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I was driving my 7-year old son, Russell, to hockey practice. We were listening to his favorite CD, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons (yes, my 7-year old son is a huge fan of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons), when my phone rang. I looked at the screen and saw that it was the office, so I turned the music down and answered the call. I then began a discussion with a member of our management team about a customer who was having an issue with an installation that we performed about a decade ago. The customer was unhappy with our efforts to resolve her issue and I found myself trying to justify those efforts by citing our contractual obligations and our responsibilities under the terms and conditions of her warranty. I then commended the manager and our staff on their efforts, agreed that there was nothing more that we could do for this customer and ended the call.

Soon after I finished the call, I heard a voice from the backseat call out, “Daddy.” I replied, “Sorry buddy. Let me turn the music back up for you.” However, before I could, Russell asked, “Daddy, why don’t you just take care of the customer?” I chuckled a bit and tried to answer him like I was talking to, well, like I was talking to a 7-year old. I began to explain to Russell that when you’re an adult you have to make tough choices and even though you want to try to help everyone, sometimes you just can’t.

“Daddy, why don’t you just take care of the customer?”

There was a brief pause while Russell thought about what I had just told him, and then I asked him, “Do you understand, buddy?” Then, my heart melted as I heard him utter, “Daddy, if you don’t help this person, God will be upset with you.” I had no response.

For the next two weeks I found myself thinking about those words more and more. I remembered when I was a young boy and my father, also named Russell, started the NATURE STONE business on the premise that “With God all things are possible,” and how he made it a point to satisfy each and every NATURE STONE customer. In fact, it was this philosophy that paved the way for our company’s Charitable Donation Program and Mission Statement. Over these past 25 years, my father, like his father before him, has reminded us that it’s our customers who have made NATURE STONE the success that it has become. He tells us often that we should be thankful for our customers and that each and every one of our customers should always be made to feel special because without them there would be no NATURE STONE®.

So, in keeping with the traditions of my father, my grandfather, Andrew “YaYa” Masetta, and the counsel of my young son, I am reaffirming NATURE STONE’s long-standing commitment of placing our customers trust, doing the little things necessary to earn our customers trust and respect and to assure that all of our customers are satisfied with their NATURE STONE® experience.

This philosophy will continue to be the guiding principal for all of us at NATURE STONE® and will forever be known as “Russell’s Promise” And yes, the customer I mentioned earlier was taken care of.

Michael A. Masetta
~ Proud Father of Russell ~

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