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Carhartt honors Soldotna business as one of the best

More than just sales

Posted: Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Soldotna's own Carhartt king, Mike Sweeney, was sitting on top of the work apparel world Monday evening when he received a giant glass goblet signifying that he is one of the best in the business at a banquet in his honor.

Officials from Carhartt, the international work wear manufacturer, traveled from their respective Outside locations TO Soldotna to present Sweeney with the Hamilton Carhartt Award, the customer service award named for the company's founder.

"This is not just awarded to someone who sells a lot of Carhartts," said Doug Tweedie, the Carhartt Alaska Account Repre-sentative from Anchorage. "It's given to those who take what they have and make the best use of it. Sweeney's certainly is in that category."

For the last four years, the company has recognized businesses that excel in service to Carhartt customers, choosing only seven retailers from more than 7,500 accounts worldwide. From the larger accounts, such as Sears Robuck and Co. and J.C. Penney's, to smaller stores such as Sweeney's, Carhartt board of directors searched for those embraced the company's philosophy.

"No. 1 is focusing on customer service. No. 2 is carrying a wide selection of products. No. 3 is how well the product is displayed," said Charlie Siracusa, the company's national sales manager baseD in Dearborn, Mich.

"We get 50 to 55 nominations each year and we go into the stores to view the product. And we ask ourselves, is it just thrown up on the shelves? Or is it painstakingly stacked with each size visible so that ... people can still find what they're looking for?"

 

Mike Sweeney, front center, is joined by Carhartt company representatives Gary Smith (left), Doug Tweedie, Robert Howell, and Charles Siracusa.

Photo by Merrill Sikorski

Tweedie said one of the bullet points in Sweeney's nomination is that the store stocks diverse sizes to fit as many people as possible.

"As a consumer, it's disappointing to go into a store and not find your size," Tweedie said. "Mike doesn't want that. He's done a great job of making sure that he's not out of any sizes."

But Siracusa said consideration for the award extends beyond just those three principal criteria.

"It's about commitment to community," he said. "It's about the intangibles."

Former state representative and Soldotna Mayor Ken Lancaster said Sweeney had earned a reputation for being "a great guy who constantly gives to the community of his time and his money." And in nearly 20 years as a member, Sweeney has never missed a meeting of Rotary International, the international business association.

Merrill Sikorsky, a local freelance reporter and radio personality, said community service is a hallmark of Sweeney's character.

"The reason he is successful is because he doesn't look at what he can get from the community," Sikorsky said. "He looks at what he can do for the community."

Sweeney was joined by his wife, parents and his employees as he accepted the award Monday evening at Mykel's restaurant in Soldotna.

"It takes a family of workers to be successful," he said.

Photo by McNair Rivers Mike Sweeney, owner of Sweeney's Clothing, won an award from the Carhartt brand for his sales.

Photo by Merrill Sikorski Mike Sweeney, second from left, is joined by Carhartt company representatives Gary Smith, left, Doug Tweedie, Robert Howell and Charles Siracusa.

By MARCUS K. GARNER

Peninsula Clarion

Soldotna's own Carhartt king, Mike Sweeney, was sitting on top of the work apparel world Monday evening when he received a giant glass goblet signifying that he is one of the best in the business at a banquet in his honor.

Officials from Carhartt, the international work wear manufacturer, traveled from their respective Outside locations TO Soldotna to present Sweeney with the Hamilton Carhartt Award, the customer service award named for the company's founder.

"This is not just awarded to someone who sells a lot of Carhartts," said Doug Tweedie, the Carhartt Alaska Account Repre-sentative from Anchorage. "It's given to those who take what they have and make the best use of it. Sweeney's certainly is in that category."

For the last four years, the company has recognized businesses that excel in service to Carhartt customers, choosing only seven retailers from more than 7,500 accounts worldwide. From the larger accounts, such as Sears Robuck and Co. and J.C. Penney's, to smaller stores such as Sweeney's, Carhartt board of directors searched for those embraced the company's philosophy.

"No. 1 is focusing on customer service. No. 2 is carrying a wide selection of products. No. 3 is how well the product is displayed," said Charlie Siracusa, the company's national sales manager baseD in Dearborn, Mich.

"We get 50 to 55 nominations each year and we go into the stores to view the product. And we ask ourselves, is it just thrown up on the shelves? Or is it painstakingly stacked with each size visible so that ... people can still find what they're looking for?"

Tweedie said one of the bullet points in Sweeney's nomination is that the store stocks diverse sizes to fit as many people as possible.

"As a consumer, it's disappointing to go into a store and not find your size," Tweedie said. "Mike doesn't want that. He's done a great job of making sure that he's not out of any sizes."

But Siracusa said consideration for the award extends beyond just those three principal criteria.

"It's about commitment to community," he said. "It's about the intangibles."

Former state representative and Soldotna Mayor Ken Lancaster said Sweeney had earned a reputation for being "a great guy who constantly gives to the community of his time and his money." And in nearly 20 years as a member, Sweeney has never missed a meeting of Rotary International, the international business association.

Merrill Sikorsky, a local freelance reporter and radio personality, said community service is a hallmark of Sweeney's character.

"The reason he is successful is because he doesn't look at what he can get from the community," Sikorsky said. "He looks at what he can do for the community."

Sweeney was joined by his wife, parents and his employees as he accepted the award Monday evening at Mykel's restaurant in Soldotna.

"It takes a family of workers to be successful," he said.



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