Oh, the places he’s been!


Don Andre retires after productive career with Key

Oh, the Places You’ll
Go!
is the title of one of Dr. Seuss’s famous books. Upon his retirement, as
Lumber & Construction Services Manager Don Andre looks back on the path he
took to Key Cooperative, this phrase holds true. Growing up in New Jersey with
three younger brothers and an interest in theatre does not exactly lead you to believe
that he would one day retire from the lumber and construction industry in
Sully, Iowa.

An education in business and theatre at Central College is
what led Don from the east coast to Iowa where he met his wife, Kris.   After working
in the Farmers Co-op lumber department in Pella, he went on to own a furniture
store until 1997, when he started his career with Key. His first role was as assistant manager for what
was then the Sully Co-op.

Back then, the lumber yard in Sully looked a bit different
than it does today. The construction portion of the business focused on small
livestock buildings, but in the late 90s services transitioned into residential
and remodeling services. The opportunity to offer additional products such as drafting
services, custom cabinetry and various residential product lines took off and are
now essential to the business.

Methods, practices and systems have definitely changed over
time, but Don is positive about the direction that Key Cooperative’s service is
going.  “The entire envelope of home
building has changed,” noted Don. “Efficiency, innovation and technology are
now driving the industry.”

When asked to reflect back on his accomplishments, Don is
humble and gives credit to his team. “We have worked hard to promote
construction and value treating people fairly to the next generation; our
quality work is why we are so strong with repeat business.”

On May 1, 2014, Don said farewell to his management role at
Key Cooperative and now looks ahead to another chapter in his life: retirement.
“I have many trips planned, including some on my motorcycle. Some even still include
construction projects, only on my children’s homes!” said Don.

Though Don’s retirement is officially announced, it will be
a unique process as he plans to stay with Key Cooperative part-time through the
next year. “I want to help Glenn Lewis as he transitions into the manager’s
role,” said Don. “Next May will be the definite retirement date.”

Key Cooperative thanks
Don for his leadership over the years and wishes him the best!

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