DCC alumnus returns to manage local supply company
By Anthony Varriano
Ranger-Review Staff Writer
Former DCC student Ron Long has returned to Glendive as manager of General Distributing, the only Montana owned and operated compressed gas and welding supply distributor, which opened its doors on North Sargent Avenue in July.
“DCC is a great place to start and figure out what it is you want to do,” Long said.
Long was a Buccaneer from 1977 to 1979, and then went to Montana State University in Bozeman before joining General Distributing. He’s been with the company 35 years, and is looking to sell his property outside Great Falls, home of General Distributing headquarters, for a ranch near Terry.
“My youngest son just received his ag production degree, and my wife’s a school teacher,” he said. “We’re looking at a place that’s 3,000 acres, and we have a 125-head herd that we’d like to double.”
Two other local employees and General Distributing co-owner and vice president Eric Bliss make up the rest of the current staff. The company has been in business since 1948 and been owned by a member of the Bliss family since 1952.
Coming to Glendive hasn’t been the smoothest expansion for Bliss, but despite the high price of the property, the zoning issues and requests by neighbors to install ballistic-proof gas tanks, the company has been thriving.
“We’ve been picking up a lot of accounts,” said Long. “Our intention is to grow this to a six-person full store.”
Bliss swears his company wasn’t chasing oil when it opened a retail showroom and warehouse in Glendive.
“Some people think we’re only here because of the oil, but we actually have a lot of medical business,” he said.
Bliss added that their outside sales representative, Cory Dobson, grew the Billings warehouse to the point that it was becoming overwhelmed with demand from the eastern part of the state and in North Dakota.
“We had enough customers in Glendive, Williston, Miles City, and Sidney that weren’t getting the service that we pride ourselves on,” explained Bliss.
Customer service has been a cornerstone of General Distributing since it was founded, and business has been picking up steadily thanks to a dedication to “service and knowledge,” Long said.
To see all that General Distributing has to offer, visit their retail store and warehouse on North Sargent across from the stockyards.