Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Soccer Helped Didomizio Achieve His Goals

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Soccer Helped Didomizio Achieve His Goals

Article excerpt

The picture of Joe DiDomizio is like any other you might see in a corporate magazine. He is clean-cut and clean-shaven with a nice suit.

The Wyckoff resident is the epitome of what a president and CEO of a million-dollar company is supposed to look like.

But for an hour tonight, DiDomizio, long hair, scruffy beard and all, will struggle with a coffee machine, try his hand at working in a warehouse and generally find out how the other half lives within his own company in the latest installment of the CBS show "Undercover Boss" (8 p.m.)

"I looked like a young Jerry Garcia," said the CEO of the Hudson Group, which runs more than 700 newsstands and retail shops at airports and transit hubs in the U.S. and Canada.

DiDomizio, who traces his leadership skills back to his time as an All-Bergen goalkeeper for the Ramapo boys soccer team, said he chose to do the show when the opportunity arose in July because he was trying to return to his roots.

"When I first started at Hudson [in 1992], I was an assistant manager," the 43-year-old married father of four said.

"The challenge being a CEO is that you are so far removed from the day-to-day experiences of the company sitting in an office and making decisions in an office. I always say executives should work in stores, see it in its raw state."

And so "Bobby" was born.

"That was the easy part, getting dressed up," said DiDomizio, who worked at Hudson outlets at the Seattle and Nashville airports as well as a distribution warehouse. "The biggest challenge was not revealing yourself."

DiDomizio wouldn't go into detail about his successes and failures before the show airs, except to say that it was a "learning experience." But those who know him are expecting a fun ride.

"A goalkeeper is a different creature," said Leonia soccer coach Drew Strohmeyer, who played alongside DiDomizio for the Green Raiders in 1986 and 1987. …

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