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Industry Veteran Suffers Stage 4 Cancer

Mon, 11/26/2012 - 9:14am

Recently, it has come to our attention at Industrial Distribution that an industry veteran is going through some tough times. Vivian Torres, formerly an employee of Industrial Threaded Products and more recently at Pacific Coast Bolt Manufacturing, has been diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. It has been a long battle and both Vivian and her finances have suffered a great deal. A former coworker and fastener industry employee is spreading the word to see if others in the industry are willing to chip in and give Vivian a hand during her last days.

If you are interested in giving assistance, Susie Perez of Industrial Threaded Products has set up an account at Bank of America for Vivian Torres. If you have any questions, please contact Suzie at suzzer_2000@yahoo.com. If you wish to donate, please mail any checks to ITP and Suzie’s attention.

Please make checks out to either:

Suzie Perez or Jesse Hunnicutt (Vivian’s adoptive son)

Mail to:

Industrial Threaded Products

515 N. Puente Street

Brea, CA 92821

Phone: 562.802.4626 x 148

Web: www.itpbolt.com

 

A note from Vivian to Suzie:

Good morning!

First of all, let me thank you. Thank you for being interested in me and my current fight with this disease. It's been very difficult. It's been a challenge but I'm staying positive and am determined to fight as hard as I can. I will put this bio together the best I can. I may not have all the actual dates perfect, but with so many years in the industry our mind can sometimes wonder. Haha.

I started in the industry in 1982 working for Askew Hardware as a receptionist expeditor while attending East LA College. Karen Pearson was my manager. I worked under her direction for 4 years. Steve Klein and Dick Tabor had just purchased the company from Kenny Askew and there were many opportunities for someone like me to step up into a company that was growing.  I loved working at Askew: they taught me the basics of the faster industry and allowed me to grow from a receptionist expeditor, into the accounting and purchasing side of the business. I ended in purchasing buying both domestic and import goods.

While attending Rio Hondo JC, I became very interested in business development and sales.  I wanted an opportunity in sales with Askew, but at the time there was nothing available. In 1985 I interviewed with TADA Troy, in the city of commerce, got the inside sales position, and started learning about the basics of selling to distribution and learning about stainless, brass, bronze, famous naval brass, specialty alloys etc. I had the honor of being trained by many good people in our industry, one being Joe Orlando who worked for Harper and basically wrote the books on nonferrous and the shipyards. He was a consultant for Tada at the time and truly left me with a strong desire to continue in sales management selling to distributors. In 1989 I was promoted to Branch Manager moved the company to Santa Fe Springs and again learned new product lines and worked with distribution.

However, after many struggling years with Majestic, we ended up closing our doors in 1993. I stayed on to liquidate the inventory from home. Later that year, I was offered a position as Western Regional branch manager for Bossard International, also known as Bossard Metric.  I experienced many good years working for Bill Unferth and various Presidents. Bossard was my home for the next 10 years, selling again to distributors and select end users, which was a major challenge for someone like me, supporting distribution my whole career. But, as good managers, we follow our corporate direction and stick to the plans of corporate. In 2002, Bossard decided to centralize sales and operations in Chicago. Our branch locations became warehouse shipping points.  After we closed our office in Cerritos, CA, I took a few years out of the industry to try something new. 

That didn't last very long, I missed the industry and in 2004 I went to work for one of my customers, Industrial Threaded Products ITP of Santa Fe Springs, CA as Business Development Manager, selling to both distributors and end users. Again I learned another part of our industry: selling to end users. I enjoyed my time with ITP and consider them friends to this day. Ron Futrel taught me his way of selling, which proved very successful for him and his business over the years. As they say, you can't argue with success.

In 2009 I joined Pacific Coast Bolt Manufacturing, which allowed me another opportunity to learn something new: the manufacturing side of bolts. At this point in my career I eagerly looked forward to learning all about domestic manufacturing. Unfortunately, in March 2011 I was diagnosed with stage 4 renal cell carcinoma, which I am currently fighting, and undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment.  I am no longer working for Pacific Coast Bolt, but I continue to have that desire to say in touch with the many friends I have made over the years.

At 50, I still have that strong desire to get the sale, and I still want to learn about nuts and bolts.  Andy Cohen once told me, "Viv, it’s in your blood". I guess he was right. With 30 plus years in the industry, I'm thankful for the many people who mentored me, allowed me to "pick their brains,” and who unselfishly taught me new ways of doing business.  I am thankful for organizations like Pacwest, Lafa, WAFA, and NFDA that allowed me to continue to learn about the needs of our growing industry and the challenges that continue to plague our industry.

I truly have been blessed by with many longtime friends, customers, and supplier relationships in the fastener industry.

And for this I am grateful.

Vivian Torres

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