As the third-generation business owner of Dudek Florist Supply, Treston Dudek’s (Management ’13, M.B.A. ’15) drive to lead can be found in family roots. Donovan Dudek, his grandfather, founded the supply store in 1959 and ran it until 1990. As he grew up, Treston and his siblings each worked at the store while their father ran it, allowing him to become familiar with the inner workings of the family business. Treston later took the baton from his father in 2021 and has been using his management skills to continue growing the company.
Training to Embrace Family Roots
In the later years of high school, Treston knew he wanted to study management at Pensacola Christian College. He valued earning a Christian education, and PCC had a reputation for well-rounded alumni. “Growing up, we used [Abeka] at the Christian school and knew of PCC grads that graduated from the College [who] were now successful in their own careers,” he explained. Treston also appreciated how PCC supplied options to make college affordable. “Going to PCC, I knew I could work enough during the summers and school year and graduate debt-free.”
After enrolling at PCC, Treston Dudek began attending in 2009. Many of the classes he took have proved foundational to his work as a business owner today. While classes in accounting, marketing, and human resources gave him the skills he needed to run a business, others prepared him more practically. “Classes such as freshman English and speech helped sharpen and grow my understanding in proper communication,” he shared.
“I knew I could work enough during the summers and school year and graduate debt-free.”
During Treston’s time as an undergraduate student, the faculty challenged him to use his skills for God’s glory. Between semesters, he would lead productions at his home church and local high school. “A speech teacher let me know that I had a real skill in communication and performance,” he said. “This encouragement [gave] me the courage I needed to [take] charge of multiple skits and play productions.” Today, he uses the advice he received as a student while leading children’s programs and teaching in Sunday school classes.
Treston graduated with his bachelor’s in 2013 and chose to continue his education by earning an M.B.A. at his alma mater. “I wanted to develop and grow my skills,” he said. “At PCC, I was familiar with the teachers and knew that they would be teaching through a biblical worldview.” While earning his M.B.A., Treston worked at Campus Store as the graduate assistant supervisor. This experience gave him confidence working with merchandise and customers.
Growing Business Skills
After earning his M.B.A. in 2015, Treston Dudek took on a membership and marketing manager position at Sam’s Club near his hometown, honing his skills and building a professional testimony for three years before returning to the family florist supply store in 2018. “When I worked in store management at Sam’s Club, I stood out as someone who didn’t swear or go drink and was known as the Christian manager,” he shared. “And employees would make sure they did not swear in front of me.”
Now, as the next-generation owner of Dudek Florist Supply, Treston’s responsibilities have grown. He oversees inventory, marketing, employee retention, tracking trends, and buying product accordingly. “It’s a great privilege to continue a business that my grandfather started over 65 years ago,” said Treston. “To have that bond with him and share success stories with [him] and get valuable knowledge, I’ve been able to learn so much from my grandfather and father about past experiences. Both of them have instilled and run the business with Christian principles and, with the knowledge and skills I learned at PCC, I am able to continue on the [legacy].”
Since the pandemic, the company has had to adjust how it ordered supplies. “Product is hard to come by, so when it is available, I order in large quantities,” he explained. By keeping a large supply on hand, his business has been able to acquire new customers who were looking for high-demand products. He’s thankful for the training he received that drove him to prioritize the right values for his customers, even in tough times—“values such as being an honest business owner, giving our customers quality and fair pricing, showing the love of God, and spreading the wonderful things He has done.”
“With the knowledge and skills I learned at PCC, I am able to continue on the [legacy].”
For Treston, the best part of owning Dudek Florist Supply is the ability to work side by side with his wife Chandler and enjoy time with their 3-year-old daughter and twin girl and boy. “Spending time with my wife and family is one of the most important things to me,” he said. “Operating a profitable business has given us the flexibility to make a living where my wife and I don’t have to be working five days a week, and [we can] spend more time doing the things we love, such as serving in various ministries at our church.”
Treston Dudek appreciates how PCC’s values were in line with his own and is thankful for the quality education he received there. Now, he uses what he’s learned to grow his family’s business and its ability to offer support and encouragement to others. “So many customers know we are a Christian company and [constantly] reach out asking us to pray for them,” he said. “Because they know when God does something in our lives, we share it with our customers.”
Read more about how God is directing and working through PCC faculty and alumni.