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36. Practice Human Connection. | Elio’s Message

Elio’s Message:

A dream without a plan is just daydreaming. Each of us has 24 hours in a day, but what separates the good from the great is what we do with those 24 hours. Every person has the ability to practice this fundamental every time they interact with anyone. Everyone can make a positive difference in the lives of others – and it all starts with what they do with the 24 hours in their day.

I am a huge Lou Holtz fan. He’s the underdog with a passion for connecting with people. He took 6 different teams to bowl games during his 33-year coaching career. His teams finished in the top 20 rankings 18 times, including a National Title at Notre Dame in 1988. He attributes his success to connecting with people, not to himself or his own talent.

While in Dublin, Ireland for a bowl game, Coach Holtz took the team to an old cemetery built in the 12th century. The cemetery had dilapidated walls and old unkempt gravestones. Coach Holtz wanted his team to connect with their past. While there, one of his players, Alton Maiden, sat down and wrote this poem.

I’ve seen death stare at me with my own eyes in a way many cannot know.
I’ve seen death take others but still left me here below.
I’ve heard many screams of mother’s cries but death refuses to hear.
And in my life, I’ve seen faces fill with many, many tears.

After death has come and gone a tombstone sits for many to see.
But it is no more than a symbol of a person’s memory.
I’ve seen my share of tombstones but never took the time to truly read.
The meaning behind what is there for others to see.

Under the person’s name it read the date of birth DASH and the date the person passed.

But the more I think about tombstone, the important thing is the DASH.
Yes, I see the name of the person but that I might forget.
I also read the date of birth and death but even that might not stick.

But thinking about the individual I can’t help but to remember the DASH, because it represents a person’s life and that will always last.
So, when you begin to charter your life make sure you’re on a positive path.
Because people may forget your birth and death, but they will never forget your DASH.

The moral of the poem is to share your “DASH” with the people you meet, and to get to know theirs. That’s what makes Famous so special. We care about the people we do business with and see every day.

There are too many people at Famous to name that I could use as an example with this fundamental. I will pick the one who most everyone would have to agree is the king of Human Connection… wait for it… Jay Blaushild. Jay can connect with anyone. It could be an owner, salesperson, receptionist, or janitor.

Jay connects with people by simply being interested in the other person. When Jay meets someone, he always wants to know where they went to school, or what they like to do when they’re not at work. He asks simple questions that get people sharing about who they are. Jay makes a mental note, and always takes action. A week after your conversation, guess what shows up at that person’s office? You guessed it. Something related to their special interest, along with a short note, thanking them for their time. It could be a book, article or something else for that person to remember the time they spent with Jay. We’ve all had that experience. How many times has this scenario happened to you? How powerful is that?!  

I’ve heard if you want to be happy for an hour, eat a steak. For a day, go play golf. For a week, go on vacation. For a year, win the lottery. But, if you want to be happy for a lifetime, make sure people would miss you if you didn’t show up at an event. The people that are missed are the ones that add value to other people’s lives and practiced human connection. The day you realize how you add value to other people’s lives is the day you discover why you’re on this Earth. Practice connecting with others.


Elio Andreatta
Director / HVAC Products

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36. Practice Human Connection. | Pam’s Message

Pam’s Message:

Society today can feel disconnected. Before the rising of technology with cell phones and the internet, we lived in a much simpler time. No matter where we went or worked, we made eye contact and said hello. We asked “how are you?”, or “can I help you?”. We made human connection.

Today, with the internet and cell phones, we sometimes lose the art of seeing that person we are talking to or ordering from.

We spend at least 8 hours a day at work. It is essential that we make that human connection with everyone we encounter. We need to get to know others, listen to their needs, and make them feel welcome. We should get to know them as a person, not just a customer. We need to make them feel seen, heard and valued as all need to do in any relationship.

Jeff Boone, our Customer Service Manager at Washington is a perfect example of this fundamental. He worked at the dock for many years, became the foreman, and now runs the Washington branch. He has grown a lot and learned a lot from all of us as to what our jobs are in each department. He knows that we need to make connections with our contractors and make them feel more than just a paying customer.

There is no significant learning that can occur in life without a significant relationship.

This is the value and importance of HUMAN CONNECTION.


Pam Phillips
Showroom/ Washington

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36. Practice Human Connection. | Tony’s Message

Tony’s Message:

A human connection (personal touch) can be small on the surface, but have a strong impact that could build a bond that lasts a lifetime. This is truly The Famous Way. It can be a hand written thank you card. It can be a pat on the back. It could be a simple question, like, “How’s your Mom doing?”, or remembering your birthday.

I have been fortunate to witness such actions on a daily basis with many associates. Two associates that exemplify this fundamental are Paul Nemitt and Shelly Briselli. Paul has the opportunity to see his friends every day that happen to be customers. When you see Paul interact with his customers, it’s like another language, referencing so many personal things that only the two of them can relate to.

Shelly genuinely cares about her customers’ best interest, always asking about family and keeping up with personal information when she sees her customers. Whether it’s been a day or a month, she can pick up on the same conversation where they left off, while handing them their favorite cookies.

Practice Human Connection has been is a fundamental that has helped Famous Enterprises become what it is today. Practice the Human Connection and have a customer for life

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36. Practice Human Connection. | Bryan’s message:

Bryan’s message:

We have all heard of the “Golden Rule” or “Love thy neighbor” reciprocity principle, which is to treat others as you would have them treat you. All of our fundamentals not only require us to think, but also deliver a call to action (Do, Execute, Deliver, Be, Practice…). One of the attributes that I love best about this particular fundamental is the amount of action that it asks of us. First, it recommends that we listen and pay attention to what makes people special, not only the work that we do, but also the qualities that make each person unique. One associate may be particularly accurate in their work, another may be extremely gifted with connecting with customers, and others may have qualities that extend beyond their work, like the ability to handle situations calmly or giving of their time to others.

After first identifying these great strengths in others, we then have a second call to action to acknowledge these people and their great qualities. This is the fun part in that it takes so little effort to lift someone up and acknowledge their accomplishments or important attributes. This can be done through a quick email or message, a handwritten thank you note or better yet, face to face interaction where they can hear your tone and see your sincerity. This simple gesture takes very little time and helps each individual feel valued and that they are truly cared for by others. Many feel this is the essence of human connection that draws us closer together. Treat other individuals in the way you would want to be treated, it is rewarding and it is the right thing to do as well.


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36. Practice Human Connection. | Marc’s Message

Marc’s Message:

Is there anything that you can think of that is more important and more powerful than the human connection?  After all, when we are old and gray and we look back on our lives, how we connected with our spouse (if applicable) or partner, family, close friends and / or coworkers is what life is all about.  Personally I consider myself extremely fortunate to have met, connected with and married Sherri 30+ years ago.  I love and admire her for the person that she is, her core values, and how she leads her life.  Sherri is an amazing wife, mom, daughter and friend who cares so much about everyone and is truly a giving person beyond words.

I’ve had the privilege to watch Sherri (up close and personal) interact with others, and I’ve come to see a common theme shine through on a daily basis.  Sherri has the innate ability to connect with people.  I watch her eye contact, smile, tone and her genuine feelings that she expresses whether she meets new people or reconnects with others on an ongoing basis.  I’m not sure that there is anyone I know who has hugged more people than Sherri, and they are not a perfunctory “hi, how are you” or “see you later” hug, but rather a meaningful and loving embrace.

Sherri may be one of the few people I know who takes that human connection to the next level by even making complete strangers feel her warmth and love.  Many times when we are talking about our day, she will tell me how gratifying it was and relay a story that exemplifies the human connection.  Just a couple weeks ago at Heinen’s (our local grocery store), one of the cashiers who she sees on a regular basis was having a really difficult day.  They talked briefly about it during her checkout, and as Sherri was about to leave, she looked at her and said, “Would you mind if I give you a hug?”  This person said, “I would love that more than anything”, and Sherri walked around the grocery cart and not only gave her a big hug and a rub on her back, but she offered some kind words, which brought tears to the woman’s eyes.  It made both of their days and that is an example of what makes the human connection so powerful.  Sometimes it’s hard to venture out of one’s comfort zone to make that leap of faith, show vulnerability and connect on a deeper and more personal level.  As we do this more often, as Sherri has shown me, it will not only feel even more natural but it’s a wonderful thing to do for others.

Sherri would probably admit she’s not a social butterfly at an event where some people “work the room” and talk to anybody and everybody.  In fact, she would say she’s more comfortable having intimate conversations with 2 – 3 people which speak volumes to quality over quantity.

Simply, Sherri like so many others at Famous has the EQ (Emotional Intelligence) and this allows these individuals to use each and every encounter as a unique opportunity to show another person how much one cares about them as individuals, rather than a transaction during the day.

I have been very fortunate to not only be a recipient of Sherri’s good heart but to have a front row seat and see her in action every day as she lives the human connection to the fullest and for that I am grateful!

I recently read a quote by Dov Greenberg, which ties in nicely with this week’s message which is … “The pursuit of happiness is one of the primary sources of unhappiness.  Pursue kindness and happiness will sneak into your life.”  Thanks for being kind to others and focusing intently on practicing the human connection.

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