Andy Olson, W. West Equipment & Furnishing
Andy Olson has been in the foodservice industry for 6-1/2 years. His beginnings include working as a room service waiter for Hilton, which he says was a very interesting experience. He then started at LaMar’s Donuts as a corporate accountant and transitioned into project management and marketing, taking care of new store development and kitchen equipment needs. When he recognized the opportunity available at W. West Equipment and Furnishings, he jumped on it.
“My current role is taking care of our second largest chain account. My responsibilities are running a job from award through the end of the warranty period,” says Olson. He reviews drawings, releases PO’s, tracks PO’s, creates CO’s, coordinates installs, runs logistics, service calls, compiles ASA’s, O&M’s, spec books, and invoicing. Needless to say, he keeps pretty busy.
“Working with a chain restaurant, there are a wealth of opportunities to meet and partner with very knowledgeable and great people. I enjoy the latitude of my position. I enjoy taking projects from start to finish. The gratitude and relationships built upon completion of a store opening are very rewarding,” says Olson.
Andy is a great problem solver that enjoys turning challenges into opportunities. “I’m working on a few projects for a client and we are running into challenges with getting materials on time due to the pandemic. Because of these issues, we’ve started to have more in-depth conversations with the client about our processes and ideas to mitigate this issue that is affecting not just our industry but many industries. The reward is having the opportunity to work closer with our clients, build partnerships, and learn more about how they operate throughout the design and build process,” says Olson.
As far as high achievers in the Specs Online training platform, Andy is in the second highest spot. He has completed 139 Specs courses. “I found the IT Security & Privacy Awareness course to be the most beneficial to me and something that would be useful for everyone. Professionally and personally, it’s incredibly helpful to be able to spot malicious attempts to steal information. I’m watching for more on general technology training because of how often we use it and how important it is to operations,” says Olson.
Andy found the customer service and conflict resolution courses to be great refreshers for him as he has a degree in hospitality. He says these are great courses for direction on how to navigate customer service and conflict resolution situations.
Andy is successful in the SEFAPro training program. “The national sales conferences are beneficial professionally, as well as socially, because of the networking aspect. I don’t have a lot of opportunities to meet other people in this part of the industry and it’s nice to mingle, chat, and bounce ideas off of each other. I get perspective from people dealing with similar issues and from people that are dealing with things I’ve never even heard of yet,” says Olson.
We asked Andy if anyone inspires him or has helped him get to where he is today. He said, “My family first and foremost, have been the biggest constant that kept me moving forward. W West has been very supportive and helpful in keeping me advancing and growing professionally and personally,” says Olson.
Andy lives in Centennial, Colorado. Although he says that could change if the housing market in Colorado could chill out for a second. Andy is an avid movie watcher and enjoys going to theater shows. His hobbies include playing the piano and guitar, cooking, going to the gym, choral music, and stand-up comedy. He says he is also a gamer and aspiring cat lady. He offered a weight loss tip… I lost about 70lbs a few years back on mostly spinach smoothies and what I call sad chicken (which is chicken with a no-salt seasoning) diet.
SEFA is proud to recognize Andy as Featured SEFAPro. The 100% he puts into everything he does makes it impossible for him to achieve anything short of success. He is dedicated to the industry, W. West, his customers, and his colleagues. His passion for knowledge makes him a very valuable player in our industry. Congratulations, Andy!