Music, and drums in particular, have been a big part of Gary Alexander’s life since the third grade. After taking drum lessons for four years, he began playing in combos and larger bands and has formed several bands himself over the years. A graduate of Meadowdale High in Dayton, Ohio, Gary was president of the high school band and played in several other bands while in school.
He graduated from Miami (Ohio) University with a major in business where he was a member of the ROTC band and played in combos on the weekends. He then fulfilled his four-year commitment to the military, spending the majority of his time at Chanute Air Force Base in Champaign County, Illinois as an aircraft maintenance officer and instructor.
Gary started his business career with Frito-Lay as a Packaging Supervisor. He worked his way up to Co-Production Manager before going to work for Redmond Industries, a mobile home manufacturer. He ultimately ended up at their Chandler plant. After a few months there, he got the opportunity to work for Motorola where he would spend the next 24 years. He worked as a Product Distribution and Sourcing Manager then became their International Business Planning Manager. The latter position allowed him to travel the world, as he visited Motorola plants in France, Germany, Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Scotland, Singapore and the Philippines. While at Motorola, Gary organized the company’s own orchestra which played at Motorola events and at other area venues.
After taking early retirement from Motorola in 1998, Gary started the international Surplus Equipment Consortium Network (SEC/N) for the semiconductor industry, which later was transformed into a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization of which he was Executive Director. About five years ago, he “sorta retired” again. He is an American Legion member and the Southwest Coordinator of Wish For Our Heroes. He also produces and plays drums in America Remembers, a musical tribute show that performs throughout the Valley. All donations and profits go to military charities.
Even though Gary and his wife, Trudy, have lived in the Valley for some time, they just moved to Sun Lakes in late 2012. Since then they’ve become involved in several activities with Gary’s focus on softball and Trudy’s on the Hiking Club. Golf is on the horizon. Gary and Trudy are also big D-Backs fans, having been season ticket holders since before there was a team!
Gary has played baseball and softball forever. Since arriving in Phoenix in 1973, he has played softball for Motorola in an industrial league as well as on teams in Mesa and Tempe. He had not planned on playing in a senior league, but after coming down to the Field of Dreams he changed his mind. He was impressed by the talent level and competitiveness, as well as the camaraderie of the players. “It was a real eye-opener,” he said. “Now I’m a true convert!”