2012 Hall of Fame: Bob Cole
The foundation of all that, Cole said, stems "a crazy work ethic" he inherited from the large Italian family he grew with up in Rumson, N.J. The mantra among them was simply "to get shit done," no matter what it takes, Cole said. Back then he spent a lot of time working at the specialty grocery store owned by his godfather, who successfully competed against the big chains like A&P by giving customers the products and services they couldn't get elsewhere. "It's all about service," Cole said from his Hatfield office.
As simple as it sounds, Cole also believes "it"—a successful business, a loyal customer base, loyal employees—is all about being "nice. You absolutely get big benefits for being nice."
That attitude, he said, does a lot to instill in customers, employees and business partners, something that's sorely missing today. "It works because most people today think someone is out to cheat them," he said. "People today are looking for someone to trust, they're not looking for brands."