Boscov's employees appreciate boss
Mar 03, 2013 (Reading Eagle - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Vivian Stephenson couldn't count how many times she's been called into Albert R. Boscov's office to help her boss locate some lost item.
Finding Boscov's car keys, phone, paperwork or voice recorder is a regular part of her job as his executive secretary.
But people shouldn't think the 83-year old Boscov's memory is getting worse, Stephenson said.
He's always been forgetful when it comes to the small things, and very sharp when it comes to what matters most, said Stephenson, who has worked beside Boscov since 1968.
"He hasn't changed," she said. "He's still involved in everything. And he's happiest when he's busiest."
Other Boscov's employees offer similar thoughts.
"He's one of the most dynamic people I've ever met," said Brian Nugent, senior vice president and general merchandise manager.
Nugent said he's learned countless things from Boscov, and tries to imitate his work ethic, tenacity and can-do attitude.
"When he makes up his mind to do something, he does it," Nugent said.
Boscov stresses the importance of the store forming personal relationships with its customers, Nugent said.
And he pays attention to every detail of the business, sometimes seeming to know what's on every rack in every department, Nugent said.
Though Boscov's busy schedule means he isn't always in his office, when he is there he's available to his employees, said ladies accessories buyer Heidi Broadbent.
"I can show up at his door and say 'I have a great idea,' and he'll listen," she said. "He's the boss, but he's very accessible."
Until his recent retirement, Bob Smith spent two decades recording the voice messages played in Boscov's stores, asking shoppers "did you Boscov today "
Smith cherishes his dealings with his former boss.
"There isn't a man alive I have more respect for," Smith said.
Tyrone Javier, senior vice president and group merchandise manager, said employees won't forget how Boscov returned from retirement to lead the company out of bankruptcy in 2008.
Boscov calmed not just employees with his return, but the bankruptcy courts and most of the vendors that the company owed, he said.
"He's a genius," Javier said. "He came back and saved our jobs. The employees love him."
Bob Para, a small appliance buyer whom Boscov hired in 1981, called Boscov his mentor.
"I admire him like a father, because he does things the right way," Para said.
Contact Mike Urban: 610-371-5023 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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