A Legend's lifetime in the Construction Industry
Al Jordan, Action Gypsum Supply
Most of us had the pleasure of knowing and working with Al Jordan over the years; one of the founders of Action Gypsum Supply West. However, for those of you who have not had the opportunity to meet Al in person, here is a little introduction:
Al is originally from Illinois and graduated from Southern Illinois University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Management. After graduating college, Al landed his first job working for United States Gypsum (USG) in Pinckneyville, Illinois. He worked as a Personnel Supervisor and supported manufacturing personnel operations totaling more than 120 employees. During his tenure with USG, Al quickly gained the respect and admiration of his colleagues and employees. He transferred to South Gate California as a Personnel Superintendent, responsible for Human Resources and Personnel matters for more than 300 employees. He then moved to USG’s carpet division and became the Director of Personnel responsible for five locations and over 400 employees. He was eventually promoted to Regional Personnel Manager in Glendale, California and responsible for eight wallboard manufacturing plants, and later managed the L&W branch in Orange, California.
After 15 years of employment with USG, Al decided to make a career change. In 1988, Al took a chance and became part of a small company called CALPLY. At that time, CALPLY had five locations. Al was responsible for overseeing the operations at several locations including Gardena, Pico Rivera, Redlands, and Bakersfield. CALPLY’s operation and success quickly grew. Al spent the next 20 years at CALPLY helping build a 600-million-dollar company. By the end of 2006, CALPLY was operating in five states, had 34 locations, and employed almost 1,000 employees. Al eventually became the Chief Operating Officer of the company and was key to its success.
In 2007, CALPLY was sold to L&W Supply, a division of United States Gypsum, and Al found himself once again working for USG. This time Al was returning to USG as their Vice President of Operations for the entire West. This was a momentous challenge for Al. Not only was he responsible for 65 locations and hundreds of employees, he also had to manage this enormous operation during one of the biggest economic downturns since the great depression. Despite all this, Al was able to successfully lead the west to profitability.
In 2011, after more than 35 years of working in the building materials industry, Al decided to retire from USG…or so he thought. This is where the Action Gypsum Supply West story begins…
In 2012, Al started a small business called ARGOS Material Distribution selling tools and fasteners. Most of his customers were old colleagues and business associates from his USG and CALPLY days. As the demand for his goods and services grew, business demands prompted the opening of his first warehouse in Chino, California. Along with a new warehouse, came new employees and Kris Nava was the first. Kris was a jack of all trades supporting basically every aspect of the business; customer service, Class C driver, IT support, system management, purchasing, and warehouse management. Soon after, Pete Benson and Raul Gonzales were added to the team. Pete was the first commercial driver, and Raul was the first official warehouseman. The business saw exponential growth over the next several years and by the end of 2017, ARGOS Material Distribution had two fully functional building material branches and employed more than 50 employees.
In 2016, Al Jordan, along with Terri King, and Lenin Juarez of Action Gypsum Supply, collaborated on their first joint venture in Phoenix, Arizona. This would be the first Action Gypsum Supply West branch. In June of 2017, the partnership and joint ventures between Al, Terri, and Lenin grew and ARGOS and Action Gypsum Supply became Action Gypsum Supply West. The financial strength of Action Gypsum Supply made it possible for the West to grow more quickly than would have been possible without the merger. Fast forward two years and Action Gypsum Supply West now has five locations which include four California locations in Chino, Carson, Gilroy, and Hayward as well as one Arizona location in Phoenix, employing over 160 employees between all of them.
Today, Action Gypsum Supply West is a leading distributor of building materials. Partnering with general contractors and our customers, we help support families and our communities by providing building materials necessary for the construction of homes, office buildings, amusement parks, shopping centers, as well as public works jobs such as schools, hospitals, and airports, just to name a few. Together Al, Terri, and Lenin built a strong coalition, bringing over 90 years of industry experience between them. Action Gypsum Supply became an exceptional company that employs over 300 workers and has 13 branches operating in four states (Texas, Arizona, California, Colorado) The company culture is one in which employees are considered their most valued asset, and prides itself on inclusion, diversity, team building, professional growth and mutual respect for all.
FUN FACT: Al is really good at singing Wild Thing at karaoke!
SOMETHING INTERESTING: Al and his wife, Debbie, traveled to the African country of Tanzania where he spent time with the nomadic Wasabi tribe. He was able to join them on a traditional hunt, using bows and arrows made of raw materials available to them, such as sticks and branches. The game they caught that day (two birds) were cooked the old-fashioned way, over an open flame, from a fire constructed by rubbing two sticks together. Needless to say, this is an experience Al will never forget.
SOMETHING IMPORTANT: Al was on the Board of Directors for the Let It Be Foundation where he generated corporate sponsorships. The Let It Be Foundation provides support for families while caring for their terminally ill child. Corporate sponsorships provide the financial means necessary to facilitate this support.
SOMETHING MOST OF US ALREADY KNOW: Al is passionate about many things. He loves his family, friends, colleagues, company, and employees above all else.