Generous in spirit. Honorable in character. Humorous and kind. Stanley Edelstein’s character and determination shaped ECHOtape from a fledgling garage business in 1975 to the thriving, global adhesive manufacturer it is today. Indeed, “Stanley Stories” pepper daily conversation in the warehouse and offices of ECHOtape, and though he passed entirely too soon, his wisdom and experience are a tangible legacy that continues to guide our passion and growth.
“Eleven years ago, we introduced The Stanley Edelstein Spirit Award as a way for us to continue Stanley’s spirit at ECHOtape, to honor those employees who most embody his spirit and lasting legacy,” says Marilyn Edelstein, CEO. “It’s an extremely special award for me, for obvious reasons, but I believe the employees value it even more.”
Consider what these past winners had to say:
Eleven years ago, I became the first recipient of the Stanley Edelstein Spirit Award, I will never forget how overwhelmed & shocked I was to be chosen of such honor in the memory of a great leader. Stanley defined leadership & strength, his award proudly is displayed in my office and I reference this award as my Stanley Cup! — Darren Quesnel (top left)
The award was extremely meaningful because I was chosen by the people I work with and it still is a testament of the commitment I made to Stanley when he hired me so many years ago. —James Begin (bottom right)
It’s hard to put into words what this meant because of what Stanley represented. Stanley was truly a great and respected man, larger than life. When he was in the room, everyone stopped. We listened, we followed, we smiled, we laughed and at times we cringed in his presence. I’ve yet to meet another human being who has that effect on everyone he encounters. So to be mentioned in the same breath as him, was quite an honor and a proud moment of mine to receive his award… I will always treasure the award because to me, it’s recognition of personal growth and achievement. —Michael Gauthier (bottom left)
This year, the Spirit Award will go to another worthy recipient, but before that happens we sat down with Mrs. Edelstein to learn more:
What is the Stanley Edelstein Spirit Award? Stanley left us all too soon, but he left a legacy that is felt 11 years later by every person in the organization. The award is just something Stanley would have loved. Not because it has his name on it, but because he loved his employees. Each and every one.
The award itself is a beautiful piece of glass art with an eagle background. Stanley was a very proud American. Etched into the glass is this Spirit of a Leader poem:
A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others.
One does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the quality of actions and the integrity of intent.
Leaders, like eagles, don’t flock. You find them one at a time.
When did you start giving it out and what made you start? Stanley loved his employees. They were his greatest passion as a business owner. So we started giving the award each year around Stanley’s birth date, to honor an individual who possesses Stanley’s values.
Why is it important to honor employees like this? Our employees are what make our company successful, and I believe we allow them to strive for the values we set forth from the very beginning. It has always been a most difficult task of selecting just the one.
How do you choose the winner? Through a nomination process. We ask all of our employees to nominate someone they believe exemplify the genuine spirit of Stanley. He or she should be a moral and ethical leader, mentor, visionary and team player. Stanley believe first and foremost that what you stand for is more important than what you make. The individual that we select simply must embody this belief.
What has been the most enjoyable aspect of your years at ECHOtape? The tremendous support given to those who have experienced a loss, or a special event.
What lessons has your work life taught you? The ultimate truth is that people of all races and color can easily work cohesively. We have Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Philippine, Indian, Native American, Jamaican and it works.
What’s one of your favorite stories from your work life? There are so many, but I have a special place in my heart for this one woman. She was our very first receptionist, and up until we hired her, she had never had the opportunity to work or be a part of a business. This was before computers, yet when we purchased our first one, this young lady plunged herself into learning and digesting the world of computers with tremendous enthusiasm. We hired someone to train her, and before too long, we put her on an airplane to visit our California office to train the staff there. It was her first plane ride, and she proudly announced that she was the first in her family to carry a briefcase! She periodically comes to visit and always thanks me for what we did for her, but I always explain that it’s not I who did it. It was her. She wanted something better for herself and her family. All we did was give her the opportunity, but that means so much to me. The last time I saw her, quite a few years ago, she was in charge of a computer department of 50 men in a large hospital.