Founder & CEO
After gaining a Degree from Canterbury University, much to his fathers surprise as ‘you aren’t as academic as your older brothers, perhaps you should consider a trade?’ was said but many congratulations followed graduation. Father however, was bewildered when told ‘I want to be a salesperson’. Graduates didn’t become salespeople in fathers generation! Garth’s first job was selling Olympia typewriters. He remembers travelling on DC3 and Viscount aeroplanes to visit the many Olympia Typewriter dealers. While of the ‘old school’ father was quite astute. Garth remembers discussing the Olympia job with him and saying that that he needed to learn more about selling. The advise was along the lines of ‘if that’s what you believe, get a job with a multinational, they will train you’. 3M were advertising for salespeople in their new Visual division, Garth applied and was successful, this was in the late 1960’s. After much training, and successful sales he was asked by his 3M manager if he would be interested in joining him along with several others he had chosen to start a 3M distributorship. Garth agreed and a successful business was started based in Wellington with an office in Auckland. The decision was made later to start a Christchurch office. Then in 1973 the opportunity arose to start BDL, and Garth began as a one man band. His 3M manger continued to operate the Wellington business successfully. Garth managed and grew BDL through many economic cycles and the various changes in the industry – from the advent of the analogue Plain Paper Copier though to the Full Colour Digital MFD’s we use today. Garth would be the longest serving person in this industry in New Zealand. Of course none of this would have been achievable without the steadfast partnership of over 50 years with Fay, who is also a Director of BDL. Both are really proud of the longevity of BDL and especially that the daily management of BDL is in the hands of the next generation. Garth has been integral in developing the internal IT systems over recent years. Although widely travelled, they are grateful to be able call the beautiful City of Christchurch home. Travel makes one realise how lucky we are to live in Christchurch is always the comment when they return.