For Better. For Worse. ForEVER!
I was 28 years old when I first moved to Chicago. Serta hired me to be their Vice President of National Accounts in charge of the Sam’s Club and Montgomery Wards business. Combined, they accounted for over 1/3 of Serta’s volume which was about $85 million in sales at the time. To say I was “over my skis” would be a HUGE understatement so the pressure was on not to screw this up!!!!
My boss Jeff VanTuyle took me into downtown Chicago to meet with Tom Lore the buyer (RIP Tom), and I was nervous as hell. The doors open on the elevator and we walk to the buyer’s office and there she was. The assistant buyer, Bridget Gordon, was sitting at the desk right outside of Tom’s office and she was incredibly beautiful. Blond, 22 years young, and totally off-limits because you can’t date the assistant buyer of an account that is purchasing over $30 million worth of mattresses from you. Right?
I was a good boy and didn’t make any moves on Bridget. Really. I swear. We became great friends over the next year but there was definitely a spark under the surface; I could tell, she totally wanted to date me. (That’s how I remember it anyway, Bridget recalls that differently.) 🙂 As any good rep would do, I took her out to dinner at the finest restaurants in Chicago, we went to shows and took horse-drawn carriage rides through the city at night covered by a blanket, sipping on hot chocolate. Typical rep/buyer relationship. Then it happened. Over the July 4th weekend, about a year after the day that we first met, Bridget met me at Navy Pier with a few of her friends for the fireworks show, and let me just tell you that the fireworks didn’t end when the music did. We had our first kiss in a taxi after that, eventually told our bosses that we were in love, and the rest is history.
There’s no doubt the support I get from my wife has helped me to become the person I am. She is always there for me and is my biggest fan and because of that, I’ve been able to do some pretty cool stuff in my business and personal life. So thank you, Bridget Quinn, for marrying me 20 years ago and making my life so much more meaningful. I can’t wait for the next 20 years.