PDT Staff Writer
When David Gose was growing up in Wheelersburg, he never dreamed that some day he would have 131,000 employees; but as Regional General Manager for Walmart, he oversees 91 stores including the New Boston store, with 12 market managers reporting to him.
Gose grew up in Wheelersburg, as did his wife, the former Becky Blair. Gose’s family moved from Wheelersburg when he was in the eighth grade, which began what has been somewhat of an oddysey in travel. The family moved to Georgia, then back to New Boston, when he attended Shawnee State University. He received an associate degree, then finished his education with a bachelors degree in Business Administration from Ohio University. Gose graduated high school in 1985, then completed his degree in three and a half years (graduating in the fall of 1988). It was while he was at O.U. that they had on-campus recruiting, and that is when Walmart officials held a question and answer session and conducted interviews.
“I was very fortunate, as I was finishing my degree, to move right into Walmart,” Gose said.
Gose has been employed with Walmart 23 and a half years, starting out as an assistant manager trainee in Louisville, Ky., in 1989. He was quickly promoted to assistant manager of three locations in Indiana - Madison, Seymour and Columbus.
After 2 and a half years he was promoted to co-manager in Indianapolis, Indiana. Then after nine months he was promoted to store manager in Akron, Ohio. He ran that store for approximately 18 months before becoming a district manager in Philadelphia and New Jersey, one of the youngest, at the age of 27.
The odyssey continues. Gose worked in the Pennsyvania/New Jersey area for about three and a half years before moving back to Louisville, where he ran some stores in Kentucky and Indiana. Gose moved his family to Hebron, Ky., where he currently resides, and four years ago was promoted to director of operations for Ohio, and finally promoted to his current position as Regional General Manager two years ago.
“I supervise everything south of the Toledo, Cleveland, Akron, Youngstown area,” Gose said. “Everything south of that, including four stores in Kentucky.”
What is it like to work for the world’s largest retailer?
“It is absolutely wonderful,” Gose said. “The magic to our company is, regardless of how big we become, everyone still knows whom everyone is. There’s just great relationships - great partnerships in both friendships and in business and it is remarkable - the attention to detail that our company has surrounding people. We’re a very pro-associate company. We go by first names. Just as (founder) Sam Walton went by Mr. Sam, I go by David.”
If you address him as Mr. Gose, he will look to see if his father (David Gose, I) is around.
“It is awesome to work with so many great associates whether it’s in Ohio, or Kentucky, or Indiana,” Gose said. “We understand our mission. Some people think it’s corny, and some people think it is just a tag line, but it’s really woven into the fabric of who we are, saving people money so they can live better. We believe it. I believe it personally. I think it’s a noble cause for us to be involved in. And it’s very meaningful.”
Gose said Walmart has a basic philosophy.
“If you’re gonna be an everyday low price provider of goods and services, you’ve got to be an everyday low cost operator,” Gose said. “We don’t have a lot of frivilous things. Those of us, following Sam, who are still with the company, believe if we can save a few pennies, a few dollars, we’ll pass that savings on to the customer.”
As an example of his companys’ efficiency, Gose says his office is about half the size of his closet at home.
“Even though we are a $440 billion dollar company, we still run a store at a time, a department at a time, a market at a time, a region at a time, which I supervise,” Gose said. “We look at our P&L’s (Profit and Loss statements), and look at how we can continue to take cost and how we can continue to take expense out of our operations, so that we can keep our cost down and ultimately keep our prices down and pass those savings on to the customer.”
Gose said it is not unusual for him to visit in the local area especially on holidays and other certain special days.
“Certainly if I visit the New Boston store, or Jackson, or South Point, any of those stores, I’ll swing by,” Gose said. “I came through Athens a few months ago. “In fact, my wife is coming back there this weekend. I’m going to take my dad to the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) drag races in Indianapolis for the Labor Day weekend.”
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.