A couple of days ago I had the opportunity to visit with two retired Hastings alums, Jim Colliton, former President of A.W. Hastings of Massachusetts in Somerville and Ron Daniels who headed up our Architectural and Commercial Sales division in Newton Lower Falls. The motivation for their trip out to our area was a courtesy call on my 102-year old father, Ivan, in Longmeadow.
A continuing theme during the visit was “boy, have things changed,” although that theme could apply at just about any time in our company history. For example, Jim’s Dad, Joe Colliton worked at Hastings for over 50 years and his first job was to come in on weekends to feed the horses that pulled our delivery wagons. Needless to say, Joe would likely be amazed at our present day distribution center and trucking fleet.
During the visit, I was taken by the fact that the four of us represented three generations of Hastings’ management. When Jim and Ron joined the company, they worked for my Dad. Later, when I joined the company, Jim was my boss. The days of working with Jim and Ron and my Dad seem like a lifetime ago, yet are still fresh in my memory.
The recent and thoughtful recognitions of my forty years at Hastings, presented me with an opportunity to reflect on where we have been as a company during that time. Our journey from crisis and chaos in the mid 1970’s, when I first started, to where the company is today didn’t happen by chance. It was the perseverance and leadership of guys like Jim and Ron and my Mom and Dad who struggled through adverse circumstances to save the company and gave us a chance to make it into what it is today.
This is part of the Hastings tradition of commitment and leadership that goes back to our founding in 1846. Through these generations one thing has remained constant, and that is the company. When my generation rides off into the sunset, Hastings’ success will rely on the next generation and the next to be stewards of this legacy and continue our success.
I’m so glad those guys came to visit. It not only gave me a chance to thank them for what they did for the company and the influence that they had on my life, but it underlined to me the essence of what has enabled Hastings to survive for so long: the effort and commitment of the individuals who are the character of this company.
– Dusty Hoyt, President