On July 1 Richard Harrington steps out of his role as senior project manager at WallGoldfinger after 14 years of working with clients and vendors around the world.
As his 68th birthday nears, Richard is retiring to spend more time with wife, Anne Mixer, who herself retired several years ago, and more time enjoying life.
Before he spends the Fourth of July holiday celebrating his independence, however, we took a few minutes to sit down with Richard and reflect on his years with WallGoldfinger.
Richard came to WallGoldfinger from a varied work background. Born and raised in New York, he started one of the first motorcycle messenger services in Manhattan, Mobile Messenger Service, which is still in business today. He was a project manager for a boutique residential general contractor also in Manhattan and in Vermont had a custom organic flour mill supplying artisan bread makers in the state and beyond.
He came to Vermont for a more relaxing lifestyle and because of family roots in the state, and joined WallGoldfinger in December of 2002.
For those who don't know, the project manager role is a liaison position between his colleagues at WallGoldfinger, clients, architects, dealers and subcontractors. It's the project manager who helps ensure the project is done right, delivered safely and professionally installed.
It can be a challenging job and is one that Richard says requires "perspective." While the goal is to exceed client expectations, when anxiety is running high and it appears the sky is falling, it's important to remember that however much we enjoy making it, it is, after all, just furniture.
Over the years, Richard has seen himself as first and foremost a problem solver - a challenge he has enjoyed even in the most trying of circumstances.
In the early days, Richard recalls, he traveled more, including heading to Cairo with professional installer Mike Toth. They were met with an energetic but somewhat unskilled installation crew who brought only claw hammers to put together WallGoldfinger's highly detailed furniture. The furniture had to be carried up about 50 flights of stairs to reach its destination. Along the way, some pieces suffered damage and Richard found himself searching Egypt for a finisher, who ultimately did an "impeccable" job.
Memories like that, and relationships formed with both his WallGoldfinger co-workers and subcontractors, are what Richard will take away from his years with the high-end furniture manufacturer.
"I wish WallGoldfinger well," Richard says. "I will miss all of the folks I've worked with."
It was Richard's goal to retire when he was still young and healthy enough to enjoy life with his wife and family. (Together they have five grown children spread from Vermont to Seattle). He isn't 100 percent sure what he and his wife will do in retirement, but they plan to stay in Vermont as well as travel. "We have lots of look forward to in our retirement years - an unending list of interests and opportunities," Richard says.
To send Richard well wishes, e-mail [email protected] and we'll be sure to pass them along.
They're big shoes to fill, but Richard's project management job along with several other opportunities, including a vice president of sales position, finishing technician and woodworking opportunities are all listed on WallGoldfinger's website, in case you're interested.