Hartford Distributors is a family in grief right now, company executives said on Thursday.
“Today is a day to honor the dead and begin the process of moving forward with our lives,” Ross Hollander said. “The victims of this tragedy are not statistics. They are memories of our family and cherished friends who’ve been wrenched from our lives, never to be replaced.”
One by one, Hollander shared memories of the Hartford Distributors employees who were killed in mass shooting.
He started with Bryan Cirigliano, 51, of Newington, whose father and brother had also worked for the company.
“Bryan was a pillar of the workforce at Hartford Distributors. He was tough but fair,” Hollander said.
Cirigliano was a member of the union and had worked his way up to become president of the local unit.
“He always had the interests of his fellow employees at heart and represented them fairly, aggressively and with integrity,” Hollander said.
William Ackerman, 51, of East Windsor.
“Billy Ackerman had a key to my house,” Holland said. “If you’re hanging off a cliff on a rope, he was the guy you’d want at the other end.”
Francis Fazio, 57, of Bristol.
“Fran Fazio never had trouble with anybody. He was just a hardworking man, a family man who came to work everyday to make his pay for his family to live a descent life and went home to Bristol,” Hollander said.
Victor James, 61, of Windsor
“One of the best minds I can imagine. A brilliant guy who read everything. Brought me articles from some of the most obscure periodicals you could imagine,” Hollander said. “He read everything.”
Edwin Kennison, 49, of East Hartford
“Ed Kennison was not with us for very long, but he was a very hardworking guy and such a rabid Yankees fan that he had several tattoos to prove it and was looking to put 2010 on the line.
Craig Pepin, 60, of South Windsor
“Craig Pepin, one of our dearest employees for 25 years. … Never said no. Pepin was the ultimate husband, coach and father figure to every kid in the town of South Windsor who played on any of his sports teams. A wonderful, wonderful man,” Hollander said. ‘He’ll be sorely missed.
Douglas Scruton, 56,of Manchester, was also with the company for 25 years.
"He was a devoted family man, very hard worker and an absolutely rabid UConn fan," Hollander said.
Louis Felder Jr., 50, of Stamford, worked for the company for eight months, but the company had known him for two years. He had been president of MSI Warehouse Management Systems, Inc.
"He's one of the most brillian people you'd ever want to meet," Hollander said. “That’s was one thing we take great pride in at Hartford Distributors, we are smart enough to hire people that are smarter than we are,” Hollander said. “We liked his work so much and his enthusiasm that … we asked him to come to work instead for Hartford Distributors, which he did. He exemplified the highest level of professionalism that you could have in our industry.” “Hartford distributors is a family you come to for your life,” Hollander said.
“While this has been a tragedy of epic proportions, we remain a strong, incredible close team,” Hollander said.