Gino Gualtieri

Darrel Griffin and Gino Gualtieri"That's My Boy!"

Gino Gualtieri Receives 2015 IADD Presidential Award

The three words that rang out loudly and proudly at IADD’s Annual Meeting Welcome Reception would have brought everyone to their feet if they hadn’t already been standing: THAT’S MY BOY! The emotional outburst came from Johanne Gualtieri, who along with husband Rinaldo, was there to see their son Gino receive the 2015 IADD Presidential Award for his many contributions.

In presenting the plaque, then-President Darrel Griffin of Stafford Cutting Dies explained, “Throughout his years as a chapter officer, and now in his Board service, Gino demonstrates the calm steadiness, grace, professionalism and good judgment of an effective leader. His fair and equitable nature and willingness to provide creative solutions allow all around him to shine as well, resulting in stronger relationships, better communication and more valuable programs and activities. His meritorious service brings great credit upon himself, his company and the Association.”

Gino’s parents started Central Die Supplies in 1980, when he was only six years old. “I was obviously way too young to know or do anything industry-related,” Gino recalls, “but I remember my father taking me and my brother Carlo to the office to play in the warehouse while he worked to get the company going in the difficult economy of the early 80s. We would also sometimes be in the back seat of his station wagon while he drove around town delivering products to customers, often even on weekends.”

His first working experience was during the summer when he was 14 years old. He worked every day—preparing orders, placing stock, sweeping and vacuuming the floors, filing documents, etc.—a lot of tasks that needed to be done. He started on a full-time basis once he graduated from university. “My dad never forced me to join his business, but it always seemed like second nature to me to work at Central,” explains Gualtieri.

Working in a small, family-owned business, he had what he calls the lucky opportunity to get involved in many different tasks and parts of the business: sales and customer service, business development, logistics, purchasing, human resources, operations, legal, and more. He finds it interesting that there are rarely two days the same and feels that, rather than a formal path of development, he’s had more of an organic growth over the years.

Gualtieri attended his first IADD meeting when the association was celebrating its 25th anniversary held in his hometown of Montreal, QC, Canada. This was before he had graduated from university and started working full time. “I was really impressed by how many people were in attendance and by the speeches people gave during the reception,” he says. “Afterward, I attended several chapter and national-level meetings.”

“I first volunteered for the IADD in the capacity of Secretary/Treasurer for the Can-Am Chapter. I took over the position from my great colleague Angelo Palozzi, who had held it for over a decade. Angelo showed me the ropes and shared the experience he gained from all of those years of organizing local meetings and managing the Chapter’s finances. He was, and still is, a great sounding board to share ideas with.”

“Participating in the IADD has helped me personally, in so many ways, to develop in the industry over the years. The two main areas where I have gained so much are in knowledge and networking. Having the opportunity to meet and learn from industry colleagues has helped me immensely.”

When asked what advice he would give others about getting involved in IADD, Gualtieri responds, “People most often have a predisposition to say or to think, ‘What’s in it for me?’ I have been told by many long-time members that what you get out of the IADD is what you put into the IADD. I have known it to be true. If you are willing to share your time, to participate, exchange and work in developing the IADD, it will return in dividends for a long time.”

He continues, “There are many challenges to our organization in the coming years, but I want to help the IADD grow even more on the international stage. It is already known in many other countries, but to gain more regular participation from people in other continents would be fantastic.”

Coming from such a warm, family-oriented background, it’s no surprise that his own family is the highest priority for Gualtieri, and he proudly shares some personal details.

“My wife Rosa is fluently trilingual and runs her own small business from home, where she works on contracts for companies looking to have documents or texts translated from French to English, or vice-versa. She is a Crossfitter who can lift over 150 lbs (68 kg) overhead, making the guys in her gym sweat it out when they hold mini-competitions. She also has a black belt in Hup Kwon Do, so you don’t want to mess with her! She is also a great mom who makes sure that all of the “t”s are crossed and “i”s are dotted in our home.”

“My older daughter Isabella is a competitive swimmer for a local swim club, where she practices over 12 hours a week, and still manages to do extremely well in school. She always has a book and notepad in her bag to read or write stories. “

My younger daughter Ariana is the little comedian and performer in the family, always able to put a smile on our faces at unexpected times. She is really smart like her sister, but in a different way that is often difficult for me to understand. It’s really awesome to see.”

“I grew up loving to watch movies on TV and in theaters, but nowadays it is pretty difficult to find the time to do that. With the quality of the TV series now, some are really interesting to watch. During winter, I play ice hockey once a week on Sunday evenings with a group of buddies, but my true hobby at the moment is training for, and participating in, obstacle course races, such as the Spartan Race and Tough Mudder. When I am in a race, I always ask myself, ‘Why do I put myself through this torture, willingly?!’, but for some reason I keep going back for more. I like to look at the races as a metaphor for life; that you need to put yourself into difficult situations, to challenge yourself at the risk of failing and to overcome these challenges. My next race will be the Spartan Ultra-Beast in July 2016! I also need to stay in shape to be able to chase the boys away from my beautiful daughters!”

Much like his own parents, Gualtieri’s primary sense of satisfaction comes from seeing his kids mature and succeed. He relishes spending time with his friends and family, sharing and laughing together. But he adds that pleasing customers with quality products and good service makes it the perfect trifecta.

While he makes juggling all of that look easy now, things weren’t quite so perfect at the beginning of his career at Central. He tells this story, “I was cutting my teeth in the company, visiting customers and trying to build some experience and confidence. I had always worked internally, but now I had to go on the road. One day, I get called out to visit a company to see if there were any products we could sell them. But when I arrived, I saw that another one of our customers was already serving this customer. I told my contact there that I would get back to him with pricing and options, but I never did, to not go against my customer. A couple of days later, this other customer called me back to say that I was the worst salesman he had ever dealt with! Oh well…”

These days Gualtieri hopes to be known as “a person who is competitive, but fair and reasonable. A hard worker, who gets things done, and who provides for my family.”

Indeed, Gualtieri is all that and more.