HOF 05 Surviving Day by Day -- Donald Samuels
"Don is very bright, very sharp and highly aggressive," Weil says. "He's upfront, honorable and a terrific salesperson. Don listens well and understands his customers' needs."
Joe DeLise, vice president of promotional purchasing for Lancôme, is a fan of Samuels' forward thinking, but old-fashioned, values, referring to him as "my digital dinosaur." DeLise finds the combination appealing.
"He has that futuristic thinking, but also the old-fashioned values I'm familiar with," notes DeLise, who met Samuels 20 years ago. "The one word that would describe him is commitment—to his family and the industry. He has one of the few family businesses still doing well in the New York metro area, which is not easy.
"I really appreciate his commitment to quality, having the equipment and people in place to do the job and achieving customer satisfaction, despite the flaming balls we throw at them."
Samuels is active in industry and business organizations. He is a member of the New York metro chapter of the World Presidents' Organization, has chaired or served on many committees within the Young Presidents' Organization, and is a member of the Chief Executives' Organization. He founded the Jay P. Samuels/Pictorial Offset Nathaniel Rochester Society scholarship at RIT.
Honors Keep Rolling In
Just this year, Samuels and his brothers were awarded the New Jersey Corporate Philanthropic award. The award endowment was given to The YCS Foundation, the largest provider of behavioral and health services to children throughout New Jersey.
Donald and Faye Samuels have been married 24 years, and they have two children in college this fall; a son, Ian, and daughter, Jennifer. Ian is attending the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Jenni is attending Washington University in St. Louis.
Aside from his family, Samuels' top passions are sailing, scuba diving and skiing. He enjoys sailing in Maine and on Long Island Sound. Samuels was scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef last March when a hurricane sent him packing early. "So I flew around the world for one day of diving," Samuels laments.