When Jim began his career 50 years ago, the:
- Dow Jones Industrial Average was 943 points
- Average cost of a home was $4,344
- Average rent was $130/month
- Average income was $7,850
- And a gallon of gas was $0.34
During Jim’s ride to work, he was most likely listening to “Hey Jude” by the Beatles, “Honey” by Bobby Goldsboro and “(Sittin’ on) the Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding.
When I think back on the history of Lewis, specifically the CFO position, there was a time and a place for each of Jim’s predecessors. However, the last eight years (to the date) belong to Jim Stenger. He redefined the CFO position and was recognized four years ago as Financial Executive of the Year by the Rochester Business Journal and local chapter of Financial Executives International. And it has been my pleasure and privilege to work alongside him. Everyone in this company has contributed to our success, but today is about Jim.
Jim has led our organization through times of great change. During Jim’s eight year tenure, his work ethic and leadership helped to guide and direct our company to reach new heights.
Jim said many times how much he loved this company and wished the opportunity to serve Lewis came earlier in his career. Jim was always fair, firm and consistent – you knew where you stood with him and if he said “Now Wait a Minute!” you knew you were going to be set straight and most likely deserved it. But he never held a grudge. He’s a good listener, delegater and mentor.
There is much to be learned from Jim, from his morning stroll around this building to greet everyone with a pleasant “Good Morning” to his horn that says “NO” six different ways, just in case we didn’t hear him the first time. Who he is, and what he’s accomplished, will leave a lasting legacy.
While Jim won’t be with us on a daily basis, he will continue to serve us as a member of our Board of Directors. Jim’s plans also include traveling with his wife, Georgine, woodworking, volunteering in our community, and sharing his talents with other businesses within our community by serving on boards.
My final tribute is to say that the strength of the foundation he has built will bring us all confidence as we begin a new era with Bob Petrone. Jim has spent the last nearly two years working with Bob and preparing him for this day. We will continue to be in good hands.
Jim, congratulations on a wonderful and successful career, and best wishes for the next phase – it has been our pleasure to know you and work with you.
To Jim and Georgine, I wish you a long life, good health and happiness together.
Pictured: Stephen Polozie, VP and General Counsel; Michael O'Connor; VP Human Resources; Greg Reitz, VP Information Technology; Tom Rogers, President and CEO; Jim Stenger, CFO; Laura Ribas, Director of Marketing; Bernie Kelly, VP of Accounting; and Bob Petrone, VP of Finance