As GPA’s Area Vice President for the Western Region of the United States, Jim Bender provides leadership and support to GPA’s Territory Sales Managers on the West Coast to help them meet their corporate objectives and provide the highest levels of service to our customers. He also serves as a day-to-day liaison and company culture ambassador for GPA’s local Customer Support and Warehouse associates, in addition to collaborating with the internal Purchasing team and Territory Sales Managers to keep local inventory at peak levels.
Jim regularly represents GPA at industry events and on-site, working side by side with customers to show them how GPA can provide greater value to their organization and enhance their profitability. He was instrumental in the relocation of the Western regional headquarters to a more spacious facility, which has enabled the company to better serve the growing needs of our customers. Jim remains committed to helping GPA and our customers achieve their goals, and says his favorite part of the job is collaborating with customers and introducing them to new ways to improve their business. He continually strives to increase GPA’s relevance in a constantly evolving market.
Prior to joining GPA, Jim held a number of positions at Kirk Paper, which became part of the xpedx organization in 1995. He started at Kirk Paper in 1988 in a management training position and advanced into sales, then to general sales management. He progressed into brand management, and then became a business unit manager. He joined GPA in 2006 as the Western Region General Manager, and was promoted to his current position in 2011. Jim believes in treating people with fairness and respect, in continually setting and achieving personal goals, and in being honest with yourself to fulfill your own potential. He credits this philosophy for helping him grow into the dedicated team leader that he is today.
Jim graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Economics. He is also a graduate of the Executive Program at the Anderson School of Management at UCLA.