I had been serving the insurance needs of NALC and APWU members for ten years when I met Vinny Palladino in 1979 at the Rosebank Post Office in Staten Island, New York when he was NAPS Area Vice President. I learned then that behind his easy going manner and casual laugh was a bright gentleman with a mathematical mind. He explained the pension and life insurance benefits of FERS and gave me some material which he thought would be helpful in counseling Postal employees. I also found that he and I shared a passion for detail to service.
Shortly thereafter, he suggested that I contact Frank Torres, who was the President of the NAPS branch in Puetro Rico, because Vinny believed that those members were probably underserved by the insurance industry. Little did I know that I would spend the next nine months living in Puetro Rico and eventually opening an office in Hato Rey! Needless to day, I was grateful to a man who not only took interest in the welfare of his members; but also in helping me, a complete stranger. Later on that year, Vinny introduced me to the Northest Director of Labor Relations, Charlie Scialla; and the three of us remained acquaintances and friends until Vinny’s death five years ago.
While Ruby Handleman was NAPS President, I introduced Guaranteed Acceptance Disability and Life Insurance. Ultimately, those programs, along with the annual Vincent Palladino Memorial Scholarship (dedicated in 2005) were approved by the Executive board in 1993. The disability and Life Insurance programs and scholarships still serve NAPS members today.
In closing, I feel privileged to have known Vinny for almost thirty years. I witnessed his intelligence, negotiating skills, and most importantly, his humanity, first hand. He was a great president who could lead with strength and humor at the same time. He loved his family, and he loved his job. He was fiercely dedicated to both. Like every one who knew, respected, and admired Vinny, I miss him.
John Pescitelli, President
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