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Monthly Employee Highlight: Eugene Capoccia

Having started as a Purchasing Associate at ARSGEM back in 1994, Eugene Capoccia remains steadfast in his affection for his daily tasks.  

The interview took place in Eugene's modest corner cubicle, where he sat opposite Steven Davis, the Sourcing and Procurement Lead. Steven collaborates closely with Eugene every day. In an effort to provide more comprehensive responses, Eugene asked Steven to participate in our conversation to make it richer.  


Abigail (Interviewer): Please briefly introduce yourself and your role at ARSGEM. 

Eugene: I work as a Purchasing Associate at ARSGEM. Prior to joining this company, my career path led me through various other organizations. In fact, I was already working as a professional purchasing professional prior to joining the ARSGEM team. As a Purchasing Associate, collaboration with managers and colleagues within the department is essential for tasks such as supplier identification, pricing analysis, and contract monitoring. Despite the consistent core duties, I didn't know anything about the construction/property restoration industry. Therefore, I had to learn a lot about the industry to adapt to its intricacies. 


A: You need to ensure that the entire purchasing process gets done smoothly and effectively. What are some of the things you like about your job? 

E: The reality is, my role grants a significant degree of independence. It begins with forming a precise vision of the desired outcome. After setting clear objectives to reach that endpoint, it's about proactively seeking optimal solutions. You do lots of thorough and intense searching, investigating, analyzing, and decision-making. You essentially become the leader of your own journey, steering through every phase of the process. This is what I especially like about my job.  

A: I see that you work very closely with your junior, Steven Davis. Would you say that a strong sense of teamwork is essential for your work? 

E: Absolutely. Steven and I constantly converse about our current projects and especially how we can achieve the best results. Other team members including managers also share their insights with me, providing inspiration for better decisions. Strong communication skills and networking are mandatory for this role. 


A: So you've worked at ARSGEM for 30 years. You've definitely seen lots of phases the company has come through. Plus, the cities we serve have also come a long way. Are there some memorable changes you remember? 

E: I came to Canada from Italy in 1965. Back then, the roads were not properly paved. Gravels were all over the place and the streets only had two lanes. Plus, we had so much more snow that parts of the streets were covered by snow for months in a row. For the company, I vividly recall the days when our company operated with smaller teams, under the leadership of Anthony, whose unwavering commitment served as an inspiration to all. I am proud to see that the company has grown so big over the years, now extending our services to a global clientele. 

A: Let's time travel to the days when you were still junior at your role. Do you remember any particular career-related advice you received that deeply influenced you? 

E: During my early days on the job, my superior confronted me with these words: "Eugene walk tall when walking in the hallways" I admit was not walking tall back then, and looking interested. His simple yet stern words served as a reality check, leading to a significant shift in my mindset. 


A: Everyone at the office seems to genuinely admire your presence in the team. I don't think that is only because you've been here for a long time; Someone might be in the same place for a long time but not get sincere respect from his/her coworkers. What are some of the secrets to your great reputation among your coworkers? 

Steven: I can answer that question for Eugene. First, while Eugene is undeniably kind, he is not afraid of telling you things as they are, regardless of their nature, be it positive or negative. Undoubtedly, he values honesty greatly, both in his career path and in his personal dealings.  

Over the past thirty years, he has donned numerous hats, serving as a coordinator, project manager, and actively engaging on-site as well. Having accumulated extensive hands-on experience across various roles, he possesses a profound and irreplaceable comprehension of the business and industry. The invaluable insights and wisdom he's gained from his specialized roles undoubtedly propel our company to greater heights. 

It's also important to note his wonderful sense of humour. We all have good days and bad days. When your day is blue, his humour can instantly boost your mood. As a coworker you see day in and day out, this quality is invaluable. 

Eugene Capoccia & Steven Davis

A: It is such a privilege to have someone like Eugene who would generously share his wisdom with others and sincerely help you achieve your goals. What would you want to advise someone who is looking to start his/her career in your path? 

E: First, you need to be a student for life. Your education doesn't end at graduation; It is a life-long journey that continues during your career life. Roll up your sleeves and get ready to have your hands dirty. A truly meaningful, fulfilling life is not for the faint of heart. Also, work hard. Be the hardest-working person in the room. Do not expect great results when you only do the required minimum. Do your very best because, after all, it is your life.  


  • If you could have a conversation with any person (including historical figures), who would it be and why? 

E: Joe Namath. I love football. It is my hobby to watch football in my spare time. Joe Namath was an American football quarterback who played primarily with the New York Jets. He is probably one of the most famous American football players even today. If I could have a conversation with him, I would like to ask him why he chose football as his life career and what it means to him. 

  • If your life were a book, what would its title be? Why? 

E: I am not sure. What do you think, Steven? 

S: "Don't Know, Don't Care!" This is the line that he frequently says about so many things outside work. He must have said that to me at least 18 times, haha. It's a great line that shows his sense of humour as well as his prioritization that he prunes out unnecessary things to focus on what's important only. 

  • Is there any personal challenge you've set for yourself in the new year? 

E: I am not much of a person who sets up resolutions for a new year, but if I had to choose, it would be 'Beat diabetes'. I have been dealing with my diabetes for the last 5 years. This condition places a clear limit on what kind of food I can consume. My doctor suggested that I work out regularly but honestly, I don't work out much. Maybe it is something I shall work on this year so that I will come out of diabetes and be able to enjoy all the food I like.  

  • Your favourite singer? 

E: Umberto Tozzi. He is an Italian pop and rock singer. In his 70s, he still performs.  

  • If you can live anywhere, whether realistic or fictitious, where is it?  

E: I am from Frosinone, a relatively smaller municipality located an hour's drive southeast of Rome. If I can live anywhere, it would be Rome simply because it is just a fantastic place to be in, with all the beauty, historical significance, and rich culture it has to offer.  


  • Last question. How would you define a successful life? 

E: It might sound a bit absurd, but the true essence of success, I believe, is found in the very act of living. What I mean by living is the opposite of mere existing. Every minute, you 'live' when you practice gratitude and progress onward to your goals. Even if you haven't achieved your goal yet, the fact that you are truly living the present moment is a success in itself. Back in 2000, I was diagnosed with colon cancer. I had to go through two operations and then a lengthy chemotherapy. It was a painful process. Through this challenging experience, I came to realize the profound blessing of simply being alive, something we often take for granted. If you're truly living in the present, you're already succeeding. 

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