GAO bought out Express Industries in November of 2015. I had been with Express since 1993. It took awhile getting used to the different policies and "mechanics" of GAO as opposed to EIC's workings. Overall, GAO is a good company and I appreciate the opportunity they have afforded me. On the other hand, there are some issues that just keep "cropping up" that make it very stressful.
Higher commissions, all meals provided at national and regional meetings.
Charges to sales persons that I didn't have with EIC: brochures and supplies, prizes, etc.
Customer Service Representative (Former Employee) – Nashville, TN – March 19, 2019
Work was steady with friendly co-workers and not too stressful Direct supervisor was wonderful but higher Supervisor did not care about staff Customer Care was blamed for sales being down even though it was do to marketing and purchasing error. Company seems to be going under as they downsized almost half of the customer service department and cut he pay of all remaining staff. Sales Force were made to be independent contractor and lost benefits
GAO was a great place to work and had great people to work with.
Video and Social Media Specialist (Former Employee) – Nashville, TN – February 21, 2019
I enjoyed my 21 years with GAO. I was given many opportunities to grow in the company. It was sad how poor leadership decisions during the last few years caused the company to restructure and eliminate nearly 200 jobs. Mine was one of them.
Great people. Fun atmosphere.
Poor management choices led to the elimination of nearly 200 jobs in January.
Customer Service Representative (Former Employee) – Nashville, TN – February 6, 2019
Word needs to get out about what has happened here. Poor decisions on the part of upper managment ran this company into the ground. They have downsized and terminated roughly 75-80% of their home office and warehouse staff. They state they have a plan to stay afloat and are rebranding under the name Southwestern Fundraising (Southwestern being the parent company)...but it is highly likely that this is simply a lie (or someone’s pipe dream) to make sure those that were not terminated at the end of January 2019 have some form of job security. I adored my direct supervisors and co-workers. These are good people who cared about what they were doing. The vast majority of them are now unemployed and the sales force are without benefits and many of the product lines they have always been able to present to school groups for fundraising. Great American’s future is uncertain. I advise those still employed by this company to start looking elsewhere immediately. Good luck to all.
Customer Service Representative (Current Employee) – Nashville, TN – February 2, 2019
pay is horrible. work load is worse. you will get in trouble for taking too long in the bathroom. some supervisors are nice, some are awful. pay is horrible and no benefits worth having. new ceo has no idea what he's doing and is ruining the company.
Communication Specialist (Current Employee) – California – September 26, 2018
I love working here! If you want to work from home it's a great place to work. I can take care of my children and still work. Great environment. Not great pay but hey I get to work from home and don't have to spend gas money!
Local representative (Former Employee) – Nashville, TN – August 14, 2018
This is a full-commission job that requires you to have a vehicle, inventory of prizes, storage for those prizes and materials for fundraising with schools. I do not recommend it for those with strong opinions of children selling cookies or magazines for school fundraisers.
You set your own hours
You are at the mercy of PTO's and children selling your stuff.
Fundraising Consultant (Former Employee) – Erie, PA – February 2, 2018
No really set standard. Everyone did what they thought was best, very little feedback and guidance. It was almost like they wanted to keep what was working for them a secret. Great work life balance allows full freedom, but poor management leads to little advancement.
Sales Territory Manager (Current Employee) – Tracy, CA – May 1, 2017
Typical day consisted of self directed client prospecting and in the field site visits. Early training and mentoring was providing but drastically varied between senior sales mentors. The most difficult part of the job was being hired on during the summer and not having any available immediate hands on training. In addition I was not given any existing accounts that were already in my territory, these were given to existing sales reps in neighboring territories. It took about 4 months to start building up some accounts before I was released. I had multiple account sales coming up that I was unable to run thus not able to receive any of the commissions.
DISTRICT MANAGER (Current Employee) – Nashville, TN – April 11, 2017
Great American is a rewarding place to work with many positive aspects. I have enjoyed the people I work with both customers and fellow employees. There is always a need for our services and potential customers are endless. The downside is the industry in general has become competitive to a point where it is getting harder to make a good living.
Great company atmosphere.
A commission based job where sales people are asked to do a lot of non-income producing activities.