Celebrating the Work of Vito Destito
“He’s selfless,” Mark Bagus said of Vito Destito over a cup of coffee. “Our time here is too short, we don’t have to make 100 mistakes, we could just listen to his lessons learned.”
Central Estimating Architectural Supervisor Bagus has worked alongside Vito for his entire career here at Flynn. He describes him as a mentor, a source of inspiration, and a guiding force within the staff in estimating and the entire branch. With a 40-year career at Flynn that has spanned across multiple departments, Vito is currently an Estimator of Architectural Products.
For the people that Vito has worked with here at Flynn, its abundantly clear that they care about him deeply, not just as a co-worker, but also as a friend.
“He takes 15 minutes to tell a two-minute story,” Bagus added. “Some might say that’s a downside, but it’s actually an upside. He tells the whole background and context, everything he has experienced before so it becomes your knowledge.”
While Vito’s experience included time in drafting and project management, Bagus claims that he never once lorded his experience over others within the company. He has developed connections across every department, directing traffic, and pointing endless employees in the right direction.
“That gives you an idea of how you can last in a career,” Bagus said. “You see guys like Vito in estimating, it makes you like your job more. He’s a true coach that is happy and content with what he’s doing here at Flynn. He’s an inspiration because he’s a guy who’s been here for 40 years and chooses to be here.”
Vito smiled when asked about his beginnings here at Flynn. He’s humble, and a little out of his element talking, and maybe bragging about, his 40-year career. He shrugged this conversation off like it was no big deal, yet endless colleagues rave about his knowledge and kindness.
“It’s nothing,” he said smiling.
Coming directly out of Humber college, Vito began his career with a company called Peerless that would eventually be acquired by Flynn. “Coordinating, then estimating, project managed for four or five years, back into estimating, ran drafting, estimating,” Vito explained nonchalantly. He’s touched just about every department here at Flynn, beginning his time well before things like AutoCAD were the norm. He maintains that he loves coming into work every day and connecting with those he works with.
“I enjoy people and working with people,” he said. “I’m a people person, I don’t mind sharing something that I know, and I don’t mind helping out when I can. The people here are what makes the company great.”
He advises that everyone at Flynn gives 100 per cent to their work every day, regardless of what is going on outside the office. “Always do your best, share, and be honest with yourself and the people here,” he added. “If you don’t know something, you ask, never assume. There are so many knowledgeable people here.”
The way Vito spoke gave off a sense that his 40-year career is nothing special. He smiled and said, “just try and do your best every day.”
Vito has connected with just about everyone from senior executives to brand new hires out of school. “I get frustrated and have bad days, but I’ve never seen him mad,” said Doug Dainton, Central Estimating Manager out of Flynn Toronto. “It’s probably why everyone likes him.”
Dainton has known Vito for 32 years, meeting him on his first day at Peerless, a company acquired by Flynn. He pointed out his natural ability to teach, exceptional work ethic while claiming that he is one of the most patient people he’s ever met.
“He will work till midnight at his kitchen table if that was what he had to do to get the job done,” he explained.
Vito has even gone out of his way to help Dainton with household tasks, or by finding an incredibly obscure bolt for a trailer. “He just says leave it to me.”
“Vito, thanks for always putting the word yes in front of the word no,” Dainton said.
The Brain to Pick
Toronto Branch Manager Bruce Illes points to Vito as the brain to pick in the company. “If you want information, I don’t think there’s been a time when he has not had an idea or the answer, especially on architectural metals.”
“I think he gets people engaged by taking the time to make others feel comfortable,” said Illes. “He’s the most easy-going guy, team player, and someone that can get people to listen. When he’s talking, he’s saying it for a reason, he’s saying it for a reason.”
Illes met Vito when he joined in 2001 and comments his exceptional knowledge. “A lot of people can have knowledge, but where he wins, he always takes time to explain it. He always gives you a history of projects, customers, and materials.”
“I think of Flynn as a family. It’s a team here and it’s about caring, sharing knowledge, and learning from each other. That’s Vito.
Embracing the Flynn Way and Leading by Example
Manny H. DeSousa, Estimator Architectural Products, describes Vito as a walking encyclopedia, the first person he uses as a resource to answer a complicated question.
“Undoubtedly, he has come across the same situation sometime in the past and is very glad to share his solution, usually accompanied by a humorous story,” DeSousa said.
When DeSousa joined Flynn 15 years ago, Vito was the first person to help him navigate through working at a large company like Flynn. “We quickly became friends and our friendship has only strengthened over the years,” he said. “He is a very dedicated family man that puts the needs of others ahead of his own, whether it’s his own family or his Flynn family.
Described as kind-hearted and approachable, DeSousa said he possesses a willingness to help absolutely anyone with any sort of issue, regardless of whether it is part of his “job description” or not.
Passing Flynn Traditions on To Younger Generations
Bagus briefly explained the role of a Griot in an African village while finishing his coffee. He mentioned that they are the experienced historian and repository of knowledge who leads their tribe.
“Vito reminds me a lot of a Griot,” he added. “He accumulates stories along with all the information from the village and passes the information onto the younger generation. When he finally retires, it’s a whole Flynn history leaving, an entire library.”
“Nobody is going to hear the same stories Vito has experienced.”
A big thank you from your Flynn Family Vito for being the best person can be every day!