MBU Hosts Dave Gerry | Leadership Breakfast 10.11.2022
Sponsored by ITU AbsorbTech
Dave Gerry, CEO of the Princeton Club and CEO of SaltCo, spoke at the Leadership Breakfast on October 11, 2022, and discussed what he believes is the road to true success: putting God first in your business. Through telling his own story, he shared how his commitment to God has shaped and guided his entire life.
When Gerry was 12 years old, his mother led him to the Lord, he declared it was “the single best decision I ever made in my entire life.” This moment began his journey of living his life for God and following God’s will. He shared that he hopes to lead and inspire the next generation.
Gerry emphasized that there is a difference between sacred and secular in the world, but not in the body of Christ. For Christians their whole world should have Christ at the center; all is sacred. This does not mean, however, that the only way someone can serve the Lord is if they are in vocational ministry.
As he grew up, Gerry struggled with the idea that the only way he could serve the Lord was to become a pastor, but he discovered that wasn’t true. He believed God was telling him, “I created you to function in the marketplace of the city. You were made for this.”
From that moment he began to pursue a career in business. At 26, he had the opportunity to manage his first fitness center. He recounted that as he was on the stage for the opening ceremony, he had a feeling between his chest and his belly button. He felt God was asking him, “Will you put Me first?”. He began to wrestle with the Holy Spirit, but when he took the mic he said the Lord’s Prayer. In that moment, he knew he had pleased the Father.
Gerry worked at the fitness center for a while but found that he did not agree with what the company was doing in some areas of the business. About three years later, he came back to Madison and a friend of his father’s decided to help him open his own fitness center on the east side. The business was a success and grew rapidly. The growing business prompted him to look into opening a second gym on Madison’s west side. He found a building to rent for a good price and everything fell into place. But as he was walking off the elevator at the bank to sign the papers, he felt that same voice between his chest and his belly button telling him to “Stop.”
At first, he tried to explain away what he felt, but he knew that it was the voice of God. He wrestled between his worry about his reputation and his desire to obey God. Gerry recounted, “I knew it was Him saying stop. I knew that if I went in and signed, I was building Dave’s kingdom. But I couldn’t do that.” Although it was difficult, he walked into the room at the bank and backed out of the deal. Gerry explained that he had been praying and felt that he could not go through with the deal. He felt humiliated and frustrated, but he went back to his gym knowing that he had done the right thing.
A year later he got a phone call from his partner. He told Gerry that the owners of the company they were going to rent from the previous year had a financially rough year. Now, they wanted to give them the keys to the building at no cost. He was shocked, but remembered God’s question “Will you put Me first?”. His obedience to God had turned into a greater blessing than he could have imagined. Gerry was given the equipment, the membership contacts, the building, everything. The only thing they had to do was sign a lease. He found that by putting God first he was blessed abundantly. And the building that he was given was the same building he was in the day he said the Lord’s Prayer into the mic. The business was successful, and he has been using his success to grow ministries ever since.
He concluded the session by challenging the audience, “If you are really holy you will do what Jesus Christ made you to do.”
After the session there was a q&a.
One audience member asked about how he started the company SaltCo.
Gerry was approached by his friend, Mark, about an idea he had to streamline the delivery of water softener salt. Gerry thought it was a great idea and encouraged him to get started, but his friend didn’t want to start the business alone. So, Gerry agreed to start the venture with him. He was able to connect his friend with people who would be able to help and invest in the company. The company was a success and in the last 12 months alone, they have saved 1.5 million non-recyclable salt delivery bags through their new process delivery.
The next breakfast is on November 9, 2022. Register here.