Hudson Elevator Vice President Amy DiPaolo Discusses Her Industry Positions
The industry veteran has served in nearly every support position of an elevator company.
With more than 23 years of experience in the elevator industry, Amy DiPaolo has served in nearly every support position of an elevator company. Currently the vice president of Hudson Elevator Group in New York City (NYC), DiPaolo’s first position was that of an expeditor at Dover Elevator. She collaborated with the NYC Department of Buildings, which, according to DiPaolo, was heavily corrupt at the time. “Going to get a violation cleared was like standing in line to get into a club; if you looked interesting, they picked you to have an audience with an inspector,” DiPaolo remembers. Lucky for DiPaolo, she was successful in her first position. “I wanted to get a full understanding of every department and aspect of running it,” she explains.
From there, DiPaolo went into coordination, office management and sales, the latter of which was around the same time ThyssenKrupp Elevator purchased Dover. She worked in sales at ThyssenKrupp Elevator for several years and eventually received an offer to become the vice president of sales at International Elevator, an independent company in High Bridge, New Jersey. “International was owned by a former Dover mechanic I worked with for many years. He knew my abilities and was willing to take a chance hiring a 32-year-old woman with no executive experience to build his company,” DiPaolo said.
After five years and accomplishing an 800% growth of the company’s maintenance base, International was sold to KONE, where DiPaolo started out as a sales representative. Within a few months, she was promoted to sales manager and, eventually, sales manager of the NYC District for Service and Modernization. DiPaolo worked with KONE for three years before moving to Hudson Elevator Group, where she is in charge of sales and operations for the private-service and modernization division.
When asked about her role at Hudson Elevator, DiPaolo says she finds being able to reward employees for their hard work the most fulfilling. “I also like being able to give customers exactly what they want and hearing they are happy with our services,” DiPaolo said. Regarding professional challenges, she says being able to provide quality products at the low price customers demand is her biggest challenge. “It is extremely competitive and hard to keep profits up when you are fighting for every job,” DiPaolo said. She believes focusing on one’s company, as far as quality, safety and educated bidding, is the best way to overcome such challenges.
Having served in various positions throughout her career, DiPaolo believes her greatest strengths are her knowledge of the product and connections in the industry. “To know not only vendors well, but [also] other owner/managers, is invaluable when you need assistance,” DiPaolo explains. In terms of her future and that of Hudson Elevator, she hopes to see the company become a major independent player in the New York/New Jersey market and says it is well on its way to meeting that goal in the next few years. “As for me, I am very happy in the position I have and look forward to growing the company,” DiPaolo said.
DiPaolo credits several industry professionals for mentoring her throughout her career. “Technically, my first service manager, John Canetti, taught me most of what I know about elevators. He quizzed me daily by throwing parts on my desk and asking me what they were,” DiPaolo remembers. “If I got it wrong, I had to look it up until I got the right answer. He was very hard on me but appreciated how hardworking I was and wanted to make me better,” she adds.
DiPaolo says Ed DeFilippis helped her realize the importance of building industry relationships and staying actively involved. He introduced her to the National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC) and Elevator Conference of New York (ECNY). “I was successful before that, but Ed’s encouragement brought my career to another level,” DiPaolo said. DiPaolo says she attends NAEC’s Spring Conference and Fall Convention each year. “The biggest NAEC benefit for me is the networking and the education on new products. The ECNY Supplier Showcase is also a home run for our company,” she said.
According to DiPaolo, the elevator industry in the New York area has not been hit as hard by the recession as others, because there is still a lot of work happening. “Every job is a competition, and our pencils have to be sharp. Hurricane Sandy provided a lot of work for our industry in New Jersey and New York, so as a whole, we are extremely busy,” DiPaolo explains.
“To survive the recession, it is important to be visible and stay in touch personally with your customers. Do the right thing, and give customers the service they deserve. Try to be competitive, but don’t give it away; the profitability needs to be there if you want to be there in the future.” — Amy DiPaolo
Outside of work, DiPaolo spends time with her husband Pete and their two children, Anthony, 11, and Jacqueline, nine. The last vacation the family enjoyed was to Wildwood, New Jersey, two months before Hurricane Sandy hit the area. DiPaolo also enjoys reading; skiing; playing golf, the clarinet and piano; working out; and eating healthy. “I am a vegetarian and buy only organic food, which is sometimes very challenging, especially when eating out for work,” she said. DiPaolo also volunteers on committees for two local school organizations: the Alexandria Township Educational Foundation and the Parent-Teacher Organization, for which she runs the golf outing.
Looking back throughout her professional experiences, DiPaolo says learning from mistakes is one of the most important things. “I think that can be applied to everything in life,” DiPaolo said.