Gary Gessel is an accomplished senior executive with more than 35 years of success within the automotive, banking, food processing, manufacturing, and fenestration industries. He leverages extensive experience to analyze financial statements and develop strategic plans in order to support next-level growth within an organization. Gary has proven his ability to recruit, train, mentor, and engage top talent to improve customer service and achieve company goals. His areas of expertise include financial analysis, product development, CI, sales & marketing, revenue optimization, market positioning, M&A, cultural change, and strategy development.
Gary served as President, GM, COO, and CFO/EVP with Milgard Windows & Doors for over 25 years. His responsibilities spanned finance & accounting, sales and marketing, engineering, new product development, and HR, and he had P&L accountability as well as the operational leadership of two captive companies. He led the preparation efforts for the successful sale of the company in 2001 to Masco Corp. As Company President, he navigated the company through the recession, implementing strategies to restructure the company’s focus.
Gary served as Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer with Nalley’s Fine Foods / Curtice Burns Foods. He was an active participant in multiple M&A processes including the acquisitions of Adams Peanut Butter, Tim’s Cascade Potato Chips, Lowrey’s Meat Snacks, SmokeCraft Meat Snacks, Van De Kamp Mexican Classics, Wilderness Pie Filling, and Farman Pickles.
Earlier in his career, Gary was Assistant VP, Capital Planning & Analysis, Treasury Department with Seafirst Corporation, where he was a member of the team responsible for creating the memorandum of sale to Bank of America. Prior to that, he was a Financial & Economic Analyst, Ford World HQ with the Ford Motor Company.
In addition to his executive career, Gary’s board experience includes Executive Board of Directors for Burkhart Dental Supply Inc.; Executive Board Member with Fortifiber Building Systems Group; President – Pacific Harbors Council Board, Boy Scouts of America; Pierce College Foundation Board; the Business Mentor Program at the University of Puget Sound; and Business & Accounting Advisory Board for Tacoma Community College.
A recognized thought leader and speaker, Gary has presented Career Guidance at Pacific Lutheran University and has presented an Investment Outlook to Wall Street Analysts.
Gary obtained his MS in Industrial Administration from Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management in 1977, and he attained his BS in Mathematics from Brigham Young University in 1976.