Dunn Center man doing it the way he learned in dad’s plumbing shop
Greg Gieser has come full circle and he’s excited about it. He opened a plumbing and heating business in earlier this year, making a return to his roots that spanned more than four decades.
By Bryan Gallegos
The Dunn County Herald
“There’s not much that I haven’t seen,” chuckled the 53-year-old Gieser. “I’ve done just about everything.”
He is the owner of Gieser Plumbing and Heating, LLC, a company he opened in May in Dunn Center. And he back in the saddle that carries decades-old memories of him working alongside dad in his father’s plumbing shop in Minnesota.
Gieser does all types of plumbing, including construction, remodel, repair and commercial. He also works on furnaces, gas and oil.
Gieser has been at it since he was a curious 11-year-old who jumped at the opportunity to learn the business from the ground up. His first job was sorting fittings and putting things away and cleaning up in the busy shop. He kept the job through high school, working summers and after school.
He learned and excelled. But at the same time, he began to wonder what else was out there. So the son of a plumber veered in a different direction and decided to go to college.
“I went to try something else,” Gieser said.
He enrolled at St. Cloud State University in 1981. Six years later Joe College graduated with a degree in Speech Communication and Technology.
But to succeed in his new life, Gieser had to use his skills from his old life to put himself through college. He worked part-time as a plumber. He would go to school for two quarters and then work for the others six months.
During this time, he earned his journeyman’s license – he was a sophomore.
“I had to put myself through college. It was a lot better than flipping burgers,” he said with another chuckle.
After receiving his degree, Gieser was ready to tackle the world. But things didn’t go as he had dreamed. There few jobs and even less offers in his field. And the few that came his way, the salary was well below what he was making as a plumber.
He returned to plumbing full time and never regretted it. He didn’t regret seeking other opportunities in college, but he was glad to be back.
Gieser stayed busy working throughout Minnesota, during the housing and commercial building boom. He earned his Master of Plumber license in 1990.
But things started to slide for Gieser in the mid-2000s. The economy started to falter and work was scarce. He was out of work and frustrated.
A friend told him about work in the oil fields of North Dakota. He didn’t know anybody in North Dakota, just a contact a friend gave him.
That was five years ago, and he got a job as a roustabout with Trilliant Oil Field Service, which had an office in North Dakota but based out of Casper, Wyo. His work ethic that was developed though his years as a plumber allowed him to excel in his new job and he quickly moved up the company ladder. He was promoted to Area Supervisor for North Dakota, managing the company’s rental-equipment division.
But, Gieser was again affected by the downturn in the economy. In January, he was laid off when Trilliant closed its North Dakota operation.
So, Gieser returned to his roots started years ago. He knows the economy is down, but is confident in his work ethic, moxie and knowledge.
“I like my customers to be satisfied. That’s the main thing,” he said. “That’s the way it started.”