Fresh Perspective

Departments - Fresh Perspective

Recycling industry professionals share their perspectives on the industry.

May 29, 2020

Dan Poris

Vice president of nonferrous at GLE Scrap Metal

When Dan Poris graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Michigan in 2008, he had considered working in the scrap industry.

“Danny Zack, who is the CEO of GLE Scrap Metal, had asked if I wanted to join the company and get into the scrap metal industry,” he says.

Poris says he and Zack had talked about that possibility for a couple of years, but Poris instead chose to work in real estate after graduating. He quickly learned that real estate wasn’t the best fit for him, though, Poris says, and in 2010, he joined Zack at GLE Scrap Metal, with operations in Michigan and Florida, to help with its sales team.

He adds that he hit the ground running at GLE thanks to sales training he received when working in the real estate industry.

“The sales training I got in my previous job in the real estate industry was really comprehensive,” he says. “They offered a three-to-six-month intensive training program. That was probably some of the best training I could have gotten for when I started at GLE and for what I still do now in terms of prospecting, building relationships and building credibility.”

“I think the pandemic and market environment show that relationships are more important than ever.”

Poris, who is vice president of nonferrous at GLE, says he’s had the opportunity to watch GLE go through a number of expansions the past decade, such as opening new yards and getting into wire chopping.

“We’ve grown in ways I never would have imagined when I started at the company 10 years ago,” he says, adding that he feels lucky that he really enjoys what he does for a living.

Recycling Today (RT): What lessons did you learn in real estate that translated to your career in the scrap industry?

Dan Poris (DP): [In real estate training], I had to make a lot of face-to-face mock sales calls. It got you over your fear of cold calling, which, without that experience, can be intimidating. I also learned how to prospect and find new customers. It was basic sales training stuff, but they don’t teach you that in school generally. So, when I joined the scrap metal world, I didn’t have to learn to prospect or cold call—I’d been doing that for a couple of years.

RT: What’s the company culture like at GLE Scrap Metal?

DP: We have a play-hard-work-harder culture. A lot of people who are on the executive and management side of GLE all grew up in the same area of the suburbs of Detroit, so we all have that shared experience. Then, we all just really enjoy what we’re doing. We like figuring out how to close deals successfully.

RT: How has GLE Scrap Metal been responding to issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic?

DP: I think April was a pretty wild month in the metals market, with wild swings in markets and values and spreads. So, that is still to be shaken out. I think the domestic aluminum market is a real challenge right now, with so many automakers still out of the market, hopefully to come back online in the middle of May. I think volatility is probably here to stay for a while, but I hope the worst effects of people being shut down are in our rearview mirror. The challenges we’re facing are the challenges most of the industry faces. I think the pandemic and market environment show that relationships are more important than ever.