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


28 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK SMITH ASSOCIATES, INC. PO Box 683, Hopatcong, NJ 07843 TEL 973-810-2900 EMAIL WEB SMITH ASSOCIATES: A 50 YEAR LEGACY When one hits a milestone in one’s life, it often evokes a self-reflection… an assessment… a thoughtful evaluation of what has transpired. For Mike Smith, manufacturer’s representative and owner of Smith Associates, those remembrances that helped shape his legacy are recalled with a smile. Back in 1971, after a year in mechanical engineering at New Hampshire Technical Institute, Mike found that he did not enjoy the confines of sitting at a table and drafting. He wasn’t sure what he wanted but he knew he needed to move on. Call it divine intervention, luck, or just life stepping in when Mike’s uncle, who owned Davis-McCormick Associates in Lyndhurst, NJ, called him and offered him a job as an apprentice in his rep agency. Mike jumped at the chance to move to NJ and start his new career. Having grown up in the picturesque town of Exeter, NH, he was excited to try his luck in the bustling metropolitan area. This was very exciting, yet very scary, for the very naïve Mike Smith. His uncle was a task master, and not only gave Mike an amazing education in the business of fasteners, but also helped him become a conscious worker and a more worldly person. Not all the lessons were easy, but the toughness of his uncle would give him the basics he would need to become successful in his chosen career. MIKE SMITH, CHRIS SMITH, COREY MAGYAR AND DAN BIELEFIELD Living in a rooming house in Kearny, NJ, Mike learned the business from the inside of an office and was quickly sent on the road to start selling in Yonkers and The Bronx. This was a difficult and dangerous area, but Mike’s sunny personality and drive to succeed carried him through to his new found love of selling. Not being a native to NYC, simply finding his way around New York roads and encountering so many different types of people was an education in itself. All of the different religions, ethnicities, and cultures were so unique to him, it increased Mike’s eagerness to learn as much as he could. He would soon figure out where to find quiet phone booths to call into the office twice a day, and where the safe bathrooms are located (not an easy task). Mike had to deal with constant rejection but keep his spirit up and move on to the next call. He would live on hot dog cart food for his first five years to save money. And when the gas shortage hit in the 1970’s, he would find ways to make friends with the gas station owners so he could continue his work “pounding on random doors in warehouses all over The Bronx”. The city gave Mike the energy to find the next order whether it was for or 00; the thrill of the completion of a contract with a customer was his ultimate joy. BUSINESS FOCUS ARTICLE CONTINUED ON PAGE 108


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