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Distributor's Link Magazine Summer 2021 / Vol 44 No 3


108 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK SMITH ASSOCIATES A 50 YEAR LEGACY from page 28 MIKE WITH HIS ORIGINAL ROLL TOP DESK 1982 In this time most of Mike’s customers and potential customers were OEM’s. He would go up the stairs of 10-story factory buildings knocking on the doors of all the other businesses that were there asking “Hey, what do you make here?”. Sometimes he would meet the owner of a piano company and see a women’s bra factory in the same building. Other times he would go in to an existing customer to follow up on orders placed or to show them other lines he had. He laughs when he remembers parking his car on the street, which by the way had no air conditioning (imagine July in the Bronx), hoping it would be there when he returned, or trying not to get sprayed with the water from a fire hydrant while kids were playing on the street. The stories Mike has about those days are the tales that create a picture of what the 1970’s were in NYC. For a 19 year old boy from NH, this was what the American dream was made of. Mike was very honored to become friends with many of what he called his “rabbis” in the business, and has been to many weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs and parties with his customers. Many times, Mike’s car would break down, or his car battery would die, and his customers would come out and help him jump start his car. Ben and Morty Robinson of Robinson Screw were so kind to Mike; they have helped him jump start his car many times. Mike became true friends with these men and absorbed their insight and help over many years. Mike remembers talking and laughing with Greg Robinson because he is now selling to the grandchildren of many of his first customers. Mike said about selling “I am selling myself to these people, and I honor, cherish, and respect all my customers and principals.” He is immensely proud of the fact that he has never taken a line from another rep agency, and has lived an ethical and honest life. In the 1980’s Mike married Chris, who was then a buyer for Macy’s in Newark, NJ. Together they moved to Sussex County, NJ and soon adopted two beautiful girls. Interestingly, the adoption of their second daughter came as a result of showing pictures of their first daughter Mollie, to Carol and Amelia, the owners of Hustle Screw. They were instrumental in Chris and Mike finding and adopting Emily, their second daughter. Over the years Mike and Chris have enjoyed living in the northern part of NJ and have found many hobbies to keep them busy. Mike loved to cut his grass and take care of his yard. In the late 1990’s through a business dinner with a customer, he became a fan of Chris Craft wooden boats. Mike remembers seeing one as a boy back in NH and had always wanted to ride in one. Now that he finally owns one, he is often seen giving rides to anyone that asks. His main hobby on the weekends, Mike enjoys fixing up his boat as well as driving it on Lake Hopatcong, where he and Chris now live. MIKE IN HIS ROCKAWAY NJ OFFICE CONTINUED ON PAGE 164


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