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Frequent flyer: VGM’s Gallagher talks life on the road 

Frequent flyer: VGM’s Gallagher talks life on the road 

John GallgherIn his role as vice president of government relations for VGM, John Gallagher has learned a thing or two about travel.  

“Don’t travel on a Friday and don’t travel through Chicago,” says Gallagher, who also recommends planning for when – not if – your flight gets cancelled.  

During some recent downtime at home in Iowa, Gallagher was a guest on HME News in 10, where he shared his experiences as a frequent flyer. 

Team wins – across the board 

A priority during his travel is to build relationships, both with the HME community and lawmakers. Those are key to success, he says. 

“There’s a lot of team wins out there going back to the early days of competitive bidding when we were able to get the one-year delay,” he said. “The CARES Act with Sen. Thune that was included in the PHE – that was a huge win for the industry and, once again, that was a team win across the board with folks from MAMES in South Dakota and folks in D.C. with AAHomecare.” 

It’s not all glamour 

While traveling may seem fun and glamourous from the outside, the reality can often be very different, says Gallagher. Case in point: His return from a recent trip to the East Coast ended up taking well over 24 hours, thanks to flight delays and cancellations that ended up with him renting a car in Omaha, Neb., at 1:30 a.m. and driving the rest of the way home to Iowa. 

“People that travel miss a lot at home,” said Gallagher, a dad of six. “Volleyball, soccer, football. You get to a point where you wake up in the morning and you don’t know where you are at. Any hotel anywhere in the U.S. – they all look the same.” 

The people you meet 

Having criss-crossed the country, and traveled internationally during his time in the military, Gallagher says he loves the Western mountain states for their “sheer beauty,” and the people he meets there and everywhere. 

“I think people are fantastic wherever you go,” he said. “I have to say, as much as I complain about the travel, once I get there I can sit down with interesting people and have a beer. I can pick their brains on the risks they took to start their businesses and the risks they take on a daily basis to keep people employed. My hat’s off to the folks in this industry to do what they do every day.”

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