTX. As the company grew and stretched, so did I.

 

PF: How does someone stay with the same company for more than 40 years?

MG: We have always agreed that, if it’s not fun, don’t do it anymore. All in all, it’s always been fun.

 

PF: What’s the best piece of advice you were given, either personally or professionally, and who gave it to you?

MG: When you’re in a situation where someone is ranting at you, “Watch it like a movie.” In other words, stay calm. My daughter actually told me about that first.

 

PF: What was your first job, and what did you learn from it?

MG: My first job was a paper route. I did it for four years, and that really exposed me to the realities of being in business.

 

PF: If you had $100,000 to give to a charity, which one would it be? 

MG: I’d have to do a little research for that. Generally, I’m pretty disappointed with most charities.

 

PF: What was your first car, and what is your dream car?

MG: My first car was a 1966 VW Beetle. My dream car would be a 1960s E-Type Jaguar convertible, fire engine red. Not even a possible dream, but I do like that car.

 

PF: What leadership traits have helped you along the way?

MG: Never stop selling. I think I’ve always been good at that.

 

PF: When you were 10, what did you want to be when you grew up?

MG: My first thought when I was asked this question was “older?” Actually, when I was 10, I was living in the moment and had no concept of what life was really about.

 

PF: Night owl or early bird?

MG: Used to be a night owl, but as I’ve gotten older, bedtime has gotten earlier.

 

PF: Where would we find you on a typical Saturday?

MG: Either a remodeling project on my house or rebuilding one of my cars.

 

PF: How do you motivate people?

MG: Just be yourself. If they don’t like what they see in you, then you probably aren’t going to make a good impression anyway.

 

PF: How do you motivate yourself?

MG: Make a promise, then keep it.

 

PF: Three greatest passions? 

MG: TTX, old cars, travel

 

PF: Best business decision?

MG: Stay at TTX. The grass is not greener on the other side of the fence.

 

PF: What advice would you give to yourself 10 years ago?

MG: Same. Stay at TTX. The grass is not greener on the other side of the fence. 

 

About Mike

Family: Lots in Minnesota and California. It keeps me on the go.

Favorite hobby: Rebuilding VWs

Favorite movie: Casablanca

Favorite book: Almost anything, but I like science fiction the best.

What’s playing in your car CD/radio: Classic rock

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