Pete Wangsgard Employee Spotlight

Posted in: Employees

Pete Wangsgard Employee Spotlight

Pete started with Liberty Mountain in 2002 as the warehouse manager. He worked in that role for a few years until the summer of 2004 when Liberty Mountain expanded their building. In the new space, they found room to create an outlet where products that were sitting on the shelves too long could be sold to those in the local community. Since Pete had previous retail management experience, he took up the reigns on this new department and position. In that role, he also took charge of returns, warranty, and shipping discrepancies. The need for this role has grown alongside of Liberty Mountain and now it takes a team of three to handle all those requests. Pete must coordinate the returns and warranties coming across the country between not just both of Liberty Mountain’s warehouses, but also coordinating with the product manufacturer in many cases. It’s a big task, but it helps him stay connected to our customers in a unique way. 

Ever since Pete has been managing the outlet, he has built a presence with online sales. We sell products on Amazon and Ebay as well as our own MtnOutlet.com as outlets to turn over closeout inventory and other items. Pete helps manage our house brand websites and sites that we manage for some of our exclusive brands. Pete works incredibly hard to help customers feel satisfied and taken care of during the purchase process. Liberty Mountain takes pride in our ability to serve our customers and Pete is a big part of ensuring that happens by hearing what they have to say. After refining his process for nearly 20 years, Pete likes seeing the impact he has with Liberty Mountain. There are certainly stressful and challenging days, but the fact that he’s maintained such longevity speaks volumes about how he feels about his work. A big part of that is the chance he has to interact with people including coworkers, customers, and even folks swinging by to quickly pick up orders. Pete loves seeing his role in the big picture of the business.  

Outside of Liberty Mountain, Pete stays very busy. Pete was a high school girls volleyball coach for 13 years. He “retired” close to ten years ago in 2012. He coached at Salt Lake Lutheran High School, even coaching the girls basketball team his last year. He remembers coaching fondly and is really proud of their competitive accomplishments. But if you listen to him tell stories about his time coaching, his relationships with his athletes stand out. He told a story about staying in touch with athletes who he met their freshman year and now are raising families of their own.  

You can tell that coaching was a labor of love for Pete. He told a story about when the school asked him to disclose exactly how many hours he was putting into the team including practice time, travel to and from games, training camps, strategizing, and planning. If you fixed an hourly rate to it, let’s just say it would be a dollar per hour value that you wouldn’t accept if it wasn’t something you truly loved. He reiterates that seeing the kids grow up and seeing what they do with their lives made it all worth it for him. His reward is when one of his athletes looks him up and reaches out to ask how he is and reminisce about memories and good times they shared. 

Another hobby/job of Pete’s is tracking stats for the Salt Lake Bees. The Bees are a minor league baseball team located in Salt Lake City. The players on this team are trying to earn their shot to play for a major league team by proving themselves. The players on the Bees specifically are working for a shot to play for the Los Angeles Angels. Pete sits in the press box during home games and keeps track of what happens on every pitch. What he inputs into the computer is recorded and broadcast to fans on the internet. He records every detail including where the ball passed through the strike zone (or outside the zone), if the ball was hit into play, if the ball was hit foul, how many pitches that pitcher has thrown, errors made by fielders, really any stat that is tracked in a baseball game is seen by Pete’s eyes and is input into the computer. After the game, Pete’s record is compared to the official’s record as an accuracy check. Those figures are then recorded in a database that is used by fans and professionals including reporters, coaches, scouts, and team administrators.  

Pete shares this responsibility with other stat recorders, which is good because there are a lot of home games in a season. He’s tracking stats for both teams which means there’s a stat tracker for the Bees when they travel for games, which means Pete doesn’t travel with the team allowing him to be at Liberty Mountain. Pete’s been doing this for 11 years, overlapping with his time at Liberty Mountain and coaching. When he was doing all three of those jobs was one of the busier times in Pete’s life. 

Pete is into vintage Volkswagen buses. He buys them as old, broken down shells of their former selves, re-builds them to their former glory, then for the most part sells them and starts the process over. He’s had the buses for years and was instrumental in forming a club called the Utah Transporter Association which originally started about 12 years ago. They started an all Volkswagen show as a fundraiser that they would put toward an event they called “bussing for Santa.” They would find a family and deliver Christmas to them in their Volkswagens. It started pretty small, maybe just seven or eight of them would make a small parade of buses (and maybe a VW bug) to make the delivery. Each year, they’ve grown and more people have gotten involved. A few years ago, they decided to do the paperwork to make the club officially a charity. They felt the need to account for the club funds, so they officially became a 5013c charity.  

They also hold shows where the public can come and check out all of the club members Volkswagens. The last show they did had 350-375 cars with people visiting all the way from Canada to participate. The furthest anyone has ever travelled was from Indiana in a dune buggy. But the charity’s main event is bussing for Santa. They still parade and deliver in the Volkswagens in forces of almost 50 vehicles. They gather a lot of attention in these parades as the busses are all decorated for Christmas with lights and signs. They try to do as much as they can with their funds and are trying to grow their community so they can continue expanding the number of families they’re able to help. So far, they’ve expanded to helping out some families around thanksgiving time, they’ve started building a small scholarship fund, they’ve gotten involved in supporting autism research. The move toward supporting autism was inspired by a son of one of the club members who has a special fascination with the Volkswagens.  

That’s really just a small part of Pete’s story. He definitely lives the Liberty Mountain mantra of “Work Hard, Play Harder.” He didn’t talk about it in this setting, but we know he loves golfing in his free time as well. We’re sure glad to have him on the team at Liberty, we appreciate the impact he has on our daily business efforts. We support and cheer him on outside of work as wellit’s hard not to with all of his amazing hobbies. 

July 15, 2021
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