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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wednesday W.L.May Profile: Roy Wilson

Reprinted from: What's Cooking at W.L. May Co? Volume 1 Issue 10
Roy Wilson is the most experienced member of the W.L. May Co. team of Parts Experts. With 37 years of experience at W.L. May Co, Roy has seen a lot of changes both in his personal life and in the Appliance Parts industry. A Portland native, Roy recalls growing up in a smaller, simpler city. He remembers that during his childhood NW Portland, today a very trendy upscale part of town, was a grittier more working class neighborhood. Even so, Roy recalls, back then a kid could have a paper route, and even if he walked down the street with a bag of money in his hand he could be safe from harm.

During his junior year at Lincoln High School in Portland, Roy was drafted, so he enlisted into the USMC. He ended up getting sent to Vietnam, where he saw action in service to the United States. When asked, he modestly stated details of what he did there were not important to his story, except that he learned that "there are no atheists in foxholes."

After his discharge Roy returned to Portland and began to work for Gaffers & Sattler in NW Portland. In those days, Gaffers & Sattler and Magic Chef were their own   independent companies that were frequently used in RV production. This was going well until the OPEC embargo of the 1970's caused a slump in RV sales that resulted in downsizing at the Gaffers & Sattler warehouse. Roy was downsized on a Friday afternoon, but the following Monday he began to work at Pacific Appliance Parts.

At Pacific Appliance Parts, Roy began in the warehouse but worked his way up. Over the years, he did purchasing, worked as a field supervisor for what was then a chain of branch stores throughout Washington. He also ran the Bellevue branch store. In the early 80's, W.L. May Co. merged with Pacific Appliance Parts & Roy returned to Portland to help develop a merged sales department. Since that time, Roy has grown to become one of W.L. May Co.'s most successful salespersons and provides a wealth of experience and knowledge to those who have followed in his footsteps.

Roy is about more than just parts though. A big sports fan, Roy often has an opinion on the sports' pages story of thethe New York Yankees. He is a diehard Yankees fan who rarely misses a game and doesn't usually miss a chance to praise his team of choice. Also a devout Christian, Roy is very involved in his church. On 4 separate occasions he has traveled to Romania to work with an orphanage. He also rushed out to the Deep South after hurricane Rita to help survivors in Lake Charles, LA & Bay St. Louis, MS. Closer to home, he works with CityTeam Ministries helping Portland's homeless population. You may have heard him as the "The Colonel" on KFIS's annual holiday food drive, where he helps collect funds for holiday meals. The rest of the year he teaches a class on lifestyle skills for those getting back on their feet..

As you can see, Roy lives a life full of change and service. It is the relationships that he has developed with his co-workers and customers that make him enjoy working for W.L. May Co. He says "I don't think of my customers as customers I think of them as friends." If you are ever in the Portland area, make a friend, and stop by and say hello to Roy. Whatever you do though, just don't tell him you are a Red Sox fan.

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