He’s an intelligent, upbeat, barrel of a man who manages eight hard-working guys and always gives his best. You can scream at him to his face, call him ugly names, and argue with him vehemently but he never seems to lose his cool. According to his boss, Director of Operations Doug Swain “He’s as dependable as the sunrise and with a bright outlook to match, he always gets the job done.”
It’s in his DNA to work long hours and he willingly spends Saturday afternoons seeding a portion of Collars’ lawn or painting protective shelf aisle bumpers.
Collars’ Norman Fortini has just celebrated 25 years as warehouse manager and as VP and Gen. Mgr. Tony Peterson notes, “We hope he’s here for another 25! You can’t wish for a better, well-rounded employee as Norm.”
Norm started in the warehouse tearing down bins of hardware and packaging the contents for shelf storage. By then he was already accustomed to tough jobs, having begun working at age 11 as a helper in his father’s auto repair shop. “I remember doing brake jobs, balancing wheels, and running car inspections at an early age,” he recalls. “My father taught me the importance of working hard and doing a good job so customers would return.”
Later he did stints as a roofer and even owned his own trash removal business for a couple of years before joining Collars.
Norm is most proud of his planning, design and execution of the warehouse portion of Collars’ and its parent’s move from West Springfield to Agawam, MA one year ago. He was responsible for making sure that over 100,000 hardware boxes and bags got delivered and placed correctly in their bar-code locations. It took Norm and his crew months of preparation, moving parts into labeled totes and sweating the details. The move, executed at night, took less than one week. “It went so well, customers didn’t even know,” noted Director of Operations Doug Swain. “We had very few hiccups and zero service disruptions.”
In his spare time, Norm can be seen hunting or fishing in the picturesque fields and rivers of Western Massachusetts. In the summer he spends weekends at his mobile trailer, permanently sited at a nearby campsite where he’s forever intimidating neighbors with his wild golf cart driving. Come fall, football rivets his attention, both actual and fantasy. God help his psyche when the Patriots lose.
Collars salutes Norman Fortini.