In his own words: Lane Andresen of Apex Saw Works
Northern Nevada Business Weekly: Tell us about Apex Saw Works and the duties of your position.
Lane Andresen: Apex sells a wide variety of tools and accessories for all industries. We primarily service the construction cabinet trade and help a lot of woodworkers and home hobbyists/craftsmen. The business was started in 1968 as a service business — we did sharpening and sold a small amount; now we sell a lot more accessories and tools, but we still sharpen tooling and do tool repair. I mainly help customers and do a lot of purchasing of materials for sale.
NNBW: How did you get into this profession?
Andresen: My daddy, who owned the business, took me to work when I was really young and gave me a broom to start pushing. When I was in high school I was working for him full time doing sharpening and stuff like that. I stayed in the business for six or seven years, then I left and did the construction trades and foundation work. I came back and bought into the business in 1991.
NNBW: What’s the most important thing you have learned in your career?
Andresen: Customer service, trying to work through and solve problems. That is one thing I like to do the most. When someone comes in and says, ‘How am I going to do this?’ I like having a lot of different options to solve someone’s problem.
NNBW: How did the recession change the way you do business?
Andresen: We saw it start to happen fairly early, so we immediately did a lot of cutbacks — it is amazing what going out to lunch and a few other things can add up to be. We watched our expenditures, changed our buying habits, and adjusted our workforce. When people quit we didn’t rehire.
NNBW: What was your first job?
Andresen: Gathering eggs on my mom and dad’s chicken ranch in Petaluma, Calif.
NNBW: Tell us about your dream job. Why aren’t you working it?
Andresen: To get my captain’s license and be a boat captain and work on boats and move them around from one location to another. Why am I not doing it? Because I am very financially involved in Apex Saw Works, and it is something I can’t just walk away from. I have a lot invested in it.
NNBW: What’s the most fun you have had on the job?
Andresen: Besides our wild Christmas parties? I would say interacting with customers and them being happy with a problem being solved or a service they received. Or the happiness on their face when they have a new tool in hand.
NNBW: What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Andresen: Trying to be positive even when things aren’t going very well and trying to be upbeat about life in general. I always try to not let negative people bring me down and stay above it even when things aren’t good.
NNBW: What are your favorite hobbies or pastimes? How do you spend your time away from work?
Andresen: We tend to play with the seasons. In the summer we like to be out on the water boating, or camping, and in the winter we like to do snow recreational things. We ride motorcycles and snowmobiles, and we also are into snowshoeing. Whatever the season is we adapt to it.
NNBW: If you could live your life over again, what one thing would you change?
Andresen: These are good sitting around having a glass of wine questions! I can’t think of too much differently I would change.
NNBW: What has been your biggest professional accomplishment?
Andresen: The continued expansion of this business. We started in an 800-square-foot facility before it got moved to Sunshine Lane, where we took 2,600 square foot. Then we moved to 6,000 square feet, and now we are in a new 12,000-square-foot facility that was built in 2008.
NNBW: What did you dream of becoming when you were a kid?
Andresen: I don’t know that I had any real dreams of becoming a fireman or any of that stuff, but automobile racing was kind of in the back of my mind a little bit.
NNBW: If you had enough money to retire right now, would you? Why or why not?
Andresen: Would I retire? Yes, to spend more time with my kids and also to get more involved in the community. I would have more time to offer the community and my kids.
NNBW: What’s the last concert or sporting event you attended?
Andresen: BottleRock Festival in Napa about two weeks ago. It is a huge music festival, and this was the first year they had it in Napa. It was four days of music and a lot of wine consumption at the fairgrounds. It was an awesome time.
NNBW: Where’s your perfect vacation spot?
Andresen: Italy. I would like to go back and do the whole country again.
NNBW: Why did you choose a career in northern Nevada? What do you like most about working/living here?
Andresen: The location of northern Nevada to me is absolutely wonderful as far as the seasons and the variety of things to go do. You are only three-and-a-half hours away from the ocean, yet so close to being out in the middle of nowhere in the desert if you want to be there. I love the variety that it offers.
Know someone whose perspective you would like to share with NNBW readers? Email reporter Rob Sabo at email@example.com or call 775-850-2146.
The rate effective Jan. 1, 2020, is 1.65 percent of wages paid to employees. That is two-tenths of a percent lower than the current rate, giving a significant break to businesses that pay the tax.