Pino Vocaturo can still hear John Maslack’s voice giving him that one piece of critical advice: Never say ‘no’ when helping customers.
“‘No’ was never an option when speaking to a customer. There was no such thing. He would say ‘Pino, when you remove the word ‘no’ from your vocabulary you’ll always do very well. Try to always find a way. If they can put people on the moon, we can find ways to fix problems,” said the general manager of Maslack Supply in Sudbury, Ont.
John, founder of Maslack Supply, died on Aug. 12. He was 95 years old.
Now the jobber moves forward without the man who had been part of the company since he started the company as a three-person outfit in a 500 sq-ft building in 1959. With 13 locations and a 70,000 sq-ft distribution centre, John “built this paradise,” Vocaturo said.
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John had infectious positivity. He would always tell staff that good things will happen if you stayed positive.
From left, John Maslack, founder of Maslack Supply, and Pino Vocaturo, general manager
“It didn’t matter where he went, he was just so positive,” Vocaturo said.
And Vocaturo is ready to continue to grow the business thanks to the coaching he received from John.
“I’m going to tell you that I’ll give it my all to try to continue his legacy and continue growing this brand and his name. I’ll make sure that everything he taught me [is what] I’m going to teach the staff and customers around me,” he told AutoserviceWorld.com “And make sure that, like Mr. Maslack taught me, my door is always open to those who need it. Stay focused, stay positive and good things will come. Dream it, wish it, do it.”
John was Vocaturo’s best teacher. “He was a huge mentor of mine. He’s like having the best caddy in the world for golf. Even though I knew the answers, just hearing his voice in the back of my mind to confirm my decisions was unbelievable. What a teacher,” Vocaturo praised. “He taught me very well, but I’m sure going to miss that quarterback, that’s for sure.”
It wasn’t just Vocaturo who learned a lot from John — the whole staff took lessons.
“Mr. Maslack taught his staff very well,” Vocaturo said. “His door was always open. He wasn’t an arrogant man, that ‘I’m the boss’ [attitude]. He travelled with the sales guys. He worked on the counter. He walked through the warehouse. He shook hands with the staff. He just made them a part of his family.”