TIME TO RELAX: After a 45- year career at Agricultural Requirements and Vanderfields Gatton, as well as 15 years as part of the Lockyer Chamber of Commerce, Graham Naumann is enjoying the simplicity of retirement.
TIME TO RELAX: After a 45- year career at Agricultural Requirements and Vanderfields Gatton, as well as 15 years as part of the Lockyer Chamber of Commerce, Graham Naumann is enjoying the simplicity of retirement. Dominic Elsome

45 year career full of highlights

FORTY-FIVE years is a long time - but Graham Naumann loved every minute of his time selling farm equipment.

Mr Naumann started his career at Agricultural Requirements, and it didn't take long for him to start moving upwards.

"I started there in irrigation, just for a few weeks and the owner then said, 'on Monday you're going to be a salesman',” Mr Naumann said.

"Loved it from day dot, and it worked from day dot, I had no problems.”

He would go on to work for the local company for nearly three decades and hold various roles within it.

"I didn't just stay as a salesman for 28 years - I was the import manager for a while, they were importing a lot of equipment, and I was a rep to dealers for a while, and then I was the indoor sales manager - so I worked my way up.

"You had to prove yourself first but that's how it happened.”

After a long, successful career at AR, he jumped ship for a new challenge at Vanderfield Gatton.

"Vanderfield rang me up and asked if I wanted a change, they wanted a branch manager here,” he explained.

"And I thought good change, might as well have one change.”

He would go on to manage the branch with great success for 17 years, until his retirement in 2014.

Mr Naumann said while highlights of his career included travelling to Europe and the US, it was the simple things he was most proud of.

"Satisfying people was a big achievement... I think my greatest achievement is you get a customer and you keep them - I changed jobs and kept a lot of customers, it's just satisfying people,” he said.

"Dealing with people that probably only a buy a tractor every 10 years - they get excited, so you get excited with them.”

Mr Naumann joined the Lockyer Chamber of Commerce in 1998 to become more involved in the community and keep an ear to the ground.

"A branch manager needs to know what's going on around the place, not just for work, you need to know what's happening in the area,” he said.

"You can just go home at 5pm and say don't worry about the town or the community, but I think that the work you put into the community... you've got to be about community, and sell the town.”

During his time on the committee, Mr Naumann said he saw business in the Lockyer begin to bloom.

"It's hard to picture what it was, it was very different,” he said.

"It's had a few challenges but I think it's on the up now, it's going pretty well.”

But he said this wouldn't last if the community didn't continue to support the local businesses.

"Everybody should support the local area - because if you don't look after the local businesses then what do you have left.”

Mr Naumann's 15 years of service to the chamber will be recognised on June 22 when he will be awarded life membership at the group's Business Recognition Dinner.

Mr Neumann said he felt honoured by the award, and that it came about from a lot of hard work.

"I think that it's some reward for the effort that you put into it,” he said.

He encouraged more business owners to become involved with the chamber, and said they would only benefit.

"Its an advantage to be a member and know what's going on - there's no question.”

As for advice for people starting their careers, Mr Naumann emphasised the need to go the extra mile.

"People seem to think 'that's my job, it's limited to that', but you got to step out and have a go,” he said.

"I mean, when I first started we'd be out on the road, we'd go to canvass the farms, and come 5pm we'd think 'oh we'll just do one more' - and that'll be the best one of the day.

"It's that extra mile, and I think that's how I got to do what I did, you put your hand up to do the hard yards.”

And what's he up to these days?

After 45 years of hard work, he's enjoying his down time by travelling the country.

"Go where I want to go, when I want to go - that's the beauty,” he said.

"You worked all those years it's no good just sitting at home doing nothing.”


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