Specified Fittings/Harco Fittings lost a valuable asset to the team this year. On January 31, 2020, Nick Maffei, a long-time employee, passed away suddenly in his home.
In 1998, 21-year-old Nick Maffei entered the one-year-old pipe fittings manufacturing plant as a gluer, willing and eager to learn how to glue PVC pipe fittings. He learned the craft quickly. A keen eye for detail and knack for efficient innovation, Nick soon mastered other areas of the manufacturing process including the saws and shipping. He became the Gluing supervisor in 2001 and communicated with the other departments, streamlining the process as he went. Nick’s fellow gluers called him Mano de Díos (Hand of God): a tribute to his infallible fabricating skills. His ability to connect with the workers in the plant as well as with others in Sales and to think outside the box helped pave the way for Specified’s “We can do it” attitude.
Nick traveled to many jobsites over the years, inspecting problems with fittings in the field, explaining installation errors, and training workers how to properly glue fittings. He developed a safer, more efficient way to glue large diameter fittings; furthermore, Specified Fittings owes its thanks to Nick for other breakthroughs including the PVC regrind sanded manhole adapters and product testing and development of specialty fittings like our Spec-Loc (Bulldog Joint Restraint System) product line.
Nick became Assistant Plant Manager in 2013, taking on more responsibilities overseeing departments’ processes; similarly, his involvement in the plant’s switch to a Lean Manufacturing system improved both the appearance and productivity last summer.
With his many contributions to the business, it came as no big surprise in May 2015 when Nick moved upstairs as the Inside Sales Manager. His knowledge, superior problem-solving skills, and customer service orientation made him a prime candidate for the job.
As an aside, Nick’s migratory childhood from Western Washington to Hawaii; Helsinki, Finland; Johannesburg, South Africa; and on back to stateside cultivated the skills to connect with many people of various backgrounds. He played soccer with other kids in Finland, made friends across the cultural barriers in South Africa (pre-apartheid referendum), and here at Specified, he built relationships with those in manufacturing on up to company CEOs.
Nick’s presence and knowledge is (and will continue to be) sorely missed by all of us.