Today is a special day: Al Lopez is officially celebrating 58 years since starting with Spartan Tool!
In 1961 Al Lopez had just graduated college, was married, and needed to find a good job. He went to Mendota IL to interview with Conco Engineering Works, which manufactured overhead cranes and material handling equipment. He got the job in accounting for $100 a week, and thought “you can’t get any better than that!” Four years later, the company had changed to Spartan Tool, and the President asked Al to join the inside sales team. Al did so well in inside sales that just one year later he was asked to go to New York to open a Spartan Tool warehouse there. Opening that warehouse led to him staying in New York and working for Spartan for the next 10 years.
After a successful decade in New York, Al was asked to become Territory Manager for the Baltimore, Washington D.C. and northern Virginia area. He has been in that territory for 35 years. He also worked as the Regional Service Manager for the East Coast, traveling to places from Boston to Ft. Lauderdale Monday-Friday. During this time, he was involved with the field testing of new machines as well as working trade shows all along the East Coast.
Al has always had a good relationship with customers. He says the key is to be flexible and understand that there are lots of different types of people out there. He could be meeting with the purchasing manager of a large corporation in the morning, and after that meet with someone who is the owner and only employee of a plumbing company based in his garage. So knowing how to work with all types of people is an important skill, one that Al has in abundance. He seems to be able to talk to anyone about anything, and is an expert at putting people at ease. This is a large part of why Al has been so successful with Spartan for so many years! Al did leave the company at one time to try retirement. But slowing down wasn’t for him and he has been back with Spartan since 2010.
Al’s best advice for new Territory Managers? Take advantage of those who have come before you. If there was someone in that territory recently, make sure to call on the customers that are active with Spartan. Set up a system where you will be seeing your customers in the field on a consistent basis, but remember to allow for those unexpected calls that always seem to come along. And you never know what type of a call you may get! Ask for input from veteran TM’s when you have a question. Most importantly, keep your promises. If you say you are going to be there tomorrow, make sure you are there tomorrow.
Al has 5 children, and working at Spartan has allowed him to put all of them through college. Additionally, he could work during the day, which allowed his wife to work nights as an RN, which meant someone was home with their 5 children all the time. He is very proud of their children, who have grown up to be successful and given him 9 wonderful grandchildren.
Al is also very involved in his church as a lector, Eucharistic minister and mass coordinator as well as distributing communion at the hospital twice a month. Because of his extensive work in the church, Al received the Medal of Honor from the Archdiocese of Baltimore, which was presented to him by the Bishop of Baltimore. Additionally, Al recently learned he is a Hall of Famer – his 1951 high school football team is being inducted into the hall of fame! What amazing accomplishments to show for many years of hard work in all areas of his life.
Al has spent his career at Spartan because Spartan is a great place to work – “they do their best to take care of you, and just ask that you keep turning in those orders!” Congratulations on 58 fantastic years with Spartan, Al. We look forward to many more!