A Conversation with Larry Capoccia, Alexandria Metal Finishers
After leaving Italy with his young wife in the 1960s, Loreto “Larry” Capoccia took his experience with metals to a new home in the U.S., and soon to Alexandria Metal Finishers
After leaving Italy with his young wife in the 1960s, Loreto “Larry” Capoccia took his experience with metals to a new home in the U.S., and soon at Alexandria Metal Finishers, where he eventually became owner. He also served as secretary, vice president and president of the AESF Baltimore-Washington chapter. More than 50 years later, he continues leading the company as a proud American and proud part of the surface finishing industry.
PF: How were you involved in the finishing industry in Italy?
LC: I was in a foundry, both in the mechanical aspects and as an artist. I worked with the casting of bronze, brass, aluminum, silver and gold.
PF: What was it like immigrating from Italy in the 1960s and trying to find work in the U.S.?
LC: It was a bit of a culture shock and I had difficulties with the language. I was very fortunate to find a job at Alexandria Metal Finishers after being in the U.S. for only one week.
PF: What’s the best piece of advice you were given?
LC: It was from my first boss, Tony Facciolo: “Don’t worry about your accent; people will listen to your knowledge and skill.”
PF: What was your first job and what did you learn from it?
LC: A silversmith, and I learned about stripping metals, then repair and replating.
PF: If you had $100,000 to give to a charity, which one would it be?
LC: I would want to give it personally to a poor family.
PF: What was your first car, and what is your dream car?
LC: First car was a Fiat 500 in Rome. My dream car is a 1929 Ford pickup truck.
PF: What leadership traits have helped you along the way?
LC: Honesty, hard work and being a good teacher.
PF: What did you want to be when you grew up?
LC: I hoped to be a soccer player or an air force pilot.
PF: Favorite place you’ve ever lived?
PF: What organization do you most admire?
LC: Aerospace companies; Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin.
PF: If you could trade jobs with anyone for a day, who would it be?
LC: A teacher in high school.
PF: Where would we find you on a typical Saturday?
LC: Riding through the countryside in my Porsche 911.
PF: Best way to keep competitive edge?
LC: Quality and commitment are most important.
PF: Personal heroes?
LC: John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr.
PF: How do you motivate people?
LC: By example.
PF: How do you motivate yourself?
LC: It’s in my genes
PF: Three greatest passions?
LC: Driving in the countryside, horse farms and wineries.
PF: Best business decision?
LC: The ones I don’t agree with myself.
PF: Worst business decision?
LC: When I listen to other people to try to go along.
PF: Words that best describes you.
LC: Pain in the neck, hardworking, friendly and self-made.
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