Charlie Myers: Heart in the Heartland
Edition: November 2012 - Vol 20 Number 11
Author: Laura Thill
Whether Charlie Myers is planning a family camping trip, watching the morning sun rise over the marshes in the heartland of Nebraska or rooting from the stands at a Cornhuskers game, the attraction for this Midland Medical Supply sales rep is clear: the outdoors and the camaraderie. But it doesn’t stop there. Myers is passionate about bringing his experiences and love of great conversation to his customers as well. “The better you are at communicating, the closer you can get to your customers,” he says. Indeed, for his physician customers – many of whom ask to see pictures of his children before discussing business – a strong relationship with their sales rep is just as important as good service.
Close to nature
If Myers’ 3 ½-year-old daughter, Halle, and 7-month-old son, Owen, don’t get him up at the crack of dawn, chances are his internal alarm clock has already roused him out of bed. Particularly in the late summer or early fall, when the local government encourages waterfowl hunters to hunt snow geese – which are becoming overpopulated and causing havoc in the area – Myers anticipates joining his friends in the pre-dawn marshlands. The bunch throws out their decoys (“I’d love to make my own decoys one day, when I have more time.”) and settles in to watch the sun come up.
“It’s a great feeling to be outside – especially before many people are out,” he says. “Watching the sunrise in the marshes, in the heartland of Nebraska, is beautiful – especially this time of year, when the farmers are out on their combines. [It puts you] as close to God and nature as anyone can be. And, being out there with my friends, talking and telling stories, reminds me how important good communication is – both at work and in my home life.”
Perhaps it is his extensive background in sports that has impressed on Myers the importance of strong communication skills. Team sports emphasize good communication. “Growing up, I was a three-sport athlete,” he recalls. “I loved basketball, football and baseball. In high school, I focused on football. The thing I liked about that sport was the closeness and friendship with other team members.” Although he went to college with the intention of continuing with football, an injury prevented him from doing so. Still, he has enjoyed playing adult league baseball until recently, when a minor knee injury forced him to call that quits as well.
That’s not to say Myers’ intrigue with sports is finished. Lincoln, Neb., is home to the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers, and Myers shares his spirit and pride in his team with his fellow Nebraskans. “The atmosphere at a Big Ten Nebraska football game is great,” he says. “Even if you are [an out-of-towner], our fans will walk over to you and welcome you to their tailgate party. Nebraska prides itself on having some of the nicest fans!” And some of the nicest people in general, he adds. “Lincoln, Neb. is a big city with a small-town feel. It’s not uncommon to go to a store on the other side of town and see a couple of people you know.” Nebraskans – townspeople and physician customers alike – appreciate visiting with one another, he explains.
Still, as much as he likes his home state, he wouldn’t mind getting out of town once in a while. Unfortunately, he and his wife, Jenny, have encountered a few challenges in doing so. “We were married in July 2005, and had planned to take our honeymoon in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico,” he says. It was a seemingly perfect destination, if not for the fact it was located in the path of a major tropical storm. “Our travel agent called to say we could go ahead with our plans, but that we might spend our trip [trapped] in the airport,” he recalls. When the couple tried to reschedule for the following year, they encountered more weather issues. “Now that we have children, we say we’ll take our honeymoon on our 10th anniversary!”
Hopefully, the Myers’ won’t need to wait that long. This fall, they plan to make use of a tent and camping gear, which they received as a wedding gift seven years ago. “I’d go camping every weekend if I could,” says Myers. “With work and family, it’s hard to fit this in. But, this fall, we plan to camp with my brother-in-law’s family. It will be a chance for the cousins to play together.” A relaxing time to be had by all, he adds, perhaps referring to those early hours before people are awake and the sun has risen.
Born to sell
Myers’ entrance into medical products distribution officially began when he was in college, when he took a summer job working in the warehouse of his Uncle’s (Al Borchardt’s) family-run distributorship, Midland Medical Supply. Myers enjoyed the job and stuck with it. “When the warehouse manager left, I [stepped into] his position,” he recalls. From there, he moved into customer service, the equipment division and eventually his current field sales position. “I have been able to see the business from all different angles, which helps immensely when I’m working with customers,” he says.
But, Myers’ introduction to medical products sales really began long before his warehouse summer job. “When my brother and I were growing up, my dad (also a field sales rep with Midland Medical) would take us with him on his sales calls when we had a day off of school,” he says. “I have fond memories of that. We’d bring along our Game Boy and take turns learning how to shift gears [in the car]. These memories played a big role in my wanting to get into sales.”
In fact, when the time came, he took over some of his dad’s accounts, notes Myers. “When he introduced me to his accounts, it was [heartwarming] to see how well-respected he is. I thought it would be great to be so well respected.” Following in his dad’s footsteps never sounded better