In any commercial entity, the quality of the back-up customer service can be the difference between excellence and mediocrity.
In our industry the technical side of that support is crucial and, during my time, I was fortunate to work with several people who answered the call for advice or information brilliantly, not just from the sales team but our dealer network as well.
Peter Gerulaitis (seen above with wife Margaret on Franz Joseph Glacier last year) was one of this special band, but sadly he passed away on 28 July.
Peter G, as he was universally known, will be remembered fondly by some of the more "mature" readers as a member of the Philips consumer group in Auckland Branch, especially around the time of colour television being introduced in 1973.
I was with Philips Auckland back then and Peter’s expertise, jovial personality and willingness to help made him an invaluable team player who was really popular with colleagues and customers alike.
We put considerable emphasis on dealer staff training right across the branch territory and he was always willing to attend, enhancing each occasion with his unique all-round skill set.
Peter eventually left Philips in 1987, taking up a courier run before he and Margaret moved to Waipu two years later.
His love of the sea and of fishing soon had him an active member of the Waipu Boat & Fishing Club where his service was recognised with life membership in 2002.
Peter Gerulaitis was 70 years of age, gone way too soon.