September 25, 2017

What Is Past Is Prologue

Inscribed on the base of a limestone statue titled “Future” before the National Archives in Washington, DC, is the message, “What is Past is Prologue.” These words are as mighty as the awe-inspiring building itself and the records it holds for our nation and the world. This is where the cornerstones of this great country, the original Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights, are on display.

So what does this mean for us here at O&G? It means our past guides our future.

For our generation, the fourth generation of our family and company, the past is monumental. Each one of us appreciates that we began our careers within a company already built, with  a strong foundation and solid values, by many before us. We hold high the responsibility to preserve and further the success of O&G.

For us the past inspires the future. The values and expectations of family and employees who grew O&G guide us as we help lead this company. We honor their legacies and lessons. But, as the next generation, we challenge ourselves to make this company even greater.

We ask each other, “What can we contribute to this company which our fathers, grandfathers, and great grandfather, and thousands of loyal employees, have built over the last 93 years?” Our core values – ethics, safety, productivity and quality – will always drive us. But as we lead our company we remember the past with tenderness and appreciation for our people. At O&G the lines between family, company and community have always been blurred. I know for all of us, these are the same thing. You are our family. You are our company. You are our community.

As a young girl, I would be dropped off at my Dad’s office. I loved the company and our “family.” I couldn’t wait to operate the scale house with Everett Jones, pretend to take concrete orders or answer the phones with Sue Duffy, and ride in the bucket loader with Johnny Cellerino. During my high school summers I worked at the Bogue Road scale under Sue Duffy’s management. During college I learned the ropes from Wayne Zagrodnik at the counter in Waterbury. Now as a business woman, I look back at these memories with great indebtedness. I hold true to the company spirit I felt as a young girl. But I also look back with a greater awareness of the value of opportunity, advancement and career growth in our company.

Our new ERP system is another example of charging forward. O&G has always been innovative and self-developed when it comes to our technologies. Fred Manteghian and our internal team have faithfully assisted in developing the computer programs we have needed to be successful. Our company’s new ERP system is a continuation of the business innovation of our past. Our generation is tasked to continue to innovate, create and build: “The road to success is always under construction,” it’s said.

This ERP system is just one of our generation’s contributions to growing O&G with – and for – you and the next generation. We know this time of change has been stressful and we want to thank you all for your hard work over the last ten months.

As Francis Oneglia would say, “Pay attention to pennies and the dollars take care of themselves.” Our ERP system will help us keep a better eye on those pennies. Converting to this system seems monumental. Change is big, and heavy. But we have built bridges, universities, highways and now an ERP system together as a company.

We build greatness at O&G. And once again we are asking for greatness from you. Actions with the utmost certainty convey confidence: if you believe in the work you produce every day, you positively influence the productivity of your fellow employees. Be productive at every moment and stay at least a step or two ahead of the real-time problems and our competition.

For our generation, this is the challenge of leadership. Can we inspire you to continue to build greatness? We believe so, and we hope you will continue to grow with us. This is our dream for so many endeavors well beyond the scope of a new computer system.

Of course my late father continues to be one of my greatest teachers. These are not his words but those of a business leader whom he admired: “You can dream, create, design and build the most wonderful place in the world, but it requires people to make the dream a reality.”

Thank you for building and growing O&G together with us.

Kara

 

Kara Oneglia
Assistant Vice President, Mason Division