I’d like to highlight a great friend and long-time employee of The Macomb Group, Chuck Brinich. After 20 years with the company, I’m sad to see him go.
Before I address Chuck’s history in the Pipe, Valve, and Fitting business, I thought it would be good to mention some high points from his past. I contacted his wife, Carol, who gave me a few jewels to share. Chuck first met Carol in 1965 when he was 16 and she was 14 at a Notre Dame High School dance. They have been together ever since. On June 9, 1969, Chuck left the states to fight in the Vietnam War, where was a Howitzer Operator. Chuck was honorably discharged from the military in December of 1970. Once he was back in the states, Chuck and Carol were married in 1974. They have three beautiful daughters: Michelle, Katie, and Jacqueline.
Chuck began his career in the Pipe, Valve, and Fitting business as a Truck Driver in the early ‘70s working for his uncle, Mel Allen, at “MelMac Supply.” Chuck worked his way up from Truck Driver to Inside Sales then to Outside Sales, eventually becoming Vice President of the company in the early 1990s.
Dan Scherrer worked with Chuck in the 1980s, and he recalls Chuck having quite the habit back then: Dan remembers Chuck drinking at least an eight-pack of warm Diet Pepsi every day! (Did I mention it was WARM?!)
Bill McGivern, Keith Schatko, and Doug Howe purchased Macomb Pipe and Supply from Mel Allen in 1991. In 1995, Chuck started as an Outside Sales Rep for the Macomb Group; they had a total of 15 people at that time. Bill McGivern said that Chuck had some “interesting and comical ways to pull in an order.” Chuck’s wife confirmed Bill’s comment. She mentioned that he would often tell his customers: “Give me an order — I need to put shoes on my kids’ feet!” And when he was cold-calling back in the early Macomb days, he would ask the receptionist if they needed any Butter Ball Valves. The receptionist would laugh and say, “What the heck is a Butter Ball Valve?”
It was also mentioned that on Chuck’s first day on the job, he had “freshly blow-dried hair” — a style that his loving wife did for him on a regular basis. Chuck was in a class all his own.
In the 10 years that I have known Chuck Brinich, I have never known anyone who takes care of customers the way he does. It never mattered if you spent $100 with him or $100,000; you got the same 110% effort from beginning to end. Chuck is a true sales person; he loves the thrill of the chase and getting the order.
I remember Chuck covering for me one time when I was off on medical leave. I had given Chuck’s name and number to Larry Roberts at DTE Energy’s River Rouge Plant so he could contact Chuck if he needed anything while I was out on leave. Well, Larry needed Chuck to come down and take a look at some piping out back in the plant where it can get quite messy. To make matters worse, it had rained that morning and there were lots of standing “ash” puddles. Chuck had just purchased a new pair of Hush Puppy shoes that weekend, and after sloshing around the power plant with Larry, his shoes were ruined. He ended up throwing out his new shoes, but he took care of the customer and got the order. But I could never get him to come back to the River Rouge plant after that!
Chuck is a great family man who truly loves his wife and daughters. He’s told me about many of his weekends spent helping his daughters move or fixing things around their homes or apartments. Chuck also loves working on old cars and fixing them up so they run and look like new.
With over 40 years in the PVF business and a host of loyal customers behind him, I don’t know where to begin filling in the hole that someone like Chuck Brinich leaves behind. He has been a class act for as long as I have known him, and as the owners of Macomb and our customers have said, Chuck is one in a million. It seems like just a blink of an eye since I met Chuck 10 years ago for the first time; I can only imagine what it has been like for him with all those years and friendships he forged along the way.
Chuck will be dearly missed by one and all, but he will never be forgotten by any of his coworkers or the customers he has taken care of during his career. Thanks for all of your years of hard work, Chuck!
National Sales Manager
The Macomb Group
Customer service is key at The Macomb Group and we’re proud of our expert employees. To find out what our committed team can do for you, contact us by email at email@example.com or or by phone at 888-756-4110.
Paying It Forward to the Next Generation
The Macomb Group’s annual college scholarship fund honors
Gary Stabile, a 40-year veteran in the PVF industry and 20-
The Macomb Group is proud to distribute the first Gary Stabile Scholarships for the 2013-2014 school year. Each year, The Macomb Group will give a $1,000 scholarship to five college students who are children of Macomb Group employees.
The annual college scholarship fund has been established to honor Gary Stabile, a 40-year veteran in the PVF industry and 20-year employee who passed away last year.
A veteran purchasing agent for Michigan Heat & Cold, Stabile was snapped up by The Macomb Group as soon as that company closed. Stabile was well-known in the industry and is credited with contributing to the explosive growth The Macomb Group has achieved over the years. Stabile fought lung cancer for six years, passing away in April 2012.
Employee Carl Ciechanowski’s son, Alex Ciechanowski, is one of the first recipients of the Gary Stabile Scholarship.
Alex has already completed two years at Macomb Community College and is transferring to Central Michigan University in the fall to study criminal justice. The scholarship will contribute to his housing costs at CMU. Both Alex and his parents are grateful for the financial relief that will make their shared education burden lighter.
“To remember Gary in this way is really special. I worked with Gary for nine years and his knowledge of the PVF world was second to none,” says Carl Ciechanowski. “This is a great program for any of our children. Any extra money they can get helps in the long run. Hopefully, we can help out a few more employees next year.”