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January 25, 2010
Dick Spinelli Will Never Retire
Of late, I have been in contact with Hein staffers colleagues about business and, of course, Dick Spinelli became a topic of conversation. "Dick will never retire." In fact, if you look at the Company's by-laws, I think you will find that written there. With over 40 years in the business Dick is irreplacable.
Dick epitomize the Hein Way of conducting business. See the Company's Mission Statement. And most of us have Spinelli stories to tell that confirm this. Here one (feel free to tell yours in comments to this post). In the mid-90s, we wanted to fill in huge gaps in our CIS microfiche collection but didn't know if we would have the $ to do so until we approached closing out the fiscal year. Dick had what we needed and held onto the materials for months for us instead of finding another buyer even though he wasn't sure he had a sale. As it turned out, we were able to buy the fiche and Dick was delighted -- you see, he had been storing the boxes, and I mean a lot of boxes, in a closet in his home in suburban Chicago for us!
Now, some pinhead at one of the duopolists might complain about inventory control or about not getting cold hard cash from whomever was ready to seal the deal immediately, but Hein & Company has never been like that. Head-of-the-class customer service really is more than marketing babble at Hein. Many law librarians "of a certain age" learned this to be the case by working with Dick over the years. It continues to this day. In the course of the last couple of weeks, I have been working with Shannon Hein, Roxanne Marmion and Shannon Sabo and they all have come through to help my library grapple with the economic times we are living in.
Lately Dick and recently hired Steve Roses have been traveling to clients, making introductions, showing Steve the ropes -- the Hein, not West!, way of customer service. Steve joined the Company as Director of Sales last August. A refugee of Thomson Reuters Legal, he has 15-plus of legal publishing experience, most recently as TR Legal's U.S. Sales Manager in the Global Legal Products. As I've mentioned before, if there are West employees who want to work for a legal publisher that really gives a damn about working with the law library community, Hein is one of the companies to seek out. I look forward to meeting Steve at AALL this summer. Missed Dick last year when I stopped by the Hein exhibit; he was doing what he has always done best -- off with a client.
Yes, Dick is cutting back, call it semi-retired, but Dick will never retire. Just remember that if Dick isn't in the office, the country code for Italy is 39. Just joking, you can always reach Steve. By the way, the rumors aren't true that Steve is a long-lost second cousin in the Hein family tree but there definitely is a little Italian branch in the Hein family tree.
Congratulations on a job very well and still being very well done, Dick. You set the standard by which the law library community measures its relationships with all legal publishers.
|Spinelli's 1964 College Senior Photo||Dick hard at work at Rothman, circa 1978|
Endnote. When I wrote a little post about giving your hard working vendor reps some much deserved public recognition, I didn't feature Dick because, well, I thought that was obvious. But Janet Fischer added a comment to the post:.
I would like to thank Dick Spinelli at WS Hein for his continued great work on our account, and Hein in general for being so flexible and willing to work with libraries and librarians. I few years ago California did not publish the state budget, and Hein was asked to step in and publish it in hard copy, and they did! I'm sure they took a loss on it, but gained a wealth of loyalty and good will from California librarians.
Janet's comment says it all about Dick and WS Hein & Company always being there to help law libraries. [JH]
I worked with Dick Spinelli from 1970-1978 in South Hackensack,NJ..There is not a finer gentleman than Dick...
Posted by: Joe Falato | Nov 26, 2010 1:40:42 PM
I recently had my position eliminated at the University of Tulsa and Dick was 1 of the first to call me and offer encouragement. Dick is a class act!
Posted by: David Gay | Mar 4, 2010 8:48:43 AM
Hein is one of the few companies where a person still answers the phone! What a pleasure not to be dumped into voice mail hell.
Posted by: Carol Bredemeyer | Mar 4, 2010 6:43:28 AM
It is a great privilege working with Dick Spinelli and seeing all these well-deserved comments about him.
Posted by: Steve Roses | Jan 26, 2010 11:43:46 AM
The Hein folks set a gold standard for service and working together with customers so that both win. It's a privilege to have known and worked with Dick and his colleagues for so many years, and I'm delighted that Steve Roses has joined them. What could be better than having Dick show you the ropes?
Posted by: Anne Myers | Jan 25, 2010 12:43:23 PM