By BOB MONTGOMERY
BRISTOL — Student athlete leaders from Bristol’s three high schools joined with members of the host Bristol Sports Hall of Fame Committee to take part in the last of three programs the latter has provided this particular group of students to hear former local athletes and leaders of the community who share stories of how they found success.
Held at Nuchie’s on Tuesday morning, the Leadership Council Breakfast keynote speaker this time out was Nancy Blanchette, financial and human resources manager of Ultimate Wireforms which is located next door to Nuchie’s.
The message she brought to the podium was that from the experience of an employer.
“We had no clue what we were up to when we started our business,” said Blanchette. “We didn’t have college, had an opportunity to start a wire business and went ahead.
“My husband (Paul) didn’t known what nickel titanium was, so he spent a week looking into it.
“With every step of the way, we hired people who were smarter than us.”
She went on to give examples of how to go after a job.
“First of all, take every opportunity that’s out there,” said Blanchette. “Find your passion and this way it won’t seem like work. Don’t just follow the crowd.”
Mark Ziogas, a Bristol attorney and Bristol Sports Hall of Fame Committee (BSHOF) member who organizes the three times a year breakfast, reminded the athletes that the lessons they learned on the fields of athletic endeavor would only help them down the road.
“Being competitive on the field carries forward into the work place,” said Ziogas. “The skills you’re learning from your coaches and teammates will help you.”
Following Blanchette’s presentation, the students were asked questions.
The table headed by BSHOF committee member Bernie O’Keefe was occupied by Eastern’s Joe Bak, Alan Pastyrnak, Matt Taylor, and Andy Degan, Central’s Dan Owsianko and Rachel Dombroski, and St. Paul’s Kara Meleski.
When asked what they received from the morning’s presentation, the students said it was all positive.
“Today’s speaker kept my attention,” said Dombroski. “She related to us.”
“She told us to follow our passion,” added Degan.
Each of the students were presented with Hall of Fame paper weights with the wording: “If it is to be, it’s up to me.” These words have become integrated into the Hall of Fame’s leadership program after first being shared by Bob Fiondella, former CEO of The Phoenix insurance company, who was the first to address the Leadership Council a couple of years ago and now sponsors the event.