Paul Gwilliam: Applied Expertise
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
SANTA ROSA — After several years in home appliance sales, Paul Gwilliam’s years of applying himself finally paid off in the form of an exceptional opportunity. “I started out as an appliance sales rep at Montgomery Ward in Daly City, back in the late ’70s,” he remembers. “In 1988, I was hired at Asien’s Appliance, Inc., where I continued to do sales before being promoted to general manager. A few years later, Larry Asien, the company’s founder, decided to start transitioning out of the company and chose me as his successor. In 1994, he brought me in as a partner.”
Today, as owner of Asien’s Appliance, Paul takes pride in continuing the business’ longstanding legacy for quality products and service. “Back when I was on the sales floor, I enjoyed helping people solve problems and giving them the information they needed to make good decisions,” he says. “Almost 30 years later, it’s good to see the same customers—and in many cases their children—return to us. It’s just great to see the confidence people have in our store.”
Raised in San Francisco, Paul resides today in Windsor with his wife, Terri. Outside of work, he engages in a variety of active pastimes. “I enjoy golf, boating and taking RV trips with my wife,” he says. “And, of course, I always like barbecuing with friends and family.” Additionally, Paul takes time to keep up with his three grown sons. “Terri and I have three boys, all of whom are spread out and involved in their own careers, so we make it a point to keep in touch.”
In his life and career, Paul espouses the importance of going with your gut. “I believe in doing what feels right,” he explains. “Sometimes a decision may not make total sense on paper, but it feels like the right thing to do for a customer or an employee. After all, to truly be successful in business, you have to look at more than just the bottom line—you have to be honest and do right by others.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Paul says he’d embark on an extensive road trip. “I’d probably jump in my RV and see some more of this country. I’ve only been to about 10 of the 50 states, so there’s a whole lot out there I have yet to explore.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite season?
A: Summer—there are more opportunities to do the things I love, like boating, RVing and barbecuing.
Q: Coffee or tea?
Q: What are your favorite TV shows?
A: “The Profit” and “Shark Tank.”
Q: If you could fluently speak any foreign language, what would you choose?
A: Probably Spanish—it would be both fun and useful.
Q: What was your favorite toy as a child?
A: My bike.