He started with IHFC more than twenty years ago, sweeping floors. After three years of hard work, he was moved to the Main Wing, where he was put in charge of cleanup, demolition, and maintenance. Once he got the chance to work the docks, he knew it was something he wanted to stick with.
“It’s a job you’ve got to love,” Tony says. “Where else can I get paid to tell someone where to go and what to do with something?”
But Tony does a lot more than tell people where to go. He is in charge of maintaining the entire Main Wing building, which means communicating with tenants, truckers, clean up crews, maintenance workers, millworkers, carpenters, electricians, and more. Although the busyness of the Market work slows down at certain times, Tony says it’s a constant cycle. Preparing for one Market and then cleaning up and preparing for the next keeps Tony and his team busy. Even in the summer, they pack up pieces to be sent to the Las Vegas show. But the two weeks before Market are always the busiest.
“Two weeks before you’d swear it won’t all get done,” Tony jokes. “But it’s going to be open at 7am on the first day regardless!”
Tony oversees much of the work that goes in to making sure that every floor is spotless and every showroom is set up before the doors open on the first morning of the Market. He comes in at 6am on the days leading up to Market just to make sure everything gets accomplished.
And as Tony walks through the buildings and the docks, it seems that everyone knows him. They call out to him as he walks by, or he shouts a greeting to them. Because for Tony, his job is more than just tasks to accomplish: it’s people to know.
“You have to figure out each individual and each showroom,” Tony explains. He refers to the little, unique things about each person that makes them tick. It may be going out to lunch or just listening, but whatever it takes to connect with someone, Tony knows a good leader is willing to do it.