Guy came to Canada from Greece on March 25th, 1957 (coincidentally, Independence Day in Greece). A few short months later, in June of that same year, Guy was given a entry level opportunity with Alexanian's. Guy advised the folks at Alexanian's that he would do any type of work and that he could start immediately
Guy was relieved in getting the opportunity, as he had made a pact with his wife, that they would move out of their home in Windsor and move back to Greece if he could not find employment in Hamilton. He told his wife that she should not unpack, in the event that his efforts were unsuccessful. Alexanian's in Hamilton came through for Guy, the suitcases were unpacked and Guy's wife and two children moved to Hamilton.
Guy's work ethic and commitment to the company earned him recognition and respect from management. During the 58 years, Guy rarely took any time off, save for medical appointments.
When asked about that level of commitment, he referred to his desk as "my medicine".
Guy was given progressively more responsibilities and steady work. An initial offering of a two month job, turned into a 58 year legacy. Guy went from a pickup and delivery helper, to carpet installer, to carpet installation supervisor, to Service Foreman, culminating in serving many years as an iconic salesperson.
Guy applied creativity to his work. He recalls how he came up with an ingenious way to repair carpets. A customer had the majority of the carpets in their home severely damaged when their teenage son wandered around the home with a pair of bleached jeans that were still wet with bleach. The bleach left stains all over the carpet, in several rooms. The insurance costs of replacing the carpet were very high. Guy however convinced Alexanian's and the insurance company to allow him to try to repair the rug, rather than replace it. Using a technique that is similar to transplanting hair, Guy took individual strands of carpet from a spare mat made from the same material, and transplanted the clean threads of carpet, in place of the bleached ones. The result was stunning, earning him an immediate hug from the homeowner and an ecstatic reception from the insurance company who were paying a much lower cost for Guy's repair, rather than the replacement. Guy recalls that he could have asked upwards of $5000.00 for the work, but charged $600.00 instead.
Other highlights that Guy mentioned, was his son Garo and grandson David joining Alexanian's. Being able to work alongside his son and grandson made it all the more special and contributed to the sense of family that Alexanian's provided.
Guy is a charter member of Alexanian's "million dollar club" This exclusive club envisioned by Guy, recognizes salespeople based on sales volumes in the millions of dollars. When this milestone is achieved in any given year, a ring, which is initially set with imitation diamonds, has an individual diamond replaced with a real diamond for each year the million dollar quota is attained. What Guy did not envision, is that his sales performance was so continuously stellar, that the entire ring was soon filled with real diamonds, leaving no room for more milestones.
Guy's story is truly remarkable based on his achievements and journey. The story was brought to our attention by a businessperson, Bob Van de Vrande who attested to Guy's gentle ways, his competence and his infectious likability.
Soon to celebrate his 90th birthday, Guy told us that the decision to retire was difficult, but some health issues he experienced factored into his decision. Had it not been for those factors, Guy would most certainly achieved another diamond for his ring.
Guy gives special thanks to his family and to Andrew Alexanian, current President of the company, and the rest of the Alexanian family and staff, who made Guy feel like he was part of their own family.
The Hamiltonian wishes Guy and his family all the best.
For more pictures, and to see the million dollar club ring, click here.