In Pokémon Colosseum, Wes first meets him at Mt. Battle after it is attacked by Cipher. After fighting through the first nine Zones, Cipher AdminDakim is seen trying to "persuade" Vander to hand over a Time Flute, which the Area Leader had stumbled upon by chance while training. Despite facing both verbal and even physical abuse from Dakim, Vander stands his ground. After Wes defeats Dakim and forces Cipher to retreat, Vander hands the Time Flute over to Wes in gratitude for saving him.
Later, Wes can return to Mount Battle and make his way through Area 1 once more to challenge Vander. Being the first Area Leader, he naturally has lower-leveled Pokémon, though that may be simply because of his job and not a result of being unskilled as a Trainer.
In Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness, Michael visits Mt. Battle to meet Vander in regards to reports of suspicious activity in the desert. After fighting the first two Area 1 Trainers, Vander appears and asks that Michael have a Pokémon battle with one of his students. Upon defeat, Vander points him in the direction of the Cipher Lab. Later, when Mt. Battle reopens, Michael can battle Vander at the end of Area 1.