Pete Leuzzi, vice president of Concession Services, Inc. (CSI) located in Chicago, IL, will be retiring this month after 45 years in the industry. Leuzzi began with CSI in 1970 as a manager of drive-in theater concessions when the company was strictly concession services. In 1988, Leuzzi became CSI’s vice president and chief operating officer and had held that position for 26 years.
“I am excited about my impending retirement,” said Leuzzi in a statement to employees. “But wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for all of the opportunities and experiences I have had working for CSI.”
Leuzzi told VendingMarketWatch that he will most miss the people with which he works. “One thing I won’t miss, though, is getting up at 4:30 every morning!” he joked. Leuzzi’s employees, likewise, will miss working with him on a daily basis. “I have loved working for Pete because he cares about his employees and his customers,” said Karen Kieca, account executive. “Pete always listens to his employees and creates a family atmosphere at CSI. Pete is supportive 100 percent. I tip my hat off to him!”
Kelli Miller, who has been Leuzzi's assistant for almost 12 years added, "Pete has a heart of gold and would do anything for anyone that asked. We have had a lot of laughs and some tears," she said. "He has been like a father to me and has looked out for me all along. I will be taking over his purchasing position that he has been preparing me for all of my employment and they are going to be some big shoes to fill."
Leuzzi spent much of his tenure at CSI also working with the Illinois Committee of Blind Vendors. “I first met with Pete over 20 years ago when he was just in the thought stages of opening up a vending distributorship under Concession Services,” said John Gordon, chairman, Illinois Committee of Blind Vendors (ICBV). “Pete has been a constant supporter of our Blind Vendor group, going above and beyond to participate in every aspect of ICBV from exceptional service to all vendors regardless of size, participation in every trades-show event, even sending donations at Christmas for the Christmas party that we host for the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired.” Gordon concluded, “Pete will be an icon in our industry that will never be forgotten. He will be truly missed and we wish him the best in his retirement.”
Over the last 45 years, Leuzzi has seen many changes in the industry including price and cost increases, but he is optimistic about the industry. He said, “For the operators continuing in the future, use good products, healthy products and try your best to keep prices under control, that’s my parting advice.”
Leuzzi’s last day with CSI will be Nov. 26.