History

A Legacy of Excellence. A History of Innovation.

Portrait of Gary Nickander by J. Daniel Diekoff, 2011

Gary Nickander founded Nickander Associates in 1982. Gary’s past experience in the wood products industry, coupled with the relationships he nurtured, allowed him to start his own wholesale wood products company and see it grow for 25 years.

Gary joined the Navy in the summer of 1952 and served on the USS Hancock for 4 years, receiving an honorable discharge in 1956. Gary then got his formal education at the University of Minnesota, graduating with a degree in Wood Technology Engineering. His education and interest in wood enabled him to land a job in the research department at Wood Conversion Company in Cloquet, MN.

Gary’s career included positions at several companies—Masonite Corporation, Ralph Wilson Plastic, Rodman Industries and SEEMAC Incorporated. After forming Nickander Associates and seeing it grow into a formidable and successful wood products sales company, Gary helped craft the merger of Nickander Associates and SEEMAC. During his career, Gary developed strong relationships with his business contacts and many are still considered good friends and protégés.

Gary gained respect in the wood products industry because of the way he treats people—honestly, graciously, and generously. He exhibits these same qualities with his family and those he works with outside of his profession. Much of his business success can be attributed to his understanding of the role of an independent sales company within the wood products industry. He always preaches that “we are in the people business, and people want to do business with people they like.”

Gary is always quick with a humorous story and a generous gesture. He enjoys spending time at his place at Ottertail Lake in Minnesota. He remains active with a few favorite charities, with his family, and he still serves on the Board of Directors of SEEMAC.