CEO Profile: Vera Russo, Tony Pallet Inc.

Oct. 8, 2007
Loyal employees and loyal customers key to growth

Some employees really do stick around. At New Jersey-based Tony Pallet, Inc. you can find employees who began with the company 29 years ago. "Employee loyalty is one of the key factors in our success. Our customers like dealing with people they know and we are able to provide outstanding customer service," explains president Vera Russo. The company keeps very close to its customers and makes frequent visits.

"We are very lucky to have employees who don't view their jobs as 9-5. It's a group effort to sustain and build the business. Our weekly meetings are really brainstorming sessions," says Russo.

Tony Pallet has grown to become one of the largest operations on the East Coast handling over 1 million pallets per year. They specialize is custom made pallets using computerized software to match the mallet to the exact needs of the customer. They remanufacture, repair and recycle pallets. They also provide heat treating for their pallets to comply with government regulations, enacted last year, which require all wood packaging material to be heat-treated or fumigated with methyl bromide to prevent pest infestation.

See more on women in manufacturing, including additional articles and educational resources.
What's the key to her success? "Establishing a good reputation translates to success when I'm marketing my company. Everyone knows us," says Russo.
About the Author

Adrienne Selko | Senior Editor

Focus: Workforce, Talent 

Follow Me on Twitter: @ASelkoIW

Bio: Adrienne Selko has written about many topics over the 17 years she has been with the publication and currently focuses on workforce development strategies. Previously Adrienne was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck? which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics and EHS Today

Editorial mission statement: Manufacturing is the enviable position of creating products, processes and policies that solve the world’s problems. When the industry stepped up to manufacture what was necessary to combat the pandemic, it revealed its true nature. My goal is to showcase the sector’s ability to address a broad range of workforce issues including technology, training, diversity & inclusion, with a goal of enticing future generations to join this amazing sector.

Why I find manufacturing interesting: On my first day working for a company that made medical equipment such as MRIs, I toured the plant floor. On every wall was a photo of a person, mostly children. I asked my supervisor why this was the case and he said that the work we do at this company has saved these people’s lives. “We never forget how important our work is and everyone’s contribution to that.” From that moment on I was hooked on manufacturing.

I have talked with many people in this field who have transformed their own career development to assist others. For example, companies are hiring those with disabilities, those previously incarcerated and other talent pools that have been underutilized. I have talked with leaders who have brought out the best in their workforce, as well as employees doing their best work while doing good for the world. 

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