Dennis J. Grady
Dennis Grady, owner of D.J. Grady’s Ltd. stores in Baraboo and Portage, Wisconsin, grew up in the vacuum cleaner and sewing machine business. In his teens, he began selling vacuum cleaners at his father’s store in the early 1960’s. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater, Dennis returned to the family business. Continuing the family business had always been his dream.
In his 30 years as an independent vacuum dealer, Dennis has dedicated his business to providing customers with cleaner, healthier homes and businesses. In striving to achieve this goal, he has improved the vacuum cleaner industry and the businesses of his fellow dealers.
He has pioneered many of the vacuum industry’s best ideas. Early on, he was a strong advocate for high filtration machines and sold one of the first such models to hit the U.S. market. But more than just selling the machines, Dennis did extensive research on them to better explain to his customers, as well as other dealers, how the filtration systems worked and the benefits they could bring. He was one of the first independent vacuum dealers to utilize videotapes as an educational selling tool. Dennis was also one of the first to organize his store layout into individual education centers for specific products. He even created a “store on wheels” to enhance his outside sales presentations.
Dennis has spent many years researching the industry, learning everything possible about new products and services, cleaning and carpet care tips and sales and motivational techniques. His thirst for knowledge has led him to develop better training programs and sales tools for his employees, resulting in the highest quality customer service, products and education.
Dennis has always been ready to assist other dealers and share the results of his research. He has presented numerous seminars at VDTA conventions and other industry meetings to help educate fellow dealers, as well as floor care and sewing manufacturers. His 30 years of industry experience, in-depth research and innovative ideas have benefitted the entire vacuum cleaner industry.
1996 Vacuum & Sewing Hall of Fame Inductee