At just 3 years old, Victoria Spano feels perfectly at home seated at her great-grandfather’s desk at Modern Gas Sales, Inc.
At 90, Edward Gorzkowski, is equally comfortable with Victoria dancing around his office and telling him about her day.
The interaction seems reflective of the culture of the business which has served area residential, commercial and industrial propane customers for over 50 years. Gorzkowski started the business with one pickup truck in the early 50s and has watched it grow to five different locations.
“When my dad started the business, not only did he have only one pickup truck, but he was working other jobs at the time,” said Richard Gorkowski. “He wanted start a business that would benefit the community and be an anchor for his family.”
The business has now passed to second and even third generations with sons Richard, Edward and Jay overseeing daily operations.
Granddaughter Lindsey Spano detailed the growth of the business in product, staff and geography.
“We started with one location and now we have five: Nanticoke, Tannersville, Edwardsville, Honesdale and here, ” she said. “The business has over 50 employees.”
And those employees, she said, are prepared not just to keep customers warm in the winter and cooking in the summer, but to do so with a great attitude and understanding of the importance of customer service.
“Some of our employees have been here throughout our history,” she said. “Carl Bonitz is one of those employees.”
Bonitz came to the business after he graduated from high school and worked until he retired several years ago.
What truly speaks to the company’s treatment of its employees is that Bonitz still comes back to work at Modern even though he is retired.
“If he sees something that needs to be done, he does it,” Richard Gorkowski said of Bonitz.
The senior Gorkowski, born in an era without cell phones, social media or GPS, does not let that stop stop him from embracing technology as an opportunity for company growth and service.
“He might not understand everything about technology,” he said. “But, he is excited about us using it to better our customer experience.”
His father, he said, is loved by employees and customers, no matter what their age.
“He gets along well with younger people and he relates with the older people,” said Richard Gorkowski.
The business boasts of service to residential and commercial customers at reasonable costs.
Direct delivery of propane to the business makes those low prices possible, according to Spano.
In the meantime, most days find Edward Gorkowski, Sr. at his desk before everyone else, at the helm of a business that benefits his family, his employees and the community.
“I get here first and I make the coffee,” he said, smiling.
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